March 17, 2013 Leave a comment
Video produced by the Edinburgh College Granton Learning Resources Video Production Unit.
Thanks to David McLachlan & Mike Chalmers
Fine Art HND Course @ Edinburgh's Telford College
February 17, 2012 Leave a comment
CAP students have had the chance to spend a day with Benjamin Fallon who led us on an excellent curatorial tour of artist moving image work from very early movements to contemporary interventions in digital time-based practice. The first half of the day provided an excellent overview (could have lasted a week if we had had Ben with us for long enough) of video work, situated in its historical and cultural context. We watched snippets of a wide range of video from the anxiety-inducing repetition and conceptual minimalism of Bruce Nauman’s Walking in an Exaggerated Manner Around the Perimeter of a Square to the sensual aesthetics of Pipilotti Rist’s work and Bill Viola’s ‘high definition’ video interventions, exploring juxtaposed celebratory / dystopian visions of past / future realities.
The second half of the day led us towards a set of video works influenced by Ben’s curatorial practice featuring work responding to network culture and digital interaction, exploring ways in which the contemporary artist re-appropriates new spaces of culture brought about by the virtual and digital world, regaining agency with which to speak about the new subjectivities emerging within it. More information available here: http://curatorial.theopenseas.org/
This latter part of the day also included works by CAP’s very own Alan Holligan from Ben’s curatorial project The Warehouse of Horrors: http://curatorial.theopenseas.org/?portfolio=warehouse-of-horrors
We caught up with Ben after the lectures to have a wee chat with him about his (career) so far, his curatorial practice, and what he’s up to at the moment:
So, how did it all start for you?
How did it all start? Well, at Telford College - yes I came here! Well, I mean I suppose I left school at 16, failed my highers. I ended up doing art as default because… I’m lazy. And then, I gradually realised that I was properly interested in it, so I did what was the equivalent of prep and then the HND Public Art. It took three years instead of two.
Was that just the time it took then?
Well no – I failed in my second year! (laughs)
But Public Art wasn’t a particularly inspiring course was it, from what Alan said…?
No – it’s very, very different now to how it was then – now the course has been re-written, Contemporary Art Practice allows for a lot more development.
Yes, we’re lucky to have such energetic and engaged lecturers… and you didn’t go to art school after?
No. I applied a number of times after Telford. I think for two years I applied and then I got to the point where I was active in the Sculpture Workshop and other places and I realised I didn’t necessarily need to go to art school, so I didn’t apply that year and the years progressed and I just went oh well, that’s not happening.
That’s sort of encouraging. You know that you feel maybe you didn’t really miss out on anything, and that you can make your own way – especially with looming fee rises etc.
No I mean I think, obviously it’s quite nice to go to art school. A lot of my friends were there - I got the nice side without the bad side!
So was there something that sparked your career?
Um…Career is quite a grand word for it. Yeah, um, I don’t know I guess it’s just an interest. I mean, like I said I failed the second year of the HND because I just didn’t care at the time, I wasn’t interested. But I readjusted. I thought: ok now I need to do this properly. I became interested in the theoretical side a lot more. It was just because of an interest in that which led me to organise shows myself and then –
So you did your first shows independently? Did you apply for funding…?
Oh, it’s only very recently that I’ve had funding for anything. It’s always come out of my own pocket. But working with, you know, young local artists and art students, which… is cheap. It’s not something that pays a lot of money but…
So your first curatorial project… how did you initiate it?
Um, well I guess it was kind of working with a group of people who I knew about the arts… Yeah so it was just about finding people around me and I was very fortunate in that I was living in a house that had a spare room: gut that out, paint it white and you have a gallery. I think that, we could look back at it at that time and there was an emerging active artist-led scene in Edinburgh up to that point but it was never that visible. The Collective was there but it had been institutionalised years ago so I guess all that sparked me off a bit.
There are a lot more artist-led happenings now in Edinburgh aren’t here…
Yeah – there seems to be more and more, which can only be a good thing.
