Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Clupea harengus

 Last night I put up a new piece for my project called Clupea harengus, which is the Latin name for Atlantic Herring, the fish used.

 This is a shot of the fish with the text block explaining what the piece is about.

 I really like where it is, it's really clear to see from all around and the text is a good level for children to read.

 'Marine debris is any man-made object that enters the coastal or marine environment.  From the tiniest piece of plastic to giant fishing nets, ocean pollution causes many challenges for animals in the wild.  This is a shoal of Atlantic Herring, a fish known to mistake the tiny plastic pieces as dinner.  These plastics can suffocate them or lead animals to starvation as it makes them feel full.  We can reduce our marine debris in many ways.  Have a think.  What  could you do to keep our seas clean.'

I loved putting this piece together.  I began with researching which fish eat plastic, looking at online resources of conservation project results, facts and figures etc to find out a different variety of fish.  I chose Atlantic Herring because they are a well know fish, not too ugly (like some of the ones that came up!)  and most kids reading the text block would have heard of a Herring and would already be able to relate.
I started finding images online to copy from, but after talking the the tutors, the idea of going to the aquarium seemed like to good an opportunity to miss.  I now have a years free pass and have been twice this week!

Next I found out the correct sizes for a Herring and began to draw the fish out to the correct size.  I then used these drawings as templates for cutting and cut around 8 sheets of paper in one go to duplicate the same template, rather than cutting them out singularly.  These would be the fish I used to stick up.
Now for the home made wheat paste.  As you can see below, its a lovely end result, but it's cheap, biodegradable and it really works!

I've had an experiment with trying to figure out how I can make the wheat paste more exciting and more than just a cut out.  At the moment I am experimenting with ink, lino, pen and pencil and hopefully laser cutting. 

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

what what?

First trial piece for the writing block to go with my cut-outs.  Got a good idea of processes to follow for this and then experimentation of the animals themselves to make them I guess, more a piece of artwork.

I've also come across this lovely lady...Mia Pearlman.  Love her work and how she makes it a 3D installation.

I've also sort out Su Blackwell, another artist whose managed to make paper cutting a 3D installation piece.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Course opener...beginnings of the beginning

Northern Fulmar, Duckpool, Bude, 5/10/2013

Loggerhead Turtle, Summerlease (behind the breakwater) 8/10/13 

 The brilliant thing about this one is you can only really notice it once you get this close.  Any further away and it just looks like a light area within the rock, a real hidden gem!

Chosen to put on the only stone built man-made wall this side of the beach.  I'm hoping, with him being out of direct hit from the elements, he might last a little bit longer...

 Close-up of Loggerhead Turtle after a week of being up.  Slug and woodlouse activity.

Have a little fishy on a little dishy...

Ok, so its almost a month into my final year at university, I've had a week of inductions and freshers, 2 weeks of an opening project and now it's time to get my head down and focus.  This coming weekend I will be moving down into my new digs in Plymouth, saving me a lot of time, petrol and energy from commuting from Cornwall 3-4 times a week.  I will be hugely sad to leave my house mates, friends and new little life behind, but I can always head back once I become a fully fledged teacher!
I've had time to talk to a careers adviser this morning about which route to take with my teacher training, whether it be primary or post 16.  There are pros and cons for both one being that in Cornwall everybody wants to be a primary school teacher so there is a lot of competition, and another being that in post 16 education, it's hard to find full time work...decisions have to be made, volunteering needs to be done and I definitely need to focus on what I think will make me happy!  But for now, it's all about the art work and the dissertation!

Last week we all presented our work that build up out of our opener project.  I took it as a chance to get back into my art work that I did before I finished my Foundation Degree, Wheat pasting.  This time round I'm a lot more focused on what I want to say through my work and what concepts I should focus on.  Environmental concerns and the human impact upon our surroundings has always been something I've wanted to be more in the public view and not understood why it hasn't been.  Every move we make, everything we buy, every decision we makes an impact on our surroundings.  The choice to buy the free range egg sandwich in the paper bag or the bottom trawled tuna sandwich in the plastic box, the decision to walk to work today, rather than drive, or the choice between buying a new mascara made from natural, ethically sourced ingredients, or just go with the newly advertised max-lash?  Our lives are filled with choices and decisions and the majority will effect someone or something else.

The part I'm interested in is how can we show our younger generation how to make the choices that will better our planet, its oceans, forests and all the living things on it, rather than just doing what's easiest for now?

Let me make things clear now, I do consider myself an activist (and an artist!), but not one who tells people what to do.  I have a voice and an opinion and I choose to show people both.  In my mind, if people know and understand about their effects in the planet today, tomorrow, they might change one small thing in their everyday life that could better it.  That one change is good enough for me.

Thursday, 3 October 2013


As part of the third year, we are encouraged to be part of the visiting lecturers talks, so today, I gladly sat in on the Take A Part talk, an arts in the public realm project.  Mainly run by Kim Wide, the project incorporates communities, artists and art, with the aim to "engage people in making decisions and influencing their local area - embedding contemporary arts practice in the process of regeneration.  Paramount to the process is the fact that the artwork created is as important as the process of creating the work itself."

Sitting in on todays lecture gave me and others a chance to engage with Kim and Gemma and have the chance to be more than just students in a lecture theatre.  They gave a list of opportunities that can involve us in the project, from researching the history of Barn Barton and and creating a history walk workshop to working with the Barn Barton primary school to create plaques and signs describing the learning involved through studying the street signs and names of Barn Barton's roads.

So not only would it benefit me with my CV and application onto a PGCE, be primary research to aid my dissertation title of art being a possible effective teaching practice, but also it would benefit the local community, open up new windows for the students and community members.  It will also give me an insight into working with art education in community based projects, broadening my knowledge of teaching as a whole.

This whole project really excites me.  If I can get involved as I hope I can and merge it together with my arts practice and work load, I will be a very happy bunny!  Bounce, bounce!

Cruel and Curious...

Here are a few images of the Cruel and Curios Art event I have been involved in...

Posters and leaflets advertising the event, illustrated by featured artist, Danni Bradford (see another of her images below)

A clear night (yet cold and windy!) for the grand opening on Friday.  A great turn out and generally, a brilliant night.

The main 'shippon' gallery displaying the majority of the artwork from the 17 exhibitors.  A beautiful ambience was created by used a mixture of lighting from light boxes, hand held lanterns, artists lamps and candles! 

A beautiful setting adorned with marine and nautical props.  

The 'Storeroom' Gallery where viewing the artwork meant using a lantern for light.  A brilliant way of getting close and personal with the artwork and seeing it from a different point of view.

Which way floats your boat?

Sue Read's display.  A local artist with a plethora of work on show.

Bryn Hall's work on display.  One of my favourite parts of the exhibition.