Study Days and Courses

SW Study Day, Bristol 9th November 2019

Tutor Lydia Halcrow spoke to the group about her work:

  • Uses metal plates attached to her walking boots to collect the marks from her walks along the estuary. She used these scratched and grooved plates to then print images of each walk.
  • Initially her work was painting of an area. Now her work is a response to an area – collected soil used as painting medium, found clay used to take imprints in ship hull which collects barnacles and rust.
  • Mild steel plates left to rush on the ships hull
  • Works on collections of small pieces which can be displayed together in grids to made large pieces.
  • Collects found plastics from beach and arranges on light sensitive plate (from China) which leave rough areas that can then be printed – black images (using found black clay for ink) on thick white paper (like blotting paper), some plastics identifiable (ring pulls, netting)

We then discussed the problems of working outside and ways we’ve found to overcome these:

  • People looking and possibly asking questions! Lack of self confidence – join a small group of artists working so focus isn’t on you, work small and simply then rework back in studio. Have your story ready to tell the inquisitive (student working on project, council worker)
  • Personal safety, being alone (especially for photographers) in dark areas – the usual check list of tell someone where you’re going and when you’re expected back, take torch, take dog, go with someone…
  • Ever changing light and weather conditions – work small and quickly, don’t let it worry you, just adjust, go prepared to change from painting to rubbings or soil collection, quick sketch or photos
  • Trespass – know your local law, don’t try photographing government buildings in Israel etc, ask permission on obviously private land (or work quickly)
  • Carrying supplies – don’t take everything, keep it to a basic minimum, use pastels, charcoal or brush pens rather than paints etc

The afternoon was spent with student presentations and questions regarding their current work. As there were 19 students, we split into 2 groups of 9 so that we had approx 15 mins each. I presented my pieces for Part 2 assignment and asked what worked well/didn’t with each as they are so different. Interesting feedback from fellow students and Lydia Halcrow – see Part 2 assignment write up.

A very enjoyable and useful session despite being such a long distance to travel there and back in the one day. Always great to meet up with other students to swap stories and gather advise.

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