We were wondering about Alan: we want to know what influence he had on you…
Me and Alan didn’t get on for a long time because I wasn’t that committed for a while, but now we’re very good friends! Yeah it was kind of in my final year here that we found that we had lots of the same interests and yeah I think he’s very useful… in a grumpy way.
He’s very um, non-committal you don’t get a straight answer, it’s good…
Yeah it’s good because he makes you do the work – makes you answer your own question effectively.
Yeah, he’s good at that… I like to think of him as like a philosopher’s touchstone or something… So what are you doing at the moment?
At the moment I’m working on a project which is a non- public based, theoretical project. There are seven of us who are meeting once a month for the next six month to discuss institutional practice within Scotland which is, which sounds like a dry topic but… It’s through people who have worked within institutions of differing levels and we’ve tried to bring the group on one plane. So that’s the main one. I might be on another exhibition but there’s not really space for it. This is the big thing that you come up against. You get a certain position within the contemporary art world but that doesn’t necessarily equate to being able to do anything. I think that maybe it’s specific to Scotland. My friends in Europe have a bit more opportunity to get things going. I think Scotland is a very artist-centred country which is good, in a sense, but –
Do you think it’s more difficult to self-organise here?
Yeah, like actually getting a space to do a show, getting funding together, as a curatorial project, rather than as an artist. It’s still not easy to be an artist but there’s a lot more opportunity. If you look at exhibitions across Edinburgh, you know, it’s always generally solo exhibitions. You don’t see very many group exhibitions… I’m interested in doing group exhibitions, and pulling in wider ideas.
That’s interesting… this might be a bit of an annoying question but, we were wondering what you feel the ‘contemporary artist’ needs to be doing just now?
I think that… That’s a very difficult question. I think if you want to go down one route and do the commercial artist thing you need to be chatty or produce work that looks like every other work you see. Um… I don’t like the question because it makes it seems like there is such a thing as the correct artist- which I don’t think there is.
That’s a good answer. Why do you do what you do?
Um… God knows! I think because probably I’m curious. I think of art as a source of knowledge production, rather than entertainment or any other conceived views of art. And I think it’s about building my own knowledge and trying to share that knowledge and work with things that interest me.
(another equally difficult question we had noted down, but…) What about the role of a curator?
Well for me it’s about knowledge production and… just trying to work things through. Yeah…well I don’t like the idea of a job. At a recent show I did I was described as an early career curator; I hate the idea of a career because it comes with the idea of a hierarchy and climbing the ladder and I’m not interested in that. I want to be doing what I’m doing. I understand the pragmatics that I have to earn some money at some point but at the moment I’m doing that through web design.
That seems like quite an interesting point: making artwork, curating and doing something quite different to that on the side to make money, so as not to have to give up part of your practice to do that. Whereas if you were trying to make your living as an artist through funding or commissions or in the arts in general…
You have to do a commercial kind of thing. Most of the artists I know just take up a job and don’t even think about trying to sell their work I do know a few people who sell work, but…
Um… Oh, am I going to say the really trite thing? I probably am, yeah. Not really, no, because you learn from everything you do, and I try not to think back and regret things because, you know, it got me somewhere.
That’s good to know. Thanks Ben, and thanks for a very interesting day!
Ben Fallon, Kirsty Leonard and Claire Briegel
For more information on some of the artists mentioned above see links below:
Bruce Nauman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qml505hxp_c
As well as a wealth of artist video and sound work here: http://www.ubu.com
December 8, 2010 Leave a comment
Telford College and Contemporary Art Practice partner Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop (ESW) is one of only six Scottish charities selected to participate in the Big Arts Give Christmas Challenge, UK-wide campaign supported by the Scottish Government and Arts & Business which aims to raise £3m in total by increasing the incentives for supporting the arts.
