Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fwd: Weekly digest for January 28, 2013



artelogical posted: "This is an advertisement for me. It is also a possible free gift of time for you. As I have said before, I am a mature student in the second  year of a University of Brighton Foundation Degree in Fine Art Contemporary Practice. As part of the course we ha"

New post on artelogical

Looking for work experience

by artelogical

This is an advertisement for me. It is also a possible free gift of time for you. As I have said before, I am a mature student in the second  year of a University of Brighton Foundation Degree in Fine Art Contemporary Practice. As part of the course we have to do ten days work experience, which, ideally, should be completed by May 2013. In one way this seems a bit daft as I have had something like 40 years work experience, on the other hand none of it has been in the art world.  The whole idea is to gain experience working for a gallery, or an artist. I thought it would be easy  but it has proved quite difficult to find something. Each time I have thought I had got it sorted, it has fallen through for a variety of reasons.

francis bacon studio

This is Francis Bacon's studio - I could have helped him find a missing tube of burnt umber

So what could I do?  Well, if you are an artist I could help in the studio, help with documentation, help you get ready for an exhibition. If you are a gallery I could help set up exhibitions, write up press releases or publicity material - I have PR experience. If you are either, I could help you plan things - I have project management experience.  I am based in Hastings but would go pretty well anywhere if it were interesting enough. I don't mind making coffee or cleaning brushes or tidying things up, particularly if there are conversations about art along the way. If possible, I would rather do something more interesting than just sitting in a gallery telling people not to touch the art works. I would quite like to write about whatever it is I end up doing on this blog. If there were a really interesting project I would certainly be happy to spend more than ten days doing it. The days could be organised in a block or over a number of weeks. I am not looking for any payment.

If you have any ideas, please drop me an email sue_mcdo@hotmail.com. If you know of someone who might be able to use some help, please forward the blog to them.

artelogical | January 26, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Categories: Uncategorized, Art Galleries, Artists, Career change | URL: http://wp.me/p2viJ8-lu

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artelogical posted: "Readers of this blog will know that I have little patience with the "is this or is this not art" debate. I am quite happy to accept if an artist says, 'it is art' then that is what it it is - next question.  The real issue is whether it is good. Even so, "

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Art School in the Room

by artelogical

Readers of this blog will know that I have little patience with the "is this or is this not art" debate. I am quite happy to accept if an artist says, 'it is art' then that is what it it is - next question.  The real issue is whether it is good. Even so, when before Christmas, artist Annie Davey called for volunteers at Sussex Coast College  to help undertake a project about art schools, which would involve collecting  photographs of the old Hastings art college, I found, despite myself, that I was having the subversive thought,"this isn't really art at all." After going to a couple of meetings I dropped out. The results of the project are now on display in the Room Gallery outside the college. I went along to see the results.

The idea was t0 examine the way that 20th century art schools have been historicised and  romanticised through photographic images and stories. The team, who comprised Celeste Barker, Marie Ford, Barbara Mullen and Dan Dowling,  became interested in the move of the Hastings Art School from the old Victorian building to the current site in Station Plaza. They also looked at the way contemporary art schools combine freedom and experimentation with rules and bureaucracy.

Displayed on the wall were a series of found photographs from the old art school.

A series of photographs of the old Hasting Art College pinned to the wall

Found Photographs of the old Hastings Art School

They were not posed or artistically taken shots but included the mundane detritus that is left when a building is closed.

chairs are piled on desks at the old hastins Art College

Found Photograph of the old Hastings Art School

A filing cabinet in the old Hastings College

A filing cabinet in the old Hastings College

A slide projector showed images of the new building which had been made deliberately blurry to  distance the viewer from the present time.

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Looking after the slide projector

A blurry photograph showing a bench with sink at Sussex Coast College

Slide Projection of studio space at Sussex Coast College - it has been deliberately blurred

On the walls, were a selection of the instructions that we receive, whilst on a loop, course leader Patrick Jone's voice intoned the aims of the modules as set out in the student handbook.

A photograph of a sheet of paper with instructions to students at Sussex Coast College

Student instructions Sussex Coast College

Matching the modern instructions were actual notices from the old building.

A sign saying drive in thie bay only do not reverse at the old Hastins Art School

Signs from the old Hastings Art School

Strangely, and despite my misgivings, it all actually worked. I accepted it was even art. The photographs collectively were more interesting than you might have thought and pointing a spotlight on the mundane, particularly that which is separated by time has the effect of making it look special. Also, the instructions, which must be similar to those posted on many student notice boards,  looked unique and worthy of attention. The aim of the show was to "present a series of small gestures that cross wires and destabilise our perception of the past, whilst implicitly asking questions about what might be ideal for an art school now."  Even so, I suspect that it would be of most interest to those people who experienced, which I did not, the old art college in Hastings.

Art School is on display in the Blue Room Gallery outside Sussex Coast College today 25 January 2013

artelogical | January 25, 2013 at 11:07 am | Tags: Art school, Sussex Coast College Hastings | Categories: Art, Hastings, Sussex Coast College | URL: http://wp.me/p2viJ8-kZ

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artelogical posted: "I had the privilege to visit the Cass Sculpture Park near Chichester last week. It was bitterly cold and, as the park is not open to the public in winter, hardly anybody else appeared to be about in the 26 acres of woodland that make up the grounds. Comin"

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Cass Sculpture Park and the importance of position

by artelogical

I had the privilege to visit the Cass Sculpture Park near Chichester last week. It was bitterly cold and, as the park is not open to the public in winter, hardly anybody else appeared to be about in the 26 acres of woodland that make up the grounds. Coming across marvellous sculptures among the trees was an extraordinary experience. It also got  me thinking about the importance of putting sculptures in the right  place and the difference the setting  can make to our perception of a work. While there were obviously some that I liked better than others, I was also struck by the fact that some of the works seemed much happier in their woodland surroundings than others. It was difficult to work out why. It was not to do with form; you might think that organic shapes and materials would work better than more geometric  pieces, or sculptures which had been created out of steel, plastic  or glass would work less well than those made out of granite or wood. That did not appear to be the case. Nor did it appear to be necessarily position in the park, though works on the periphery, where they were not juxtaposed against others, appeared to have some advantage.

