Sunday, 21 April 2013

Art Academy Crit: April

The most recent Art Academy crit took place on Friday 5th April.
Present were Natalie Bradbury, Maurice Carlin via Skype, Rachel Goodyear, Sara Nesteruk, Rachel Newsome, Lisa Risbec, Lauren Velvick, Jenny Walden, Jen Wu.
Four presentations were given by Lauren, myself, Rachel and Rachel.

1. Lauren Velvick
Lauren described a current project documenting paintings by a late uncle. She presented three of his painting and the blog of the project.

Lauren spoke about her uncle's schizophrenia, how it had affected his formal art training and his painting. She explained that the blog is not curated, and is an attempt to get the painting into a situation where they are seen. She described the collection of around 200 paintings on card and canvas, including some religious works and self portraits.

There was some discussion about Lauren's intentions for the works, how they might be exhibited and whether or not they would be sold. Lauren spoke about sorting the work into themes or a series, possible venues for exhibiting, and the possibility of raising money for a housing association that had helped her uncle. The Museum of Everything was suggested as a point of reference and interest.

2. Sara Nesteruk
I presented a proposal for a new animated film and showed a previous animated short The Accident.

I spoke about the subject matter for the new film, which will tell the story of the Ukrainian famines in the early 1930's. Research will be collected initially by collecting bread recipes from elderly Ukrainian people. I talked about my own interest and connection with the material, and the link with the previous film.

We discussed approaches to storytelling, including a reference to Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. The relationship between form and content was discussed, and the possibilities and significance of working with bread as a metaphor. Suggestions were given about accessing Ukrainian communities in northern Manchester, and a possible residency application was discussed.

3. Rachel Goodyear
Rachel presented a work in progress for a forthcoming solo show at the International 3 Gallery in Manchester. The work is a large scale drawing on paper in three sections.

Rachel spoke about the scale of the new work, which is much larger than usual, and the challenges and opportunities this was presenting. The discovery of a new process of working was described, using collages of smaller drawings. She described the themes of her work in general as an interest in the macabre, but also a celebration of life, a balance between the beautiful and the gory.

We talked about the themes behind Rachel's pieces, and work by Piero della Francesca was suggested as a possible reference. The new technique that Rachel is using reminded her of using sticker books in her childhood, and this idea resonated with the group. The subtleties of the process were discussed, and the possibilities it may provide for some performance based practice.

4. Rachel Newsome
Rachel read aloud a recent short story: The Holy of Holies.

Rachel described her works in general as stories that have an allegorical aspect, and talked of an interest in creating other worldly environments. She explained that the title was inspired by a Kafka quote, and she described the symbolism of the clothes in the story. The main character was described as an artist going on journey, searching for a truth.

The group talked about the pleasure of listening to stories being read aloud, and Rachel mentioned another project she is involved in called Don't Tell Stories. The Overcoat by Nikolai Gogol was mentioned as a reference and suggested as a possible future text for a reading group. Some discussion was had around the meaning of colour in the story, and the use of clothes to construct or deconstruct identity.