Until Friday 31 December, all donations made through the Big Arts Give website will help ESW raise funds for the New Sculpture Centre
To create a purpose-built sculpture centre in Edinburgh providing the facilities and services needed by artists to support them at all stages in their careers and to provide a valuable public resource which will enable people of all ages and ability to learn about contemporary sculpture.
ContemporaryArtETC.. has a long standing and highly productive partnership with ESW allowing our learners to produce and exhibit work in a professional, supportive and highly respected organisation. The new purpose built sculpture centre, the only one of its kind in the UK, will allow us to take the partnership to to a new level and we need your help to make it happen and secure this exciting future.
A limited number of donations and match funded and all money raised will go towards the cost of building the new sculpture centre.
If you would like to support Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop please make your donation through the Big Arts Give website by following the link below:
October 27, 2010 Leave a comment
June 2, 2009 Leave a comment
ContemporaryArtETC… are delighted to present images from the current HN Diploma Show, XX – Collective.
XX – Collective, the first ever Contemporary Art Higher National Diploma Exhibition is on now at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop and features drawing, painting, sculpture, video, photography and performance.
February 25, 2009 Leave a comment
ContemporaryArtETC are delighted to announce the arrival of 2 new members of the staff team. Heather Craig and Jen Outhwaite.
Heather who has been a prominent of the FineArtETC team at Edinburgh’s Telford College for 5 years will replace Neil Manning as a Lecturer during his time as Acting Curriculum Manager. Heather who graduated from the Intermedia course at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) is a practicing artist with an impressive CV including being lead singer of underground electro/punk/pop/art outfit The Gussets.
Jen is new to both the college and the course and has an equally impressive back ground, graduating in 2008 form the Sculpture School at ECA. Jen joins us as our very 1st Learning Assistant.
Some of our regular readers might remember that both Heather and Jen have featured on this site before as both have joined us on separate trips to Germany. Jen joined us in Muster and Kassel in the summer of 2007 and Heather helped maintain order at 5th Berlin Biennale.
Jen and Heather will bring new perspectives, thinking, skills, vibrancy and enthusiasm to the team and we are very much looking forward to working with them.
For further information on all the course team please visit the Staff Page
January 31, 2009 Leave a comment
An artwork by HND Contemporary Art Practice Year 2 participant Sarah Wilson has been selected for the annual exhibition of Visual Arts Scotland which opened at the City Art Centre in Edinburgh last night. The exhibition offers a rare chance to see some of the best painting, sculpture, printmaking, jewellery, ceramics, glass, textiles, furniture and photography in Scotland all under one roof.
This is a great honour for Sarah who’s work was selected from among 750 submissions many of which were made by professional artists and degree graduates. It is testimony to the quality of the work produced by participants on the ground breaking course at Edinburgh’s Telford College that Sarah is exhibiting in such illustrious company.
The work, which was produced in response to a course brief, is brass plaque mounted on wood with an engraving of the definition of the Lex Sumptuaria an ancient Roman law outlawing the public display of wealth during times of economic hardship.
The exhibition is open daily until 19th March
City Art Centre
2 Market Street. Tel: 0131 529 3993
January 27, 2009 Leave a comment
Congratulations to ContemporaryArtETC graduates Jennifer Ferns, Lynn Mouat & Daine Cornwall who’s latest works featured in “Therfore I am” an exhibition of new work at Cumbria University’s Fine Art Campus in Carlisle. The exhibition which is of a very professional standard was developed, organised and promoted by the students themselves giving them invaluable experience in organisation and co-operation.
The opening of the show coincided with a visit to the campus of our current HN students all of whom have applied to the Fine Art course at Cumbria University.
During the visit we were kindly invited to take part in the gallery walk through which involved all the exhibitors giving a short presentation providing valuable insight into their work.
The exhibition “Therefore I am” is open daily from 10am – 4pm until Friday the 30th January
January 8, 2009 Leave a comment
ContemporaryArtETC.com is delighted to announce our recent move to brand new studio accommodation in Edinburgh’s Telford College. The new studio has allowed us to allocate individual spaces to all of our current students in years 1 & 2 of the HND Contemporary Art Practice course.
