Assessment!

Art, Ceramics, Exhibition

It’s that nerve-wracking time of year when the art students are being assessed. Everyone has to clear out their studios, which are repainted and set up course by course, year by year, for the tutors and outside examiners to scrutinise our best endeavours, with relevant Supporting Work.

We cleared out from one campus last week, and can set up for our Final Assessment (gulp) from this Thursday, at another campus. All to be finished by a week tomorrow. Then it’s nail-biting time, and finally the hectic rush to get our Degree Show ready – back at the first campus.

I brought all my work home, having an estate car, so my family have had to endure boxes all over the living room and pots set up on the dining table in various different configurations. My bed is currently host to several large files and strewn with loose papers. Artist statement… self-evaluation… reflective journal…

Today I’ve been editing the ‘pages’ of this blog/website – if you go to ‘Ceramics Gallery’ you’ll see some reasonable studio photographs of my recent work, and as I’ve signed up for the 3rd year poetry course next year (to finally finish this degree) I updated the ‘Poetry’ page too. Although I’ve not had much time for poetry these last few months…

Reminder – ┬áthe Degree Show Private View is Friday June 10th 6-8pm, at Sion Hill Campus, BSU. Do come along if you’re anywhere near Bath! The show continues until Sun 19th, which just happens to be my birthday, so I might well invite friends over for a picnic in the grounds or something.

Better give you a pic. This is a configuration of footprints I won’t be using, but shows you how gorgeously mud from caves in the Mendips fires onto porcelain. And yes, they are my footprints. It was fun.

mud from Cutler's Green and Welshes Green caves, fired onto porcelain

mud from Cutler’s Green and Welshes Green caves, fired onto porcelain

Deep Time, Deep Place

Art, Ceramics

That was the title of the 15 minute presentation I gave last week about my work, for course assessment. Although I was really stressed at venturing out of my comfort zone yet again – it’s only the second PowerPoint presentation I’ve ever given – the whole process really did help pull my ideas into some sort of coherent shape.

I am clearly deeply influenced by my lifelong interest in prehistory, the ‘Deep Time’ of the title. All those thousands of years we were fully human, living and moving around this planet, leaving traces – hand prints, footprints… And museum exhibits I’ve seen over the years. Prehistoric British pottery from the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages. Serendipitously, the weekend before the presentation I called in at the Glastonbury Lake Village exhibition in the Tribunal – there was a wool event on – and took photos of the reconstructed pots in a glass case. Also my tutors had suggested at the last Group Crit that I consider displaying my work in glass cases, to reference museums. So that’s probably what I’ll do for the Final Assessment – and if they like it, for the Degree show.

The ‘Deep Place’ referred to several ideas. Firstly, I’d been using mud dug out of caves on the Mendips by my speleologist son as ‘glazes’; secondly, our knowledge of the human prehistory is dug out of the ground, archaeologists sifting through layers, going down deeper in time and place; and thirdly, my strong felt connection with this land, going back to the years I lived ‘On the Road’ as a traveller in the 80s, and my daughter’s recent finding via a DNA analysis that we belong to the oldest mitochondrial line in western Europe.

So here are some pics of the latest pots out of the kiln, which I won’t be using for assessment as the shape is too contemporary, plus some things in glass cases. Not long to go now before it all has to be set up. I need to work on my artist statement, self assessment document, business cards and updating this website (pages) before then, plus getting all my contextual evidence and sketchbooks in order.

Anxious, but also excited. Degree show to follow! PV is Fri 10th June, show is on until Sun 19th, at Sion Hill campus. Do come…

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Glastonbury Lake Village display at the Tribunal, Late Iron Age

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Glastonbury Lake Village display at the Tribunal, Late Iron Age

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new pot, reduction fired, Mendip cave mud handprint

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new pot, reduction fired, Mendip cave mud handprint

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new pot, reduction fired, Mendip cave mud handprint – sadly, the rim lifted, applied when pot too dry.

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trying various pots in a glass case to check which went together…