I am delighted to be invited by drawingisfree_ org, to join 14 other practitioners as part of the Drawing Projects UK PechaKucha style Symposium discussing the impact of lockdown on practice and drawing.
‘In the Future …. How will we Create?’ took place from 9 November to 14 November 2021 at the UK Pavilion Expo 2020 Dubai. The Royal College of Art is the Heritage Partner of the UK Pavilion, having a 170-year history of shared heritage with world exhibitions, going back to the first Expo, The Great Exhibition of 1851. The RCA’s contribution to the UK Pavilion will bring together a wide range of interdisciplinary projects from staff, current students and recent graduates. I developed and delivered ‘A City in a Day’ project as part of my ongoing research. Four local schools with approximately 20 students participated in an hour’s workshop, each hour a different age of the city’s development.
I am pleased to release the video of A City Seven Days project produced at FutureLab, Shanghai 2019.
FutureLab was an initiative from WestBund Art Center drawing together art and design educators from around the world. I was invited in my role as Head of Programme of Graduate Diploma in Art and Design at the Royal College of Art to create a project demonstrating synergies between degree level and primary level teaching approaches and methodologies to creativity in student-centred learning.
My ongoing creative thinking and learning research work with FunDrawing initiated the ‘city’ as a vehicle or model for creative engagement. The workshop investigates how creativity can be enabled through action-based teaching and learning approaches to embed and encourage creativity in the curriculum for primary and early secondary learners. The projects’s basic premise is based on the creative and imaginative potential of the humble cardboard box, focusing on proven alternative approach models to creative and trans-disciplinary engagement to provide an immersive experience and critical takeaways from skills-based teaching of art and design.
Working with Shenzhen National Art Museum and Sun Pier House, Chatham and supported by the Artist Agency I am in the process of developing new work for an exhibition in April, May, August and September.
Port of Entry is a new body of work developed from sketchbook images, informing a series of large, site-specific wall drawings, inferring a connection between Shenzhen and Chatham. Port of Entry investigates the idea of a port, not only as physical gateway, but also a conceptual notion of entry point for cultural and social information exchange and discourse.
The second part of the project will be a another series of site-specific wall drawings developed from images produced in Shenzhen. These drawings will be developed through workshops with primary school students, investigating the nature of the imagined and remembered.
The project will culminate in a publication which will document the exhibitions and the ongoing dialogue between the artist and the two locations.
The images below are from the recent showing of Trace Engines and new work at the Brewery Tap UCA Project Space http://www.brewerytapprojectspace.com held between 29/09/17 and 03/10/17, at part of the Folkestone Fringe.
It was a fantastic space to work in and a pleasure working with the curator Georgie Scott and Terry Perk from UCA and being part of the incredibly vibrant atmosphere of the Folkestone Triennial .
Over the four days there were over 270 visitors, including a group of students and staff from UCA Rochester Foundation programme, also a well known local canine art connoisseur who made an apearance at the private view.
I had a really fantastic four days invidulating the exhibition, a great opportunity to meet, local, national and international visitors to the Folkestone Triennial and to develop new work in the sketchbook……….watch this space.
I will be showing the Trace Engines project as part of the Folkestone Fringe, at the Brewery Tap – UCA Project Space, from the 30/09/19 – 03/10/17.
Trace Engines is a body of work produced through UCA research funding, in collaboration with AIP Gallery, Guangzhou, China. The work was previously exhibited at Rochester Art Gallery, November 2016 – February 2017.
I will also be exhibiting a series of new drawings entitled Shaped Narratives. The Private View will be on the 29th September, from 6pm – 8pm, all are welcome. 53 Tontine Street, Folkestone, CT20 1JR.
I will be invigilating the exhibition and of course working in my sketchbook between the 30/09/17 – 03/10/17.
The Brewery Tap – UCA Project Space is a research hub, exhibition and project space run by the MA Fine Art and MA Curatorial Practice courses at the University for the Creative Arts in Canterbury.
I am delighted to have been asked to contribute to this project and the broader Folkestone creative quarter and community and the Folkestone Triennial.
In early August I was invited to Shenzhen, China as the external consultant for the Fun Drawing company. Fun Drawing specialises in pre-school art, design and creative classes for students between the ages of 4-12 years. Fun Drawing have over 20 years experience in the field of creative education and have over 100 schools across the major cites in China.
I spent a week in Shenzhen working directly with Fun Drawing’s research and development team, reviewing current curriculum and teaching methodologies. It was my role to develop approaches to integrate and adapt UK art, design and creative teaching, learning, theories, strategies and approaches into the curriculum.
Across the week, we worked together to develop a range of new projects, looking at the learning styles and interests of the different age groups. The focus was on developing a more holistic approach to skills acquisition and competencies and also greater integration of creative thinking and action based learning, directly linked to UK creative education models and practices.
One area of key research was the identification and use of primary research sources, in the form of integrating gallery and site visits into the programme of study. This led to taking 30 students to the the Team Lab Exhibition and Research Project, in Shenzhen. The exhibition led by a group of artists from Japan focused on the application of digital, interactive light based installation and technology. The drawings produced were then used to instigate a class in the teaching studio, where students expanded on their experiences and drawings through collage, drawing and painting.
This was a extremely exciting, simulating and rewarding experience. I was also able to meet with the children’s parents, over 60% of them had studied in the UK and/or the US and high valued their experience and hoped their children would also have such opportunities in the future.
I’m looking forward to the next stage of the project and the implementation of the newly developed curriculum. I will be returning to Shenzhen in October, to speak at Fun Drawing’s Annual Conference and present the current research and development.
Off to Shenzhen China today, for a week visiting with colleagues in Fun Drawing, taking part in a series of development sessions and demonstration classes.
As ever, I will be drawing and developing ideas in sketchbooks, 12 hour flights are always productive. China Blue seems appropriate.
Below is a snap shot of current work developing further approaches to the ‘Penny Dreadful’ object/narrative idea, engaging with shaped narratives and applied structure.
The first UK exhibition of the Trace Engines project, which included a solo exhibition of drawings and mono prints at the AIP Gallery, Redtory Art Zone, Guangzhou in 2015, opens on the 25th November 2016 at the Rochester Art Gallery, Kent.
The private view is on the 24th November from 6:30pm and there will also be a series of workshops and artist’s talks that accompany the exhibition. This current show, from 24.11.16 to 20.02.17, brings together new work and pieces produced during my residency in China.
‘Trace Engines is a series of amalgamated drawings that on the one hand suggest a design or plan for something to come, and on the other seem like the residue of something that has already been. In this, they constitute a process of mediation where the acts and media of their creation – the drawing, tracing and mono printing – become iterative expressions that model an as yet unknown object.’
I had the great honour to be invited to speak at the Shenzhen Education Conference on October 26, 2016, as part of their Fun Drawing initiative. Introducing UK Foundation teaching and learning methodologies to over 300 pre-school educationalists from throughout China, alongside other professionals from the industry.
The panel discussions dealt with the challenges of the incredible growth in interest for the creative industries from a new generation of aspirational parents, keyed into the opportunities the Arts can offer their children.