Monday, 30 November 2009

Paroles et Dessins

The Art Academy are taking part in a live, experimental drawing event using the magical powers of Skype to connect us here in Salford with London, Paris and New York.

We will be working with students from Wimbledon School of art who will be based at Matts Gallery in London along with students of Parsons School of Art & Design in Paris and New York.

We have a small number of extra places for those who would like to take part or watch so please get in touch if you'd like to do that.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

KS09: Kurt Schwitters Autumn School

Islington Mill Art Academy will be giving a presentation at KS09, the Kurt Schwitters International Autumn School event in Cumbria. Writer and curator, Guy Brett is to give the annual Kurt Schwitters lecture. Other confirmed speakers include David Medalla (Mondrian Fanclub), Barbara Steveni and Elisa Kaye (Flat Time House), Dr. Penelope Curtis (Henry Moore Institute), and artists Pippa Koszerek, Sophie Hope, Eva Merz and Glenn Loughram.

The Seminar runs from Friday 2nd till Sunday 4th Oct. Booking and further information is available at

Sunday, 20 September 2009

In Court with Martin Holman

On Friday members of the Academy spent an afternoon in Manchester's new Civil Justice Centre with our artist in residence, Martin Holman. Martin gave a reading of 'Doing what it Horta' a text he has written on the artist, Ian Kiaer. This was followed by a lively discussion. We were joined by artist Simon Blackmore with whom we are planning to organise a future event at the Civil Justice Centre, listening to an audio version of Plato's 'The Republic' over the course of a day.

The Civil Justice Centre opened in 2007 and, despite its unwelcoming entrance, is a public building open to all. The upper floors offer great views over Salford looking through what is reportedly the largest suspended glass wall in Europe!

Saturday, 5 September 2009

OPEN DAY!! for new members: Sept 10th 2009

Islington Mill Art Academy will be opening its doors to new members on Thursday Sept 10th with an open day at Islington Mill from 2 till 8pm.

The Academy was started in 2007 by a group of art foundation students keen on exploring alternatives to University based education for artists. The Academy exists to experiment with what an education in art can be, where it can take place and how it can be paid for.

If you have a tremendous and unstoppable will to make art and you would like to direct and organise your own education please come along on Thursday 10th to find out more! If you can't make it along to the open day, just drop us a line at:

Friday, 4 September 2009

Artist Talk with Andy Abbott

On the 3rd of September Islington Mill art academy invited artist Andy Abbott to present an informal talk on his opinions of the current state of D I Y. Andy is based in Leeds and has been a part of the D I Y 'scene' for some time. Andy is a an artist, writer and musician and is part of 'Black Dogs' a Leeds based artist collective. Andy spoke about his history with D I Y and his current relationship to it. A few of the points Andy raised was the lo fi nature and aesthetics of D I Y, he questioned why D I Y struggles to be discussed and looked at the ethics of this. The talk managed to raise much debate, passion and questions within the group.

For more Information on Andy Abbott :

Islington Mill Art Academy 5th Open Critique

On Thursday Islington Mill Art Academy held their 5th open
critique. The academy welcome's anyone to come along and take part in the critiques even if you only stay for an hour! We
have really benefited from the input of those who have attended. The critiques take place monthly and begin from the early afternoon. We always advertise them but if anyone wants further information before our '6th open critique' please get in touch.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Not At This Address: Bury Art Gallery

Amy Pennington and Maurice Carlin from the Art Academy are taking part in the current exhibition at Bury Art Gallery, 'Not At This Address'. The exhibition opens on July 31st and runs until November 7th 2009.

The exhibition looks at the growing number of artists in the region who share the same ambition; the wish to transcend the local and engage with the global cultural dialogue. Using a wide range of media from watercolours to computer animation, the exhibition threads a path through questions of memory, hope, action and what is real. Artists participating in the exhibition include Rachel Goodyear, Alison Erika Forde and Andrew McDonald.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Islington Mill Art Academy & Becky Shaw at 'Trade City'

Islington Mill Art Academy are working with artist Becky Shaw on a project to be exhibited as part of 'Trade City', the inaugural project for Contemporary Art Manchester (CAM). Featuring a number of Manchester and UK premieres and new commissions, Trade City has generated innovative forms of exchange across the citys art scene.

Contemporary Art Manchester is a new, not-for-profit consortium of visual arts organisations, representing the breadth of the current contemporary arts infrastructure in Manchester, UK. In bringing together the art production of thirteen diverse organisations, Trade City reflects the trading and exchange that has taken place between the artists and curators partnering in CAM.

Becky Shaw makes work that explores the relationship between objects and people. This includes 'reverse engineering' a vodka bottle mould, and an investigation of the interweaving of human and material life in an aggregate floor tile (for Firstsite Newsite 09). In 1998 she received a doctorate, and since then has continued to work across academic and art production. Between 2000 and 2006 Shaw was Co-Director of Static Gallery, Liverpool; an organisation focused upon energising critical thinking in the city. She currently leads the MA Contemporary Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Art Academy at the ICA, London.

