New (academic!) year, new work, more fun!

Rodrigo Costa 4 years ago

I just started my third and final year at Coventry University as a Fine Art student and quite a lot has changed/is changing around and in me. I left the second year with a clear idea/concept of what I wished to achieve with future work – I wanted (even) more freedom from myself and my thoughts, with chance and arbitrariness taking even greater centre parts in my practice.


During most of my second year, I looked into researching ways of reawakening our more organic instincts, by evoking a simpler era – childhood. Exploring evasion and obliviousness, I focused on creating environments that exaggerated in scale and momentum childhood gestures and memories, recurring to all kinds of DIY techniques. However, when looking back at how my work was created and conceptualised, I realised a big part of me was missing. Reading through everything I wrote about my pieces, I could not find what I strived for the most (and greatly described in these writings) – FUN! In a particular ‘essay’, I defined what I create as an expansion on a “child-like mind – always busy, fuzzy, transformative and inventive –, exploring expressions that incarnate the fastness and fleetness so common to children”, which is entirely true. Nonetheless, I feel most of what I produced during the last academic year was always concerned with the audience.


Now, four weeks into the third year of my BA, I have with all this in mind reshaped and hopefully made my practice more interesting to me as ‘the maker/producer’. Still bringing to life amateur, odd, DIY-like shapes, installations and situations, I have chosen to embrace the concept of ‘playfulness’ in its wholeness, in order to inform, extend and disturb what is described as a socially-acceptable ‘adult’ (that includes both me and the audience). I have posed myself the challenge to every week create a costume, an object and a setting which are later brought together as perpetrators for a performance (which is recorded for diaristic purposes)*. In addition to this, and so I can also put some of my history in what I make, I am using Portuguese lullabies and children’s songs and Portugal’s carnivalesque traditions to stimulate the drawing and conception of these pieces.


I feel now that I am finally achieving what I’ve written long ago. The rush to produce something new every single week keeps my mind fresh, vitalised and interested in the work I am developing. It has been two weeks since I 100% committed to this way of producing and the creative juices still flow, however, I realise that in order for this not to become tiring and stressful I might have to stop for a week here and there (which is completely okay as I have my dissertation to put together as well).


All in all, this year is definitely lining up to be extremely fruitful and most importantly: FUN!


* Some of the process of this project is being posted on my Facebook (R Calcos) and Instagram (@rcalcos_art) accounts if anyone is interested to check it out. This work is being publicly shown in 2020 in a midterm show, happening in January (dates TBD), and in an end-of-the-year Degree Show, happening in May (dates TBD).



Studio shots from weeks 1 (30-09/04-10) and 2 (07-10/11-10) and Performance shot from week 2.