29 July 2010
Exciting stuff! I picked up the SAW catalogue today at the Auction House and have preceded in highlighting all the places I'd like to go visit this year. From an 'emerging' artist point of view this year is particularly exciting as it is the first year I have taken part in art weeks and also because I recognise and/or know a lot of the artists in it too. Both of which make it a lot more relevant for me and so I'll be looking to visit and talk to as many of you involved as possible. On the other hand if you're not an artist and you're someone that enjoys to look around the venues and talk to artists it would be great to hear your experiences as well.
Here's to what looks like what will be a diverse, interesting and incredibly busy two weeks!
26 July 2010
17 July 2010
16 July 2010
So, I leaped at the chance to go back to my old University College and make a mess all over again, see some old faces (and some even older faces!) and hopefully learn and have more adventures along the way. I'm working alongside two other artists, Paul Hurley and Brian Gibson (please see links to their work below) which is a welcome and exciting prospect after working alone for a lot of my work this last year! We are writing a separate blog to which I've added a link on the side if you would like to follow our progress and because I just can't seem to get enough of blogs at the moment!
The residency is taking place from the 12th July til the impending Friday 13th August when we hope to exhibit or show some of the work we've produced in that time. It aims to be a 'public' affair so we encourage anyone who wants to get involved in working with us on this project to please contact us (more info to follow on the context blog soon).
Myself, I'm looking at a certain favourite subject matter of mine, tools, once again! So I'm looking for anyone with unusual tools or things specific to their particular trade to use as a source for creating images from. How specific objects hold significance or history in them from the person who works with them is what I'm interested in. Anyway, its already been a week and I think I've done a successful job at making a mess on the floor and walls of the Fine Art studio thus far. Its definitely quite a challenge to focus oneself for a month to produce something after having no structure for the best part of a year. Being back in my old college also raises my own sense of expectations and perhaps doubts with me having to re-question critically my practice and think am I supposed to have developed a maturity towards my practice in the time since I left?! Ha ha! We'll have to wait and see.
Visit: http://www.somerset.ac.uk/news for more information about Somerset College Art courses...
15 July 2010
11 July 2010
Paintings by Alison Page http://alisonpage.co.uk/
A few more images to give you an idea of the variety of work on offer at the show. The private view was yesterday (Saturday 10th) and the show is now open everyday except Sundays 10.00-4.30pm. Please check it out.
“It was a huge help to be able to discuss with the artists themselves the motivation, influences and the techniques that led them to undertake their respective works.............to have that insight made interpretation of what we were seeing easier........the overall quality of what we saw was very high indeed.” -Mayor of Taunton Jefferson Horsley
Liz Fathers's installation
6 July 2010
When asked the question, ‘what do you do for a living?’ I usually reply with a split answer because I’m a part-time bookseller and a part-time artist. That is the reality of the situation; however in financial terms I would not exactly say either (or even the two combined) was much of a ‘living’ but that’s not really why I chose to have this double life. There are benefits and cons to both situations. However after spending every hour of my spare time this week on art projects it begs the question, is there really any such thing as a part-time artist?
It often feels like I am really just a bookseller and lead an ‘alternative’ and almost at times secretive undercover life of being an artist, like really it is just a hobby on the side of what I do in the daytime. Of course I don’t treat it that way and have found it at times a difficult and at times a educational experience to sustain the two and have them both taken seriously. I am not alone in this aspect and can think of many artists who, like me work part-time, in teaching for example as well as continuing their artistic career in their spare time. Do part-time artists gain or loose out when it comes to opportunities and promoting their work?
In deciding to attempt this lifestyle for a year I wanted to develop my understanding and experience of the art networks available in Somerset. Things like finding out who and what exactly were out there in the seemingly big and mysterious unknown art world. I wanted to build my professional portfolio in different art practices. For example, my first experience was a commission for a mural at a local school which was one of my first ‘big’ solo undertakings since graduating. I then had experience on a public art project for Taunton Deane which really helped my understanding of the context of art in Somerset. Currently I am writing on this internship with SAW gaining another perspective into a more public and marketing side to the arts. Whilst all of these were ’part-time’ undertakings they have also felt at times like full time commitments which is why I question if an artist can every really be part-time. Not that I am complaining, mind, because I enjoy and deliberately throw as much time as possible at my art because I enjoy it. I am sure none of you reading this would probably need convincing that the benefits of making and working in the arts brings a sense of satisfaction and value sometimes that money cannot buy.
