The Story of Gelert || How to make a tent

Architecture, Arnolfini, Art, Article, Artist, Arts, Bristol, Drawing, Events, Exhibition, Facebook, Nature, Painting, Performace, Performance, Performance art, YA Meeting

Initially the group began with the idea of Welsh folk stories, which we were interested in because of the way that they are communicated. These stories were only passed by word of mouth, and have only been recorded in modern times.

 

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Buying fabric, and constructing the tent in Gallery 1, Arnolfini

 

The group explored these stories, becoming attached to ‘The story of Gelert’ and the Welsh language, mainly its translation and mistranslation into English and other languages. This lead us to explore translation, which became the centre of the project.

The group wanted to create a den or tent like space to present the story, as we felt that this was the perfect storytelling environment.

After we had decided on creating a tent space, we were given found footage of a family putting up a tent. This coincidence re-affirmed our tent concept, and became a really important part of the work.

 

The story of Gelert continues to be an integral part of the work and its creation.

Interview: Lee Mc Donald

Art, Article, Artist, Arts, Bristol, Inspirational, Installation, Interview, Performance art, sculpture, Video

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Lee Mc Donald is a Plymouth based artist who uses sound and movement to make kinetic, sonic and often public sculptures out of recycled or reclaimed objects. Describing his work as quasi scientific Lee’s practice is based in experimentation and testing. I first met Lee when he turned the courtyard of Baggator Community Centre in Easton into an art installation for the 2014 Bristol Biennial.

Interview: Jen Howarth

Art, Article, Artist, Arts, Bristol, Drawing, Inspirational, Interview, Printing

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I caught up with Jen Howarth just after she’d dropped her work off for an exhibition she’s currently in with Synecdoche Art Collective – a group show by recent graduates and current students of Drawing and Applied Arts at UWE – at the Christmas Steps Gallery. (It’s pronounced si-nek-duh-kee in case you were wondering). In the gallery Jen is exhibiting Jetty [above] (and the original etching print inc. metallic spray paint water is every bit as beautiful in the flesh), while in the Synecdoche pop up shop area Jen has prints, badges and t-shirts for sale. I kind of want to own all of her work.

‘If I see a tree that looks like it should be climbed, then I’m going to climb it’ : Weak Anarchy with Tom Pope.

Arnolfini, Artist, Arts, Events, Performance, Photography, Workshop

As Part of our Young Artist Series, this month we were fortunate enough to take part in a workshop hosted by the eternally playful Tom Pope.

Oranges

First he shares with us some of his incredible work along with a handful of peculiar stories that paint him out to be a neighbourhood terror in a comic or something.

Tom Pope’s shirt is the colour of lemons and by his feet is a bag of oranges. These oranges will be thrown with reckless abandon into the path of cameras that are hungry to catch the oranges before they collide with walls and floors, splitting their skins in a shower of orange juice.

If the camera is successful in ‘catching’ the orange the photograph is essentially spoiled by an obscure orange blur.

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The next act in the workshop has us locked in photographic combat, our fingers poised on each other’s triggers. Maeve’s lens is pointed at me and mine at her, ready to shoot. But we don’t want to shoot each other, we want to shoot ourselves. I want to capture a thousand of my own images with Maeve’s camera but I don’t want her to snap herself on mine. So now we’re dancing, everyone in the room is dancing! Like a group of couples in the ballroom of a cruise ship that’s hit choppy waters and scattered us about. And all the time we’re going in circles, trying to move our camera away from their faces whilst drawing theirs towards us.

I’m almost as tragic at writing about this as I was in actually doing it. My chaotic brain can’t handle the two actions at once and I unknowingly let Maeve photograph her laughing face over and over and over while I fail to capture my own.

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And now (with our cameras still citrus-scented) we are temporarily blinded and guided through the gallery; shakily up and down stairs, awkwardly into lifts, clinging on to walls and sometimes each other, led under chairs and tables  until something in our sightless minds tell us the moment is right to take the photograph and open two sets of eyes at once.

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My photograph is a white-out because I had my camera on the wrong setting. The camera was as blind as I was and the image is a total nothingness. The outcome isn’t always as important as the process.


In the last part of our first workshop we do what Tom Pope does best: we play a game. Here are the seven rules to live by if you want to get involved and play the YA Game of Photography:

1. Offside rule.
2. No zoom.
3. If someone shouts ‘You!’ And points, everyone must photograph them.
4. Eye contact with the lens makes the picture invalid.
5. Cannot have two feet on the floor when taking a picture.
6. After taking a picture you have to turn 180 degrees
7. Must shout ‘Yes!’ when taking a picture

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You can go and peep at Tom Pope’s work here: http://www.tompope.co.uk/

Reflections on the Josephine Pryde exhibition

Arnolfini, Art, Artist, Audio Tours, Bristol, Exhibition, Literature, Photography

Josephine Pryde gallery guide by the Young ArnolfiniIn response to the current Josephine Pryde exhibition at the Arnolfini, I decided to write a ‘reading list’ to collect together the literature it made me think about or that could be set in dialogue with it. This turned into more of a reflection piece. The bit about hands in art history is in the first gallery guide, and I turned the other two sections into audio guides as part of the Young Arnolfini Soundcloud clips.

Selected reading list for Josephine Pryde’s exhibition, ‘These are just things I say, they are not my opinions’

Photography and Technology

The Image Culture in which we live has been foreseen by many writers, including Guy Debord with his 1967 book, The Society of The Spectacle. Moholy Nagy also predicted the power of images over the whole of society in his essay and theory, The New Vision, 1989. He states, “The illiterate of the future will be the person ignorant of the use of the camera as well as the pen”. 

Can images undermine experience? – Susan Sontag in her book, On Photography, 1977, certainly thinks so. The 1970s horror movie, The Messiah of Evil, extends this idea in its culminating cinema scene with self-reflexive effects. However, Heather Phillipson’s film performance, A is to D what E is to H, 2011, asserts a way in which the contemporary body can perform and claim itself within its image-saturated world. This seems to offer similar “critical hooks” to those seen in Pryde’s exhibition at the Arnolfini: Both artists mediate the power of images over the body through the use of devices such as juxtaposition, sound and movement. 

Interview: Gareth Brookes

Art, Article, Artist, Arts, Books/Comics, Bristol, Illustrator, Inspirational, Interview

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I remember finding Gareth Brookes’ work on my first visit to a Bristol Zine Fair when I had just moved here to start Uni. I’m not sure if I was struck first by Gareth’s fascinating drawings moving fluidly from lino print to embroidery, or by the macabre storyline of his graphic novel The Black Project.

Tell us about your background, how did you get into illustration and start making graphic novels?