Monthly Archives: October 2014

Faculti Interview with Paul Coldwell

CCW Professor Paul Coldwell has recently been featured by Faculti, giving an interview about The Artists Folio: as a site of inquiry. This was an exhibition that Coldwell curated in Bradford in the first half of 2014.

Coldwell said, ‘I was approached by Faculti to be interviewed on my recent research on the Artists Folio. Faculti aims to communicate the latest research news, publications and information in a way that is accessible and available to the wider public. It offers the opportunity for leading academics and professionals to present their thinking on line to a broad audience and I was therefore delighted to accept the invitation to participate. The Artists Folio was an exhibition I curated (with Sonia Kielty) at Cartwright Hall, Bradford earlier in the year. It evolved and developed from the keynote paper I presented at Impact 7 International Printmaking Conference, held at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia in 2011, entitled Just What Is It that Makes An Artists Folio So Special, So Appealing, So Important? I argued for a reappraisal of the importance of the print portfolio to present ideas concerned with series sequence and seriality. These ideas were also touched upon in my book Printmaking: A Contemporary Perspective (Black Dog, 2010) and I am currently developing this research as the focus for a new book, due in 2016.’

Coldwell’s entire interview can be viewed on the Faculti website.

Faculti described their work, saying, ‘Inspired by the confirmation of the Higgs Boson particle in March 2013, Faculti contacted professor John Ellis, the Clerk Maxwell Professor of Theoretical Physics at King's College London, about making a short film of the ground breaking news. The Higgs discovery has been called monumental because it confirms the existence of the Higgs field, pivotal to the standard model of particle physics. Professor Ellis was able to communicate this information in under three minutes, supporting the statement of another pivotal figure in research science, that of Albert Einstein who said 'If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.'’

[Video] Klappe

CCW PhD student Kate Pelling has released her second publication, [Video] Klappe. Her research-led practice consists of video, drawing and text. Pelling’s current research is concerned with the relationship between speech and video editing processes. Her practice is generated by unscripted speech made directly to the camera. Following the recording, a rigorous editing process is engaged using video editing, text editing and drawing so that the resulting works reflect the thinking that has emerged during the process. Her entire body of work is an enquiry that draws out information on the editing processes within artists’ film and video and questions the nature of those processes.

Describing her new publication, Pelling said, ‘[Video] Klappe is concerned with editing the [Video] environment and how this might inform the [real] environment. [Video] Klappe is based in a video process, and presents the results of a number of editing techniques, such as transcription, translation, the selection of still images, and editing using drawing and text. The publication includes 87 drawings and a transcription of speech that was generated during the recording of the video material. The backdrop of [Video] Klappe is the town of Niederbrechen in Germany and the publication could indeed be understood as a love letter to the town.’

Kate Pelling is a British artist based in Germany. She studied at Wirral Metropolitan College, Birkenhead (2003), Wimbledon School of Art, London (2004), and Birkbeck, University of London (2008). She is currently researching her PhD. Pelling has exhibited extensively in the UK and the USA, and also in Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, and Switzerland. Her first book, A Relational [Video] Grammar: Extrapolation was published by Fifth Floor Publications in 2013.


TrAIN Reading Groups

The 2014-15 academic year welcomes two reading groups from TrAIN Research Centre: Reading East Asian Design (READ) led by Dr Yuko Kikuchi, CCW Reader, and Historiographies of the Contemporary led by Dr Michael Asbury, CCW Reader.


There have been remarkable design activities in East Asia (Mainland China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan), but design histories have not been written (or are currently underway, as in Japan), and design has not been critically studied. This is a reading group which will provide an opportunity to read essays on some aspects on modern and contemporary design in East Asia and discuss critical issues and methodologies specific to this region. The group is open to all UAL MA and PhD students having some knowledge and interest in East Asia. We also welcome the students with East Asian backgrounds to develop critical reading skills in English through this group. The only requirement is to read the assigned article before coming to the session, in order to participate in the group discussion.

For further detail and texts, please check the Reading East Asia website, which will be frequently updated.

Tuesday 28th October 2014: Kikuchi, Yuko. 'Hybridity and the Oriental Orientalism of Mingei Theory', Journal of Design History, 10-4 (1997): 343-354.

