Over the last few years we have been developing a successful relationship with the Sculpture & Environmental Art (SEA) dept at Glasgow School of Art. There are a lot of #exCAPers currently studying across years 2,3 & 4 and several have graduated from SEA in recent years. Last year Jennie and I spent a day in dept discussing applications, progression, course structures and participating in Year 2 crits which was a fantastic opportunity for us to benchmark the courses and establish closer ties.
Last week we returned along with 5 current CAP2 students who have applied to GSA SEA for next year. In the morning we took part in Year 2 project tutorials which included Subie and Shareen who graduated from CAP last year.
After lunch we went to 695 Gallery which is within the site of the 3rd Year Public Art Project. The students including #exCAPer Heather Lane, were hanging their exhibition and we were able to discuss some of the projects and find out more about the 3rd year course.
Finally we went with Heather and Elizabeth, our fantastic host, to the Savoy shopping centre to see G-Unit a fantastic public engagement project /programme by another #exCAPer, Rachel Simpson and her collaborative partner Hannan Jones. During the project G-Unit is running a series of workshops including screenings and book binding / production.
It was a fantastic day and great so see and hear how well all our former CAP colleagues are getting on at GSA and we look forward to seeing how their work continues to progress.
Click on the link below to see the article in last weeks Hartlepool Mail about our recent visit to the Apollo Pavilion in Peterlee.
After a very successful and extremely fruitful field trip last year we returned to the north east of England once more with the the new students of both Contemporary Art and Illustration.
The itinerary was much as last years; first Victor Pasmore’s beautifully brutal, contemporary concrete folly the Apollo Pavilion in Peterlee where we were treated once again to a short and informative social history of the structures impact on the local community by David Taylor-Gooby. David was joined this year by Jake Cameron local architect who discussed the merits of the work form an architectural point of view.
Next was a very breathless, wet!! and brief encounter with the neo-classical folly the Penshaw Monument.
Finally on to the Baltic to see the moving work of recently deceased Robert Breer (do you see what I did there?) unfortunately due to our very late arrival we were not able to see the presentation arranged for us but the very helpful Leanne from the education team did print us out a copy for future reference! Thank you Leanne!
The next few weeks will see a range of work developed as a result of the trip some of which will be sent to David & Jake in Peterlee in the hope that they will like it enough to put on the Apollo Pavilion official web site!
The very early start of day 3 for most of us turned out to be late day 2 for some of the hardcore CAPers. Although its easy to appreciate the logic of staying up all night the more worldly wise among the group were well aware of the inherent flaws of such youthful enthusiasm. Still, all but one of the group were enthusiastically awaiting the 02:45am tram to take us in to Markt Platz and the centre of the action.
It was clear from the moment the tram arrived at the stop that something was gather momentum. On arrival in town this became even clearer.
As we took up position in the cities main square ‘Markt Platz’ what struck many of us was the apparent lack of crash barriers, visible police presence or indeed any kind of stewardship. If you are familiar with any large-scale public event in the UK you will understand just how odd this was. In addition to this, if you were asked to imagine being in a city centre at 04:00am with tens of thousands of people gathering in total darkness illuminated only by the dimmest of lights emanating from giant canvas lanterns wheeled through the streets behind masked drummers and piccolo players, each of the lanterns featuring satirical illustrations of the preceding year new and events, I’d serious doubt you could. Yet that’s exactly what happened for well over an hour before coming to an apparent end.
I say apparent because the last lantern passed and we began to ease our way back into the centre of the square two things struck home. Firstly the square was completely packed as were all the side streets and secondly what seemed like an orderly and relatively subdued parade suddenly seemed to be travelling in different directions and taking on a life entirely of its own. It wasn’t easy getting back to the hostel as the crowds and groups ‘Fastnachers’ jockeyed for right of way in the packed streets but by 7am everyone was back and heading for bed tired, bewildered but happy.
After a 5-hour top up of sleep we met again for a walk taking in some of Basels wonderful mix of modern, contemporary and historical architecture. As we approached the centre of town it became clear that ‘Fastnacht’ had also gained a second wind and was gearing up for round 2. The thought was too much for some and the group split into two camps “Fastnacters” and lets get out of here fast[nachers] who opted for the first tram out of town to Dornach a leafy suburb of the city at the end of the No10 tram where the pace was slower and we could have a lazy picnic in the afternoon sun by the river.
In the early evening we all met again outside the Kunstahalle where great fun was had watching the last of a parade of themed floats and trying to attract the attention of the various masked occupants and catch the mixture of oranges, sweets, toys and confetti being thrown at the assembled crowds. It wasn’t too long however before the collective energy began to wane and the majority of the group soon returned to base for a slow evening of local wines and packet noodles.
Basel Day 2:
What we didn’t know when the trip was booked was that it coincided with ‘Fasnachts’ a major 3 day traditional festival involving 10s of thousands of local participants throughout the whole city. More of Fasnacts later, but as a result of the festivities several of the cities major museums were closed Monday – Wednesday which meant we had a lot of ground to cover on Sunday. Up with the larks, we headed straight for the Kunstmuseum, the oldest public museum in Europe and its fantastic collection. Highlights of the museum included a small but equally gruesome; in comparison to the later Alter Piece; Crucifixion by Grunewald, a recently acquired Martin Kippenburger and a 1st rate collection of Modernist masters.
After a light, not on the wallet, lunch at the superb Rotten Engel (Red Angel) Café, home to the most magnificent bowl of coffee I’ve encountered anywhere, it was off to the Museum für Gegenwartskunst. The museum, the first in the world dedicated exclusively to contemporary art, is compact but beautifully designed building by architects Katharina and Wilfrid Steib with additional renovation in 2005 by Urs Gramelsbacher. The museum displays contemporary art from the collections of the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation and the Kunstmuseum. The main exhibit in the museum featured films and video installations created by the New York-based artist Pierre Huyghe, which explore the tensions between different levels of reality. On the whole these were compelling works but rumours of sleep inducement may not be wholly exaggerated. Students also enthused about the following; On Kawara’s date paintings, Simon Starling’s ‘Autoxylopyrocycloboros’, a slideshow documenting his voyage across Loch Long in a wooden steamboat, its engine feulled with wood cut from the boat’s hull and an of course the collection of Joseph Beuys Vitrines.
Next stop was the Kunsthalle and the Swiss Architecture Museum (SAM), located in the same building, with only an hour to spare before closing. After a short debate about whether or not it was worth paying 6 francs to get in we soon discovered that it was. Three shows by Banu Cenneotğlu, Bettina Pousttchi, (Kunsthalle) and Anna Viebrock (SAM) were well worth the entrance fee. Although definitely note worthy the star of the shows were undoubtedly the rarely seen stage set models by Set / Fashion designer and director Anna Viebrock. Beautifully executed and presented the environments are constructed but maintain with a homemade feel a kind of manual / working aesthetic sometimes reminiscent of earlier Manfred Pernice sculptures. The models were shown alongside the designer’s source material, influence and development drawings revealing her process from conception to execution.
After such a full day the consensus was to return to the hostel for food and rest before a very early rise for ‘Morgenstreich’ the 4am start to the 3 day Fasnachts Festival.