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By: Rosie Kearton
B.A. (Hons) Fine Art - part time
I am a mature student in my 60's with a background in the arts. I have previously completed 4 years part time at Leeds College of Art and transfered to Plymouth last year to complete the final 2 years (equivalent to 1 year full time). I am now in my final year and my degree show will be in June 2012
# 17 [22 June 2012]
This will be my last post here - THE GRAND FINALE (the opening of my degree show) was last Friday and I have spent the last week oscillating between relief at having finished and sadness that it has finally come to an end. I started this degree 7 years ago - a 6 year part time course with one year out when I moved from Leeds down to Plymouth. It has become part of my life so the transition to not studying will be strange - I have it in the back of my mind to maybe do an MA in a couple of years (am i mad?) - we'll see - but for now I am keen to get my art practice established - I will miss the feedback and support of my peers and tutors, the group and individual tutorials and hope I can find some kind of substitute structure. Writing a blog has been really valuable and rewarding and so I will be moving over to Artist's Talking to continue this as part of my practice - as this is my last post on Degrees Unedited I would like to thank everyone who has commented especially Richard who has given me 'food for thought' on several occasions.
My degree show was an installation which I titled 'It hung over the bed' - a forensic investigation. I presented the scraped painting on an easel with a magnifying glass/lamp. I included a work table of tools and instruments, a chair with white coat, a shelf with a collection of the residue pigment in 6 glass bottles and fragments from the framing. It also included a wall of photographs, details of the painting and I think this was the weakest part of the installation. I made 50 paper boats and placed one of my business cards in each one for visitors to take away. The blog book of the artist collaboration was displayed with my professional portfolio.
On reflection I think my degree show was too busy and that I needed to edit it even more - but this will give me something to think about in terms of how I present this work in the future - I don't feel I have quite finished with it yet....................
# 16 [2 June 2012]
The technician has finished changing my space - the window has gone and the wall exposed
The slide projection will go behind the partition - that light has to go!!
Paul, a 2nd year student helper has made a lovely job of boxing in the radiator so I now have an extra shelf for ???...........it's exciting to wonder how my installation will fit in the new space.
I have been busy up and down the ladder filling gaps in the boards and between the walls and ceiling and I'm exhausted! Then there's the painting!
# 15 [21 May 2012]
I was so surprised and happy to receive one of the runner up prizes for writing this blog - I hadn't even realised there was a competition. So a big thank you to A.N and to Great Art.
Now it's the countdown to the degree show. Today I moved into the space I've been allocated and have 2 weeks to get the space looking like I want it - which entails some building of partitions, blocking the window, making a narrower entrance and painting etc. the one technician has 77 students all wanting some kind of work done and all I can do is wait in the queue - meantime getting on with filling the space between the ceiling and wall and polyfilling and painting the back and right hand wall. I don't think I will be able to start thinking about the installation until the beginning of next week. Our assessment is 6-8 June but there is a 4 day holiday weekend prior to that when no university help is available so we've been told it's better to think of the deadline as Friday 1 June!
I'm feeling more chilled tonight because I've ticked 2 things off my to do list:
My professional portfolio is finished - although I have a website I've taken this opportunity to make a book of my work during the past 6 years - actually I started the degree course 7 years ago but took a year out when I moved down to the south west and went travelling in Australia - so this degree has become part of my life and it will seem very strange to have finished it!
I have made an 18 min video as part of my installation and today I got the media technician to help me loop it on a DVD so it will just constantly play during the exhibition - I'm glad I got help as it was really techie stuff in Final Cut and some compression software - It all went over my head!
I intend recording the preparation process during the next 2 weeks here on my blog as it will really help with the self evaluation we have to write for the assessment
So all in all a good start and a good day!
# 14 [14 April 2012]
The catalogue for the degree show is being collated by Tom Smith - the student decision was to make a book in postcard format with a 50-100 word statement on the back - the postcards will form the catalogue and perforated on the side so they can be removed. I have chosen this image for my postcard with the following statement
‘It starts with embarrassment and ends with hope’
A forensic investigation of an oil painting I made 50 years ago!