The Cass Foundation was set up in 1992 by Wilfred and Jeanette Cass with the aim of supporting new and emerging artists. The Foundation has commissioned some 400 sculptures over the twenty years all of which have been for sale. Prices are substantial ranging from a few thousand pounds  to £750000. At any one time there are about 80 sculptures on display; they are often far larger than could possibly be housed in a gallery.The one stipulation the Foundation makes to the artists that it commissions is that the works should not be site specific; they need to be able to be sold and therefore transportable. This constraint is entirely understandable in the context of the Foundation's mission, but it does remove what could be a glue which could bind all the works into an aesthetic whole. The Foundation had thought very carefully about such matters as directions - the suggested way through the woods was marked by these rather fetching yellow arrows. The buildings holding the lavatories and the benches were all of interesting designs.

cass 029

But there were no sculptures that made use of the trees themselves; I wanted to see cats' cradles linking trees together,  defining the space between them or creatures slithering up things or down things, or unseasonal leaves suspended from bare branches, or bark apparently peeled back to reveal ... what? I don't know.   This is a quibble; here are the ten works I liked best,  in no particular order,  which seemed to me to work well in their surroundings. You can see how varied they were.

1. Seven Gregory: Fish on  bicycle

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Steven Gregory: fish on a Bicycle

Near the entrance and far smaller than the majority of works was this rather whimsical piece by Steven Gregory which I though might look even better in an urban setting, perhaps near other bicycles. I like the look of quiet determination on the fish's face; it obviously finds the bicycle useful, giving lie to the old saying.

2. Stephen Cox: Lingam of a Thousand Lingams

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Stephen Cox: Lingam of a Thousand Lingams

This huge phallus by Steven Cox worked superbly well at a point where the paths crossed. It seemed to form a natural landmark in the woods and the granite from which it was made had weathered in a satisfying way. cass 050

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Sean Henry: Folly

3.Sean Henry: Folly

This sculpture took me entirely by surprise: as I mentioned I thought I was alone, though I half expected somebody else to be wandering down the paths. Then, suddenly, I came round the corner and saw what appeared to be this relaxed man standing on a pavilion and then I realised I was looking into an interior. Apart from the absence of walls there is the surreal touch of a chair on the ceiling. It is a thought-provoking piece as it leads the viewer to realise how little we know about the lives people lead when in their own homes. To a greater or lesser extent it is something about which we all speculate. Here we have an voyeur's insight.

4 Tony Cragg: Tongue in Cheek

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Tony Cragg: Tongue in Cheek

This was one of my favourite pieces; I loved the way the coils worked in the setting.  Looking into the piece. the patterns changed and worked together. I liked the way the hard metal contrasted with vegetation  and the mud but at the same time seemed to share some of the same qualities.

5 Awst and Walther: I miss you

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Awst and Walther: I miss you

I thought this jar was really fun and again it worked really well in the space capturing different views through the circular hole at its centre.  This is one I might have thought would not work in a rural setting but in fact it did. The contrast between the tree trunks framed by the jar and the modernity of the materials was interesting.

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Rob Ward: Gate

6. Rob Ward: Gate

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Taking a photo of Rob Ward's Gate

Of all the sculptures in the park this was probably the one I liked the best. I thought it would work well in any urban setting as well. As you can see the surface is highly reflective and this created a strange illusion of looking into another dimension. The name gate seems well-chosen. The first photograph shows how it appears as you come across it along the path.  The second is a photograph of me taking the photograph, looking as though I could, if I chose, step through a gateway into a different world.

7. Diane Maclean: Encampment

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Diane Maclean: Encampment

Here was another sculpture which despite its modern chrome and metal materials, I felt worked well in the woods suggesting a settlement, which on closer inspection turns out to be an illusion.  I liked the way that the tent structures had been divided into two, so that there was a clear path between them. Two camps you might say, though this was only visible from certain directions.

8. Danny Lane: Stairway

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Danny Lane: Stairway

This stairway I could also imagine could also work very well, perhaps even better,  outside a  building reflecting the staircases within.

9.Philip King: Sun's Roots II

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Philip King: Sun's Roots II

I was surprised that Sun Roots worked as well as it did.  I might have thought that the colours and materials would jar but in fact it looked extraordinary. The splash of colour brightened up the winter woods.

10. Jon Isherwood Passages and Circumstances

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Jon Isherwood: Passages and Circumstances

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Passages and Circumstances detail

Finally this piece by Jon Isherwood was intriguing in the way that you could both get inside it, but also see through it so, it according to your position it framed different vistas or slivers of the countryside.

The Cass Sculpture Park is open 0n Saturdays from January 26  to  23 March between 10.30 and 4.30. The new season starts on 29 March 20123 when it is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10.30 to 4.30

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artelogical | January 24, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Tags: Cass Sculpture Park, Tony Cragg | Categories: Art, Contemporary Art, Sculpture | URL: http://wp.me/p2viJ8-jZ

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