Friday, 27 September 2013

Exhibitions from all directions...

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been helping out with a friends exhibition here in Bude.  The Cruel and Curious Sea, organised and directed by Hickory Nines very own Cai Waggett and in association with the National Trust, Finisterre and Harbour Brewing Company.  Tonight is the opening night where over 17 mixed medium artists will be flaunting their talents in the many dark alcoves of Stowe Barton.  Watching it come together over the last couple of weeks, seeing Cai and the team overcome possible setbacks and having the chance to witness the whole process from start to finish has been incredible and I am thoroughly looking forward to the next two nights.  
It's been a hands on job, from riffling through stinky marine waste and finding all the good bits for display, to helping the artists put up their work.  I've really enjoyed each process and I hope I can use it as a chance to meet new people, network with the local and surrounding artists and use it to inspire me to continue with my own art practise and get it out there, recognised and in similar exhibitions in the future.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

There's plenty of that around...

So my first couple of days at PCA...As I am the only third year starting a fresh after a couple of years, I've been inducted with the new year 1 Fine Arts students.  This has been brilliant as I have met new and old people, been integrated into the studio and main college fluently and with ease.
I was invited to start the year with the introductory project the first years have been set by Jane Jobling and Neil Rose called 19 books.  We were given a number, which allocated us a book with a set of dimensions tagged on the front.  These measurements indicated the size of our work space for the project in any way we wanted to interpret them.  We then had to choose, at random, a five worded phrase and an image of your choice, and then these begin your process of filling the space.

My five words...'There's plenty of that around' and my image...
My image was a close up of the front porcelain plate which is full of water, oil, plastic, insect wings and silicon.  I found the way the artist, Bili Bidjocka, had displayed the insect wings really intriguing.  I wanted to represent the idea of human control over all other species of living creature in my work, whilst keeping to the five chosen words.  I continued to look at insects and found the artist Claire Morgan a sub-inspiration.  I have brooded over doing work similar to hers before and I realised this was a chance I didn't want to turn down.
Wasps seemed like the obvious choice as there are more than plenty of them around with the late heat this year.  I managed to plan my space and plan my practical process in the time on the first day leaving me enough time over the following two days to come up with a 'kind of' finished space...

Monday, 23 September 2013

back in school, cause we are the leaders...

First day back to school, and its been a bit of a shambles already!  To start things off, today isn't actually my enrolment day, its tomorrow!  The college made a balls up and sent out the wrong date on the letter, so I've come in to do half the things I could and should do tomorrow, I can't even get my student card yet!  Next, the fire alarm goes off so I have to stand outside on my own like a plum amongst a lot of other plums, some of them being my ex pupils from Tavistock College...always fun, feeling old.
Despite all this I'm embracing today!  I'm meeting with old friends, going shopping and once again, preparing myself for a new, new day!  Coffee has once again wound its way back into my life, which is a god thing I think.  It's certainly helping me to get all this down slightly quicker!
As for actual uni work, the whole reason I'm here, some will get done, I will use my time wisely, I've got a whole city with three vast libraries to explore and one big list to tick off as complete.

Something that has been helping me out finding new and upcoming artists is pinterest.  My own pinterest board is here.  It's incredible, so many artists and literally any image you can imagine.  Its a great place to search through and find all kinds of artwork.  Someone I've decovered through this process is Katt Frank.  She is an illustrator who does work like this:
A stunning piece of illustration that catches the eye of the viewer and teaches them something!  It's similar to botany and science drawings how it looks at individual parts of the insect/subject.  It gives small facts about the bee, such as 'Bees have a long proboscis'.  This is definately something I can take away as in influence as I love the idea of using art to teach and educate without losing sight of it being an art piece.
I've also found Erin Ashley.  She uses missed media on canvas, which gives me an interesting idea of using marine debris and incorporating it into a piece like this, using colours and shapes, possibly text and textures from the marine and coastal environment, to reflect our damaging effects on our coastal habitats and marine ecosystems.  I can find a way of researching marine pollutions effects on wildlife and input this into my artwork so art and science are combined.  This is just one of my many ideas of how to begin my third and final year of artwork that I can incorporate and use to support my dissertation project.

'Around 60% of the wastewater discharged into the Caspian Sea is untreated, in Latin America and the Caribbean the figure is close to 80%, and in large parts of Africa and the Indo-Pacific the proportion is as high as 80-90% (UNEP, 2006). An estimated US$ 56 billion is needed annually to address this enormous wastewater problem. However, the costs to coral reefs, tourism and losses in fisheries and human health risks may be far more expensive. It is also the area where least progress is being made globally.'

Plastic marine debris:
Direct Impacts on wildlife - Studies have shown that fish and other marine life do eat plastic. Plastics could cause irritation or damage to the digestive system. If plastics are kept in the gut instead of passing through, the fish could feel full (of plastic not food) and this could lead to malnutrition or starvation.
Indirect Impacts on wildlife - Plastic debris accumulates pollutants such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) up to 100,000 to 1,000,000 times the levels found in seawater. PCBs, which were mainly used as coolant fluids, were banned in the U.S. in 1979 and internationally in 2001. It is still unclear whether these pollutants can seep from plastic debris into the organisms that happen to eat the debris and very difficult to determine the exact source of these pollutants as they can come from sources other than plastic debris. More research is needed to help better understand these areas.

These could be snippets of information I begin a piece of artwork from.  Using a map with these facts as the beginning of one piece of art really excites me, I love the idea of starting an art project with a scientific fact, incorporating the two to educate and inspire is my main goal this year.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The way things go...

September 2013 already!

I'm back off to complete my final year as an Art student and my first week of researching I have found nothing better than the National Geographic's Gyre project.  It's so up my street and very much along the lines of my dissertation ideas it couldn't be better.  It's the first time I've sat and come up with ideas for a first module project that I'm comfortable with.
Check this out:
An amazing concoction of over twenty artists using marine debris as an influential medium and starting point.  I think the subject is fantastic and the main reason they're running this project is fantastic.  Getting the truth of our everyday living and its devastating effects out into the public eye, showing us where our trash ends up, and the damage it does on its journey there.