A selection of images from the residency each week
Week One - After sharing each others working practices as artists, we got out some clay and based around John Powell Jones’ works started experimenting with making heads and masks in whatever form was chosen. For many this was their first adventure with clay!
Week Two - Character creation and experimentation with form and texture happened this week, but this time with Fran’s latex foam. It was quite a malleable material, that stiffened slightly to form shapes. Stitching was added onto several pieces based on Fran’s own personal practice. Andy continued with his crocodile drawings, and the patterning was transferred onto a rectangular grid-like structure made from board.
Week Three - The first research visit to the Whitworth to look at the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection. Holly Grange, the Curator of this collection, started with an introduction into Outsider Art. In groups we talked about statements made about this field of art from artists, gallery staff and critics, and then how we felt about them. Holly then talked us through several pieces from the Collection with each artist able to feed in their thoughts about the works.
Week Four - Feeling inspired from the visit last week, the artists began new thinking about art and Amy did research into the many artists within the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection. Fran and James experimented with polystyrene, adapting it and thinking what it could become. Andy started to write down ideas about what art meant to him, which is one of the things the group had been discussing.
Week Five - Disabled artist Tanya Raabe-Webber visited to talk to the artists about her work, disability arts and the labeling of artists within the art world.
Week Six - Our second visit to the Whitworth involved a quiz about whether we thought certain artists fell under the Outsider Art label or not, followed by looking and chatting about a new selection of works from the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection. Back in the studio afterwards the conversations continued about the labeling of artists, with Andy writing down key words from the conversations. Amy did her own interpretation of a stitched Anna Zemankova that we had seen earlier in the day.
Week Seven - This week Joe bought in his sound equipment and all the artists experimented with this. Drawing sounds were amplified and looped, and favourite songs were sampled and remixed on the Launch Pad. Andy’s love of idents from the 80s and 90s were shared with the group too. Results from this will be featured in an upcoming experimental film.
Week Eight - A more serene session after all the noise last week. John was happy with his masks and hands that he has created for a performance piece, and he shared his knowledge of working with the foam latex from week two with James who wanted to adapt it for his own work. Amy carried on with her interpretations, this time with a Madge Gill that she liked for the patterns and colour. She also began to document her research onto index cards.
Week Nine - The whole group took part in filming green screen scenes for an experimental film, taking reference from old educational videos with a dark humour twist. Andy’s wall of words of things he loves in a grid-like form was also added to this film as a background piece. Amy got Pro Create on the iPad and so has been practicing her drawing skills on this device, which is a new technique for her.
Week Ten - James revisited his clay work from week one, translating this into drawing and thinking how else the clay could be used and manipulated. Fran and John experiment with materials Fran had bought in, in order to make puppets. Joe caught up with James about his Whitworth Lates performance that he missed and shared some of the techniques he used for the sound. Andy continued with his drawing, this time intepreting an Andre Robillard photo with line and text - Robillard’s work features in the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection.
Week Eleven - Six students from the University of Salford have been documenting the project since the start and this week Saidul recorded Andy’s voice reading the news, to have as sounds on his film. All the artists got together to select the works from the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection that they would like to have exhibited alongside their works. Andy revisited his writing and started to draw ‘Jenny’ in bright colours in his own style. Fran revisited clay from week one, with no set idea what would come out of it. Joe continued with work he has been exploring since the beginning of the project to do with the manipulation of 3D human models that he has been making dance ‘audio-reactively’ to musical events using MIDI triggers.
Week Twelve - Fran and Joe revisited Fran’s tent made from old material she found, and they experimented with sounds and lights inside it, which excited the group! Hannah from Artlink Hull visited, where the exhibition will travel to in 2019, and the group discussed their ideas of what the final works might look like! The group went away for Christmas full of ideas and enthusiasm.
Amy has been continuing with her digital responses to the Outsider Art Collection, today using Ben Wilson’s sculpture as a starting point. The iPad is recording the process as a video, which will be featured in the final outcomes. James took some time to look over his sketch book and chose his experiments with coded language - so he decided to experiment with ways to add his ideograms onto clay tablets. Andy has been continuing to add text to some of his drawings as a way to communicate his thoughts, and to make choices about which subjects he chooses to work on. The group also discussed artist statements this week and the different ways to capture an artists approach to work in a paragraph.
Holly Grange and Ed Watts visited from the Whitworth this week to catch up on how the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection has been influencing the artists, both directly and indirectly. Gass from Castlefield Gallery spent some time with the artists individually to talk through their artist statements and to give suggestions. Andrew started a drawing of John in his ‘beast’ costume that he was inspired by. Amy drew onto fabric with Fran, with Fran using carbon paper to copy Amy’s style. Amy said, “I chose the design because cocktails are about holidays, family and fun!” This week the group also visited TATE Liverpool to look at the space they would be exhibiting in.
James began painting his clay head today, and has continued to discuss how his wire letters can be developed into stamps that the external people can use. Andy finishes up his drawing, adding bright vivid colours and making the costume have his own slant on it. Amy finished up her cocktail drawings with Fran, which Fran will take forward into boiler suits to be worn.
Amy photographed John in his ‘beast’ costume so that we have good quality photographs documenting it. James worked on using his ideas for an interactive exhibit, using some of his quotes from our discussions about labelling. John and Joe revisited a previous activity using contact microphones and mono-printing. Soundscapes are created using different tools fed through loop and effect pedals, while the ink collects visual representations of the process.
Joe bought in a 3D scanner this week and all the group had a go at scanning their heads and some of the 3D objects they had been making. Amy and Fran spent some time trying out ideas for the ‘Cocktail Suits’ using green-screen, with Fran moving about in the piece. James spent time discussing and practising how his clay letter tiles could be used for an interactive piece for audiences when they are in the exhibition space.
Joe and Fran put on John’s costumes to do test shoots outside, and to think through ideas how they could both feature in the film. James created a survey monkey questionnaire to ask wider audiences about what they find isolating and liberating to feed into his interactive clay tile piece. Amy spent time finalising her digital drawings based on pieces she admired in the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection. Andy likes to answer phones and have conversations.Today he did his drawing of ‘Jenny’ onto a phone. It is hoped the phone will be modified for a future project, so that Andy can record his voice on it and play it back to himself.
The group spent their final morning back at the Whitworth, conversing over the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection works again, with James John Lynch photographing - some of these photos will be shown at Tate Exchange in Liverpool. Andy carefully wrote out the wall text for the exhibition that will be made into vinyl. All the artists admire Andy’s writing and so this was chosen instead of having computer based text. James finished up painting his tiles ready to be used by audiences within the exhibition.