15th International Conference on the Arts in Society

Last week I was supposed to be in Galway at the 15th International Conference on the Arts in Society. Like most things these days it went virtual, so I spent the time watching video submissions from other participants. The conference concluded with a Zoom call with about 20 other participants. My only previous experience of academic conferences was the medical conferences I attended when I worked in the pharmaceutical industry. The human interaction of discussing shared interests was missing and hard to replicate online.

My talk was based on the paper I wrote for my MA.

Making Art in Response to a Rare, Life-limiting Illness Diagnosis
ABSTRACT
How does one comprehend and adjust to a diagnosis of a rare life-limiting illness? This paper discusses how I have used art to respond to a diagnosis of Amyloidosis. The discussion is set within the context of artists, Jo Spence, Robert Pope, Elizabeth Jameson, Deborah Padfield, and Eugenie Lee who made work in response to cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, and endometriosis diagnoses. The paper discusses how and what art can communicate about the experience of serious illness and will examine how (Murray & Gray, 2008) views on the psychology of health and (Carel, 2019) considerations of phenomenology can be used to interpret the experience of ill health for the individual. The paper will also consider how, if artwork is made as part of a healing or therapeutic process, it can also communicate something of the experience to others including clinicians, other patients, carers and the wider public. Set within current debate on the role of the arts in health and well-being, the paper considers how art can interpret and communicate the medical and personal reality of complex medical conditions and the experience of living with those conditions.

The talk can be found on YouTube https://youtu.be/AkrYJ4juwEM

Work in Progress Summer Studios

So during the summer we get access to the studio spaces, which means we can experiment with our work and try out new things.

I have been recently using my MRI images to inspire my work.  These have mostly been fairly small pieces.

I have been exploring going bigger, making a piece that is life-size.

 

May Exhibitions

May Exhibitions

May always brings a glut of art to look at and enjoy particularly in Brighton where we have the Brighton Festival. This year the guest director David Shrigley has put on an interactive installation Life Model II at Fabrica Gallery. The installation features a larger than life mannequin in the middle of a typical life drawing set up. Visitors are encouraged to take part and draw the model, these efforts are show on the walls.

A big part of Brighton Festival is the Artists Open Houses. Artists open their or their friends  homes to the public for the purpose of selling their wares.  This gives people chance to bag a locally made bargain while having a good nose around other peoples houses in different parts of town.  The reality is that a lot of houses are operating as a craft fair selling jewellery, home-wares, prints of assorted Brighton landmarks such as the Royal Pavilion and the pier, seagull models and other assorted products of varying quality accompanied by tea and cake in the garden.  This is I think the result of the high cost of being part of the artist houses trail.  But occasionally you find a house showing good quality paintings or sculpture. This is the case with the Collectors Selection, part of the Hove trail, which is showing a good selection of Sculpture. Including work by Eve Shepherd and Fiona Morley.

Phoenix artist studios open weekend was a great opportunity to see a wide variety of professional artist’s studios and the work they create. It was also great to catch up with Lucy Brown, Michelle Cobin and Eve Shepherd and see their latest work and be encouraged with my work.

Last but not least is the degree show at  the University of Chichester. Students present an exhibition which is the culmination of three years study.

 

March Exhibitions

March’s exhibitions were in places not normally open to the public. Candida Stevens galley presented part of Stephen Farthing’s collection of paintings Museums of the World in the private gallery of Simon Draper, former chairman of Virgin Music Group. The paintings were interspersed with Simon’s impressive collection of contemporary art.

A friend invited me to see her friend Ann O’Daly’s exhibition A Forward Step Back with Ann Cook. The art was interesting because it was inspired by bodily experience. I also enjoyed the colour and application of paint.

 

February Exhibitions

I visited exhibitions and London Fashion Week in February.
Monochrome: Painting in Black and White  at the National Gallery, London examined art works in Monochrome, which as someone obsessed with colour it was quite informative.
Olafur Eliasson created a light installation using yellow light which rendered everything in the room monochrome.

Hard Painting at the Phoenix Gallery provided the Colour and Abstract art that inspires my own practice.

Another fascinating exhibition where  art and science meet is Deconstructing Patterns at the Francis Crick Institute, London.

Experimenting with Print

I’ve been spending time exploring a new technique for making work. This has been acid etching to make prints of my images.  I have enjoyed the scientific approach to creating etchings but I still have issues with making clean prints. It also removes the possibility of lots of colour in the work.

Amyloid Etching

Cellular Etch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cellular etch was made by coating the plate with masking varnish and then dripping meths onto the plate to remove the varnish in an interesting way.