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The winter of our discontent always leads to spring – interview with AA2A artist Baljinder Kaur

February 28, 2018 by Rebecca Collins   Comments (0)

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Baljinder's art

Sandra Cope and I, AA2A student reps at the University of Wolverhampton, recently met with Baljinder Kaur, one of this year’s AA2A artists-in-residents based in Wolverhampton to talk about her practice and reflect on the creative life.

Baljinder’s background is in illustration. Prior to starting up her residency, she was working (and still is) as a freelance illustrator. Before that, she did a graphic design and illustration degree at De Montford University in Leicester.

Her interests lie mainly in the field of children’s literature. However, talking to her it became clear that perhaps overarching that interest she is an observer of people and community. She likes drawing, painting and depicting people. She is also fascinated with culture, an interest which is partly based on her personal experiences with culture. In particular, through her work she questions what it means to have a blended culture which comprises of tradition and contemporary elements and what time and history do to a culture and to traditions within that culture.


We discussed the ideas she has for projects she is pursuing while at Wolverhampton. Like many artists, she has a few ideas on the go and lots of thoughts running concurrently, all vying for attention. At this point which is the middle of her residency, she has a few ideas bubbling. In terms of technique, she has been experimenting with blending skilled and traditional methods of artistic expression, in particular, printing and drawing from life, with modern and digital methods of manipulation of colour and texture impression. She is investigating the idea of combining traditional approaches of mark making with digital methods. There is a parallel between the traditional and the contemporary in terms of a cultural understanding in her practice. ‘Time’ is the word that comes to mind. She is all about observing time passing and the effect of that on people and communities.

Finally, we talked about the nitty gritty of a creative career and a creative life, noticing a similarity in the life-span of each art project and the importance of time to reflect when engaged in any project. At the time of our meeting, it is winter, and in fact it was snowing. Winter, we decided, is the period of limbo and stasis for an artist (and perhaps for many people). But this is a natural part of the artistic process, this is the time to gather the various threads that have been bubbling and simmering for a while and soon it will be time to run with the strongest thread. However, winter causes uncertainty (and we all feel it) so life would be better without winter, we decided. Or perhaps not. Maybe winter is indeed necessary, it fosters a time for reflection. Still, winter has been going on for a while now.

Roll on Spring!

Sandra and I are looking forward to seeing what threads of her work Baljinder decides to run with. She is hoping to exhibit her work towards the end of her time in Wolverhampton.

A world devoid of colour - what is it all about?

February 28, 2018 by Rebecca Collins   Comments (0)

Since the summer, I have become obsessed with a world devoid of colour. This is particularly odd given that I have synaesthesia. Taking away colour from someone with synaesthesia is almost impossible but that is what I have been trying to do, to myself. The result has been very interesting so far.

Fried Egg

For the last six months I have almost exclusively been using just two tubes of paint: a black one and a white one. I have been filtering all my photographs with black and white. I have been making videos in black and white. I have been drawing with just a black fine liner pen. 

I have found the experience quite liberating. Rather than colour dominating my art making, and the decisions associated with using colour, I have been considering in much more depth the effect of colour when it is extracted from the creative experience on shades of grey and other elements of a painting such as tone, depth, light, texture. These are elements that might get overshadowed when painting in colour. There is a huge amount of subtlety in the grey scale which I am just now beginning to appreciate.

As a by-product to this experiment, I find that I have an urge to surround myself in a monochrome world in my every day life. I need to know: why do we envisage a world lacking in colour as a world devoid of joy? Is that in fact true? I am finding a new richness and pleasure in my desire for a black and white world. Is that contradictionary?

I have found that painting objects in black and white has enabled me to see them with a new, rather esquisite, clarity. They are more tangible somehow, richer and more 'real' to me. Rather than translating black and white images into colour in my mind's eye, I am now translating coloured objects into black and white. 

The bigger question that I see coming from this is if you take away one element from an object, such as tangibility (show it online), texture (blur it, abstract it), colour (render it in monochrome) are you in fact giving it a new richness, a new 'tangibility' that it didn't have before?

Why do we assume that the 'prefect' image, or even the 'object' in its original form and within reach, is the best rendition of that object? What would Plato say about that?

Experimenting with presentation and edits

February 26, 2018 by Annette Pugh   Comments (0)

A good productive day today testing the projection of edited film clips onto fabric and adding sound files to work. Both of these aspects have given me a lot to think about in terms of display and how the audience experiences the work.

Peripherial ARTeries Art Review – Biennial Edition, Winter 2017

February 22, 2018 by Lucy & Layla Swinhoe   Comments (0)

We have a 28 page feature in the Anniversary Edition of ‘Peripheral ARTeries’ Contemporary Art review online magazine (Special Edition), published Dec 4th 2017. (Peripherial ARTeries Art Review – Biennial Edition, Winter 2017).


