CAP @ Edinburgh College Review of 2012:

There is little doubt that 2012 was among the most eventful years for us at #cap_etc. Multiple highs have been followed by occasional but necessary lows, necessary in so much that they help us recognize and appreciate the highs.

Paul Diamond Installation copy

Here There; Exhibition by AIRetc… Paul Diamond at ESW. Click on Image for more details

In January the year began with the mixed emotions due to the departure after an extremely successful 4 months of Artist in Residence Paul Diamond who ended his time with us with a fantastic site specific project with students and an excellent exhibition of work developed and produced during the residency at Telford college. The exhibition at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop was very well received. Since completing the residency Paul has gone on to even better things but more of that later.

As January turned over to February the devastating news of Mike Kelleys untimely departure filtered through the studios promoting gasps of disbelief and sadness, we had so enjoyed his exhibition at Baltic during a field trip just a few months before. CAP student Charlie Wilkie-Sullivan who  was a particular admirer of Kelleys work wrote a piece for this blog in response to the news.

Spirits were soon lifted however with the arrival of our next AIR resident Natalie Wilson who began her occupation of ‘the studio next door’.

Natalie Wilson

AIRetc… Natalie Wilson Setting in to studio. Click on Image for more details.

Natalie’s impact was immediate as she struck up conversations with students and staff, always inquisitive and helpful Natalie had a significant impact on the

course sharing her enthusiasm, knowledge and occasional frustration for all things digital.

Spring saw us embark on the annual CAP trip to a foreign city beginning with the letter B. So far we have only managed Berlin and Basel and until Berlin stops being; the centre off the european if not world contemporary art scene, almost, unbearably cool and wonderfully inexpensive it is doubtful we will revisit Basel or see Budapest, Barcelona, Boston, or Bogota  any time soon. Highlights of the trip included, finally getting more than one member of the CAP team on the trip and once again the Boros Bunker.

Natalie Doyle copy

Diploma Exhibition: Image by and of Natalie Doyle.

Spring is always a tense time in the studios as both years are working on their Graded Units and expectant applicants are hammering away at the refresh button on the UCAS website as news of interviews and offers start to permeate the building. The stress although unavoidable, was misplaced however as 2012 will go down in the CAP history books as the most successful year ever as 100% of those applying got an unconditional offer for 1 of their top 2 choices. All applicants got places on degree courses in Glasgow, Edinburgh or Dundee. 1 applicant who already had a degree in a non art related subject was offered and is doing very well on a combined master course in Art & Philosophy in Dundee.

As the tension of anticipated futures subsided thoughts turned to the end of year exhibition. Unfortunately due to the transition between the old and new buildings it wasn’t possible to hold the CAP2 Diploma Show at our usual venue of the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. Instead the show opened at the Old Ambulance Depot in late May to excellent reviews and record attendances.

Natalie Extract

Natalie Wilson: Installation View of ‘Extract at ESW. Click on Image for more details.

The OA Depot is a great venue that has some really strong shows throughout the year, is affordable, well supported and we would certainly recommend to anyone looking for a mid sized exhibition space in the city.

Soon after the show however the disappointment that we couldn’t exhibit in what had become something of a spiritual second home faded as staff and studio reps were invited to the opening of the brand new Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop and it was announced that after a 7 year informal partnership with the CAP course at Edinburgh’s Telford College the 2 organisations had signed a formal partnership agreement which would establish ESW as an Employability Centre for CAP students studying at Edinburgh College guaranteeing students full professional membership, supported access to the workshops facilities, exhibition and professional practice workshops and opportunities. This milestone deal with the course will last for 10 years! Not a bad way to end the 2011/12 academic session!

More good news followed as we attended the fantastic degree shows of many former CAPers throughout June.

ESW Growth Project

CAP1 Growth Project Collaborative Construction & Exhibition at ESW . Click on Image for more Info

In July and August things took a slower pace but soon picked up again with the influx of a new CAP1 group who were madesuitably welcome by the CAP2 devised and executed induction week project! Billed as a tea party it turned into a something more akin to riot in a charity shop! Excellent!

It wasnt long before we were taking advantage of our new parnership with ESW as AIRetc… Natalie Wilson exhibited the work she had developed and produced during her residency with us. The show, only the second ever in the ESW Eduardo Paolozzi Project Space was beautiful and articulate. A very fitting outcome to very successful residency.

Talking of fitting outcomes, I did say we would come back to our previous AIRetc… Artist, Paul Diamond, who started work as the Graduate Studio Assistant at the University of Edinburgh’s world renowned School of Architecture in October.

Gregor Morrison; Development Detail

Gregor Morrison; Development Detail. Click on Image for more Info.

October was also the month in which CAP1 started their 7 week project at ESW. After 7 years of working with successive CAP1 groups in the old ESW building, which wasnot without its charms, you can be assure it was an absolute pleasure to be in a building with floods of natural light and heating. The outcomes which were exhibited in a staff student collaborative exhibition and review by 2 of the CAP1 participants can be found in the post immediately below this one or by clicking HERE

The third and final AIRetc… Participant for 2012 Gregor Morrison arrived at the the start of October and has been vigorously carving, drawing and printing away in the studio next door ever since. His energy and enthusiasm for printmaking with the the FAD12 students has been infectious providing group and 1-1 support to a range of students. We hope to have news of an exhibition of Gregor’s work very soon.

If anyone is wondering why no mention has been made of the momentus October 1st event that was the merger of the 3 colleges into the newly formed Edinburgh College.

North Edinburgh History Group and CAP2 discussing the work produced for LOCAL

North Edinburgh History Group and CAP2 discussing the work produced for LOCAL. Click on Image for more info.

The truth is that other than the momentary consideration being given changing the name from CAPetc to CAPec the truth is that so far at least the course has been unaffected. Whether that remains the case or not, remains to be seen.

The final months of the the year were packed full of activity in and out of the studio particularly particularly for the CAP2 students who participated in an new LOCAL

project. The premise of the project was to engage with the Political, social and geographical history of the area local to the Granton Campus of the college and to produce artwork in response to the engagement and subsequent research. The, ongoing project involved meetings and presentations for and by the North Edinburgh Local History Group at the North Edinburgh Art centre in Muirhouse. News on the next phase of the LOCAL project will be announced very soon!

Rachael, Kirsty & Rhona at the opening of their exhibition 'Crit'. Click on the image for more info!

Rachael, Kirsty & Rhona at the opening of their exhibition ‘Crit’. Click on the image for more info!

Not satisfied with the with the already significant demands of Year 2 of the course the CAP2 group took it upon themselves to initiate an exhibition of their work entirely unsupported by the college or the staff. Having been inspired by the previous CAP2 group who graduated in June the show, entitled ‘Crit’, took place once again at the Old Ambulance Depot. The show was a genuine triumph and testimony to the groups talents and ambition.

So, thats about it really in terms of the high points of the 2012, there have been many,  indeed the only thing missing has been a wedding! Perhaps this year…………?

Alan Holligan, Edinburgh, Jan 2013

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: