As we start to see a potential return to international exchange, I have revisited key projects that hinge on international collaboration and dialogue. A model I hope to revisit is Trace Engines, a 5 year-long project bringing together both pedagogic and practice-based research working with universities and galleries in the UK and China. Initiated through a 10-week residency in Guangzhou, China, in partnership with Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art and Arts International Projects. This culminated in a body of work that fuelled a series of exhibitions, workshops, and lectures between 2015 and 2020. I think it is exciting that future projects like this will adapt and transform, incorporating blended approaches with more embedded online and digital forms alongside traditional residency formats.
I’ve continued drawing daily throughout all lockdowns, as I’m sure many other people have too. I’ve also made some changes to this site, with the menu system and content better reflecting my dual roles as artist and educator. It has been a particularly busy and productive time, even during the lockdowns and I will be adding more info on the exhibitions, lectures and workshops I’ve participated in over the last couple of years.
See more sketchbook pages here
Off to London to drop work off for Agency group show, see invite below:
The series Sampler l – lV are cross stitch on canvas produced in collaboration with Linnet Hannan, are now to be included as part of the group show Agency in October.
The exhibition runs from Wednesday 3rd October – Saturday 27th October 2018. Artists Event Wednesday 10th October 6-8.00 pm – all welcome.
Port of Entry opened this week at the Sun Pier House Gallery in Chatham, the work on show is produced in response to travels and research around the nature of visual collecting and transcription from sketchbooks, from cultures and communities as diverse as Shenzhen, Guangzhou, London and Chatham. It looks at the nature of the language of man-made objects as symbols, both recognised and remembered or shared, in terms of agreed knowledge and narrative.
These initial observations and memories have been translated into a series of drawings which respond to the nature of visual motifs and metaphors commonly associated with home-spun shared knowledge embedded in the decorative nature of ceramics and textiles.
This has culminated in a series of commissioned cross stitch embroideries working with designer maker Linnet Hannan, transcribing the drawings in to a cotton, cross stitch language associated with both traditions of European samplers and rural embroideries from China.
The work will also be shown in October at the Eagle Gallery in Clerkenwell, London as part of Agency, an exhibition showcasing the work of artists who make up The Artists Agency.
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.
‘Penny dreadful is a pejorative term used to refer to cheap popular serial literature produced during the nineteenth century in the United Kingdom. The term is roughly interchangeable with penny horrible, penny awful, and penny blood”.
The current work draws together from the sketch book new works on paper: a range of both known and familiar objects arranged in a comic strip like format. The images are brought together into a grid, the objects connecting with one another forming potential narratives. the medium of ink, coffee and highlighters gives a saccharine prefabricated kit, or formulaic quality, akin to the nature of mass produced literature like the penny dreadful.
This work will be exhibited as part of the South East Open Studios: 15th June – 18th June & 22nd June – 25th June 2017: at the Hazelnut Press, 1 Ridley Road, Rochester, ME1 1UL