Tuesday 11th November 2014: Kida, Takuya. 'Kitar Kunii's Discourse on Indigenous Industrial Arts: 'Japaneseness' and Modern Design in 1930s Japan', Design History 7 (2011): 47-92.

Tuesday 27th January 2015: Ling, Wessie. 'Harmony and Concealment: How Chinese Women Fashioned the Qipao in 1930s China. In: Material Women, 1750-1950: Consuming Desires and Collecting Practices. Ashgate, Farnham, 2009, 209-225.

Tuesday 24th February 2015: Mori, Junko. 'Modern Seating, Modern Sitting: Japanese Women and the Use of the Chair', Design History 5 (2007): 99-124.

Tuesday 24th March 2015: Kojima, Kaoru. 'The Woman in Kimono: An Ambivalent Image of Modern Japanese Identity', Jissen Women's College Aesthetics and Art History, 25 (2011): 1-15.

Tuesday 19th May 2015: Shih, Shu-mei, Chapter 1: 'Against Diaspora: The Sinophone as Places of Cultural Production'. In Shu-mei Shih, Chien-hsin Tsai and Brian Bernards, eds., Sinophone Studies: A Critical Reader, New York: Columbia University Press, 2013, 25-42.

Tuesday 23rd June 2015: Chen, Kuan-Hsing, Chapter 5 'Asia as Method: Overcoming the Present Conditions of Knowledge Production'. In Chen Kuan-Hsing, Asia as Method: Toward Deimperialization, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2010, 211-255.


Historiographies of the Contemporary

What is contemporary in contemporary art? The simplicity of the question is deceitful. It is a question that begs the answer of another equally unanswerable question: what is art in the contemporary? As Peter Osborne recently argued:

The construction of a critical concept of contemporary art requires, as its premise, the construction of a more general concept of the contemporary. ['] The contemporary appears [in history], first, structurally, as idea, problem and task; and second, historically, in its most recent guise as the time of the globally transnational.

Keeping Osborne's 'Anywhere or not at all: philosophy of contemporary art' (Verso, 2014) as the key reference, the reading group will put some of these articulations of the contemporary to test through an exploration of a historiography of the contemporary within selected writings throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Participants are encouraged to contribute further comments on other writings. Sessions will be weekly (Mondays 6-8pm room 305 Chelsea E block), starting on the 6th of October and ending on the 8th December 2014 (10 sessions in total), with further sessions to be confirmed depending on the group's willingness and availability. Please email Michael Asbury if you wish to participate (numbers are limited).

Manual of instructions:

The reading group can be thought of as a game with ten sessions and ten (or just a few more) 'players'. For each session one text will be given and each 'player' is asked to bring along another text, from the same decade, that s/he has read and which will be used in the discussion as a counter-argument to (or confirmation of ideas in) the text already provided: 10 x 10 = 100. We are not expected to read all of these, only the one provided and the one selected by yourself. To facilitate the task ' since you all have better things to do with your time – it is advisable that we use, Harrison and Wood's Art in Theory. This way we all have the means of referring to the texts mentioned/read by other members in the group if we wish (during the session or later). There are many copies of these in the library and I am assuming that many of you might already have a copy yourselves. The idea is that the reading group does not demand too much of your time. Texts are most often than not short and can be read on public transport to and from the Monday sessions if necessary. Of course, if you wish to 'customise' these sessions to your particular line of research, please feel free to go beyond the reference source suggested, the only rule in this case would be to keep the texts within the decade discussed in each session. The purpose of the exercise is to encourages us to think of methods and ideologies, as processes in flux through time: ie. historiographically.

6 October: 1910s- Fernand Leger, 'Contemporary Achievements in Painting' 1914 p. 159

13 October: 1920s- Jos Ortega y Gasset 'The Dehumanisation of Art' 1925 p.323

20 October: 1930s- Adolf Hitler 'Speech for the great exhibition of German art' 1937 p.439

27 October: 1940s- Harold Rosenberg 'The style of today' 1940 p.549

3 November: 1950s- Alloway 'The arts and the mass media' 1958 p.715

10 November: 1960s- Raymond Williams 'The Analysis of Culture' 1961 p.729

17 November: 1970s- Michael Foucault 'A Lecture' 1976 p.989

24 November: 1980s- Victor Burgin 'The Absence of Presence' 1984 p.1068

1 December: 1990s- Stephen Bann 'Introduction to Global Conceptualisms' exhibition catalogue, Queens Museum of Art, New York, 1990 (not in Art in Theory)

