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THE NATIONAL GALLERY

January 19, 2017 in CTS - Victoria

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The National Gallery located in London’s Trafalgar Square was where this CTS lesson was held. Inside the gallery we worked in groups of four or five where we were given a quote and then a task relating to that quote to complete within a certain room. Below is all the quotes, tasks, rooms, images and outcomes of this visit.

Think about it:

“True design literacy requires a practical and theoretical understanding of how design is made and how it functions as a marketplace tool as well as a cultural signpost, which takes years of learning and experience to acquire” – Steven Heller.

Prepare a critical review of the space / environment. Explain why you think it is or isn’t a good example of its type. Identify and analyse its strengths and weaknesses, and make reference to other examples if appropriate.

Room 4, Germany

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All paintings around this room are situated at eye level and spaced out accordingly / evenly around the room. There is natural light from the glass roof & spotlights for individual paintings to emphasise where you’re meant to be looking (at the paintings). There was a documentary about the national gallery which talks about the lighting, explaining that it is controlled so that the paintings themselves don’t get damaged. It is one just one of the design features within the gallery that is there to aid the artwork. Space around each painting is relevant to the size of the painting itself, for example the larger the image the more blank space there is around the edges of it. The benches in the room face towards what they want you to look at, the painting on the far right hand side wall has the whole wall to itself with a bench facing that wall. All the paintings are grouped by the artist who painted them and within that they are ordered chronologically.


Decisions, decisions

“Typography is what language looks like.” – Ellen Lupton

Using the attached extracts from Thinking with type, assess and explain the typography used in this space. Consider the anatomy, size, scale, classifications and combinations of the typefaces used, as well as the type’s character and the ways in which it contributes to branding and identity.

Room 23, Rembrandt and Rembrandt Shool

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75Looking at an extract from the book ‘Thinking with Type’, we then analysed the description plaques for each painting within the room. We found that the text is very small and can feel crammed or squashed together, for someone with bad eyesight it could also be very hard to read at times. Making the text bigger and well spaced out with solve this problem and make it easier to read. The largest text on the plaque is the number for the spoken description / hearing aid, however this is not the most relevant part of the description. The title, artist, description and media should be sized in order of relevance. Speaking to one of the museum curators, he also agreed that the small text can cause a lot of problems for people trying to read it. There is no differentiation or individuality within the typefaces the match the paintings themselves, they all consist of a basic sans-serif font. When looking on the galleries website, it states that the typefaces used are designed for accessibility purposes rather than aesthetically pleasing to the eye, it is plain and simple so that they don’t detract from the paintings themselves.


A sense of belonging

“The illusion of a social preference for light music as against serious is based on that passivity of the masses which makes the consumption of light music contradict the objective interest of those who consume it. It is claimed that they actually like light music and listen to the higher type only for reasons of social prestige, when acquaintance with the text of a single hit song suffices to reveal the sole function this object of honest approbation can perform. The unity of the two spheres of music is thus that of an unresolved contradiction.” – Theodor Adorno.

Identify the contexts that are at play in the identity of your group. These may be personal backgrounds, musical tastes, educational levels, affluence, nationality, languages or something else completely. How can you connect or relate these contexts to the space or place you are now in, or to an object within that space?

Room 43, Van Gogh and Cézanne

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For this tasks we each spoke about our backgrounds and that made us realise that the individual paintings that we were interested in were influenced by what else we were interested in. For example, Elliot said that he had been to the gallery before but for a rave rather than to actually look around. He said that the paintings were all removed from the rooms before so that the equipment could be set up, because of this he was drawn to certain rooms within the gallery, and likewise specific paintings that reflect his musical influences as well. It was interesting to see why each person liked completely different pieces of art and how that related to their backgrounds.


Reasoned action

“Communication is largely formed by the unreasoned action. Therefore the formation of a concept which strives for a more independent forming of opinions, requires besides the analysis of the existing production relations an unceasing reflection on that empirical experience. in this way it will be possible, amidst the shifting and opposing corporate interests – and at the same time being dependent upon them – to develop politico-cultural criteria and strategies which will open new space for proffessional action in the media. Action starting from a non-authoritarian attitude towards the public and not concealing its own mediating role.” – Jan van Toorn.

Identify the ways in which media is present in this space, and the messages they are trying to communicate. To what extent are these messages overt or concealed? How could these messages be communicated more subtly or more overtly? How could the ‘mediating role’ of the medium be made obvious to the viewer?

Room 41, Manet, Monet and the Impressionists

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This task was very hard but the conclusion that we came up with was that the artists messages are conveyed in the type of painting that it is. For example, a pointillism piece could be seen as more serious than one with long brush strokes, the artists themselves have painted to convey their experience so that the viewer can feel the same way that they did. These artists have painted their feelings rather than for realism. The typography around the room is very conservative, easy to maintain and simple, it is secondary to the paintings themselves.


Get outta here

“Multiple Signatures is an attempt at a collection not bound by the definition of our studio, in the form of a monograph; by a particular chronology; or by the limitation of my own creativity and insight. It is a project instigated by me but co-authored by many people I respect and admire, both living and in some cases, not.” – Michael Rock.

How would you present the experience of being in this space in a way that can be transmitted? Remember that transmission is not necessarily digital.

Room 34, Great Britain 1750-1850

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The whole room has a very historic feel and gives an educational experience showing the range of different paintings, era’s, artists, information and styles that are within the room. There are many different ways that the experience could be displayed outside the gallery including making a website or video etc.

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Some people have their own ways of doing this by painting within the gallery being inspired by the paintings that surround them:

Another example of taking the gallery experience outside of the gallery itself is that Turners painting featured in this room is actually going to be on the new £20 note. This is a perfect example of for this tasks. This is the painting that is said to be featured:

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So, what is Reportage Photography anyway?