As well as individual spaces the studio is also equipped with networked iMac computers and personal lockable storage. Having their own spaces means that students can take ownership of the studio allowing them to carry out sustained research, development and production.
As well as the new studio students continue to have access to specialist studios and workshops including; flexible and well lit life drawing and drawing & painting studio and specialist workshops for wood and metal production.
December 4, 2008 2 Comments
Students and staff at ContemporaryArtETC.com would like to thank Dean Hughes for providing an insight into his practice as a contemporary artist. Dean presented and discussed a range of work dating from his early years at Chelsea College of Art & Design in 1993 right up to his most recent body of work which was recently acquired by the Saatchi Gallery.
Dean utalises the language and media of the every day to bring fresh perspective to our often unnoticed daily routines. From the re-embroidery of London bus seats through the re-hydration of waterless puddles to the re-interpretation of the fundamentals of the pre-paperless office using A4 paper, hole punch and staplers he quietly and skillfully intervenes into pre-existing givens.
Dean will be returning to Edinburgh’s Telford College in the new year in his capacity as head of the Intermedia dept at Edinburgh College of Art to talk to HN CAP students about the Intermedia degree programme.
November 12, 2008 Leave a comment
TBG&S Installation, Dublin 2008 Casimir in Monoceros, 2007
Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop presents a two person exhibition featuring new work by Edinburgh based artists Lyndsey Mann & Ewan Robertson will open tomorrow night 13th Novemebr at Patriothall Gallery, Stockbridge.
Lyndsay Mann and Ewan Robertson share a sensibility in their approach to materials, each following diverse areas of research which leads to both multi-disciplinary processes and practice.
This new recent work by Ewan Robertson further explores interests in physicality: it’s material nature; constituents; fabric and status lying somewhere between the experiential and the physical, between object and installation. Drawn together from individual strands as diverse as mechanical music, the LA coastline, vehicles and props in non-violent action, linear systems / events / narratives, the work has a slow-burn feel and has almost self-formed into a singular sense or entity speaking about presence, silence and shadow. Like a newly uttered visual sentence it seems caught perpetually in the moment before thought condenses and meaning is fixed. It feels like a momentary clearing in fog that quietly subsumes but shows light traces of its tangential origins.
Lyndsay Mann’s work explores the most fundamental aspects of our experience: desire and dread, faith and futility. She follows simultaneously intuitive and pragmatic routes within her enquiries, often employing labour intensive processes in her work; using simple and inexpensive materials to suggest an environment of appropriation and a submission to process, manipulating familiar materials removed from their common context simulates a ritual. Mann’s writing, which is integral to her practice, falls somewhere between a manifesto and a self-help text, taking the form of suggested hypotheses or personal statements, neither definitive nor absolute. Abstracted from larger texts, she creates mantra-style sound bites within the works. Most recently she has developed this through sound recording during her residency at Stills gallery.
For Mann, combining multi-dimensional elements of her practice creates a dialogue which the viewer interrupts and becomes party to, assigned a role within the created dynamic to produce event, experience, and witness.
Opening: Thursday 13th November 6-8pm
Dates: 14th-30th November
Exhibition open: Thursdays to Sundays only
Opening times: Thursdays & Fridays 12-6pm, Saturdays and Sundays 12-5pm
There will be an artists’ talk on Sunday 23rd November from 2-3pm at WASPS, Patriothall.
Entry to the exhibition and talk is free.
Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop at WASPS, Patriothall in Stockbridge.
WASPS, 1D Patriothall, Off Hamilton Place
Stockbridge, Edinburgh EH3 5AY
October 29, 2008 Leave a comment
ContemporaryArtETC are pleased to announce that a new video work by staff member Alan Holligan will be premiered in the Caravan of Horrors at the Collective Gallery Edinburgh.
ONEZERO projects returns after an extended break to bring you ‘Caravan of Horrors’ the first outcome of a research project looking at the influence of Horror on Contemporary Art.