8 December: 2000s- Peter Osbourne 'The fiction of the contemporary', introduction and chapter 1 in: Anywhere or not at all, Verso, 2014 (not in Art in Theory)


Something rather disturbing happened over the summer –THE UNSPEAKABLE FREEDOM DEVICE – an experimental narrative film and multimedia installation, commissioned from Jennet Thomas, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Wimbledon, by the Grundy Gallery, Blackpool for a solo show in September ' November 2014, was prevented from opening by the local council (which funds the gallery). It was postponed until after the general election due to, as the council put it, ‘heightened local Political sensitivities’. The Grundy Gallery staff did all they could to support the work.

Unspeakable Freedom 1

‘Unfortunately, the council’s action could be read as politically-motivated censorship of the imagination. The film is an absurd, warped Folk-tale, that explores the idea of the image of Margaret Thatcher as an after-burn on the collective memory of our culture. It speculates on belief systems, ideas of truth, power and pleasure and how cultural memories are re-made and distorted according to the needs of each era,’ said Thomas.

The film follows two women through a broken, post-apocalyptic landscape of collapsing signs and imploding meanings on a pilgrimage to the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, where they believe Margaret Thatcher is somehow embedded in the building, and will cure their green baby. The Winter Gardens is an iconic site of Margaret Thatcher's rise to power in 1979 at the Conservative party conference. In this fantastic, primitive-future world, the difference between technology and magic, sense and nonsense has become incomprehensible. Our characters buy a Maggie doll which spouts quotations to guide them when they pull its string. Mythical Red, Green and Blue characters ' that could be distorted versions of long-dead political factions -appear to them on the journey, proclaiming their rhetoric, producing spasms of white light when they clash. The film is allegorical, imaginative and is not directly political, but Blackpool is a “key marginal” seat, and some local Conservatives in the council have seemingly become agitated about the idea of the work (without having seen it). It could also be that the issue is being used as a weapon to attack local arts funding for the Grundy Gallery, which is the only major arts resource in the whole region. Art Monthly and the Arts Newspaper have written articles on this story (below).

The agency Modern Culture and Jennet are currently devising a series of touring screenings/seminars/performances called UNSPEAKBLE FREEEDOM that will feature the film, in the run-up to the General Election and generate discussion around ideas that propose an artist's concept of Politics as an alternative reality/language, with the potential to create meaning at a grass-roots level in new ways.’

Unspeakable Freedom 2

Unspeakable Freedom 3

Broadly Speaking: Carol Tulloch at Brighton Art Fair

CCW Professor, Carol Tulloch, recently showed her work at Brighton Art Fair, 26th -28th September 2014. Tulloch’s academic biography is as a writer and curator with a specialism in dress and black identities.

Describing her practice, Tulloch said, ‘In the development of my textile narrative I am drawn to the idea of rough simplicity. These works incorporate the dynamics of broad ink strokes and the unpredictability of torn paper. They are assembled like fragments of cloth secured by gestures of stitch. A graphic line anchors the composition. Here line is force.

The element of quiet and intensity connects with my interest in the street, the tension of divergent spaces'country, city, inland, coast'that are an integral part of my lived experience. The street is the exterior fabric of a place, necessary, pervasive, where society leaves its mark.

Within this maelstrom of the street lurks the X, which I am drawn to like so many before me. The X is present in the architecture of the street, it marks locations and represents the anonymity of the street. For me the X is reassurance and agency. It allows one to be.’ During the fair Tulloch was offered a gallery space to make a more installation-type piece to push the work, developing it in three dimensions. She hopes to create a publication about the process.


Colleague, Professor Jane Collins attended the Private View of the fair:

‘Thursday 25th September, 7pm

I am looking at Carol's work at Brighton Art Fair. It is the Private View, packed and stiflingly hot! In the midst of the hullaballoo I lean in. They make you lean in, these works, up close you get the detail. Tiny stitches, ruched delicate torn black, black white and white black paper, a line of red, a gash. Curious compositions under glass, I am no artist-maker and these materials are strange to me. I am intrigued. Why did my friend place this on that on there' The logic of following a thread. Where do they lead me? These are torn pages of a book I once read. This one is a bird trying to raise itself up out of the frame – not quite done yet; this, a mountain; this a needle puncturing time ' she did try to teach me to knit once. Pins and needles, bodies and flesh. Is that a family, man, woman and child etched out in simple lines of paper and nabbed with stitch? In this familiar unfamiliarity “Up Close and Personal”, I search for clues. My favourite, the cross, the X marks the spot, the meeting place, the loss, the possibility of '

Dear Carol, I want to match in words the eloquent gestures that you have wrought with these materials but as ever words fail me. So, back to the hullaballoo, a drink and a smile.’


JAWS: Starting a Student Project

Francesca Peschier, CCW PhD student, wears many UAL hats, including administrator of Performance Research Network, Creative Opportunities assistant, associate lecturer and member of Process Arts. She is also the founder and Editor in Chief of JAWS: The Journal of Arts Writing by Students. The bi-annual journal was originally published through funding from the Student Union, before being picked up by the ‘publishers of original thinking’, Intellect. The next issue of JAWS is due out in autumn 2014.

‘In the back of a taxi heading to the Intellect Books Editors convention a few weeks ago, I encountered another UAL based Editor. Discussing our babies, I started to explain JAWS, the Journal of Arts Writing by Students in my best proud mother tone. “Oh that,” she sighed, “I think I've seen you speak about that about five times.”

I reiterate this anecdote, not to prove that everyone is bored of me popping up around UAL in various guises, but how much pushing you have to do to get a project like JAWS off the ground. JAWS began as an extra curricular project lead by myself and other members of CCW's MRes Arts Practice in 2012. We felt we had spotted a gap in the market for a “studio space” for academic arts writing- an experimental platform where students and first year graduates could judge for themselves what they felt were the most current and relevant themes and have the chance to disseminate new thinking.

Following moral support from CCW (in particular from our champions Paul Ryan, Malcolm Quinn, Cate Elwes and Donald Smith) and financial support from the Students Union, we put out three editions completely edited, written, reviewed and designed by students. During a visit from the late head of Intellect, Masood Yazdani, I asked him to take a look at a copy of JAWS to give us his professional opinion. The incident stuck in my mind particularly as my vintage skirt had ripped in half at the back when I nervously approached him so I spent the whole conversation with my back glued to the wall. Despite this, Masood rang me from his train back to Intellect saying that he loved the journal and he would love to publish it.

What I wanted to share in this blog post, beyond my pride in how hard everyone has worked to get JAWS to where we are now, expecting our first professional, international edition in the next few weeks, was what I have learnt so far. Unusually for a scenography researcher, I am not a great proponent of Ranci re, but I do feel I have become something akin to his ignorant schoolmaster in this role. I have found myself the editor of a professional arts/practice as research focused journal despite not being an artist or a researcher who employs practice. I am also not an entrepreneurial, branding or PR expert. I am not even that great at spelling or spotting that bane of an editor’s job: ‘misuse of inverted commas’. As Paul Ryan said, we who started the JAWS project simply saw something we wanted was missing and tried to fulfill it.

So therefore, in the spirit of blog posts, I wanted to share my five, not quite tips, but perhaps things I have encountered (often unexpectedly) during this experience:

