Building a Better World Creative Residency-Student Statements

The Building a Better World Creative Residency, has artist in residence Stefan Szczelkun at the fore, creator of the Working Press Archive. The residency is to explore the Working Press archive, books by and about working class artists, 1986-1996, and respond to the collection artistically. The Working Press, which contains correspondence, conference material, publicity, the published book collection (some annotated) and pamphlets and zines collected by Stefan, looks at  difficulties of marginalized groups being published, funding difficulties, and intersectionalities between class, gender, race, nationality and disability. The archive also questions what class actually is-what makes someone working class?

You can find an introduction to the archive is here

Below are examples of some student statements. Interviews from Susan and Tom are available here
Tom Ridgway, BA photography,Year1, inspired by a leaflet related to disability representation. In Class, Culture and Identity conference file
Archive Project : Mail Art asking for an image from childhood to subject
s to gain access to their stories and build an exhibiton.
Poor Dear [leaflet relating to disability],  a leaflet in the working press archive (WPA) was the trigger for my idea. Which developed through looking at reports about the͞
Life Beyond The Label exhibition (Colchester castle 2007-8) [looking at disability representation] into my exhibition of how we choose to represent our own identity by looking at childhood memories and upbringing, provided by people in response to a mail art request to a shortquestionnaire. This collection that I have gathered results into a display of prints with text as well as the combination of a book including documents and information gathered and collected from the subjects. The WPA is a truly amazing collection and has really inspired me with my own work. The extent and broad paths that things can be gathered from is mesmerising and it truly has confirmed the path I want to follow as my career [Archivist].
Tom GIF
Susan Merrick, MA Fine Art. Using the annotated Conspiracy of Good Taste book, and inspired by the themes of identity, language and power

During this residency I am responding to the Working Press archive as a whole. The substance of the archive is for me as important as the premise for it. I am considering some of the themes and issues raised by the artists who worked with and were represented by the Press and how we see these themes and issues today over twenty years later.

The main themes I am considering are Identity, Language and Power and the mediums I am choosing to use are photography and location specific performances.

Initially I am using a Facebook blog and Instagram to disseminate my photographs and my thoughts on the themes. I have created a gif for The Conspiracy of Good Taste and I am sending out two pieces of mail art as a live exhibition and will also show the pieces that I receive in return as part of the exhibition. I will also be using one of the photographs from my blog to create a life size cut out of myself as an installation piece reflecting the culmination of my residency. This piece will be used for the exhibition but I would also like to place it in some significant locations (probably in London) and photograph these. This will be a continuing work for me.

Reactivating the Working Press archives has in turn reactivated my own sense of identity and my acknowledgment of being a working class woman artist. There is much to discuss on the issue of class; relevance, fluidity, identification or stigma, limitations and freedom. But as any artist (in my opinion) needs to consider their own perceptions and where these come from, owning your own identity is a huge part of this. Twenty years on the Working Press has a great deal to offer artistically, academically and historically and the considerations of the writers in this Press need to be disseminated much further, especially in relation to Building a Better World.

Iana Mizguina, Photography , inspired by a pamphlet, Random Access Memory Raids
I GIf
My project is based on working with a ‘Random Access Memory Raids’ pamphlet found in Working Press archive. This is an agitational left wing booklet made by Conscious Collective in early 90s. My work would contain quotes and phrases from this pamphlet, as I find most of the messages still relevant nowadays. Text will be used as a part of collage, that will also include random screenshots made on my phone. Final images will be modified in Photoshop and replicate visual content that can be seen on any mobile phone screen. Images will be disturbed by certain phrases from the booklet, replacing original meaning with another. Final stream of images will be displayed as a digital slideshow and represent the on going search for truth. Also work will include QR code taking viewers to a link where images can be seen and possibly edited
Catinca Malaimare, Fine Art, inspired by Class, Myths and Culture book (published by Working Press)
In the work produced in response to the Working Press Archive I am referencing the illusion of glamour and the self-scrutiny it attracts as presented in 52 Glamour Cards (Class, Myths and Culture). Glamour is a form of visual persuasion, it is cultural and thus,
deceptive. Glamour, as visual activity, forces the eye into a compliant gaze constructed by repetition and the absence of it leaves the eye without purpose, forced into chaotic repetition.