I am a collector of ‘seemingly’ mundane found or discarded objects’, that hold a personal fascination. My artistic practice often feels like a search into the past in order to create associations that illuminate the present. I examine these objects through drawing, printmaking, photography, projection, and installation. The processes and materials that I use are chosen for their strength to convey a message, and as a catalyst for igniting debate'
I have included my website and blog address.
# 13 [2 April 2012]
'it starts with embarrassment and ends with hope'
I've just been watching Damien Hirst 'The First Look' on TV - an interview about his forthcoming exhibition at Tate Modern and I've pinched (in the spirit of his art) this quote about his show, for my degree show project 'Painting in the attic', in June. I've been scraping away more paint, filming myself working, taking samples, collecting relevant information and thinking about the presentation of this 'forensic investigation'. Last week I had the opportunity to book a space for 4 days at at the university studios in Royal William Yard, Plymouth. My tutor, Phil Power, held a seminar for the group on Wednesday and I got some excellent positive feedback.
I set up the space with a trestle table, a working space with my tools for scraping and examinging the painting which includes a microscope and slides. An easel with the 50 year old oil painting undergoing a removal of the oil pigment and a magnifying lamp.
On the floor was the original frame and a 'contemporary' response to the work - overlaid monotype prints, 6 mirror tiles and a paper boat made from a used envelope - this response to the original painting was as if it had fallen out from the original frame and remade itself 50 years later with the work I am now involved in - it was a spontaneous response while working in the space and trying out my ideas for the installation. The rest of the paper boats (50 in total) I have been making were huddled in the corner rather like a safe harbour! Not sure what to make of this as it took me by surprise when I placed them there.
On the opposite wall I put up a shelf of test tubes and perspex boxes containing fragments and pigment scrapings - I intend classifying these and labelling them for viewers to make sense of - only they probably won't make much sense (only to me!)
Finally I projected a film of me working on the painting on the wall to the right of the easel painting. The sound was the most interesting - a perpetual loud scraping noise - one of my tutors has suggested I concentrate on presenting only the sound and not the projected images - so more work to do as I don't know much about sound installation.
I feel a lot less anxious now I've tried out my ideas - it was really exhilarating to get them out of my head and into a concrete, visual form.
# 12 [22 January 2012]
I've had a really good day at university today - it was an art exchange day when we got to work in the studios and get feedback from other students and all the fine art lecturers. It was initiated in an attempt to encourage students to fill in the National Student Survey but it has resulted in the lecturers taking on board our enthusiasm for it to happen more often. It was particularly important for us part timers as we don't get a studio space and consequently it is rare to see anything other than a small work, images on laptops or a journal from other students. We were given a space for the day and I worked on my 'painting in the attic' - moving it on a step further - you can read more about this project on a previous post on 18 Dec last year.
I have made the decision to carry out a forensic investigation of the 'man in a boat - painting in the attic' by scraping away the oil paint to reveal....... well who knows!
What will remain is a trace I hope - just like the trace that's left, of that 16 year old girl, me, who painted it fifty years ago! I am collecting the pigment that I take away in a matchbox.
It is a very meditative process and will take me a long time as the painting is 60 cms square. But the process feels right for the work - peeling back the years to see what fragments and traces of memory remain. A narrative is forming, part truth/part fiction and I can envisage a performance piece coming from this contemplative practice - maybe this will form part of my degree show? It feels an exciting place to be - a place of discovery and not really knowing what is going to happen next! I had very positive feedback from four lecturers and a number of students - it just makes all the difference when you get external verification of your work - I have been working away and rather doubting the process but now I know I am on the right track! It was suggested that I film myself working on the painting, so next weekend I will get hold of a camcorder and make a start.
Over the weekend you will find me scraping away in my studio for a few hours a day at least!
