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Memories, fabric and the drawing compulsion

February 14, 2017 by Rebecca Collins   Comments (0)


This week, myself and Jackie Sanderson, in our capacity as AA2A student reps, met up with AA2A artist-in-residence Sadie Christian. Sadie is the third of the artists working at Wolverhampton we have met up with thus far, each one being very different in their practice.

Sadie’s background is in textiles. She completed a degree in textiles at Goldsmiths in the late 1980s and has since her time years teaching and working on art projects. She came to Wolverhampton as she has decided that now is a good time to explore in more depth her fascination in the connection between fabric, memory, drawing and image. Sadie is hoping to spend the year working mostly in print, using fabric and drawing as her inspirations.

We found Sadie busy working in the print room. We were able to sit with her and find out about her practice and look at what she had been working on to date. Most of her work so far has been explorative. She showed us her many delicate drawings inspired by various fabrics and garments in her possession, most of which have some sentimental value to her. There is a delicate beauty to her drawings and a sense of memory and history clearly ran through them. There is a repetitive nature to them, yet also a sense of difference and progression. We also saw some of the prints she has been making.

Drawings inspired by fabric

Sadie has been using the facilities at Wolverhampton to the full and exploring her theme in various ways using different drawing and printing methods, textures and colours. She seems to be an artist who loves the research and investigation phase of an art project or theme. She mentioned a few of her ideas which may be based on interesting printing techniques. However, one of the joys of being able to spend time as an artist-in-residence at an institution such as Wolverhampton is that you are given the freedom to venture in any direction that sparks your interest and spend time delving deep into a topic. There is no pre-determined path to follow. Who knows what the end result may be? It doesn’t matter if you find yourself going off on a tangent and sometimes those tangents lead to something new and exciting.

More drawings inspired by fabric

We look forward to seeing what direction Sadie goes in over the next few months.

Photo Polymer, Intaglio prints

February 3, 2017 by Julie Cassels   Comments (0)

Had a full day in the print room. Greg the technician is very informative and helpful. The process is really fascinating and I can't wait to produce my own plates to work from.  



Time has passed

February 2, 2017 by Amanda Wells   Comments (0)

'Time has passed, indeed it has overtaken me and gone ahead', to misquote Dickens.  I can't believe we're in February already, the snowdrops are out and spring will soon be here.  I've been developing my idea, the one aspect I'm having trouble with is the chemical tests on the paint.  I tried the chromatography paper but it just soaked up the colour without separating it.  I'm also having trouble finding a chemistry lab to help, I've e-mailed several but had no response, so if anyone out there knows a friendly chemist please put me in touch.  I have got a Plan B developing for that aspect of the work though, if the worst comes to the worst.  The three-part aspect of the work reminded me of Freud's three-part theory of the personality - Id, Ego and Superego.  So I am expressing these through the paintings.  Me and my P.A. had fun looking up the theory - did you know for example that anal types often express their inner desire to handle faeces by doing pottery?  My P.A. is a potter and I'm not averse to a little clay myself so we did laugh.  But some of the theory was enlightening.  The first painting I've done is 'Id', and very Id it is too.  The crimson red colour and the swishiness of the brush are just like a three year old having a tantrum.  I found it quite cathartic to paint, I was emotionally exhausted after.  I will upload a photo.  So it's on to 'Ego' next, which will be yellow.  I plan to be in Chester February 8 and 16 and March 2, I've discovered a spot in Fine Art Studio L1 that I like, so I'll either be in there or in the Resource Centre from about 11.30, students are more than welcome to come and chat.  I have joined the student Artist Society and plan to post on their Facebook page too.   

'Threads' exhibiton in London and Edinburgh as part of 'Women's History Month'.

February 1, 2017 by Lucy & Layla Swinhoe   Comments (0)

Our work 'Images and Illusions' will be shown at this years 'Women's History Month' Threads Exhibition in London from 1st-12th March 2017. Opening night 2nd March 6-9pm, all are welcome xx The same exhibition will also be shown in Edinburgh from 4th-15th July 2017...

New Year

January 31, 2017 by Hideki Arichi   Comments (0)

After a quiet start into the New Year which also me deliver an Artists Talk at the University, I had started to make use of some of the Skillsets in computer software that is available as well as setting myself a day a week for printing.

However things rarely go to plan and I found myself offered the opportunity to work twice a week which has thrown my time to work on my practice for a loop as I try to manage this sudden and new workload.

Sticks and Stones

January 30, 2017 by Mary Hill   Comments (0)

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This is a new project exploring different ways of making an image with a limited number of sticks and stones. I am interested in developing simple practices inspired by my meditation and mindfulness practice. I make arrangements with six 'charachters', either sticks or stones or a combination and then draw them as a means of documenting and engaging physically with the process.

What is interesting is how such a simple idea quickly develops other meanings and ideas. I noticed that I could have one of three approches to making an image.

1. Random- Where the the stones or sticks are dropped onto the page as if throwing a dice and noting the image that appeared.

2. Random controlled- Where the sticks or stones are deliberately dropped in a certain way with an element of 'risk' and also an element of control.

3. Controlled- Sticks and stones are deliberately arranged in a pattern or form

I found this so interesting that in the simplest of exercises and could demonstrate 3 different research methods.

Binary language

Another thing I noticed is that the arrangements started to create a familiar system (not one that I know much about) - a system in which information can be expressed by the combination of the digits 0 and 1. 

