Visual art exhibitions and events with a platform for critical writing
Ideas? Technical issues?
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By: Julie Dodd
Ideas, planning, development, presenting, funding, etc
# 39 [26 September 2012]
It's been such a great day at the Royal. It's been the second of four workshops and it went down really well today. The waiting time for the patients was long and they were very pleased to have something to do. Lots of ivy made, in fact I'm running out of milk bottles now. The local pub has said they'll save me some so hopefully I'll have loads for next weeks workshop.
The attention to detail from some the patients was really good and some just had fun trying. Lots of people wanting to take the workshop out to others although I warned that children would struggle.
I loved that it really seemed to make a difference to some patients and was a great icy breaker for others who would sit chatting to one another whilst making the ivy.
# 38 [19 September 2012]
I had a cracking headache for my first day as resident artist at the Royal! It was a lovely morning though. As expected many patients weren't interested as they waited on their blood results but there was interest especially a little later in the morning and some ivy vines made for the installation, phew!!One lady was especially lovely, she was too anxious to make any artwork but was so enthusiastic and wanted to know everything about the project and the way the artwork was made. I really felt for her. Funnily the time spent with her still did what was intended by producing artwork. She seemed so much more relaxed when she was called for her appointment than when we first met her.
# 37 [18 September 2012]
I am starting a months residency on tomorrow in the waiting room of the Roald Dahl clinic at the Royal Liverpool Hospital for the Bluecoat Display Centre. during four workshops I'll be working with the public to finish the 'Invasive Ivy' I've started which will then go on display in the waiting room area.
This is some of what I wrote for my proposal:
I want to create a large hanging installation from HDPE plastic milk containers. I recently started working with these for a recycling workshop. I realised I could take the idea into my own practice by altering the design to produce a substantial and meaningful installation. I changed the pattern into ivy to allow me to voice my concern of how our actions impact on the environment. I would like to develop this project further by involving the public in the making.
The plastic is versatile and can be manipulated. It cuts quite easily without leaving sharp edges, it folds and bends and keeps its new shape quite well.
After washing and drying the milk container thoroughly I cut it, loosely following a pattern but not being concerned with any detail at this stage. I use up as much of the container as possible so there isn’t much waste. I then cut in the detail and fold in creases where needed.
The seeded ivy takes an hour or two to cut but the vines that are just covered in leaves only takes 20-30 minutes so I could lead different workshops according to the times available.
The pieces easily twist around one another to form a hanging installation. I would like to cover the whole of the allotted space if possible with the walls and ceiling being used to hang them from and where appropriate the work could trail onto the floor.
I knew some time ago that I had been accepted for the residency but didn't know my placement until recently. I imagine it's going to be quite difficult to engage people into making ivy with me whilst waiting on their blood test results as they may be anxious and it does take some concerntration but if they give it a go I find it's quite relaxing so it might even help them. We will see. I'm not going to write to much tonight because I'm still busy preparing templates, washing the milk containers etc.
I'll let you know how tomorrow goes when I get home.Wish me luck!
# 36 [9 August 2012]
The kids printed their second and third prints today. It was little more difficult today with some kids turning up that skipped yesterdays session. That's the problem with free workshops though isn't it, people don't feel like they have to turn up? So we had to work with kids at different stages, but it went fine and they have produced some really nice work especially the second and third ones because they understood the process more and what they could achieve.
# 35 [8 August 2012]
Screen-printing was lots of fun today. I haven't thought about doing screen-printing with kids as a workshop before just because of the control needed with a large groups, cleaning up successfully so the silk screen isn't ruined, drying the screen between usesetc. But the kids had a demo from Rachael and then they worked very sensibly. She printed two to each screen which helped a lot with cleaning and drying time and also the two kids helped each other clean up.
# 34 [7 August 2012]
I started working at the Williamson today. The workshop leader did some exercises with the kids to try and get them to loosen up their work and not to be worried with starting something, to just draw. I've seen and joined in these type of exercises before but it was fun and it did really help the kids. They didn't start printing today but have made some interesting drawings in preparation.
# 33 [5 August 2012]
The kids went home with some very funny looking trophies on Friday! The torches worked quite well though. I was worried that they wouldn't look like the torches as I had to shorten the template to save on card, but they worked fine.
I wasn't expecting to have to stand on stage and call out the kids names for certificates, that was nerve racking! It's over now though and I'm pleased that the week went well.
Next week I'm working at the Williamson art gallery but I'm only assisting the lead artist so the pressure is off me. We're going to be screenprinting, I can't wait, its ages since I've printed anything! I'm really excited and hopefully will pick up some tips on how to screenprint with kids.
# 32 [2 August 2012]
This week is pretty exhausting. I am so grateful that my daughter is helping, I'm not sure how I'd have managed without her. The year 11 helpers have been great but they need instruction most of the time so it's been really good that jade has got stuck in! Its been a good experience for her as well to give her some idea of what it would be like working with kids. So far she's said she's really enjoying it and would have done it for free... Damn! The trophies are finished, they haven't worked as well as I had hoped. Some of the recycled materials chosen don't fit well together and the tissuing could have had a neater finish on several of the trophies. I did a demo to show them how to just use little pieces and when I noticed anyone using pieces that where to large I told them and re-showed them but in the end I didn't want it all be too restricting and become a chore so decisions where left up to them with just suggestions made. I had thought this way they'd learn from their mistakes nad be able to understand how best to work on the torches later in the week but they all loved their finished pieces, ha ha. Its difficult with both groups having around 20 children in them but they all seem to be enjoying themselves.
The plaques have worked out well, a few to many with stars on, but hey that's what they wanted to do and I have spotted a few with nothing really on the front so I'll mention that to them tomorrow so they can finish them off when they've made their torches.
# 31 [31 July 2012]
I've been to busy to post on this blog but last weeks workshops went well, the industrial workshop was a hit with the kids although they all just wanted to make ships and I lost a few because they wanted to take them home. I can't blame them though, if I was a kid I'd want to take them home too.
I also had a day making Birkenhead market. Not as many children turned up to that one though, but the ones that did really enjoyed making the goods for their stalls.
On the final day the children and I set up a mini installation from the weeks work, this will be properly exhibited at the Williamson Art Gallery in September for them.
On Saturday I helped a friend with her workshop at the Comma shop. Her project is to fill the shop with Favelas http://www.a-n.co.uk/artists_talking/projects/single/2334156
I had such a lovely day with her and my daughter and husband couldn't resist a little go at making the favelas too.
Today i started working at the Summer School the school I work at runs. They wanted it to be olympic themed so we are making trophies, medals, plaques and Olympic torches. The children were great today but I'm so tired... I think I'm going to sleep well tonight.
# 30 [23 July 2012]
I'm working as a workshop leader as part of an outreach group for a pop up art project in the community. Today I was in Bentinck Street in Birkenhead. The kids were fantastic and some stayed at my table for the whole afternoon.
Today we made mainly residental buildings as part of the town we are building. Tomorrow the location has changed to Birchwood Close also in Birkenhead but I'm sure some of the same kids will come along. Tomorrow we're making the industrial part of town, with a ship yard, boats, cranes etc.
I graduated from a fine art degree course at Wirral Metropolitan College in 2009 , continuing my practice through a fellowship course during 2009-2010 also at Wirral Metropolitan College. I work as an art technician in a high school three days a week. My art practice is based in printmaking, bookmaking and installation work.