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Alice In Wonderland

October 27, 2009 by Helen Dearnley   Comments (1)

I've been accepted onto the AA2A scheme, and plan to use the time to create a body of work on the theme of Alice In Wonderland for a proposed exhibition in March 2010 to coincide with the Tim Burton film due for release at that time. This is for the Lincoln Artist's Network, a group I set up for undergraduates and graduates of Lincoln University, funded by Enterprise Inc at Sparkhouse Studios at the UL.

This will involve dolls, and/or animation to follow on from previous work. I hope not to follow too closely the version by Jan Svankmayer, but instead will incorporate something more contemporary. The theme of Alice In Wonderland is a Simulacrum worth exploring and I hope to add a visual commentary on the traditional elements and reconstruct a narrative within it that draws on contemporary issues and relative philosophical discourse. For instance, references to Alice In Wonderland appear in the film The Matrix, so I hope to look at where that's relevant, and perhaps to introduce additional elements, for instance, what happens if Alice meets The Lady of Shalott? Or what if I were the protagonist? Or my Dad?

I noted that Through The Looking Glass was dated Nov 4th - that was the day I got married and spent 6 years in a wonderland of my ex husband's creation, so I may decide to include that somewhere.... on Nov 4th 2009 I am due to see A-ha live at the 02 and will exhibit some work from The Unreal God And Aspects Of His Non-Existent Universe, so this could form a point of departure from which to begin the new body of work.

I'm going in for my first AA2A meeting at Greestone tomorrow. As a lone parent and recent graduate I've been itching to create some form of animation since graduating, but not only have I not had sufficient income, I have to balance being a (lone) parent with work, and at the moment, parental demands are taking over. I look forward to getting out of my studio space at home and escaping the distractions that stop me from creating anything remotely useful, and having the time, resources and space to actually create work. 

The first hurdle.....

October 27, 2009 by Marie Roberts   Comments (1)

I was so delighted to be given this opportunity, and had no shortage of what I thought were fabulous ideas, that was the first hurdle, or so I thought. BUT - suddenly I have an attack of 'it's been so long since I did this where the hell do I begin'. Anyone else feeling nervous about their starting point?

First day on site

October 26, 2009 by Andi Chapple   Comments (0)

I took the train down to Lancaster with some nervousness and a great deal of excitement. I've never spent any time in an art college and I was interested, to say the least, to see how things went. Of course, everyone was welcoming and helpful, and I spent a great day getting under way and listening to the high wind off Morecambe Bay - the college is perched on a hill and the print room has lots of chimney-like exhausts and extractors for the wind to play in.

The print room is very well set up for printing ...

University of Cumbria Lancaster printroom

And washing up afterwards ...

University of Cumbria Lancaster printroom

and has lots of blank screens and empty print racks just waiting for me to get on with it.

University of Cumbria Lancaster printroom



Links to my Blog - From Perfume To Birdsong

October 25, 2009 by Dean Melbourne   Comments (0)

I already keep a blog on wordpress so I thought I would try to post a link here whenever I post on there.


have a look if you have a min!




October 19, 2009 by Aidan Moesby   Comments (0)

Cathexis - the investment of mental or emotional energy in a person, object, or idea.

'Reflecting on my aa2a experience' and 'Thanks to NUCA staff'

October 16, 2009 by Lorraine Cooke   Comments (1)

NB:  These two blog posts, dated 12 April 2009 have been transferred from last year's pilot 'dotbiz' website.

Reflecting upon my experience on the aa2a scheme at 'Norwich University College of the Arts.'

Having graduated from NSAD in 2003 I was delighted to have been accepted onto the AA2A scheme to return to NUCA (previously known as NSAD) to develop my practice and work alongside the students. I did not know what to expect at the prospect of returning to NUCA, not only has the art school gained University status but many other changes have taken place in the five since I graduated and returning as a member of staff and professional artist was new territory for me. I quickly developed a rapport with the students, staff and fellow NUCA AA2A artists and found the staff very receptive of my presence.

The AA2A scheme has enabled me to broaden the scope for genuine experimentation and assimilation of making processes in the exploration of new methodologies in drawing practice. I have had access to the etching and printmaking facilities at NUCA which has proven invaluable. Since graduating I have found it almost impossible to access such facilities elsewhere and have sought alternative methods of developing my practice which primarily involves cross disciplinary approaches to both drawing and painting. Works produced during the AA2A residency demonstrate a symbiosis of techniques including etching, mono printing, chine colle, collage, drawing, painting, stitching and mixed media.

My work is essentially concerned with the exploration of landscape and inscape, drawing upon the history of landscape genre in painting to rationalize the landscape in which I find myself. Works often emerge as psychological morphologies incorporating organic forms and complex layering of space. My latest works mark an unexpected development in the introduction of figurative drawing combined with a long standing interest in calligraphic line and abstract composition. These works (produced during the AA2A residency) signify the origin of a new line of enquiry inspired by research into Oriental art. These works have assisted greatly in my selection as one of this years artist’s to exhibit with the ‘Norwich print fair.’ In view of this forthcoming exhibition I will continue to explore the integration of printmaking processes including intaglio casting, collographs, dry point and mono printing.

Working alongside the students has been beneficial to both myself and the students as it has provided a platform to share ideas, I have enjoyed the dynamic of working alongside like minded people, once again experiencing the camaraderie of a creative institution whilst offering advice, support and encouragement to students who have been very responsive towards me. My presence was raised by Ernst Nichol (printmaking technician) who presented my work to the students and encouraged them to approach me with any questions or guidance required to advance their own work. Following this engagement I have been accepted as a student mentor at NUCA.

It was interesting to discover that two of the other three NUCA AA2A artists were also NSAD graduates at different stages of their careers as professional artists. We were able to identify our individual paths taken since graduating and to share critique, having formed a solid relationship with the other artists (Tracy Leech- Williams, Michael Smith and Pippa Thurlow) we collaborated to culminate the AA2A residency with a joint exhibition (images of which can be viewed in the art folios.) We will be collaborating again in the near future and details of forthcoming projects and exhibitions will be posted here.


Thank you to NUCA staff for support during my aa2a residency

I would like to record my special thanks to the following NUCA staff who provided support throughout the residency:

Kirk Laws-Chapman (AA2A NUCA coordinator and resource manager,) for the general administration and coordination of the scheme with attention to raising the awareness of my presence within NUCA.

Sonja Ruddick (printmaking workshop manager,) for access and coordination of my use of the printmaking facilities.

Ernst Nichol (printmaking technician,) for technical support, enthusiasm for the scheme and raising awareness of my presence.

Mike Oakes (IT manager) and Chris Lee (IT technician,) for IT support and assistance with exhibition installation.

Molly Thomson (fine art painting tutor,) for provision of the exhibition space and generosity in volunteering her time in the critique of work produced during the scheme.

Sarah Beare (drawing workshop coordinator,) for support in the publicity and organisation of the collaborative AA2A exhibition.

Les Reid (workshop manager) and Kaavous Clayton (wood workshop technician,) for workshop support.