Orbis Art Prize
KEY SKILLS: Documentation, Curation, Collaboration, Time Management and Hard Graft.
MOVING FORWARD: In doing these paintings it seemed as a good closing chapter of this type of work that I was making. Flat, six material, geometric tessellations. This style of work was becoming stagnant for me and doing the commission gave me a reason to try something else as I became very tired of the work after the seven weeks. This lead to my 'landscapes' and mirror work.
This prize came about from my BA Degree Show at Wimbledon College of Art. From the degree show four artists including myself were chosen to submit proposals for the ORBIS Art Prize. This involved a 2.05m x 4.8m wall in the staff room of Orbis Investment Management Ltd located in Wimbledon Bridge House. The brief was open to whatever we wished to do. However it had to be new work for the space, in keeping with our current art practice, H&S [such as maximum relief 40mm] and that it would be something exciting for the staff when using the space. We were also to provide a detailed costing as the materials budget was £1000 + VAT. It was a commissioning prize, so after a year I would get the work back.
My proposal was thirteen of my tessellations arranged like 'bubbles'. They would all be different sizes and arranged all over the wall, all encompassing. They would all be completely different patterns all with different fabric, colours and arrangements. I had also included samples of materials - thick paint, artex and fabric - in the proposal so to give the client an idea when reading my proposal.
Once finding out I had won the prize I had seven weeks to make the work. This was also part of the proposal as I provided a time scale detailing what would be done and when. This meant that the last day of term is when I had till, as it was that day that the work would be installed by The White Wall Company. The work was completed on time, even though I wished for a day as breather, and installed on 11th December 2015.
Collaboration was a key part of this project, because although I was singular in the making and fabrication of this work, it was a collaboration between me, the artist; Workplace Art, the prize organiser; and ORBIS, the client. I decided early on in the making that it was important that I keep both W.A. and ORBIS up to date with how the project was going. This came across favourably as both parties were happy to see how the work was progressing. Another collaboration aspect was with the installers. They did not know me or my work, so came in 'blind' for the install. However as I knew it was a complicated hang, I provided a detailed map with exact, to scale measurements of where to put holes and place the work exactly. This meant the 13 artworks, were hung in only an hour and a half.
For me this project highlighted a few things for me a practicing artist. 1. Even with a detailed time scale I still diverted from the plan. This was to make it easier and quicker [or so thought]. It meant that I worked on groups of work at the same time instead of doing each section on every board at the same time. This lead to me working on the large boards last which I found I should have done first, or interspersed large and small boards with one another. 2. Thirteen boards in seven weeks are tough especially when they range from 150mm to 1.05m. Thirteen boards are what I would make in an academic year. I was not willing to compromise on quality so sleep was put to the wayside. 3. It is wonderful having someone else install your work. I did give them a detailed wall map of where everything was to go with all the measurements. But that was all, it took the weight off, especially as I was thinking of the worst case scenario that the boards would not fit on the wall or be too cramped. 4. Finally it also gave me something to think about when hanging my work. I was going under the assumption that my work could hang from the square frame baton on the back of the work. Yet because of it being a public space the installers had to use d-rings and hooks to make it secure and safe for the public.
MFA DEGREE SHOW
Degree Show 2017, Map and Leaflet
Wimbledon College of Art, Fine Art Degree Show 2017
KEY SKILLS: Time Management, Collaboration, Design, Mapping and Map Making, InDesign, Photoshop, Excel, Documentation and Organisation.
MOVING FORWARD: Working for a second time on the map and leaflet left me in good stead about this type of work in the future as I find it easy to keep organised and so this type of work is good going, however I think that my downfall is the design, and so I should keep to the more administrative side of things. Dealing with excel and data was my forte.
For the MFA Degree Show, I was back on Map duty. Even though doing the Crypt map/leaflet was stressful, I still wanted to do the job again, as I found I was good at it; scary, that I enjoyed it. The main thing that differentiated this leaflet to the last was that there was a team dedicated entirely to the map and leaflet, this was god for me as it meant that, I, was not doing the work all by myself.
In this incarnation of the Map Team, I was the leader. This meant that I created a timetable that we were to work to, and I would be in charge of all outgoing requests and communications. I am a very organised person and so this played to my strengths.
The Map Team decided early on; earlier than timetabled, what we would be designing/making for this year's degree show. A leaflet; A3, folding down to A5; colour inside, black and white outside; images all in colour inside, outside information, map and cover. Also, was individual room maps, each room used by the MFA would have a highly detailed map with all of the artist's and their artworks information.
As the team was small, it meant that we took on a job each and worked independently, coming together to share intel and progress. As leader I took on the individual maps and gathered the printing company comparisons.
The map team worked efficiently as we all had our own jobs to do, we did slip up on the face to face meetings, but we still kept in contact in regards to the important issues by utilising social media.
Organisation was the biggest factor in this job, as after the Crypt I knew that I had to keep on top of the momentum of the Map and Leaflet, not letting degree show work halt progress entirely. I also knew that gathering the information would be a bigger job as we needed images this time as well as a lot more information. This mean that I utilised Microsoft Excel, to keep all the information in one place and organised, ready for distribution.