Onezero will be screening 5 works by:
Caravan of Horrors is running in conjunction with the launch of issue two of Fools in Print ‘AKA Tomfoolery’ as part of New Work Scotland 2008
September 2, 2008 Leave a comment
Despite early set backs to her artistic career Telford Fine Art graduate Ruth Barry has been awarded the kind of opportunity she once only dreamed of. Ruth has beaten off international competition and will move to New York this month to take up post at one of the most iconic modern / contemporary art museums in the world. Ruth who is originally from Inverness, graduated form the Fine Art dept at Edinburgh’s Telford College in 2005 will move to New York next month to take up post in the museums Education Dept. Galleries and museum play a significant part in Ruths own artwork and she is hopeful that she can bring new thoughts and ideas to the Guggenheim program as well as influencing her own practise and taking her work to new levels.
This will not be Ruth’s first encounter with Gallery Education,
“I’ve been working in the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh for a couple of years now and I was given the opportunity to assist on an educational workshop for young people I was able to apply both my critical and creative knowledge to the program, allowing participants to develop & explore alternative viewpoints on contemporary art.”
Ruth has been passionate about art since an early age and was determined to study at Art College. After a couple of unsuccessful degree applications she spent a very successful period on the Fine Art Foundation and HND courses at ETC and gained direct entry to the 2nd year at Edinburgh College of Art from where she graduated this year with 1st class honours.
“The tutors at Telford were incredibly supportive I found them to be energetic and highly influential encouraging me to keep going and not give up on my goals. Being taught by a team of practising artists in an environment which is as close to any art college as possible gave me a solid platform from which I could progress. I gained entry to Art College most certainly as a result of completing the HND in the Fine Art Dept”
As well as her appointment at the Guggenheim Ruth has also been selected for inaugural Royal Scottish Academy New Contemporaries exhibition, which will take place in February.
The Guggenheim Museum New York was designed by iconic American Architect Frank Lloyd-Wrightt to house the modern art collection of wealthy New York industrialist Solomon R. Guggenheim. The museum opened to the public in 1959 and has been followed by two further museums in Berlin and Bilboa, the later designed by another superstar of the architectural world; Frank Gehry and which is hailed as reviving the reputation and fortunes of the Basque region.
August 1, 2008 1 Comment
Rain couldn’t stop play last night as the Edinburgh Art Festival (EAF) officially launched with a decidedly damp street party in the heart of the capital. Among the beer, burgers, ice cream vans and a rather wonderful reincarnation of Karen Carpenter; the great, the good and the nicht so gut, of the Edinburgh art scene took turn in shaking off their umbrellas in the doorways of the Collective, Stills and Fruitmarket Galleries before re-deploying them for the journey through Advocates Close.
Now in its 5th year the festival offers another ambitious programme of more than 130 contemporary visual art exhibitions and events throughout the cities museums, galleries and temporary spaces. This years festival features established artists including Tracy Emin and Richard Hamilton as well as emerging talents from around the world.
Throughout the coming month contemporaryartetc… will bring you news and views from the festival. We would also welcome your contributions written or visual. If you would like to submit images or text please send them to:
you can also leave comments on any of our posts.
May 22, 2008 Leave a comment
The installation of this years HN Diploma Show at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop began in ernest today with a flurry of activity and anticipation. It was a beautiful day to working outside and everyone was in fine fettle. We are all looking forward to getting things finished up tomorrow in time for the opening.
Please come and join us from 6pm-8pm at ESW and afterwards at the Village Bar
May 16, 2008 Leave a comment
We are delighted to announce that the Private View of the last ever HN Public Art Diploma Exhibition will Take place on Friday the 23rd May 2008 at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop Please see below for details.
During the installation we will bring you upt date news and images of progress and events.
April 7, 2008 Leave a comment
Leith-based contemporary visual arts facility Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop (ESW) has been awarded a major boost towards the development of a purpose built facility in the recent funding round of Scottish Arts Council National Lottery Capital Awards.