February 20, 2018 by Sally Stenton   Comments (0)

I counted my steps on the journey from art to science. Beginning in the Fine Art studio on the balcony of the Ruskin Gallery and stopping every 100 steps, my walk took me along the Forensic corridor, out into the cold, entering the new science building through the revolving doors and up to the psychology testing cubicles- another first floor balcony. 460 steps in total. I walked back counting to 230 to find the mid way point - the place where I imagined a portal or a permeable screen to step back and forth.


It might be fruitful to walk from science to art with a scientist and invite an artist to join us for the return walk. I might invite people to choose an object to carry from one place to the other, to place art in science and science in art, to mix them together and observe them coalesce or separate.


Working on Premier

February 15, 2018 by Annette Pugh   Comments (0)

Having completed a number of photoshoots, with slides, projectors, various cameras and equipment, I am now in the process of assembling the resulting imagery, my thoughts and ideas into some form of film. After initial frustration and technical errors, I have made headway today with Premier and feel more able to bring together all of the disparate pieces. Difficulties lie in all of the different formats I have used, so I have a huge job on my hands, editing, cropping and resizing works to harmonise. I am learning new things every day and the time here is really pushing my capabilities. I have huge aspirations, particularly after visiting Tate Britain last week to see the Elizabeth Price film 'The Woolworths Choir of 1979' and hope that whatever the results,  I am able to produce something in keeping with my vision.

Home Sapiens (Sapiens)

February 14, 2018 by Zara Ramsay   Comments (0)


From ages of stones and bones

and onwards to metal ores

who became ever stronger steel

a physical feat -mighty beast

But there was might to be found in the small, 

now a move to get increasingly so, to almost floating away...

if not that it were forming a web...

composing our age of the internet.

And within this materiality, there is a timeless unity - a constant of humanity

that is found in mentality - in our ability to think symbolically - collectively 

making cultures 

and ultimately forming history.


Working on exploring the idea of symbolic thought as a timeless driver of cultures through the fabrication of a 'landscape'...

Sitting somewhere between an early human settlement it is to be dotted with objects, tracing the development of humans as we progressed from the Stone Age to Silicone


but all is not as it seems

timelessness is the key, making something in the uncanny

it's through stories and myths after all, that we continually came and still come to be

from when we set up camp around fires, to a knapping melody -

working these stories, making them embodied


before on the move again.


But through stages things started to settle- into a domesticated life.

the 'good life' (and goods life)

hung up (and down) on this now -

on bracelets dangling with charms. 

A token of some affection
or tools in this dimension?
Enlarged for the duality
but marking that single consistency-again that constant of humanity
(increasingly abstractly)
our display of symbolic thought

Impossible Object No. 4 (Flying Lampadario)

February 13, 2018 by Chris Meigh-Andrews   Comments (0)

Finally made some headway on my flying lampadario project- motors now mounted and working, broken glass component replaced and have also incorporated some lighting. I'm now beginning to think about how to incorpartate the drone video sequence, a task that may prove a considerable challenge!

Walking from art to science (and back again)

February 5, 2018 by Sally Stenton   Comments (0)

Last year fellow artist Caroline Wendling and I had some fascinating converations with neuro-scientist Marty Fiati as part of a project entititled 'An invitation to travel' www.invitationtotravel.info and we are now exploring a further collaboration. Marty is researching  multi-sensory integration and representation of memory  and our wide ranging dialogue addressed how we navigate from place to place, how dementia disables this process and comparisons with the impact on memory of our use of digital devices.  I met with Marty recently and by seeking to identify how we might build future work together around more tangible outcomes we took a vital step back and began to unravel the underlying challenges in overlaying our apporaches. Recognising differences in some of our inspoken assumptions made us laugh and appreciate the real value of working together i.e for each of us to discover questions that we didnt realise existed! My idea of creating a walk between the art school and the new science building has taken on another dimension.

Bits of Wolves - scratching the surface

February 2, 2018 by Jayne Murray   Comments (0)

A while ago I found a map of Wolves and taking off the detail, but leaving the boundaries left an image that looked a lot like a flower. I left it for a bit, but have now returned to it as a basis for finding a spot to locate my project in. Yesterday I used it as a start point to leaving the university and exploring a bit, or maybe 3 small bits of the city. The first took in NewHampton Road, and West Park, second the middle of the ring road where the skate park is sunk into a meeting of subways at a roundabout and near 'the way' youth centre, and lastly to blakenhall, as far as Phoenix Park. In the skatepark I encountered a resident with thoughts on Wolverhampton, and it seemed like a node, place where a lot of people went through, due to the subway links as the principle means of crossing the ring road as well as destination to skate. Simultaneously I am thinking of printing onto trace and will be test printing next week to see what the resuts are.