The sketchbook and its inherent mobility are and remain to be an essential and consistent aspect of my practice and working life. The sketchbooks created in lockdown became a surprisingly expansive format to engage with and outline journeys without moving.
There have been four main series of shaped narratives developed over the last four years – Blue and White Shaped Narratives, Coloured Shaped Narratives, Three-Legged Narratives and Small Object Narratives. The works explore and integrate notions around the sense of shapes within shapes, objects within objects and the relationships and hierarchies between the constituent parts.
It was a great pleasure to be invited to visit the Bond and Coyne studios in South London in November to a lead a drawing workshop. Bond and Coyne led a visibility campaign and film for the RCA’s Graduate Diploma in Art and Design programme, and the workshop was a direct result of this relationship. It was a great opportunity to expand and investigate further approaches to the teaching and the language of drawing working with art and design professionals in a staff development context.
‘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.
I was recently invited by Emre Altindağ, PhD researcher and editor for an interview in the first edition of Memory and Light and to be the keynote speaker at the accompanying conference in August 2021. Memory and Light is an international artist-led collective and new publication for illustrators, graphic novelists, and storytellers. I discussed with Emre the role of narrative and storytelling as a key tool in my approach to sketchbooks and my practice. Article pdf here.
Starting in 2017, Fun Drawing is an ongoing China/UK early-years learning development initiative and collaboration.
I am looking forward to engaging with the next phase of this project in the coming months.
E-learn magazine profiles the RCA Graduate Diploma students and staff’s engagement with online and blended learning.
The Bruton Correspondence School is a (slow) mail art exchange project established by Chris Roberts and Rebecca McClelland, partly in response to the impact of the worldwide lockdown and their attempt to connect with a broader audience on the most basic and meditative level.
The collection showcases the innate ability of collage to construct a fresh and new visual exchange beyond the two-dimensional into the structural world and craft of visual making. While experimental, each collage is also didactic, layered with hidden messages, reoccurring motifs and shared concerns that speak as an abstract indicator of the surreal times we live in.
The show will run from 24th July – 25th September 2021, open weekdays 11am-1pm and Saturdays 11am-3pm.
Publishing Self was a 40 minute discussion around the nature and positioning of the portfolio as a tool and platform.
Creating a progression portfolio can be a mystifying experience. How do you create a compelling narrative about you? This talk brings together Gary Clough, Richard Nash and renowned graphic designer and publisher Tony Brook to discuss their individual practices and parallels between the progression portfolio and art & design publishing. This is an opportunity to join Gary, Richard and Tony in a conversation that draws on aspects of publishing, art direction, editorial design, curation and critical writing. Hear some of their ‘trade secrets’ and then interact with them to ask your own questions.