24.12.13 - End of 2013 review

Well it's fair to say that this has been an intense 1st part to the academic year with a new course, new role, new team and OFSTED!. I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute so far, being a big part of the Foundation Diploma course and having some amazing colleagues "we are a design family" I feel I have found the perfect course and level of learning that suits me having to be animated, vocal and creative 247. My introduction onto the BA Graphic Design course has also given me that alternative edge of delivery working across level 4 & 5. 

This year has seen the introduction of our fellow Chinese students and embracing this new culture of student, we had an amazing introduction to the course with "360" and a real high standard of work produced for our first exhibition. Big draw was brilliant and really provided us with a platform to start showing people what we are all about, and now the guys and girls are in their own pathways and just enjoying everything being thrown at them "literally". there is definitely that higher level of creative demand compared to the level 3 courses I have previously taught on, with each student hungry for more and wants that constant challenge despite getting stressed. 

On a personal note I feel the "visual communication pathway" have really developed in a short amount of time with some incredible work being produced from the mass and some excellent and upbeat feedback from peers and students on higher level courses. The new year is going to be no different really with those progressing into HE having interviews, Chaos PT2 and other fast paced briefs taking place, and just as January comes to an end we set off to Berlin for 4 days and host another exhibition at the end of March. The team have been great and we have come together with a real insight of each others strengths! 

I plan to have a part relaxing Xmas break with a few references left to send off and a couple of task sheets to create. "Merry Xmas and bring on the new year"

22.12.13 - Sound of the week

There has been so much playing in the studio over the last few weeks, we have had Euro disco pop mixed with Xmas songs, xxyyxx and big bass mixes but a personal that keeps on being played both at work and at home is "Alive" by Chase n Status. Another absolute "tune" form the duo and another very interesting take on a music video. The last of the year, enjoy.

18.12.13 - Chaos PT 1

As time slowly ticks away and as both the students and teaching team prepare for their Xmas break we decided that we would mix things up and hit them with a 5 hour brief on the last day of term that would get them moving fast, being creative and would generally confuse the hell out of most. This was a team effort in response to "Chaos" we wanted to unleash something at random with minimal guidance, short amount of time and limited materials. Some would say a rather mean attempt to "piss off" your students before Xmas, I would say "It's Foundation Diploma". So as we started the day in good spirit with  the luxury of watching Monty Pythons "life of Brian" we went on to deliver the following:

By 4:30 you will have produced 30 creative outcomes, that will be photographed and presented using only the following. . . . Toilet roll.

an interesting afternoon to say the least, this to me is a great opportunity to stand back and witness who has that creative drive, determination and creative clock ticking constantly in their brains.

16.12.13 - "Art under attack" Tate Britain

As a prequel to the new brief "chaos kicking off in January I decided to take the "visual communication" group up to Tate Britain to view one of its new exhbition entitled "art under attack". This is the first exhibition that has even displayed "iconoclasm" in British history documenting a selection of public artworks and the attacks on them. The exhibition was broken up into 3 individual topis: Religion, Politics and Aesthetics, each discussing the events, what sparked them and the artwork that was targeted. 

The exhibition started from 1536-40 all the way through to 2000's with contemporary works from Kate Davis, John Stezaker, Chapman brothers and others. The exhibition was an opportunity to really gain inspiration from the wider sources, displaying to the group that you should be inspired by more than contemporary graphic design work, and that having a greater level of contextual knowledge allows a wider scope for creative response. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition with its real vast and expansive range of work on show in the form of photography, installation, print and video. Its interesting discussing the work exhibited with what I would cal the "Google" generation and uncovering that image breaking and deconstruction in art etc has been active for centuries "Banksy wasn't the first i'm afraid". The team have now been set up with a challenge of sourcing a piece of artwork over the Xmas holidays that they "dislike" and will embrace a 1day brief to attack this piece in response to chaos. 

Despite being told off by security for taking photographs please find below a selection of images "the ones I got away with". the exhibition ends in the 1st week of January so if you are off over the Xmas break I would recommend going and witnessing this showcase of damaged artwork.

06.12.13 - Wooly bodybag

As the winter term slowly comes toward an end ready for the x-mas break, final bodies of work have also come in ready for summative assessment. On Friday I had an opportunity to see in person a piece of work that I had been waiting for "ever since the concept and idea was discussed with the student". Now the idea of creating a body bag could ask questions as to "what the project was about" and "what seeds am I planting into my students heads?", however responding to a project entitled "Alternative" the concept behind the work was to take an existing product and create a replacement that created an alternative in visual form, appearance and notion to the original function. 

The woolly body bag or as I preferred "Cocoon" captures the ever portrayed theme of beauty and death, a creative aspect that has been captured by many well known artists. The quality of the outcome has amplified the standard of work we now expect to come fourth and the final photograph where the students had photographed the body bag in an existing morgue with the designer inside pays absolute tribute to the dedication behind the work produced. My Friday kick started with me getting into my new must have fashion accessory and causing some rather original facial expressions, as my students witnessed their tutor on the table wriggling around like a giant caterpillar.