Katharina Becker, Photography, inspired by Postcards from Poland

(published by Working Press)

Response to: Postcards from Poland by MARIA JASTRZEBSKA and JOLA SCINCINSKA

Kat

Your visual/conceptual strategy: Combining some bits of the text from the book ‘Postcards from Poland’ with images of Palestine and the current situation of occupation. Uncommented comparison between the two, how the texts strangely fits with the situation in Palestine (images). -> Text and Image

Display and dissemination strategy: Haven’t really decided on a way of presentation, I still have to experiment with different presentation types. I might print the images as postcards and put bits of the text on the back. I would also find it interesting to hear someone reading the text.

Your impressions, opinion and reaction to the Working Press Archive: I have never worked with an archive before, so it was very interesting for me to look through all the documents and to get access to a lot of different stories and opinions. It is a very sensitive and considered way of working. Making something new with something that is already there and to respond to it. Combining different opinions and perspectives.  Especially the book ‘Postcards from Poland’ which I am referring to in my project, really inspired me in many ways. It reminded me of my own family history and made me also think of the current situation in Palestine. It will be interesting to see how everyone activated or responded to the Working Press Archive. And the fact that it will grow even more through this workshop is amazing.

Yomi, Illustration

Posters from the anticopyright Flyposter book from the archives, which I used as a visual resource,inspires the image on the t-shirts.

When I was working on Creative Writing for my illustration I was looking a
t different film genres with the visual scenery from Classic film from the 1950s.
People may assume the solder is a man but I have used a silhouette, which could be
any gender or nationality.The solitary word “story” invites the viewer to decide what the image actually means.
Annie and Elodie, Photography
Inspired from records from the Class, Culture and Identity conference, related to middle class, working class mothers, they produced a performance piece, related to multiple identities
P1090597
 Rebekah Taylor, Archivist & Special Collections Officer

Building a Better World – Day 4, 5, 6

The Building a Better World Creative Residency, has artist in residence Stefan Szczelkun at the fore, creator of the Working Press Archive. The residency is to explore the Working Press archive, books by and about working class artists, 1986-1996, and respond to the collection artistically. The Working Press, which contains correspondence, conference material, publicity, the published book collection (some annotated) and pamphlets and zines collected by Stefan, looks at  difficulties of marginalized groups being published, funding difficulties, and intersectionalities between class, gender, race, nationality and disability. The archive also questions what class actually is-what makes someone working class?

You can find an introduction to the archive is here

The last three days of the residency involved further research, in terms of which part of the archive students were responding to. It also involved, where relevant, the digitisation of the item. Students were introduced to the UCA Digitisation Unit, and scanning equipment  for archival material.

Stefan also undertook a short talk, highlighting the relevancy of class today, and drawing attention to different articles, such as the BBC article ‘Construction workers win payouts for “blacklisting”‘ and articles relating to boarding schools and leaders. Relevant music related to class can be heard here

Students also undertook a GIF workshop with one of the participants, looking at how to bring the archive and their work to life
This included an animated GIF by Fine Art student Susan Merrick of Stefan’s book
Susan GIF

 

Students have now produced work, and/or and are on the way to producing work

Two of the students videos about the creative residency are available here

Tom screenshot

Results of the project mean:

  • Students now have explored ways of using art within the archives, and have work to showcase for their CV
  • Learned about different ways to present work GIFs
  • As a result of the project the archives have 2 volunteers, one of which is interested in becoming an archivist
  • Students have learned more about aspects of class and activism, and explored how understanding of the past can contribute to the present

Next steps include:

  • Creating a pamphlet, including quotes from the students
  • Developing an exhibition of the work

 

Rebekah Taylor, Archivist & Special Collections Officer

Stour Valley Arts Archive at UCA

We have been fortunate enough to acquire the fantastic archive of Stour Valley Arts, now located at the library of UCA Rochester.

Stour Valley Arts was a public arts organisation primarily operating in Ashford, Kent. It
commissioned a range of public art works in King’s Wood, engaging the public in art through the context of the ancient woodlands, operated by the Forestry Commission.

The collection spans some 22 years of work up until 2015. It contains information regarding the commissioning of exhibition projects, where artists
being commissioned include UCA lecturers, past and present.

