I have not been good at blogging during my aa2a time - only one up to now!
I often say that I prefer to let my work speak for me, so I hope it has/does. But I don't want to finish my aa2a time without offering some feedback and expressing my thanks, so I'm blogging with some of my responses to the aa2a evaluation, which made me think back over the whole experience :-
What were the best things about your aa2a project?
The confidence boost it gave me to 'stretch' further. I feel privileged to have been selected, and very encouraged that my practice and work were/are of sufficient interest to qualify for the AA2A scheme. Also, access to the expertise of excellent technicians, borrowing photographic equipment to try it out, a great library, and just being back in an art school environment with art school people - brilliant.
Did you use the scheme as an opportunity to change the direction (or scale) of your work? e.g. larger prints, access to new equipment, space to think
Yes I did: higher res camera, larger prints, sturdy tripod and lots of video editing experience - translating the ways I use Photoshop into creating composite images in FinalCutPro.
Through photographing some intriguing places and forms I found within UCA Canterbury's buildings I discovered a fascination for investigating images of interior spaces: an entirely new direction for me.
Space to think? Oh yes. Single parent, sole breadwinner, granted some precious hours to work uninterrupted in an inspiring environment - a breath of fresh air. Testing ideas and exploring new media with the assistance of expert facilitators - exhilarating - wonderful.
Contact with students :
People editing video - and I spent the majority of my AA2A time as one of them - are totally focused and absorbed, and usually wearing headphones! - so talking amongst the group in the moving image suite didn't happen often. All those I did speak to were very sociable and, I think, interested in what I was attempting to achieve.
I did a presentation to students, which went pretty well (despite a technical difficulty) in that it prompted questions and discussion around different examples of my work.
I loved having permission to 'access all areas' at UCA, but being neither staff nor student, and a bit shy, I found the role of AA2A artist surprisingly solitary at times: a t-shirt, with words to the effect "ask me what I'm doing here" might have been a good 'ice breaker'! - why didn't I think of that months ago?
Contact with other artists:
I hope to keep in touch with the other three UCA artists: it was very interesting to talk to them, they were very good company and we made a great team putting up the exhibition.
I have never taken to 'social networking' sites, but aa2a.biz may have changed my attitude. It was/is so good to have an insight into what fellow artists were/are working on, have direct contact links with them, and feel part of the countrywide AA2A community. Fantastic.
Anything else you’d like to mention e.g if you want particular thanks to be formally passed on to the staff we will do that for you
Yes, please relay my thanks to all. Jenny Painter at UCA, and Georgia and Wendy at AA2A were great online communicators from the start: and everyone I met at UCA Canterbury was welcoming and helpful, from the staff in reception, the library, the shop and the cafe, to students, tutors and technicians. Matt, Terry, Paul - absolutely brilliant - I learned so much from them, and their help and advice made every long drive to Canterbury completely worthwhile.
Particular thanks to Peter Hofer, AA2A Co-Ordinator: clearly a very busy person, but his quiet, organised approach, excellent communication and encouraging attitude were/are very much appreciated.
I feel very honoured to have been one of the artists included in this well-established national project. I am very pleased and to know that funding has been secured for 2011-12, and wish the project every success in the long term. My sincere thanks to all involved.
Chloe Boulton introduced herself at the UCA aa2a exhibition opening, and later interviewed me about aa2a and my work for Trisickle magazine:-
I promised to blog! A rather shy and private sort, I’ve spent years avoiding the writing on that ‘wall’ but, for AA2A, I’ll have a go. A “bullet blog” to cover my first few weeks at Canterbury.
Peter Hofer, AA2A co-ordinator welcomed me and showed me around UCA – thank you Peter, good to meet you. Fantastic facilities – I could spend forever working away happily there.
Met Mike Fryer, fellow Canterbury artist – we had coffees and a long, very interesting and, for me, encouraging conversation. Talking to Mike made me realise just how privileged I feel to have an AA2A place – thank you people.
My first missions –
learn to use Final Cut Pro - well, just enough to try making the images I hope find;
shoot and get to grips with bigger still image files; and
try inkjet prints on different media.
A big THANK YOU to Matt, Paul and Terry – UCA’s extremely knowledgeable, helpful and patient technicians – for getting me started on all these.
Went to the cathedral, took lots of photos and found a great deal to think about – natural forms, structures, symmetrical spaces, repetition, pattern - but I won’t go into all that here. Also found a beautifully curated and lit David Begbie exhibition in the Chapter House - perfect in that space – so glad I saw it.
Work to date?
Larger prints than I’ve dared before – worked out pretty well:
on tracing paper – so I can experiment with adding lots of texture with water:
on cotton – promising - but all the magenta washed out! try again:
try silk too – more translucency, more fluidity, more expensive – but it has to be done.
Still-but-moving landscape images – this is what I’ve been hoping to find – but they’re much less co-operative than stills, so it’s a battle of wits. What I really need to do is crop the video - chop off and get rid of the bits I don’t want, but so far masking them is the best I’ve managed. Ideas?
Reasearch to do – who’s got an industrial printer that will ‘fait gicler’ onto a big lump of wood?
Recent ideas prompted by Alexis Rago’s work (AA2A), and David Attenborough’s fossil hunting: now I want to try making paper (perhaps using the fluff from the tumble dryer filter! and lots of chalk? – any advice re this process would be very welcome) and book binding.
Caitlin Griffiths (AA2A, ref main forum) got me thinking about how, why, when and the weather that made me think of myself as an artist. Very interesting to think through all that – thank you Caitlin. As I write it’s snowing again and already a foot deep outside the door, so now I’m off to point the camera at the winter.