Iain Munro Head of Capital at the Scottish Arts Council, said: ‘When we decided to consolidate our funding for the next three years into one funding round, we wanted to support exciting and ambitious projects that will contribute to the development of Scottish artistic and public life for many years to come. Providing development funding for this project will now allow Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop to examine its proposals in more detail, looking at things such as business plans and sustainability as well as its architectural ambitions to develop a leading international centre for sculpture and contemporary art that will excite, inspire and transform the lives of both artists and the local communities.’
The new facility will provide up to 30 studios and 3 purpose-built workshops as well as a dedicated education area and accommodation for visiting artists. A general project space will allow for experimentation and artists’ professional development as well offering a programme of public events and exhibitions throughout the year. At present the building has 15 studios, a single workshop and one general public space and the organisation is struggling to cope with demand.
Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop (ESW) Director, Irene Kernan said ‘This is a marvellous opportunity not only for Edinburgh but for the visual arts sector throughout Scotland. This will be the first building of its kind in the UK – a purpose-built sculpture facility supporting young and established artists which also will be open to anyone interested in learning about or making visual art. Our aim is to create a centre of excellence for sculpture and contemporary visual art which will attract artists working in Scotland and throughout the UK as well as internationally.’
ESW has been working with award-winning Edinburgh architects, Sutherland Hussey to develop the first stage of the project and will continue consulting with artists and the local community as the project develops.
All the staff and students here at Contemporary Art ETC.. are delighted by the news and we look forward to our continued collaboration with ESW.
March 26, 2008 1 Comment
Plans have been announced today to convert St Margaret’s House, a 1970’s block next to Meadowbank Stadium, into badly needed artist’s studios which are set to begin work on 06 April 2008.
“Edinburgh was the philosophical crucible of the Enlightenment and, for one, I’d like to see the return of the city’s reputation as an intellectual melting-pot in the International ideas market. With that in mind, I believe that it is important to have a large collection of creative minds working together in theone site, a creative hub. Art’s Complex is the result of a two year project to bring such a venue to the Capital and to try and
rectify the huge need for artists space.” said Derek Gray, Director of Art’s Complex.
The venture is set to re-dress a severe shortage of affordable studio space in Edinburgh, it will be able to accommodate over 200 artists as well as an 11 000 square feet gallery/exhibition space presenting innovative work from local artist as well as creatives from the arts industry in Scotland.
“The main aim with this initiative is to redress the imbalance between the large number of artists seeking affordable studio space in the city and the severe lack of appropriate space available” said Dale Gibson, Business Director of Art’s Complex.
The deal struck between Caledonian Trust and Art’s Complex aims to do just that and to reach out specifically to the surrounding local community through arts education and participatory projects and more generally to the international arts sector bringing nationally and internationally renowned artists to Edinburgh to enrich the cultural diversity of the city.
Everybody here at Contemporary Art ETC…. would like to wish Art’s Complex all the best and we look forward to working with them at some point in the future.
March 15, 2008 1 Comment
We are delighted to introduce the latest addition to our links page. Please feel very welcome to have a browse through the blogs of some of our current students where you will come across a diverse and fascinating set of visual interpretations of the world including the following take on the absurdity of celebrity culture by Miki Suzuki:
March 2, 2008 Leave a comment
The 2008 AV festival opened last week with a gala event featuring performances of John Cages’ Variations VII and Yokomono by Staalplaat Soundsystem.
AV Festival is an international festival of electronic arts featuring visual art, music and moving image. A biennial event, the festival takes place in Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and Middlesbrough in the North East of England. It consists of concerts and performances, exhibitions, film screenings, seminars, symposia, workshops and other special events at many venues across the three urban centres of the North East.
AV Festival 08 has the theme of Broadcast and runs from 28 February – 8 March 2008 in venues across the North East.
Staalplaat Soundsystem: Yokomono