Material includes visitor books, publicity, educational material, funding bids, trustee minutes, business plans, photographs, documentation on construction of exhibition, and objects designed from the exhibition. The collection has particular strengths in relation to public arts and art development within East Kent.

 

Cataloguing is currently commencing, and will be made available on our online catalogue. We look forward to blogging about different aspects of this exciting archive!

 

Make Believe Series 7

Re-shaping the Art School archive

Alumni Faith Cannon, Fine Art, has been working with the Canterbury archives to look at how it can be used in art today

Images from a sculpture show at Canterbury, 1989-1990

Images from a Sculpture Show at Canterbury, 1989-90

On starting this project using the UCA archive, it has made me aware of the potential collaboration with other Alumni artists from the past, and the possibilities for students today to use resources which are at their fingertips. Sometimes when you’re on a course you get so tied up with producing work and researching you forget that others have done this before – not just the famous artist, photographer, architect- but previous students. They can be an untapped resource to the artists block, a curatorial presentation or that planning for that ever looming Degree Show!

I thought I would give you a little taster of some the items I have photographed and how I have made new work from those early images. There are possibilities for others to get involved with our collaboration to heighten the use of the archival material.

New collage of past images

New collage of past images

Images from a Degree Show Into the Unknown 2007. New collage of past images from the archive.

Images from a Degree Show Into the Unknown 2007. New collage of past images from the archive.

This Catalogue was of a really high standard and would be of interest to the 3rd year students who may be planning their own shows this year. Please take a look as it is your moment to have some super images of your work.

Canterbury archive

The archives have such a creative depth of ideas to aid your own practice and development. I decided to invite others to get involved to see how they would use the past material. We asked the question ‘How could we promote the use of the archives?’ We used a mind map to channel ideas.

 

Mind map 3Mind map 4Mind map 2Mind map 1

 

This drew many interesting possibilities. One artist wanted to do a poster to promote the archives, another sketched the shapes into a design, others photographed details and images that fitted with their own practice. I decided to research one catalogue to see how long it would be until I found a person I knew, as this followed my own practice of continuum and connections. I researched some of the artists to see if after 25 years how their practice had changed. This drew me to look at the materials, processes and how they had evolved. I decided to sketch some of the images to see how the 3D sculpture would have been seen in a 2D form. Those initial ideas that artist create from pen on paper.

This collaboration between the past/present drew me to experiment with the images to see how I could manipulate them to create something new, and the research aspect fuelled the connections element of my practice – and there amongst the archives I found someone I knew!

 

Created by Faith Cannon and other contributors

Jo Robinson

Colin Pratt

Many Quy-verlander

 

 

Re-thinking the body- new work inspired by UCA archive: the process

In September 2015, along with Senior Lecturer for Photography co-curated an exhibition,Senior Lecturer for Photography, on Sexual Identity and Photography in the Herbert Read Gallery, UCA Canterbury. This was a exhibition that took a year within the planning. During this time my experience on liaising with artists, marketing, budget managing, organising artists events, gave me the confidence to plan my first solo curated exhibition, albeit on a smaller scale.

This led to Re-thinking the Body: New works inspired by UCA Archive, Farnham, Elaine Thomas Library – for both Disability History Month in November and for Explore Archives

ExhibitionI was inspired to undertake this exhibition by attending Tower Hamlets ‘Out of the Box’ event. Out of the Box ‘invited disabled people and artists from East London to take the lead in bringing archives ‘out of the box’, exploring them and asserting their own personal local histories. Through a series of workshops, participants followed a personal research journey into the council’s heritage collections, engaging with sound and oral history, handwritten archives on parchment, newspapers, painting and photographs.’ The event they organised brought me into contacting with research that had been done of disability in museums and galleries. It may me think on how disability was reflected in our archives – and how we could bring this to life, which we have the potential to do in our creative community. I am also aware from alumni magazines we collect on many examples of artists working on the theme of disability. Dyslexia and creativity also often go together, and as someone with a specific learning disability (dyslexia and dyspraxia) this is a subject close to my heart.

