30.10.13 - Pop-up Shop design work

Since discussing briefly the opportunity to produce some work for this pop up shop and with my recent meet with Rob Ryan, I have decided to take it upon myself and produce a Rob Ryan inspired collection entitled "A moment to share" I am planning to develop these into screen prints and have them printed onto tea towels, making a wonderful hand crafted Christmas gift. I will keep you all posted with any further design work and once they have been printed. I may decide to produce some paper cuttings but these will be limited 1/1. Anything I design will be Limited edition, printed in a series of block colours and available only at the Pop up shop in Southend-on-Sea.

26.10.13 - Meeting Rob Ryan

Anyone who has followed/ read/ come across my blog, or who knows me remotely well, will know my absolute love for the work of Rob Ryan, he is my creative idol. Having studied his work made up of intricate paper cuttings, harmonious screen prints and inspirational literature, I have collected a large amount of his books, visited many shows and collections and generally get excited about everything that comes out of Ryan Town! in fact the only thing that I am missing is an original piece of Rob Ryan work (Rob if you ever read this??). 

So you can only but imagine the expression of my face when finding out on twitter that not only was Rob releasing his new book "The invisible kingdom" but also going to be carrying out a book signing! "a chance to meet Rob, say no more". Now I often hear about local celebs doing book signings and people queuing for hours but! artists aren't like celebs! they hide away in their creative dens and very rarely show their faces to the public, for this reason alone, I was to make Saturday my mission to meet the inspirational Rob Ryan. The event was based at Sims reed gallery in Green park buried amongst various sculpture showrooms and rare bookshops, the perfect setting. The book had only been published and launched 2 days prior to the signing and so those turning up to event had no idea what was in store for them. The team had taken over the gallery space showcasing some of robs new work from his recent collection "There is only time' adding again another reason to attend.  

Well I met Rob, had a little chat about how I am his biggest fan, and I took the opportunity to get my entire collection signed! One of Robs team members noticed me in the line, books stacked high in my arms and quoted "I don't think anyone is going to beat you today! well that's what I like to hear, I think he was impressed. I have only read a few pages of the invisible kingdom so far which is part of a trilogy series Rob is working towards. I just want to say Thank you Rob Ryan, you mad my day!

24.10.13 - 360 Exhibition [private view]

The 360 exhibition opened its doors to the college and general public last night showcasing a range of outcomes from the students on the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. For the last 4 weeks these students have experienced an unraveling fast pace delivery service consisting of a rotation around multiple specialist subjects. Each week involved a new brief, new subject and a new body of work that could influence their ideas thinking forward to pathway choices. The work featured in the exhibition is dynamic and diverse, but none the less refreshing and exciting.  Some students primarily focused on one particular pathway, others attempted to combine and harvest a mixture of two. Despite the sheer time constraints and pressure on both them and us, all students produced a piece of work, installed and exhibited within 1 week! 

The exhbition had a great atmosphere with weird and wonderful house music in the background and a grand opening view of a series of construed and modified garments that really caught the focus of the night. As well a flat work featuring digital/ handmade graphics and printmaking work, there was sculpture work, live performance, a collection of monographs and books and an installation room capturing video work and photographic outcomes. The exhibition didn't slow down nor feel quiet at any point with the doors closing just after 8pm and having to ask people to leave "this is what we strive for, and this is what we got". 

A great foundation to the course and level of the students, they should be more than inspired to realize what they are able to achieve "the standard has been officially set'. We have also had some really good news with marketing in that they wish to make a promotional video on the students and feature them working in the gallery alongside their work. This is a great opportunity for again the students experience and to expose just how strong they are. For us as a course team, it is another chance to heavily promote the success of the course we have built. 

On another high, I have had some recent discussions with a colleague who is working with the BA fashion students and who wishes to feature some of the work in her pop up shop coming to Southend-on-Sea at the end of November. The students will be able to produce additional work and have an opportunity to sell this, not only promoting themselves as young designers but potentially earning some bonus cash in time for Christmas (this opportunity has also been handed out to staff, so time to get creative). 

The 360 exhibition closes Monday 4th November and if you want to find out any more information about the UAL Level 4 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design click here. Below are a few examples of what is on display.

18.10.13 - The Big Draw

A massive thank you once again to all those who participated, viewed and supported us during The Big Draw! We are currently filling in an application form to be put forward for an award "fingers crossed" Here is what our very own marketing department had to say about us.  THE BIG DRAW

13.10.13 - Sound of the week

Although this has not been played in the studio yet, this has been abused by myself over the last few weeks via you tube. This weeks sound come from Scrufizzer with his song "Kick it". It has a Dizzee Rascal/ boy better know new garage vibe and is incredibly catchy. It was first heard on soccer Am and I look forward to seeing the response this gets in the studio.

