Assessment and Grayson Perry

Art, Ceramics

Last week was the Formative Assessment for my ceramics/3D course, so much anxiety. It’s the only chance to get anything marked and find out how I’m doing before the final Summative Assessment sometime in May. We had to display our work so far, with supporting material and all the research folders, sketchbooks and journals up to date. Now I’m waiting for the feedback…

So while the tutors were in the studios looking at everyone’s work, I went off into Bath with two other students to visit some current exhibitions and distract myself. I really wanted to get to Grayson Perry’s The Vanity of Small Differences tapestries at the Victoria Art Gallery victoria art gallery (on until April), which did not disappoint. So much rich texture, vibrant colours, funny, pointed, knowing… I love his work.

Then to 44AD by the Abbey to catch the end of a collaborative show, artists working with medical practitioners and students. Lots of information, interactive displays etc, some video, paintings and mixed media work (I liked the open boxes, like a cross between dolls houses and old museum displays). And finally the Society of Wood Engravers group show at the BRLSI, also about to finish. Very polished work, highly skilled, some traditional subjects and techniques and some pushing the boundaries more, all held together by the same frames throughout.

And then the walk back up the hill in drizzle to pack away my work before the second year students need the space… here are a few images of what I showed:

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Formative Assessment – my desk and wall with life drawings

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Formative Assessment – my desk, tests and work in progress

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Formative Assessment – display of work with natural objects

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Formative Assessment – work on display

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Formative Assessment – work on display

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Formative Assessment – work on display

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Formative Assessment – work on display

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Formative Assessment – work on display

Leeds trip part 2 -Tetley building, Henry Moore Institute, Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Art, Exhibition, public Art

On the Thursday evening we went to an artists’ talk at the Tetley building, for The Feast Wagon exhibition, after an hour of looking at the work. Two of the four artists were present – Simeon Barclay and Delaine Le Bas, one black British originally from Leeds and one Romani British – plus two people from the gallery and the researcher Irfan Shah, who provided the theme. I was excited to see Romani work in a mainstream setting, and also enjoyed Susan Walsh’s quirky collages and the collection of children’s wagons.

Next day we had time for another foray into the British Art show before our Introduction to Katrina Palmer’s show The Necropolitan Line at the Henry Moore Institute. I liked reading the free newspaper she’d produced, but didn’t enjoy the work as much as many of my peers did. What I really did enjoy was discovering Moore’s architectural plaster maquettes in cases – I really liked the scale, the texture, the surfaces, the shapes, the way they looked like bone, ancient echoes… Far more than his large bronzes.

Finally, a brief visit to the Yorkshire Sculpture park on the way home to catch Bill Viola’s video work. I was not expecting to like this but actually I found it intensely moving. Here’s a link Bill Viola at YSP and I’d highly recommend going if you’re in the area – immersive, hypnotic, technically interesting and highly emotional.

The ground was really soggy after the downpours they’d had, but the weather was fine enough to go for a brisk stroll through the park. We didn’t have anywhere near long enough – I must return!

As usual, here are a few images from my tablet, apologies for the picture quality.

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Delaine Le Bas, British Romani artist who works with found textiles and interventions

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Delaine Le Bas, British Romani artist who works with found textiles and interventions

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Collage by Susan Walsh at ‘The Feast Wagon’, Tetley, Leeds

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Collage by Susan Walsh at ‘The Feast Wagon’, Tetley, Leeds

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Quirky children’s wagons collected and constructed by Susan Walsh and Lubaine Himid at Tetley, Leeds

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Quirky children’s wagons collected and constructed by Susan Walsh and Lubaine Himid at Tetley, Leeds

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Henry Moore study in plaster for architectural bronzes

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Henry Moore study in plaster for architectural bronzes

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Poppies Wave at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

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Looks like Mr Gormley was here… Yorkshire Sculpture Park

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Too muddy to see who this was by, but it certainly caught my eye! Yorkshire Sculpture Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leeds trip part 1 – British Art Show

Art, Ceramics, Exhibition, public Art

A Uni trip to Leeds over two days. We arrived early afternoon and had a couple of hours to visit the British Art Show at Leeds Art Gallery – enough to whet the appetite but not to see everything of interest. Fortunately we had more time the next day to catch up on the rest of it. As there was a lot of video art installation the extra time was needed.

The exhibition had taken over the whole of the gallery. Organised by Hayward Touring at Southbank Centre, 42 artists were chosen by curators Anna Colin and Lydia Yee, and some 26 of them produced new work specifically for this exhibition. It finishes here on Jan 10th, moving on to Edinburgh, Norwich and finally Southampton.

The guide tells us that ‘A central concern of British Art Show 8 is the changing role and status of the object at a time of increasing convergence between the real and the virtual… artists have developed new ways of thinking about, and approaching, materiality.’

Some highlights for me: in terms of video, Mikhail Karikis Children of Unquiet, Rachel Maclean’s Feed Me, and Bedwyr Williams’ Century Egg all caught my attention for an extended viewing. Materially, Caroline Achaintre’s large wall-mounted textile pieces were a big draw, I was also interested in her ceramic mask pieces, for reference with my own work; and Aaron Angell’s ceramic pieces were displayed as tableaux.

Other textile works included Alexandre de Cunha’s Kentucky, constructed of mop heads and taking up a whole wall, Simon Fujiwara’s Fabulous Beasts, and Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin’s tapestry based on forensic evidence from Sigmund Freud’s couch, displayed with a monitor showing the source material. Jessica Warboys’ Sea Painting is a huge canvas that is literally made by the sea as her ‘collaborator’, traces of a ‘performance’, with a new piece to be made for each venue at nearby beaches.

Nicolas Deshayes’ sculptural work Cramps and Vein Section (or cave painting) were visually exciting but produced by industrial fabricators – the artist has the concept but instructs others to make the work… Other sculptural pieces included Magali Reus’ wall-mounted pieces based on padlocks and Daniel Sinsel’s paintings using appropriated material.

My overall impression was that a lot of the art on display necessitated reading the artists’ information displayed on the wall, explaining the thinking behind their work. The viewer is expected to work hard in contemporary art, it is not intended to be simply a sublime experience drinking in the beauty of it all…

It’s impossible to show everything that caught my eye and the camera of my tablet, so here are just a few to whet your appetite:

Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, from Freud's couch

Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, from Freud’s couch

Magali Reus, one of 4 wall-mounted sculptures

Magali Reus, one of 4 wall-mounted sculptures

Caroline Achaintre, large textile hanging (one of 3 displayed)

Caroline Achaintre, large textile hanging (one of 3 displayed)

Caroline Achaintre, ceramic mask, wall-mounted

Caroline Achaintre, ceramic mask, wall-mounted

Caroline Achaintre, ceramic mask, wall-mounted

Caroline Achaintre, ceramic mask, wall-mounted

Nicolas Deshayes, 'Cramps'

Nicolas Deshayes, ‘Cramps’

Simon Fujiwara, one of the 'Fabulous beasts' series - constructed from shaved fur coats...

Simon Fujiwara, one of the ‘Fabulous beasts’ series – constructed from shaved fur coats…

Bedwyr Williams 'Century Egg', a 30 minute video, a narrative constructed around footage taken in the museums of Cambridge. Fascinating.

Bedwyr Williams ‘Century Egg’, a 30 minute video, a narrative constructed around footage taken in the museums of Cambridge. Fascinating.

Alexandre da Cunha 'Kentucky', large wallhanging constructed from mop heads

Alexandre da Cunha ‘Kentucky’, large wallhanging constructed from mop heads