# 11 [3 January 2012]
Art Intentions 2012
There's no escaping them if I publish them here! (Based on a 5 day working week) and in no particular order..............
Complete Fine art degree in June
Take part in the Leeds International Artist's Book Fair in March
A photograph a day - this is today's a tiny feather on the beach - plus a new blog header image!
A drawing a day (doodles acceptable) - this is my sea drawing with a new Pentel brush pen I've never used before - I rather like it but the marks are very different to my usual pen/pencil so I need to practice.
A studio practice structure to the week which is flexible to allow for good walking days!
A weekly blog post
An end of day reflection, what's worked, not worked and things to do tomorrow.
Read one art book a month
Visit at least one exhibition a month
Submit work to at least 4 exhibitions during the year
Review this list quarterly to keep on track
I'd love to hear all your intentions for the year ahead - wishing you all many creative adventures in 2012!
# 10 [30 December 2011]
This is my entry for a drawing exhibition on the theme of SPEED in Artspace at Plymouth University in January 2012. I found the brief quite hard but then remembered this photograph and it seemed to sum up my attitude towards the digital age and the difficulties of keeping up with technology - 'running with the light' so to speak!!
This is the brief
We live in a fast-paced world Everything seems to move more rapidly all the time. Things happen more quickly, we move about more quickly and life changes more quickly than it did in previous generations. Many, if not all, aspects of the society we live in – transportation, technology, media, scientific discovery, even the rate at which cultural trends recycle themselves – are affected by this apparent speeding up of life. How do artists respond to this? By meeting it head on, jumping into the stream? Or by slowing down, standing to one side to observe and reflect from a distance as the pace of life increases. Is it as simple as that, as adopting one position or the other?
Technically it's not a drawing of course but I feel that the camera is an extension of the hand and can be used much like a pencil - what do you think? How would you respond? Perhaps you could post something on your blog? I'd love to hear your comments. My intention is to enlarge it as near to the maximum size specified for the exhibition 50cms x 70cms - I will have to take some advice on this as I'm never sure of image enlargements - so much technical information to learn these days!! Happy New Year to everyone! Wishing you many creative adventures in 2012
# 9 [18 December 2011]
Fifty years ago I painted this (an oil painting on hardboard) ...... I am not a painter, it was something I did at school - now I work with found objects and in a sense this is a found object much like the slide transparencies that I have been working with! When my father died a few years ago the painting came back to me and has remained wrapped up in storage. It's a strange feeling unlocking things from the past.........
I am wondering where that girl who painted this has gone? I don't remember painting it at all! It must have been from an illustration in a magazine or book! Why the man in a boat? It's a mystery! So it's about things lost and forgotten rather than memory - a kind of mourning for lost youth maybe!
Is this my next project? - I have taken the first step and attempted to clean it up - the background has yellowed considerably during the years it hung in my parent's house (they were both smokers) - the photograph hides the yellowing which is interesting. I'm not sure where I'm going with it yet.
I have propped it up in the studio and will live with it there for a while and see what happens!
# 8 [3 July 2011]
FAILURE IS A SUCCESS!
Can you believe it - today I heard that my dissertation project on FAILURE got a FIRST - not only that but the University has asked me for a copy for their archive. I am over the moon - not least because of the 22 artists who supported the project with their artwork - I will be contacting you all separately of course but meantime thank you so much for submitting work because without you all it would indeed have been a FAILURE. This failure thing is complicated! But I have rather fallen in love with the subject and I'm definitely not finished with FAILURE yet!
If you have missed the previous posts on Failure you can find them in April posts
I am interested in exploring the mystery of our existence revealed through our relationship with the world and the marks we leave behind and in developing a visual vocabulary for these life experiences.
I am a collector of ‘seemingly’ mundane objects that hold a personal fascination. My artistic practice feels like a forensic investigation of historical fragments; a search of the past in order to create associations that illuminate the present. The materials I use are chosen for their strength to convey a message and I incorporate found and discarded objects whenever possible to support my concern with environmental issues.