Islington Mill Art Academy visited London at the weekend to take part in Word/Play, an event curated by Terry Smith at the ICA. Word/Play is a part of Talk Show, a month long season of events, discussions and artworks, including an exhibition of speech taking place throughout the ICA. The Art Academy previously worked with Terry Smith taking part in a 'Speakeasy' event at Wimbledon School of Art in January this year. Word/Play brings together many of the elements which have been successful during the first season of 'Speakeasy' at Wimbledon. More information is here:

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Visiting Artists: Pippa Koszerek & Caner Aslan

This week, IMAA has the pleasure of hosting artists, Caner Aslan and Pippa Koszerek who are here at Islington Mill for short residencies.

Caner has travelled all the way from Istanbul and is here at the mill for 10 days. We first saw Caners work in last years Berlin Biennale when we were in the city organising the Free Art School at Westgermany. Caner has recently taken part in 'Straw Poll', a poster exhibition in the windows of shops and other premises along Chapel St. in Salford, coinciding with the 'Sounds from the Other City' festival.

Pippa is here for the first of three visits to Islington Mill, which are to take place over the next two months. Her work involves the creation of organisations as artworks/curatorial projects such as the Independent Art School (1999-) and The Unasked-for-Public Art Agency (2006-).

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Art Academy at the Arnolfini, Bristol.

This week, Islington Mill Art Academy took part in a panel debate held at the Arnolfini in Bristol entitled 'Who can afford to be an artworker?' The debate is Swedish artist, Annika Eriksson's contribution to the 'Lapdogs of the Bourgeoisie' exhibition just opened at the Arnolfini. The panel debate which took place before the opening of the show was preceded by an intense and exciting month-long email debate with the 3 other participants, Fatima Hellberg, Metod Blejec and Helen Marten. 'Who can afford to be an artworker?' aims to explore the mode in which a young generation is shaped by the pragmatics of working and living in the art world today. 

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Opening of Islington Mill reference Library

This week sees the launch of the new Islington Mill Arts reference Library, initiated by the Art Academy working with artist Gary Leddington. The library is an arts resource comprised of artists monographs, exhibition catalogues and survey publications as well as cultural theory ranging from philosophy to art. One of the long-term goals of the library is to develop a specialised section of publications from locally based artists. The library is a free and publicly available resource compiled on a donations basis, with over 300 publications attained from the initial call. The library will be launched on Monday 16th and will be officially open to use by appointment from then onwards. Coinciding with the exhibition The Dilemma of Archive, the launch will see the library open for browsing and is the perfect opportunity to bring along any donations.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Instructions for a Drawing Class

IMAA have begun the first of a six week long remote postal project with artist Chloe Briggs. We have enlisted 4 groups to take part in the project. The other groups are based in Marseille, Glasgow and Berlin. Communication between the groups will be restricted to the postal service only for the duration of the project. Here are some excerpts from Chloe's introduction to the project: "The 'Instructions for a Drawing Class' are being offered as an experimental form of art school syllabus that I will send by post once a week. I am interested in the potential for a written set of 'instructions' to activate a meaningful class/educational experience directed from a distance and without a teacher present. The 'classes' that I have designed evolved out of my interest in how to engage students in a creative process that involved risk-taking rather than a limited focus on the assessed end product required by the institution; work that interests me most is often deemed a failure by students."

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Art Academy take part in Frieze Survey

Islington Mill Art Academy have contributed a piece for the current Frieze magazine survey on professionalism in the arts. Frieze asked 16 curators, writers and artists how they thought the languages, codes, education and buisness methods resulting from an increasingly professionalised art world are affecting creative freedom. You can read the piece here:

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

IMAA at Wimbledon School of Art

Eight members of Islington Mill Art Academy travelled to London this week at the invitation of artist, Terry Smith. Terry is a drawing fellow at Wimbledon School of Art. He organises a weekly 'Speakeasy' session which he describes as 'a drawing class where no one draws'. Terry invites people whose work he is interested in, to suggest a format for each session. The events are open to students from all disciplines at Wimbledon as well as students from Chelsea school of art and Camberwell.

We brought a number of ideas with us to the event, one of which was our task bag, a paper bag containing 50 cards each outlining a different task. The task bag was something that we developed with artists, Helmut Lemke and Kerry Morrisson during the first months of the Academy. It was to be used in the event of reaching an impasse with a piece of work or being in the studio and not knowing what to do. Putting a hand in the bag to take out a card meant tha the task had to be completed. 

We talked with the students about our respective experiences of art education and it was an interesting experience for us to connect with peers who have opted to take the University route through education. We managed to maintain an informality to the events throughout the day. The afternoon session evolved spontaneously into a staring match between students from Wimbledon and the Art Academy. Each group stood and sat in classic school photo formation on either side of a large assembly room with a long roll of paper on the ground connecting us. Each person to lose their composure had to leave their team. It was a long and testing battle of minds but at the outset, the free educators won the day!