12.10.13 - Victoria Miro & Parasol Unit

Two very exclusive and hidden gems were uncovered this weekend with my first ever visit to the Victoria Miro gallery and the uncovering of the Parasol unit. On route between Angel and Old street these two open warehouse galleries feature magnificent spaces, white walls, polished concrete floors and an original timber warehouse roof. Although two separate galleries they are next door and the building is looked upon as one. The building also has a garden that although weather granted wasn't the most graceful experience this weekend, on a good day you could spend an hour or two there.

The Victoria Miro was showcasing Idris Khan's third solo show entitled "Beyond the black"  A show that featured Khans extensive approach to dealing with black on black, producing work on large aluminum panels with black pigment. His work focuses on repetition of text, taken previously from references and writings from the likes of Agnes Martin & Jean-Paul Satre, however his new found pieces incorporated his own writing, stamped excessively on top of one another until a mountain of black in shade covers the panels. Khan's work discloses the underlining aspect of "birth of tragedy" as a theme and his large painting truly surface that both in scale and colour. It made me think about Damien Hirst "Black sun" with the dominance and use of black to adsorb the audience. I have been looking to forward to seeing his work in the flesh with a new vis com project "White" that I will be delivering next term deals with similar aspects. Idris Khan will be a great reference into dealing with one colour outcomes and how one can communicate that to an audience. 

The Parasol unit featured the work and extensive collection of "Siah Armajani" with his show "An ingenious would". Siah Armajani is internationally renowned for his work relating to American architecture, focusing on structure IE bridges, openings and general forms that question the appropriation of space. The gallery not only had some of his most iconic works on display but upstairs featured a luxury model room, showcasing Siahs's 68 piece collection. These models were a reflection of studio processes and development, built out of card, matchsticks and balsa wood. By studying each you were able to delve into the artists head embracing the thoughts on balance, angles and overall emotion that his work inhabited. 

I'm very glad to have come across this little unit and look forward to seeing what else they have to offer in the new year. The Victoria Miro gallery is one of three spread across London, each with a different exhibition on show. I believe this could be my next journey.

12.10.13 - Islington Contemporary Art & Design fair (Casabi Designs)

This weekend I shot up on the tube to Islington to visit my old work colleague and designer friend Chloe Smith aka Casabi designs who had her impressive range of contemporary glassware on display for sale. Chloe has been producing innovative and creative glass concepts since graduating from Loughborough University a few years ago, focusing on elegance, beauty and the natural phenomenon that is glass. 

Known for her shard glass bowls that feature one colour or an overlay, she has now designed a new range of bowls that feature long intricate strands of glass. These new products can act either as a functional product to any home or mounted on a wall as a piece of art. Although complex in process and production, her work portrays a minimalistic quality whilst visually demonstrating the light absorbing qualities that glass has to offer. The fair was filled with young designers, many who worked within jewellery or textile design. One of Casabi's iconic bowls was even featured on the promotional flyer and artwork for the Candid Arts Trust showcasing the talents of Chloe's design work. It was great on a personal level to have a catch up and discussing her new ideas and recent works especially with some of my students having an interest in this area of design.

CASABI designs has a wide range of products on offer, each individual to the owner in colour and design. Chloe is also open to commissions and bespoke orders that seem to be the main attraction of her work whilst I was stood by her side at the fair.

09.10.13 - The Big Draw

The Big Draw is a national event that has taken place for many years now, the idea is simple, get the nation drawing and to appreciate how creative and fun drawing can be. With this discipline at the heart of our professional practice the UAL Foundation Diploma team decided to put on an event that would combine the act of drawing with a team building exercise involving other students from various art course within the college. The Big Draw sets an underlining theme as a basis for inspiration and this year was no different, with "Draw Tomorrow" being set as the 2013 challenge.

Taking this theme into consideration and with our recent trip to the V&A to visit the "Memory palace exhibition", we wanted to build upon the identity of future cities, what would our cities be like in the near future? What eccentric architecture and new found abstract forms would exist?  and how futuristic would we become? The event was split into 3 parts, with an outgoing and influential talk form Maria Swepson about capturing and drawing architecture and looking into the work of some of the icons that use drawing as a fundamental to their design process, Will Alsop, Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry to mention a few. We then stepped out into the atrium where in teams the students had to design, create and build completely out of paper (something that we set as a challenge itself) Once all the individual pieces of architecture had been built, arranged and combined together to portray a future city scape, we could begin the draw. 

The afternoon was filled with creativity energy, engagement and the students definitely got an experience, the work produced was a fantastic standard and with over 120 students taking part, it was great to see such a large space within the college finally get used for something worth while. We are now in the process of filling out our application to be nominated for an award where by the big draw has taken place within a educational establishment dealing with students and pushing the process of drawing. I would love more than anything for the students to receive the recognition they so simply deserve, and look forward to the Big Draw 2014.