Saturday, 18 April 2015

‘Commander, tear this trailer apart and bring me the clues I want them now!’



My first thought when I saw the new Star Wars tailer was that Christmas feels a long way off. I've tried to avoid working out the storyline for the new prequels because I was a big fan of the new Jedi order series, and that plot line is now completely gone. However, it's hard not to get sucked in by the expansive landscapes and John Williams evocative music. 



It occurs to me though that I'm really going to have to lay down my art practice over the next six months. My artwork imagines the art/viewer travelling through a waste land, the sort of land ruled by the fisher king; the mythical, wound leader. The king whose flaws caused his kingdom to fail and turn to ruin. I’m not particularly interested in illustrating the myth, the story- which is associated with King Arthur and the story of Percival – is a good starting point which I can twist and cherry pick and adapt, and add to. However the figure of the distant, remote, pained leader surveying his land, mulling over his failed attempt to rule it fascinates me. 

I can't help but draw visual comparisons with the tantalising Star Wars trailer that came out this week. The downed star destroyer and x-wing in the sprawling deserts of Tatooine is such a decrepit yet beautiful scene. The post imperial Galaxy, the failed attempt at democracy. The good intentions of the rebels gone to waste? What of the broken hooded figure with the mysterious metallic arm? Could Luke Skywalker be like Wolfram Von Eschenbach's dark and withdrawn Fisher King in Parcival? 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Art gives Teachers power. Exhibition of artist teachers at Menier Gallery





Giovana Soobrayen, 'Untitled', Free-machine embroidery Thread, water soluble fabric


Ella-Marie Fowler, 'Speculative design for an educational arts centre' lasercut plywood


Rebecca Stewart, "Paper round', recycled school paper


Luka Gatt, 'Landscaping the Classroom', Collage & embroidery


 Mark Curtis Hughes, 'Drifting too far from the Shore', Collage


Rachel Baum, 'The Power of Making' Wool Cotton


Lisa Waldron, 'Untitled', Projection on canvas


Adam Bainbridge, 'Liminal' Pencil on Paper


John Stewart, 'Frame' c-type print


Laura McLardy, 'Movement Instruction' Embroidery on fabric, table


Matilda Ratcliffe, 'Untitled' Mixed media on board


Giulia Serafini, 'The bigger Picture 1,2,3' graphite on paper


Hannah Maden, 'Kaleidoscope' Mixed media


Clara Cowan, 'Bridie & Alice' Silver gelatin print


James Russo, collection, coloured ink on paper


Mr Lamb, 'Untitled' Mixed media on plasterboard


Dominic Madden, 'Outsider' mixed media on board


Hannah Mansell, 'How do you make yourself...' cardboard, silicone, mirror


Lindsay West, 'School art record' Sound recording, wooden desk


Matthew Bush, 'Visual Analysis' Oil on canvas


Susannah Pal, Pencil on paper


Jessica MacNaughton, 'Nurture' fabric & plaster


Lucy Mellor, 'Untitled' Pen & ink

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Critical, curious and creative: art makes teachers powerful

Our exhibition at menier gallery in London opened yesterday and if I say so myself, it's looking really good. It's a group show of the current year of pgce art and design students at UCL institute of education. Here's some sneak peek images below...







Someone asked me the other day 'why does art make you powerful?'... It's much more intimidating than the abstract statement in our title. It reminded me of the last day of term when one of my year7s asked if I paint, and whether I could bring some of my paintings in to show the class.

Being able to impress pupils with your own practice- as an artist teacher- is one form of power, I suppose. But in the same way, it's very exposing and quite intimidating showing your work like that to a class. The pupils love it, but Its not an expression of artistic power by any means.

I think the power is more prominent in the way it is applied to learning. If you as a teacher have an ongoing practice it makes you question more, it sharpens your analytical skills and gives you a critical eye. Likewise, i've found that assessing pupils work has made me more critical of what i'm producing.

We see power in inquisitiveness. Problem solving and developing an idea. That translates from your own work into the classroom too when we think about working with limited resources or the medium that will best work in a particular situation.

Creativity is where i explore and develop my ideas and gives me a sense of freedom when i feel bogged down with various pressures. It's like being match fit too, if i'm making art i feel more able to talk about it and more confident in my personal development.



The exhibition runs until 11th April at Menier Gallery.