This is evidence to me how playing with simple ideas may open up new ways of understanding problems.

The I ching

The third thing I recognised is how it reminded me of the I ching- an ancient Chinese system of divination involving the use of yarrow sticks. The I ching uses a form of cleromancy, which uses apparently random numbers. 4 numbers, 6-9 are turned into a hexogram which can then be looked up in the i ching book where each hexogram has a meaning.


The common thread here is systems. I am creating systems and there are probably no new systems just reinventions of old ones and new applications. I am using symbols, in the form of sticks and stones, to create a system which helps to understand the thinking process and becomes a creative activity in its own right.

When science, art and happy accidents collide – a meeting with Samuel Rodgers, AA2A artist-in-residence

January 30, 2017 by Rebecca Collins   Comments (0)

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University of Wolverhampton AA2A artist Samuel Rodgers is a musician and an artist. His practice encompasses performance, composition, installation and phonography.

Jackie Sanderson and I, AA2A student reps at Wolverhampton, went to meet Samuel to find out more about what he’s currently working on while at the university. We met him in his adopted studio: the sound proof fine metalwork room (which has an impressive collection of hammers).

The many hammers in the fine metalwork room

Samuel’s academic background, he explained to us, is in music and performance. However, since graduating from his masters he has become increasingly interested in the materials he uses just as much as the sounds they create. He has recently been exploring the spatial and material aspects of sound and listening. He has also been considering material in relation to light and looking. This is Samuel’s second AA2A residency, his previous being at Dudley College, where he worked with glass. He is now looking at metal.

He explained how he sees a parallel with the way that light responds to the metals he is working with and the way that sound responds. He seems to be very much an artist of the many senses.

Samuel told us about his current project. He is currently looking at parabolic metal forms. His aim is to create sound parabolic metal reflectors to use in an installation or installations towards the end of his residency. He’s been making small bowl-shaped metal forms in the fine metal workshop, which he showed us. However, he is hoping shortly to make larger-scale forms as well. He talked us through how the smaller bowls are crafted and what he’s observed about them in relation to sound and light.

These objects may have a function in his work, but they are beautiful objects in their own right.

One of Samuel's bowls

Samuel told us about how he usually works in collaboration with other artists or musicians. We suggested to him, after noting the link between what he is doing with the metal and mathematical theory, that he might consider branching out into working with people from other academic disciplines.

Looking at what Samuel has been doing seems to confirm the idea that art is no longer an isolated practice. Perhaps it used to be more so. Contemporary art encompasses so many different academic disciplines. In Samuel’s case this may be mathematics and physics, but for other ideas it could be biology, genetics, economics, sociology to name but a few. The role of the artist is not restrictive. There is a huge scope for what an artist can do and explore.

Despite the link between mathematics and what he is doing, Samuel told us that his actual performance work tends to be intuitive rather than composed. There may be an element of science in the crafting, but in the performing it is all ‘happy accidents’. It is impossible to know for sure how the material is going to respond to sound (or light) until the performance happens; there are many factors that can influence the outcome. That is what makes this project so interesting. The process begins by being very controlled and dependent on theory and the performance outcome is currently unknown.

Burnt metal

We very much look forward to seeing the end result!






Meeting the others!

January 27, 2017 by Julie Cassels   Comments (0)

It was great to meet up with the other AA2A artists (minus the poorly and the aboard ones), and the students reps, real enthusiasm and interest, very refreshing. I do feel lucky to have this opportunity.


January 23, 2017 by Jackie Sanderson   Comments (0)

Many of you have just finish writing your disseration . You will have pour blood and sweat into it and even bared your soul. I have just done mine, after weeks of using my brain and reflecting. I now feel that I can breathe again and can  turn my attention to writing a piece on this blog. I may have few problems with words but I will get there in the end.

I have been student last five years. I have enjoyed seeing my art work develop. I like many artists today deal with all medias but say to my self that, I do not have a strong skill. There I go again like many of  us I am running myself down again

I must say well done  to us who have finished the disseration and us as artists not run ourselves  down. 

Finding Art in the Everyday - The Projected Kitchen

January 14, 2017 by Rebecca Collins   Comments (0)

I am fascinated with objects, things, stuff. I love the stuff that we are surrounded by. I find our relationship to stuff fascinating, whether it be real stuff, solid stuff, ethereal stuff, ancient stuff, virtual stuff or digital stuff.

'The Projected Kitchen' an exhibition of recent work by Rosemary Terry, one of the fine art tutors at Wolverhampton, currently on show at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery, is about our relationship with real stuff. It challenges our perceptions of real stuff. Specifically, it challenges perceptions of ordinary domestic objects through the manipulation of material and size.


The pieces in the exhibition lie somewhere between dimensions - not quite completely 3D, but also not 2D. The works also sit between media - not quite drawing, but also not quite sculpture. The objects, spoons, pots, cups, pans, are carved out of wood. They loom huge, much larger than their originals, and are placed seemingly randomly around the gallery space either on the walls or on rustic shelves. 

More pots

Walking around the objects I felt a strange sense of my shifting perception. Front on, they seemed significant and solid, side on, they shrank and thinned, losing their sense of importance. I was reminded of scenery on a stage. Front on, they sat majestically about the room, willing me to examine them closely: the texture, the ripples of the wood, and the shadows cast by the sculptural element of the objects. Side on, they looked the other way.

I found the objects quite absorbing and thought-provoking.  

The exhibition runs until 12 Feb.