Winter Festival of Practice 2019
Published on 19.12.19
Huge thanks to all those participating in the discussion this Tuesday at our Winter Festival of Practice at HCA. One of the lovely things about working in a small, specialist arts college is that when we get a chance to spend time thinking/sharing ideas about practice, discussions feel like shared journeys, and there is much cross-pollination
Huge thanks to all those participating in the discussion this Tuesday at our Winter Festival of Practice at HCA. One of the lovely things about working in a small, specialist arts college is that when we get a chance to spend time thinking/sharing ideas about practice, discussions feel like shared journeys, and there is much cross-pollination of ideas and discoveries.
Starting the day, A-J Stockwell, Critical Studies Lecturer here at HCA, told us about her practice-as-research journey, but also gave us insights into how this journey continually unfolds from some key ideas she’s been exploring since her MA. A-J’s latest commission, for the Jerwood, looks at the complex and intertwined relationships between humans and rock. Within it, A-J reflects on notions of geologic time, materiality and the spaces where geologic place and the human connect, using ceramics, research interviews, sound, movement and water as part of an inclusive exploration.
Following A-J, Delyth Done, Artist Blacksmithing B.A (Hons) course leader and Development Lead talked us through the #150mm challenge project. Originally starting off as a teaching exercise by Ambrose Burne, the #150mm challenge initially asked Artist Blacksmithing students to make something creative from a very prescriptive amount of metal. Results were often shared on Instagram, and spread to a wider community of Blacksmiths, eventually becoming an international conversation which led to an entire exhibition of work (Measured Making Exhibition).
Following a short break, Neil Hadfield, B.A (Hons) Illustration and Illustration and Animation course leader discussed a recent conference experience with us – sharing his thoughts on not only the conference presentations but ideas of notetaking and illustration in general as ways of self-expression which can support wellbeing, but which also support critical reflection. He also shared his own experiences from the summer after being part of an informal illustrators gathering/summer school with ‘no wi-fi, plenty of places to play and explore’ and the importance of making space for these less formal, relaxed learning environments.
Finally, Oliver Cameron-Swan led us on an adventure of mail art, sharing core ideas and stories behind the mail art movement and his own experiences (plus some beautiful mail art) of participating in mail art projects in the 1990’s. Bringing out stamps and pens, we created some of our own mail art – and then, by happy chance, Neil organised an impromptu exhibition and discussion group, sharing work from a collaborative exhibition with Hay Festival and House of Illustration ‘Pushing the Envelope’.
Huge thanks to all for sharing your expertise and practice. Truly, only in an arts college could such fertile and fun links have happened – ideas popping up and creating their own ecosystems all over the place.
The day’s programme, with abstracts, is available below: