Key Skills - Application writing, Collaboration, Networking
I was very excited to have been selected for “Xhibit”, University of the Arts London’s annual exhibition “showcasing the best emerging creatives from UAL” at Art Bermondsey Project Space. It was a fairly simple written application, I applied with my most recent MFA assessment piece, a floor based sculpture that outlines my thoughts at the time on expanded painting and object-hood.
Having been selected, I met with the organiser of the event to discuss the next few months, he outlined details for the install, de-install, Private View and closing event which was the Xhibit Birthday Party. I was also given a series of lectures on varies of different subjects such as pricing of work, technical advice and online visibility. At these lectures I met most of the other exhibiting artists, these artists ranged from all colleges apart of UAL, and from various courses from Foundation to PhD.
I enjoyed being a part of an exhibition that showcased such a wide range of work with a prestigious judging panel. This was the first time I have been involved in something that focuses on cross college collaboration. This being “Xhibit’s” 20th year anniversary, the show doubled the normal amount of chosen artists to 32 and secured a larger scale venue, allowing for a larger vary of work. The private view and birthday party were exciting and busy, meeting previous exhibitors of Xhibit from 2010 and talking about graduated life. I feel really proud to have been selected for this and to have made contacts among artists with very different skillsets.
Key Skills - Collaboration, Technical Installation, Curation, Proposal writing, Communication
While Tom Waring and myself have different identities as artists, we found common ground in a specific area; the way that paintings are presented and the weight of the “image”. We were interested to see the outcome when a painter and a sculptor with different interests worked together. We wanted to experiment with importance of the image of a painting by manipulating the presentation of painting. We set down rules for this collaboration, Tom being a painter would supply the paintings and I would have no influence in any aspect of the painting, its size or subject. Myself being the sculptor, would contribute the physical way the paintings were presented, and Tom would have no influence.
We both curated the show were pleased with the varied outcome of the presentations. It almost became comedic in the way we were moving the surface of the painting by using heavy, industrial, “macho” materials to play with the importance of the image. I found the distance and my lack of influence on the paintings and their images refreshing as it allowed me to focus on the materials I wanted to use and the compositions in which to portray these unknown paintings.
This was an invaluable experience for me as I enjoyed working as a part of a collaboration, my first of the kind, especially when a part of a project that I felt passionately about. From this project, Tom and I wrote up an application proposal for a three-month residency at Chisenhale Studios. While we were unsuccessful, it was a good opportunity within application writing. We now have a proposal written up and ready to be sent out when given the opportunity as we feel strongly about this project.
Key Skills - Collaboration, Technical Installation, Curation, Communication
At the start of the year, I was approached by a BA Painting Student, Ming Ying from within the Wimbledon College to exhibit alongside 7 other University of the Arts London students from a range of courses (both MFA years, BA Painting & Fashion) from Wimbledon and Chelsea College. The Exhibition was held in “The China Design Centre”, a gallery attached to “The Building Centre” near Tottenham Court Road. The show focused on cross course collaboration within an assortment of different skillsets such as ceramics, fashion design and painting.
Making good the space was somewhat of a challenge with the limited resources given to us by the gallery, luckily we gave ourselves enough preparation time. The curation was an open discussion between the artists keeping with the collaborative theme. After trial and errors, with a few re-hangs, we were able to hang a fluid show. The space was unlike anything I’ve ever shown in before, feeling more like a shop, it was an interesting challenge to make the work dominate the space, rather than the space dominating the work.
Showing with a range of work made me feel confident about my own identity as an artist and how I’m seen within the art world. The private view was a good experience to talk about my work to people with little experience with talking about art, it gave me an opportunity to explain my work to people that don’t know much about the areas that I’m most interested in.
Key Skills - Collaboration, Technical Installation, Time Management, Communication.
“In the Shadows of a Subterranean River” was a very challenging show. The brief was to create site specific work to respond to this incredible site. The crypt is such a loaded site that was used as a shelter in both World Wars, and is still the final resting place for 557 souls. We had a lot of time to think about what we would make for the show, and I was struggling to come up with an idea. A recent graduate from the same course, Molly Rose Butt, and I were talking about her practice, and in particular, one certain piece, a physical small, playful cloud, and how much I enjoyed her work! What I liked about it was how childish and playful it was.
This started me to think about the space, and how it is so loaded with death (after all, it is a crypt), and how I could either work with it, or fight against it, and I wanted to have fun with the idea of contrasting against the obvious. So I decided to make a light hearted, fun piece. I asked Molly if I could use her cloud and if I could have fun with it! Kindly, she agreed and I started to have fun.
I chose the cloud because of the instant damp feeling that you get when you’re in the gallery. The gallery is underground and is so wet and damp, and I love the link between we and damp, because that is exactly what a cloud is made out of. Being a crypt, there is a very heavy religious feeling over the space, so I thought that by bringing a cloud (what is outside) inside, its talking about rising and falling. A cloud floats and levitates, implying rising to heaven, and by bringing it inside, I’m grounding it to earth.
I was part of the technical team in charge of physically installing all the artwork, and demanded our constant attention throughout all the days of the installation. We were only given a couple of days for 25 pieces to install. It was difficult, and took patience. I am really glad that I was part of the team as I have always wanted to improve on my practical skills within art. While being in the space for all the days of the installation, we were privy to information and were present while the curators were working. What I found interesting was the difference between what the curators wanted, and what was going to be structurally sound, there were little difficulties and hiccups, but I found it to be a really enjoyable time and will most likely be volunteering for the technical team for our final degree show.
What I learnt from this experience was how to work in a large team for an extended amount of time, while still being professional. I learnt that I really enjoyed installing the show from start to finish. I found out a certain level of flexibility within my work that I wasn’t aware of, which I am very happy with, Overall, I was happy with the outcome of my piece, it was fun and unfinished and cheeky.
Key skills - Application selection & writing.
I was lucky enough to have been selected in the ”Open 27” Exhibition in the New Walk Gallery in Leicester in late 2016. This was the first time that I had applied to an open application for the reason of simply showing work in a gallery, there was no proposal, or theme behind the exhibition, it was a very commercial exhibition and my work was simply a number. There was around 75 artists showing modestly sized work, with all the paintings packed close together.
It was a very interesting experience for me, as I simply gave in an application, received an email saying that I had been chosen, I dropped off the painting, and returned for the opening night. I felt very distant to the exhibition, but was glad to have been a part of it. It felt like a very quick experience, in and out, nothing was personal, I didn’t really have any direct contact with anyone who put the exhibition together. While I will still continue to apply to everything I can, I will be slightly more aware of putting my time to good use and understanding the outcome of certain shows.