AIRetc… Shareen Sorour

It was an enormous pleasure to welcome Shareen Sorour as the new Artist In Residence in the Art & Design Dept. Shareen studied Foundation Diploma (FAD) and HND Contemporary Art Practice (CAP) before heading west to study for a degree in Sculpture and Environmental Art (SEA) at Glasgow School of Art (GSA).

So far Shareen introduced us to her practice and has already taken part in crits and tutorials.

Pop up exhibition comes Out of the Blue

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“This will not re-occur” was an all too brief but altogether visually and conceptually rich experience of new works from recently graduated #CAPetcAlumni Donna Lauder, Georgia Sparkes, Daniel Twist, (2015) Kaitlyn Walker-Stewart and Joshua Waterson. (2014)

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Despite being located in the rehearsal studio of the Out of the Blue Drill Hall in leith the artists had little opportunity before the 3pm deadline to test their ideas and assess how the works cohabited in the space. A difficult problem given the range of work on show which included sculptural intervention, drawing, painting, video and 2 simultaneous live performances but it was a problem ably overcome.

Since graduating from Edinburgh College the group have moved on to art schools across the UK, Central Saint Martins, Glasgow School of Art, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design and Northumbria University.

CAP1 ESW Residency

A few weeks ago it was the turn of CAP1 to take up residence at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. Although an annual event for 7 years this was only our 3rd year in the new Bill Scott Sculpture Centre as part of our formal partnership with ESW. Since the new premises opened in June 2012 ESW and the college have had a formal partnership which has ESW designated as an Edinburgh College Employability Centre. The partnership allows students to undertake their Introduction to Sculpture course in a purpose built professional studio & workshop environment for the research, development and production of sculptural practice.

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As well as the formal sculptural practice developed during the residency a number of Professional Practice events took place including wood workshop induction and a talk by ESW Curator of Research Dan Brown who spoke to the residency participants about the facilities, history & philosophy of ESW as well as the education, exhibition and residency programmes. Other events included a studio visit with studio holder Kate Ive and a talk by RSA/ESW International Residency winner Norbert Delman whose exhibition Sweat / Suffer / Success was open in the gallery space. All the talks took place in the new multi function research space at ESW which is flexile enough to have round table talks and discussions as well as presentations. Having access to the space and resources meant we were able to have our annual Moving Image event curated by #exCAPer and regular guest lecturer Benjamin Fallon which was held over two evenings at ESW.

Next May we will return to ESW with CAP2 for their Diploma Exhibition by which time the second phase of the multi £million capital project ‘Creative Laboratories’ will have been open for 6 months and we are looking forward to spending a week working and exhibiting in the new spaces.

Click on the links below to see  blog posts by CAP1 ESW Residents:

Szabolcs Fricska:  http://sfricskacap.tumblr.com/post/101630305745/the-week-that-we-spent-at-the-edinburgh-sculpture

Yulia Vitten: http://iuliiavittencap.tumblr.com/post/101836631621/my-final-sculpture-from-the-week-at-esw-and-small

Magdealen Gunkowska: http://mgunkowskacap.tumblr.com/post/101166933302/my-experiments-with-plaster-and-construction

http://mgunkowskacap.tumblr.com/post/101171457022

Elena Cheltsova: http://echeltsovacap.tumblr.com/post/101429925954/esw-day-3-modelling-with-plaster-thought-of

Freya Taylor: http://freyataylorcap.tumblr.com/post/100831352454/collaborative-installation-lots-of-fun-i-was

Art School, Smart School

Is this the end of the British art school?

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Last week BBC Radio 4 aired the programme Art School, Smart School which featured contributions from Brian Eno, Tracy Emin and Grayson Perry as they lament the creative freedom afforded by the British post war art school experience and share fears about the increasing commodification and the increasing need to legitimate study y demonstrating market relevance. You can listen to the programme by clicking the link below.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04pr1w2

Art School, Smart School, was produced by Isabel Sutton, and first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 22nd November at 8pm

As well as producing the programme Isobel Sutton has also written the following article for the New Statesman first published on the 20th Nov 2014.

