In tutorials with my students we often discuss scale. Many of them are afraid of trying to work large and usually feel more comfortable painting and making on a smaller scale. In this blog post I will show you 3 exciting textile artists and their installations – pieces that exploit the possibilities of textiles on a very large scale.
Phyllida Barlow’s work has been seen throughout the UK recently — at the Hepworth as part of the inaugural sculpture prize, and filling Tate Britain’s Duveen Gallery and Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket. Her work is on show until late November in the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Much of the work on display in Venice speaks of migration, ethnicity, and post-colonialism — I’ll cover this in other posts — but Barlow has produced a work that is concerned with traditional sculptural concerns: space, weight, scale, and so on.
Undertaking live graphic design projects are a great way of testing your creativity in a real world situation. It can give your design confidence a boost, being asked to produce something in the first place, being listened to as a designer, seeing your work being used and circulated, and being paid for your efforts.
Truman Capote described Venice as ‘like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go’. That counts double when you’re trying to absorb a lot of art as well as admire the place. This is the third time I’ve visited the Biennale and the first time I’ve done so outside of Press Week. Frankly it was a relief to spend time looking at the work and not searching for free food and/or Prosecco.
Presenting your work to an unsuspecting public is an interesting challenge. You find that strangers arrive at your door and the responsibility of explaining your work effectively to them is all part of the process. An enthusiastic approach pays dividends and in effect the artist is learning on the job through the triple tasks of making, promoting and selling their work.
I was about to start a three-year academic commitment. In applying to be part of the Open College of the Arts 2014 cohort for Europe’s first distance part time Masters in Fine Art, I had signed up to deadlines and being a student again: a proper one (not the kind who says they are a ‘student of life’ and winks in an alarming way). I’d have an NUS card, discounts in Top Shop and more two-for-one pizzas than I could ever consume . What else would I learn? What had I to gain?
If you could meet your favourite creative practitioner, what would you ask them? Work-related learning, such as visits to studios, conversations with practitioners, or more involved relationships through live projects and placements, all offer direct ways to help inform your knowledge and understanding of your discipline.
Saturday morning at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art was the time and place for the Open College of the Arts study visit to the Joan Eardley ‘A Sense of Place’ exhibition. With fourteen students this was a well-attended event, the participants being attracted to an exhibition that focused on drawing and painting enhanced by photographic and archival documentation of the period.