  1. Accept that most 'collaborations' will unavoidably become a benign dictatorship. I have often feared that JAWS has been in danger of becoming a cult of personality with my blue-haired bonce popping up everywhere as the main point of contact. At JAWS we make sure that the co-editors and image editor (who is a BA student that also heads up JAWS as a society) make decisions and lead elements of the project. However, there will always have to be someone who has the final responsibility, not just with decisions but also in terms of organization and delegation.
  1. Organization systems are key, and don't be afraid of them evolving. Oh how I wish we had had our Intellect editors' training a year ago! We use a combination of Google apps, doc spreadsheets and dropbox to keep track of submissions and reviews. With any big project like a publication or exhibition, limit your administrators to a maximum of three, otherwise there are emails and dropbox documents flying about all over the piece and no one knows which is the latest version. Social media is fantastic for engaging institutions and students outside UAL, learn to love 140 characters.
  1. Be prepared to hold hands. We are not the same as a normal academic journal as most of our contributors have never submitted an article before. Whilst sparing no wrath for those who send you their entire dissertation using you as a free proof reading service or those who don't even take a glance at the guidelines and send concrete-block-style experimental poetry, you will have to hold the hand of others. I think whilst this particularly applies to JAWS, this will prove true for any large project. You will end up providing extensive technical help, in my case explaining a hundred times how peer review tracking boxes of word works and why photos taken on iPhone aren't 300dpi, through to pastoral and academic care, with JAWS reviewers steering writers to key texts and arguments they might have missed. In the end it is rewarding, but you are going to spend a lot of time on this.
  1. People are busy and people are flakey. Everyone is busy, you have to learn to not take it as an insult on the importance of your own time when you end up drowning in work and terribly dull admin to make things happen when others turn it down. Initial enthusiasm can quickly disappear for a project when real life takes over. If you can't take it on, sometimes things have to be dropped. Try not to take it personally.
  1. Funding is hard. Ah the permanent cry of the life of a postgrad. Even with the most successful projects, funding is an elusive unicorn. You will end up spending your own money on big projects and as much as I have stamped my feet in the past, it is systematic of getting something off the ground (a lesson from Dragons Den). I had high hopes after we got a professional publisher who covers all our marketing and printing costs but other things mount up. Travel to conventions and the publishers, posting journals out, website charges etc etc. Every penny you are granted you will have to justify repeatedly until you feel like the Victorian deserving poor in a Dickens novel.

These experiences are not supposed to put a damper on starting a student led project, they are just things I wish I had thought more about and which became key. I would still do it all again tomorrow and I look forward to seeing the journal continue on, even when I (hopefully) eventually graduate and can't serve as editor in chief anymore. In fact, I especially look forward to handing it on to future students and seeing the publication change and evolve.’

If you would like to submit a piece, peer review or find out more about JAWS please email Frank at [email protected]. The current call for papers runs until the end of April 2015 and full details can be found at

Reflections on Taste

The conference Taste After Bourdieu, held in May 2014, explored issues to do with taste in the museum, gallery, street and home. For a group of Chelsea MA and CCW PhD students, it also afforded them the opportunity to be a part of the discussion. Beginning with a reading group organised by Dave Beech, the students researched Owen Jones’ analysis in Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class alongside Jukka Gronow’s examination of taste and fashion through the lenses of Immanuel Kant and Georg Kimmel. Based on conversations and a collaborative process, they decided that their contribution to the conference would be an unadorned, MDF confessional booth. Through this visual, tactile and interactive booth, the group sought to provoke the subtle and sometimes obvious denials, ironies and conflicts of private versus public tastes. To what extent is the individual able to nurture and foster taste according to their unique palette, without conforming to socially approved standards of taste? Does human desire for acceptance and validation force the individual to play the role of fearful subject observing the emperor's new clothes? When translated into the worlds of fine art and design, to what extent is the majority of current output inspired by commercially profitable taste versus what might be the artist's or designer's contrasting aesthetic and creative truth? When all was said and done, the students digested their experience of creating the booth and their overall contribution to the conference in their publication, Reflections on Taste. The student group consisted of Chrissa Amuah, Caroline Derveaux-Berte, Jaime Greenly, Jessica Hart, Katasi Kironde, Mohammad Namazi, Alex Roberts and Kioka Williams.

In the words of Roberts, ‘The fact that it was a reading group was the starting point. There was always a sense of wanting to do something interactive and document our collective experience. It was a way of recording something tangibly, because there were always open-ended questions coming up, and we realised that you can’t pin taste down. Questions about securities, insecurities and the need for acceptance were recurring themes in discussions. This was a chance for us to bring our individual perspectives together.

'ugly swan cushion'

The “ugly swan cushion”

The group focused on ways in which we frame our personal tastes. Jaime had a model example by way of her “ugly swan cushion”. She knew that most people think that it’s naff, but she really likes it. We used this concept to encourage other people to interact with the confessional booth. The group members anonymously photographed personal objects which provoked the question, who would publicly admit to owning this? In this way the notion of what is presented privately versus publicly guided the group. We approached the publication using the same method. Each person contributed an individual essay accompanied by their image from the booth, thus admitting which one was theirs!