Collaboration was another aspect of this, as even though I was the team leader, I was not in charge of the main leaflet, as said, we all did our respective jobs. So I was keeping track and asking for all the information we needed for both printed products and also liaising with Charlie H. who was designing the leaflet. As designing the leaflet was a major job, I collected all the information and passed it too her, leaving me to deal with the artists. Some of whom I was hassling for information till the 12th hour, as to be expected.
In the Shadows of a Subterranean River - Crypt Gallery, St Pancras Church
KEY SKILLS: Time Management, Collaboration, Design, Mapping and Map Making, InDesign, Photoshop, Documentation and Organisation.
MOVING FORWARD: I found that working to a 'brief'[site-specific] was useful as it meant I had something I could base my work on, and that meant that the work I made had a stronger grounding. Rather than just art for art sake. Taking this forward an experiment made for this work, has now be realised as my degree show piece.
Part of Unit 2 on the MFA was to organise an exhibition at the Crypt Gallery, underneath St Pancras Church in London. And to create site-specific work responding to the space [SEE The Eyes of the River].
For this project I was part of the Marketing Team, and we were in charge of all the graphics, social media…. One of my jobs was to make a timeline that the Logistics team had asked for. This timetable documented all the jobs that the marketing group had to do and when they had to be done by E.G. Banner = Mid-September. Making the timetable I found no hassle, however it meant that I became a time keeper for when the jobs had to be done. In hindsight this did not work. Most of the jobs were done around the time that they had to be done, but some did slip. Even though we had a Facebook group to communicate and some face to face meetings over the summer, communication did falter over decisions to be made and on feedback needed for graphics and exhibition texts. On the other hand all the graphics and other jobs were done in time for the show and all the deadlines were met [albeit with a few weeks leeway].
My main job for the Marketing team was to design and organise the leaflet that would accompany the exhibition. It would contain the poster, press release, map of artists and artist information. The design was decided fairly early on, an A5 leaflet [folded A4] - Front = Poster, Middle = Map and Artist Information, Back = Press Release. The artist information in the leaflet would be basic because of space, and we planned to have a 'large print' version printed big displayed in the show itself detailing more artist information. For this leaflet I designed the map inside it, this map was based on the original map that the gallery provides on its website. I did make changes; the lines were all matched up and even [it was no longer wonky] and doorways that were blocked up for the show, now did not exist in the first place.
Putting together the leaflet was done last minute because it was made up of other elements. I had to wait for the poster design to be finalised, for the press release to be finished, and for the artist information. This I was fine with as it meant that I could concentrate on planning and designing the work for the show. With the deadline of work being Monday 24th October, I decided to ask for artist information on 23rd. The printing would take place on the Thursday, and I would only know the artist placement on the Wednesday. I gave the artists till the Wednesday night to send me the information I wanted. Name, Title, Medium, Website and Email Address. All the artists bar one sent me the information by the Wednesday morning, which I was surprised by and grateful for as it meant that I would not have to be up at all hours compiling the information. This mean that the leaflet could be printed on time as planned on Thursday morning, along with the large format information pages. Both these items were then delivered to the Crypt by Thursday lunch time.
Time management and organisation were important as I had to balance the making and planning of the work along with the leaflet designing and map making. Also organising to have the leaflets ready with information for printing in time for the show with the tight turn around.
Collaboration because, it was a group show and so we all had to do our part in the actualisation of the show, this meant that I had to collaborate with others and work in favour with others to make the marketing happen.
Oxfam, Window Dressing
KEY SKILLS: Documentation, Resourcefulness and Time Management.
MOVING FORWARD: I enjoyed this 'commission' as it was a unusual job to do. But it meant that I could advertise my work, albeit shelf decoration. And it led to me being asked to decorate the shop for Christmas in a similar fashion, using what would have been recycled books.
I am a volunteer at an Oxfam Bookshop and the window display shelves needed re-doing. They had been spray painted silver for Christmas two years ago, and the book stands had been scratching away at the paint. The manager knowing my art background asked if I would take it on - three, three-tiered shelving units. I said yes, and he gave me a brief - using what would have been recycled books. This was fine and so any books that would make nice collage but would otherwise have been recycled/pulped were put aside for me to use as I saw fit. I wanted to tie in some part of my practice and that was the collage element.
I wanted all three units to be quite different. So number one was collaged pages of World Who’s Who of Women 1960 Ed. Over which I had pasted circles [an integral part of my practice] of tissue paper cut out from all different colours. Much like A Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Number two was using all different types of maps. The shelves had astronomical maps and the case had vintage world maps. For this unit I cut up the pieces into hexagons and tessellated them.
The final unit is covered in comics. This one because of the comics having every colour imaginable. I kept it to kids comics for this one as the other two had quite a grown-up feel about them. I wanted to separate them by using Asterix and Obleix along with Tintin and old SMASH annuals.
Time management was important as the units were too big to take home to work on so I had to work on them in the bookshop. I did not want to get in the way of the other volunteers as I would be doing this outside of my usual shifts, so I decided to work on them in the early mornings. Another reason was that when working on a unit, it was removed from the display meaning that there were fewer books on display for the customers to be enticed by and I did not want that to happen too much. So I tried to only have them each gone from the window for about a week at a time.
Resourcefulness was important for this as I was using a very narrow range of materials - almost recycled books. So for this I had to be quite inventive about each shelves theme and if I could then stretch over the entire shelving unit. To help with this I collected books for a few months before starting the units.