Students review Employability Centre experience at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.

Last month the current CAP1 students along with Alan & Jen Ferns spent 7 days working together with our new Employability Centre partners at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop below is a review of the experience and the resulting exhibition by 2 of the participants Subie Coleman and Josh Waterson

Subie et al     Subie's piece     _MG_6429     Kaitlin Walker Stewart

My personal experience of the ESW is a positively good one, ah really enjoyed the time spent practicing/learning in this fantastic space, I like very much the open feel it has. From our first visit there the staff made us feel very welcome, keen for us to feel at home there and we were given a right good informative introduction/tour of the

building and it’s ample facilities. I found the building itself fair impressive, well designed for multi-purpose practice, spacious both inside an out. Throughout the weeks we (HND CAP1) spent at the ESW I especially enjoyed the plaster work an assembling, dis-assembling and re-assembling the structure/installation for the exhibition. It was brilliant working together in this way, pulling together, liftin’ , shiftin’ ,learnin’ and finally bringing it all to it’s collective, considered an constructive conclusion… ‘GROWTH’ FANTASTICO!

I thought the way we were led and at times encouraged to lead ourselves through the process was most ambitious a bit risky even, though highly successful. Congrats to Alan an Jen on this score. I think the partnership works as an excellent means to introduce the students to a real working environment allowing us to explore and expand upon our ideas towards work an practice, giving us access an a great opportunity to make use of the building and it’s facilities, opens the door to the working world of it all. In short, a most encouraging, productive an exciting experience! Thanks very much!

Subie coleman

Josh learning about the workshops new saw!     Alan Jay & Mitchell working on main construction    Joshs' piece     _MG_6244

Upon the evening of the 13th of November, both artists and curious laymen alike were affably welcomed with warmth of spirit (and wine to further warm the respective spirits of it’s guests) to admire and discuss the fruits of HND CAP1’s extended appointment at the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.

A coalescence of individually, incongruous forms captured the attention of all who ventured into the exhibition space. While the installation may at first have seemed merely a cumbersome mass-obnoxiously interrupting the sanctity of the capacious and incontestably peaceful, white room in which it was housed, with time, nigh every cynic was silenced as the exhibition’s charm unanimously took hold of almost all those present! It’s charm resided in it’s artistic continuity. Aesthetic trends appeared in the multifarious works of the students of CAP1. Amongst other discernible collective inclinations, circular forms seemed to hold precedence amongst many students’ work, hence circular forms were quite deliberately reflected in the construction of the exhibition environment. The stimulus point from which all students’ work was derived, was the theme of ‘growth’. Having been mindful of this, the spectator was made quite aware of the altogether animate nature of the installation-almost extending various limbs upwards, as if some mock collection of sprouting trees (the predominance of wood in the structure emphasised this notion of literal, organic growth). The structure and it’s constituent, individual sculptures groped horizontally as well, in such a manner as to suggest obstruction-perhaps even to intone that caution should be taken when entering the exhibition space; as the structure seemed to gesture pointedly towards the doors with it’s long, crooked, lower limbs (furthermore, close to the entrance, there stood a large, yellow, industrial gate-indicating perhaps that something arcane, if not at least guarded, lay within the room).

The college’s profitable affiliation with the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, granted the students (for the length of their 7 day tenure as guests of the establishment), access to a wealth of facilities and materials, as well as complimentary induction to the safe operating of specialist equipment. Everything offered to the students was greedily consumed-be it application of imparted knowledge from members of the workshop or license to materials alike. The works of the students’ were the result of a week’s worth of thorough artistic considerations. The first few exercises we undertook as a class comprised of an intensive inquest into a somewhat cannibalistic, homogenous method of production, whereby an initial drawing fueled a set of sculptures, that then fueled another few drawings to finally provide reference for a final sculpture. Naturally, our area of inquiry became gradually more focused, as we each and all, abstracted and in so doing, developed our own particular conceptual brand of growth. As the students became acquainted with the techniques inherently employed in the production of plaster casts, clay modelling and the cutting and joining of wood, the potential for a greater breadth of sculptural exploration came to be rather enticing. Despite liberal artistic boundaries, practical strictures remained. The finished installation was the result of just one day’s collaboration between students and lecturers. This reviewer will not indulge himself the writing of screeds upon screeds concerning thoughts and opinions on the individual works on display as not only were the works so incomparably diverse, they were all just as good as each other.

The evening was irrefutably successful. All whom attended left in raptures; speaking highly of the occasion-many making excited mention of the somewhat overshadowed developmental work of the students’ that proudly adorned the corridor and the stairwell that led to the main exhibition space! This reviewer presumes that he, alongside his classmates, will undoubtedly treasure the memory of the night for many a moon.

Josh Waterson

All images are courtesy of © Pascal Gadroy: All rights reserved:

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