In addition, there was an interactive group essay at the end. One person began with a paragraph, and the next person reacted or built upon that. We all took turns adding to the text in this way, each student contributing no more than 200 words. The essay's aim was for the text to be published anonymously. It reinforced the concepts we had begun with, looking at the public versus the private, while giving us a collective voice. We also asked Malcolm to contribute his own text and had the whole publication edited by a third-party (Robert Gadie).

At the moment, I’m really enjoying having my brain stretched as well as my perspectives. Collaboration gives you an opportunity to readdress how you think, but also how you make work individually and collectively.’

Between Thought and Space: a symposium

Between Thought and Space is a project that concerns a dynamic relationship between participants' work and decision-making processes within a building. The project unites 15 practitioners from different disciplines through live research. The centrepiece of the project was to respond collectively to a specific space: the unusual and challenging environment of Dilston Grove, a deconsecrated church. It is one of the first poured reinforced concrete structures in the UK, dating back to the early 20th century, located in Southwark Park, an historically deprived area of South East London. Together, the practitioners are being challenged through a methodology imposing pace, restrictions and regular contact with audiences and each other, the building testing individuals' creativity through its unique visual, phenomenal and historical characteristics. The product of these explorations is showing at Camberwell Space 29 September – 7 November 2014. The Dilston Grove exhibition is scheduled for 7 May – 7 June 2015.

A symposium, taking place in tandem with the Camberwell Space exhibition on 16 October, makes public for the first time the debates and ideas informing the development of the project. Invited speakers will shed light on the history of the Dilston Grove space and probe both the creative and critical merits of testing the role of discipline within creative practice; where audience discussion and debate will inform the development of work still in progress. Speakers include Miraj Ahmed, Matthew Butcher, Kelly Chorpening, Tom Emerson, Richards Wentworth, Dr Martin Hargreaves and Salome Voegelin.

Chorpening contextualised the drawing she contributed to the exhibition. ‘For my part, the prospect of creating work within a deconsecrated church has inspired a re-engagement with Giotto's work, specifically focusing on a peculiar detail from the St. Francis fresco cycle in Assisi ' the depiction of the back of a cross. This has provoked a playful exploration into ways a drawing can both depict and be something; be both convincing illusion and artifice. Responding so directly to an historical work (made around 1300) is something new for me and an exciting challenge to consider within the context of a project today.’

The symposium takes place on 16 October 2014 from 10:30am – 5pm at Camberwell College of Arts in the Lecture theatre at Wilson Road. Book online

The private view of the exhibition will follow the symposium on 16 October from 5:30 – 8:00 at Camberwell Space.

Image credit: Outcome of visual correspondence between Issam Kourbaj and Foster Spragge (2014)

Oficina Bartolomeu Dos Santos Residency

The Oficina Bartolomeu dos Santos (OBS), is the printmaking studio of the eminent Portuguese printmaker Bartolomeu dos Santos, familiarly known as Barto. When he retired from being Head of Printmaking at the Slade School of Art Barto inaugurated a print prize in his name for a graduating MA Visual Arts: Printmaking student from Camberwell College of Arts. He died in 2008, but last year, through OBS, a new award of a residency in his studio in Tavira, Portugal was created, and Annika Reed has been its first recipient. The fully equipped studio offers facilities primarily for intaglio, for which Barto was so famous. However, the presses can be adapted to print relief and Reed took full advantage of this.

AR and PC

Tutorial with Paul Coldwell

To offer tutorial support and the occasional glass of wine and local food, CCW Professor Paul Coldwell (himself a pupil of Barto’s) also worked in the studio on new prints to be shown at his upcoming exhibition at the University of Bradford in February 2015. Reed was incredibly productive and took full advantage of the residency, both consolidating the work she was doing as an MA student, as well as extending herself and taking risks, leading into new printmaking possibilities. ‘Everyone at OBS was really impressed with her work and energy and have confirmed that a similar residency will be offered for a 2014-15 MA Visual Arts: Printmaking graduate. I really hope that this is the beginning of a long association with OBS, and it is a poignant way of ensuring that the legacy of one of the 20th century’s great printmakers and teachers will continue to inspire another generation,’ said Coldwell.