From this I developed a proposal, alongside deadlines- put a call out for new artworks to be produced by students, inspired by our collections. I aimed for 8 students. This could be on any theme on the body, including mental health. This call out was open to both disabled and non-disabled students. I was also interested in looking at participants experiences with working with disabled communities – for example one of our participants worked with the deaf community as an interpreter – both inside and outside at the same time. As this would be voluntary for students – extra-curricular – I also spoke to lecturers to ensure that they were able to send the details out – to gage interest. The galleries refined the statement for me and sent the call out around to all students.

I had selected material in advance – including material from the Tessa Boffin archive, looking at photography and sexuality, particularly the LGBT community, and the Working Press, books by and about working class artists 1986-1996, looking at getting marginalised groups published. I also selected haunting photographs from our institutional archives. As participants from other campuses were invited to join in (we are on a 4 campus university) I also put digital images online.

I was happy with the immediate interest I had – as soon as the call out was out, I had 5 responses within a week. Students came from a different levels – BA and MA, and courses were Fine Art, Illustration, and Ceramics. We spoke to the students about their interest and was able to gage types of material to showcase. I did have interest from other campuses, but did not have worked produced from other campuses – I feel that although they had access to digital images, the human touch was particularly important.

Some students chose to use actual images from the archive looking at ways to interpret – including Joslyn Hobbis’, Fine Art, work ‘Different-not less’, looking at invisible disabilities, which used an image from our institutional collections. Setting up exhibition 31Or Allison Inwards, Illustration, ‘Origins’, which explored the female body image, linking to areas such as suffragettes. Allison used the Tessa Boffin archive, and the Working Press archive

Setting up exhibition 32Other students looked at motifs in the archive, such as the themes of ‘labels’ or labelling’, Ceramics

Kim Cruickshank-Inns work 'Welcome'

Kim Cruickshank-Inns work ‘Welcome’

Students such as Daire Lawlor, Illustration, used material from the Tessa Boffin archive as a ‘launchpad’ for inspiration, to explore medical history, depression. Tessa Boffin directly related due to her work around AIDS as early as the 1980s

Daire

Susan Merrick, Fine Art, used themes such as fear, and ideas of power to inspire her work, which can be found in the Working Press archive. This inspired her to look at themes of people within power through history

Setting up exhibition 30

Madeline Sparrow, Fine Art, looked at the ideas of communication with her braille piece

Setting up exhibition 24

We had 6 student submissions and the exhibition was set up with brilliant Gallery assistants – we were able to discuss in which order the pieces should be hung (for example which images matched in themes, how did they complement colour wise) how the pieces should be hung (magnets – non obtrusive!) the placing of the vinyl. The labels saying words such as ‘kindness’, were attached to the tables with museum resin. I also got technical help with the television screens.

DSC_0627 DSC_0630 DSC_0631 DSC_0632 DSC_0635 DSC_0642 DSC_0644 DSC_0648 DSC_0650 DSC_0652 DSC_0654 DSC_0657 DSC_0659-2 DSC_0661

Take a look at our flickr album of the exhibition here

I have arranged an artist’s event to happen on the 24th where the artists will have the opportunity to talk about their work.

The display has also been highlighted to the Equality and Diversity Group at UCA.

I’m very pleased with how everything looks, and the comments that i’ve captured about the exhibition. The enthusisatic response I have got from students is incredibly encouraging especially as it is extra-curricular! I’m particularly interested in opening up responses for both disabled and non disabled people who work in various communities. Something definitely I will be developing further…

Rebekah Taylor

Archivist & Special Collections Officer

Re-thinking the body: Artist’s Event

Re-thinking the body: Artist’s Event
New work inspired by UCA’s archive
November – December 2015
Elaine Thomas Library

Private view and artists’ event

Artists’ event on Tuesday 24th November 18:00 Elaine Thomas Library. Talks from exhibiting artists followed by a drinks reception

Re-thinking the body consists of work by postgraduate and undergraduate students imaginatively responding to our collections on ways that disability has been represented and (mis)understood in society and culture

Madeline Sparrow, MA Fine Art

Susan Merrick, MA Fine Art

Allison Inwards, BA Illustration

Daire Lawlor, BA Illustration

Joslyn Hobbis, BA Fine Art

Kim Cruickshank-Inns, BA Ceramics

There will also be a display of archival and library material in the reading room

The event is free but let us know if you are coming by booking tickets here

Setting up exhibition 25 Setting up exhibition 24 Exhibition set up Setting up exhibition 26

Exhibition set up in process

Animation Archive Drop In Sessions

The Animation Archive at Farnham, UCA is holding monthly drop in sessions for interested individuals to explore the vast wealth of material in the animation archives they hold. This includes the animation of Bob Godfrey, behind Henry’s Cat and Roobarb and Custard.