I personally do not feel as though I have missed out on art experiences due to juggling between two jobs when in fact one has often enhanced the other. Working in the bookshop for example has given me time for reflection and inspired me through the books I’ve discovered and people I have worked with. I was at first surprised to discover how creative people outside the bubble of my art education are and then humbled by their support and responses to my own art endeavours. I have been very fortunate and think if I had to pick some bad points to working part-time it would be that I couldn’t throw myself as much and as ambitiously as I would have wanted to in some projects and some commissions and residencies are only interested in artists who can make a full-time commitment. Surely the main thing is that whether you are full-time or part-time, half-time or all the time as long as you’re still going that’s the main thing. After all,
It’s not exactly a living, but it’s a life!
Please let me know any thoughts or experiences you have on the subject.
1 July 2010
I'm not particularly a fan of the term 'emerging artist' it brings up images in my head of crawling and struggling out of some dark unpleasant place in order to progress, as it were, into the light and goodness of becoming a fully fledged artist. This isn't really the case, in fact, some of the greatest artists in the history of art could be said to have never emerged until their deaths (think Van Gogh). So don't let the emerging title fool you and expect the un-expected!
Things are just about underway nearly ready for hanging this exhibition next week of which I'll be helping. The venue of the Auction House (located on the old Farmer's market site) is really appropriate a venue for representing local artists and, if I may be personal once again, is a poignant site for me to relate to in my own practice as I have made prints of tools from my grandfather's farm who used to take his cattle to market there every Saturday up until it closed for the last sixty years. Similarly another artist, Lucy Pearn has prints of scenes of pheasant plucking on her farm. However, there are also innovative and fun sculptures from Mike West, abstract paintings of landscapes from Andrea Rowbotham, textile based Fine Art work from Lucy Lean and many, many more! There are well over 12 artists involved all of whom live locally and feature a variety of talents from printmaking, film, photography, textiles, painting and sculpture. I'm sure it will be a very interesting and contemporary show that is also an important development for Taunton in what we hope will help to encourage more artists to emerge in dis-used buildings throughout the county.
It would be great to see you there and hear your views please check it out! Or if you are planning something similar let me know?
'The great promise of the creative era is that, for the first time in our history, the further development of our economic competitiveness hinges on the further development of human creative capabilities. In other words, our economic success increasingly turns on harnessing the creative talents of each and every human being.'
This book proposes some interesting points of view and as a graduate myself I find at times it was quite difficult to hear quite a negative view of the degree system however it also made a lot of positive comments on the arts and creativity in particular so I feel like maybe there was a middle ground where a degree in the creative arts perhaps met the best of both worlds in practicality and in thinking?
Overall this book really appealed to my thirst for knowledge in this particular area, as my own practice deals with the subject of work and tools. It is also a great read for anyone who has ever read 'The Craftsman' by Richard Sennett as it follows a similar line of thought. I genuinely felt quite passionate and inspired to 'go and make something' after reading this book and would strongly recommend to anyone who feels the same desire to make for the sake of making.
If you have any thoughts on this or any future suggestions or reviews for future book of the month items then please let me know!
Below is a press release sent to me outlining more details:
SOMERSET ART WEEKS 2010 Open Studios Event
Printmakers, photographers, illustrated books – a huge variety of visual treats will be on show in Lopen, near South Petherton, during Somerset Arts Weeks.
Visit seven artists in two studios in charming Church Street for a complete Arts Week experience, refreshments will be available and parking is easy.
An exhibition by three talented and highly experienced photographers, Pauline Rook, Mike Mammatt and Jerry Mitchell will demonstrate their passion for photography. Whilst they employ contemporary techniques their photographs are unmanipulated and of the highest quality.
Watch the magic of the print making process slightly further up the lane in the natural courtyard setting of Angela Naunton Davies’s studio. See the traditional and experimental ways by which inks can be transferred onto paper from copper, linocuts and wood engraving by the mighty forces of the etching press by Angela, Jackie Cundall and Louise Henry.
The beautifully illustrated local books of James Crowden, including the highly acclaimed ‘Literary Somerset’ will be available signed and at special prices. He will be talking about his work on the 25/26th weekend.
‘Excellent Artwork, excellent tour and wonderful people’ Arts Week visitor 08
For further information please contact either:
Lopen Farmhouse, Church St, Lopen, South Petherton, TA13 5JX
Angela Naunton Davies. Denman Cottage, Church St, Lopen