When the Great Exhibition opened its doors in 1851, Britain’s reputation as the workshop of the world was on the wane. Few visitors would have known it at the time, but the exhibition signified the high watermark of British manufacturing. French design and Prussian engineering were already edging ahead. In 2012, London hosted another event designed to present Britain to the world – one which referenced the upheaval of the Industrial Revolution by featuring towering smoke stacks and beating drums.

Danny Boyle’s Olympic opening ceremony represented British history as a creative blossoming that started in the nineteenth century but seemed to reach its zenith in the twentieth century when fashion, film and pop music boomed. And yet it seems to me that Boyle’s Olympic opener – just like the Great Exhibition – was telling a story about Britain that had already ceased to be true. The circumstances which made it possible for artists to thrive in Britain during the twentieth century are rapidly disappearing. And perhaps one of the most essential changes is in our art schools.

Name any one of the UK’s most famous designers or musicians, never mind artists, and they are likely to have set foot in an art school at one time or other: David Bowie, Pete Townsend, Brian Eno, Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano. I could go on and on. Economist Hasan Bakhshi of innovation charity Nesta says that he is frequently asked about how we run our art schools by educationalists abroad. Art schools are perceived by many as the key to our creative success.

Yet art schools have changed dramatically over the last 20–30 years, causing many to question whether they will, in the future, cultivate the innovators we so badly need. Art schools used to be havens for students who, for whatever reason, had not found their niche in the traditional academic system. Now prospective art students very often have to prove their academic credentials to compete for a place at the most prestigious colleges. Once on the course, art students have to submit an increasing volume of written work, arguably a distraction from practical skills and craft.

Tuition fees have made higher education in Britain more expensive than anywhere else in Europe, and art schools are no exception. This means that the social and economic mix is disappearing (students from poorer backgrounds being less inclined to take out a loan for a non-vocational subject such as fine art). What’s more, art schools are going out of their way to attract foreign students for the extra income they bring. Unsurprisingly, there is deep concern among many artists and teachers that the age of the art school is – to quote Sir Christopher Frayling – “over”.

Frayling was, until 2009, dean of one of Britain’s most venerable art schools, the Royal College (RCA). But as I walked its corridors with him recently, he admitted that even this renowned institution has suffered from the same damaging developments as art schools around the country: workshops for ceramics, printing, and metalwork have been replaced by computer rooms, digital expertise is prioritised before craft; student numbers are rocketing and teaching hours are sinking.

Read the full article on the New Statement website: 

http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/11/end-british-art-school

PARADISE: Found.

PARADISE Poster Sofie Fischer-Rasmussen Image 1

‘PARADISE’ is an exhibition of new work by #exCAPer Sofie Fischer-Rasmussen. The exhibition is a presentation of bold, botanically themed, photographic works, fragile sculptures and intricate instillations. These are the result of the artist’s struggle to maintain the necessary balance between economic self sufficiency, and becoming a professional working artist in her first year out of art school.

Sofie graduated from HND Contemporary Art Course at Edinburgh College Granton in 2009 before going directly into year 2 of the highly respected Sculpture and Environmental Art Course at Glasgow School of Art. Since graduating from GSA in summer 2012 Sofie has continued to develop her practice while dealing with the economic realities of life after art school.

Sofie is prolific in her use of social media and internet based research. Some which readers can see from the links below which include an interview on Glasgow based artists collective 2-1-4-1 website.

PARADISE: Opens tonight at 6pm at A.Gallery, 87 Saltmarket Glasgow.

Sofie Fischer-Rasmussen Image 2

SFR on tumblr:

http://sofiefischerrasmussen.tumblr.com

Full exhibition text:

http://sofiefischerrasmussen.tumblr.com/image/64408284423

Interview with SFR on 2-1-4-1 website:

http://2-1-4-1.com/exhibition-preview-and-artist-interview-sofie-fischer-rasmussen

AH:16-10-13