The road on which the studio is situated, named after Barto

Writing about her experience, Reed said, ‘Armed with one tin of black ink, five pieces of Japanese plywood, two rolls of Hosho paper, a camera and two sketchbooks, I wandered out of reality and into the studio of Bartolomeu Dos Santos in Tavira, Portugal.

I am interested in the question of life's seeming absurdity and being taken out of my everyday life allowed me to find inspiration within my temporary surroundings.

I was awarded this residency at my MA show and I was cautious not to make prints similar to that particular body of work. Instead, I wanted to use the time and space to experiment with different ideas taking me out of my comfort zone in order to start a new investigation. Paul Coldwell was making a series of etchings in the studio alongside me and his guidance was invaluable throughout the residency.

Photography became an integral part of my enquiry in Tavira, with the shapes and patterns documented being echoed in my paintings and prints. Not all of the outcomes were successful. However, they will act as a vital starting point for further development back in my studio in London.

Working and living in the same space was a new experience and it allowed time for reflection and brought up a lot of questions, some of which are still unanswered.

The studio of Bartolomeu Dos Santos is an incredible place and my visit was made even more special by the people I met. They welcomed me into their family and showed me the local way of life, an experience I shall never forget.’



working 2

Cutting wood in the studio

working 1

Working through artist block

completed 1

Experiments with repetition

The Olympics Drawn: Study Afternoon

Shortly before the opening event for The Olympics Drawn at Wimbledon Space, there will be the opportunity to delve into some of the stories that have been unearthed while researching artefacts for the exhibition. This study afternoon for The Olympics Drawn brings together scholars of drawing, designers involved in the delivery of the games and researchers. The panel, consisting of curator Dr Joanne O’Hara, Kevin Owens, Professor Stephen Farthing and Tania Kovats, will discuss how drawing informed the planning and orchestration of the London 2012 Olympics. It will be chaired by Angela Brew, CCW PhD candidate, on 9 October, 3-4:30pm, in the Theatre at Wimbledon College of Arts.

Owens, the former design principal for LOCOG (the Local Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games), was crucial in the planning and delivery of all aspects of the built environment. He was heavily involved in decision-making processes throughout the organisation of the Games and, as an architect, drawing formed a key part of his work. Owens was responsible for commissioning and reviewing each of the permanent and temporary designs and it was his job to oversee thousands of drawings made by a range of designers from different specialties. A number of his own drawings can be seen in the exhibition, and this study afternoon will provide the opportunity to hear first-hand from one of Games' executives.

Farthing, Rootstein Hopkins UAL Chair of Drawing, who conceived of the idea The Olympics Drawn, has been instrumental in steering the project to completion. Since the commencement of this project, Farthing's vision has been inspirational, and some of the issues surrounding the wider themes of the project ' including the communicative and expressive power of drawing, and its evolution over time – will be discussed. For example – what would this project have looked like had it begun alongside the first Olympic Games? What will it continue to look like in the future? He may also explore the issues which link the project with the charting of taste, national identity and the development of drawing processes.

Kovats, Course Director for MA Drawing at Wimbledon College of Arts, will be able to help the panel understand the project within the wider realm of the world of drawing and join the dots on all of the panel’s thought processes. Her work focuses on drawing and mapping landscapes as well as describing or using geological processes in the making of both sculpture and drawings. Much of Kovats's research has focused on geology, to further understand how landscapes are formed, exclusive of humanity's effects upon them.

O’Hara is looking forward to the panel discussion and exhibition, as the culmination of her 2 year post-doctoral research fellowship. ‘As the researcher on the ground, I will be able to share some of my stories about the practicalities of the project and how we brought it all together. We will hopefully tease out some of the interesting stories, while considering such issues as where the drawings fit into the wider processes of design and production, and also the main issue I faced which was searching archives and portfolios and tracking mystery caches of drawings!

We also hope to hear on the day from some of the contributors to the exhibition who will be able to go into more detail about their own work, potentially spanning numerous disciplines and providing an amazing insight into some of the inner workings of the drawings shown in the exhibition.’

Image credit: Charlie Cobb, concept drawing of the Olympic Opening Ceremony (2011)