This has been advertised on online Animation Magazine Skwigly 

BOB Godfrey Archives cropped

This will be held between February-May 2014 between the hours of 12:00 – 17:00 at UCA Farnham on the following dates:

25th February

5th and 12th March

2nd, 16th, and 22nd of April

7th, 14th and 21st  May

Please email Rebekah Taylor, Archivist, at rtaylor8@ucreative.ac.uk for more information and/or to indicate your interest. If you are unable to attend any of these sessions, we will be able to look at alternative arrangements. These sessions are in addition to normal access.

The Bob Godfrey, and animation archives contain the pre-production, production and post-production records behind the Animation films.

Rare Book of the Month, November 2013

November’s Rare Book is, as you can imagine from the title, is a beautifully illustrated tome:

The Art of Illuminating as Practised in Europe from the Earliest Times

The book was published in London on 2nd April 1860 by Day & Son, Lithographers to the Queen (that would be Victoria).

At the beginning of the book there is an essay and instructions by M. Digby Wyatt, Architect, entitled The Art of Illuminating: what is it, what is should be and how it may be practised.

Part I of the essay is a detailed reference guide to the history and use of illumination from the Roman’s creation and use of parchment and black and red ink, through the work of mediaeval monks and other scribes, to the 17th Century where illumination began to die out due to the growing popularity and use of the printing press.

Part II gives guidance on the practical side of illuminating. What is to be decorated, eg. vellum, canvas, plaster, wood, how to design an illumination including scale, style and the harmony of colouring of the letters and ornament and how to apply the art to different surfaces. A selection of ‘Legends’ (suitable wording depending on location of the illumination) are also included and make for fascinating reading: Page 61 suggests “For Supper-Rooms: As men do walk a mile, women should talk an hour after supper: ’tis their exercise.” (Armstrong, Art of Preserving Health)

Part III discusses processes and application eg ‘How a picture is ornamented in books with tin and saffron’ Page 73 and a fascinating and comprehensive chapter on ‘Ink’ Page 75.

There are 99 beautiful colour plates, with examples of illustrated borders, initial letters and alphabets from the 6thto the 14th Century, selected and chromolithographed by W.R. Tymms.

Not only is this tome a history of illumination but is also a practical guide on how to create your very own illuminated art work in the most traditional of ways.

This book would most definitely be of interest to fine artists and illustrators.

It is available in the Rare Books Collection in Farnham UCA Library.

 

Image

Inspiration for Animation: Artists and the Archive

On the 16th November Farnham Public Library is hosting a workshop, Inspiration for Animation: Artists and the Archive. Through the Bob Godfrey Archive, Britain’s first winning animator, located at UCA Farnham, this will explore how artists can use archival material in their own practice.

http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/events/waverley/inspiration-for-animation-workshop-artists-and-the-archive-at-farnham-libraryImage

 For more information about Bob Godfrey please see here http://community.ucreative.ac.uk/article/40801/Bob-Godfrey-Archive

 Tickets are £10 and must be booked in advance either online through the Surrey Libraries events page www.surreycc.gov.uk/libraries, at any Surrey Library or by telephoning 01483 543599

Online Archives Catalogue

UCA’s online Archives Catalogue is now available here http://bit.ly/1aT5xAw

Search across unique material looking at the design processes within the arts, themes within the arts, including gender stereotyping, poltics and propaganda, and the social history of art.

Collections include the six former Art Schools and, further mergers, the institutional archives of UCA, the Tessa Boffin Archive, LGBT Photographer, and David Birch, landscape painter, illustration work. Work is also commencing on cataloguing the Bob Godfrey Archive, Britain’s first oscar winning animator, and the Diagram Group, Graphic Designers, working since the 1960s

online catalogue