December 6, 2016 in courses, Student Stories

We chat to photographer and Central Saint Martins short course tutor Karl Grupe about the art of storytelling through photography and catch up with former students about the benefits the course has made to their own photographic creativity.

From conceptual typologies to classical photo essays, the final projects presented by students on the Reportage Photography course are always varied, but what exactly is Reportage Photography? Karl Grupe, one of two tutors teaching Reportage Photography at Central Saint Martins short courses, cites it as, “the art of storytelling through the use of still imagery. It is an umbrella term which can find its way into other genres of photography – fashion, editorial, photojournalism, visual anthropology to name a few. It is my goal to have the students leave the course feeling confident not through a belief in the precision of photography but through the play and alchemy that comes from constructing a language in photography.  Exploring and identifying where one feels comfortable in speaking visually is the essence of this course.”

Speaking with some of the graduates of Karl’s Reportage Photography course would most certainly confirm that this has been achieved.

Fran Hales is a freelance photographer, originally from New Zealand, residing in East London.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?      

Inspiring, challenging and motivating

What did you enjoy most about your course? 

We covered so many interesting topics and styles and I loved the weekly themed projects based around these. Karl who was our tutor is second to none. He has a brilliant way of teaching and works so well in encouraging and bringing out the best in his students.

Can you tell me about your Reportage project and your inspiration behind it? 

My reportage project was called The Urban Emerald. It focused on the importance and value of green space and the wellbeing effect it has on helping people to unwind in a chaotic city such as London which swells to 11m people during the working week. The location I chose was Victoria park in London’s east end. Historically this park was created in 1845 to aid the working class in this area who were suffering from poor health and low life expectancy due to over-crowded living conditions. It was the first public park in London to be built specifically for the people and hence it is more fondly known by the locals as The People’s Park.

The Urban Emerald © Fran Hales

The Urban Emerald © Fran Hales

Has this course benefitted your career or personal development? 

Absolutely. I already work as a photographer shooting mainly events. This course inspired me to think more about personal projects I would like to work on. It really showed me how to tell a story well and how to critique and edit my own work in a way I did not know before. It has given me more confidence. The support of the students and Karl the teacher helped me in having the confidence to present my work to the class.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course? 

Do it! It’s so much fun and it gives you a great insight into the world of photography. You learn a lot whilst not being overloaded. I have done many short courses but this is one that really has made a change for me.

The Urban Emerald ©Fran Hales

The Urban Emerald ©Fran Hales

Kat Kotula works in HR and is originally from Wroclaw, Poland. She has been living in London for 1 year.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?      

Challenge, motivation, feedback.

What did you enjoy most about your course? 

There was a micro assignment for every class based on the lecture we received that day. With only one week to complete, it was great motivation to go out and do something new, sometimes stepping outside the comfort zone. We were challenged to use different equipment, different techniques, exploring new topics. Being able to compare our  work to others was very beneficial as it showed how the same topic could generate very different possibilities and approaches! 

Can you tell me about your Reportage Photography project and your inspiration behind it?

Titled, “We are from the heart”, it focuses on Pippa, a single mother after being abandoned by her cheating husband, who has recently lost her job. Her life revolves around her two sons, Rudy, aged 6, a diva and a showman, and Max, aged 9, who has autism. Through my project I was trying to understand and document the family dynamic and the interactions between the three of them.  I wanted the audience to see the emotional bond that this family has and demonstrate that despite their tough circumstances, there is so much love and tenderness in their little family.

We are from the heart ©Kat Kotula

We are from the heart ©Kat Kotula

How has this course benefitted your career or personal development?

I had already been to photography school in the past, where I learned about different techniques and genres and my final essay back then was much more arty and dreamy, based on my own inner emotions rather than the actual story.  With the help of Karl and the examples he presented in class and the personal feedback I received, I was able to tell a story that was not banal, was more personal and intimate but still, I hope, interesting to others.  I feel quite confident about my storytelling skills now. I have also learned a few new things about the research and editing of photos.  I will definitely use the series I created for my final project in my portfolio. 

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course?

Absolutely take it and engage yourself fully in every micro assignment given.  Whether you are a novice or an experienced photographer, every form of self development is great. This course will open your eyes to different possibilities, introduce you to photographers or projects you had not known before or simply challenge you to think outside of the box. Also you will get independent feedback about your work, which will help you create something extraordinary. 

We are of the heart ©Kat Kotula

We are of the heart ©Kat Kotula

Christian Olsen’s ultimate goal is to study Photography at UAL’s, London College of Communication.  He is originally from Copenhagen and currently resides in East London.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?    

Immersive, relevant, stimulating.

What did you enjoy most about your course? 

The class discussions and peer feedback following our homework assignments.  Not only did it open up numerous aspects of your work for interpretation that you might have not expected, but it also forced inward reflection on what you succeeded in achieving and more importantly what you did not, which is the most significant part of the learning process.

Can you tell me about your Reportage Photography project and your inspiration behind it?  

Docklands was the name of my project.  As with every area of London, the Docklands is seeing transformation and transition in terms of industry, demographics and infrastructure.  Having studied in North Greenwich and commuting both by means of DLR and London City Airport, it struck me that this transformation is happening on a far larger and rapid scale than other parts of the city and history cannot keep up.  The aim of the project was to document the post-industrial state of disrepair and the bustling ambitions of the future and to juxtapose these as harshly as possible in an attempt to convey the unnerving state of the Dockland’s today.

Docklands ©Christian Olsen

Docklands ©Christian Olsen

How has this course benefitted your career or personal development? 

It has helped me immensely in creating a vision of where I see myself in my future photographic career. Before embarking on the course, I found it hard to handle projects of a more journalistic nature. But now I am able to hone in on more specific areas on the spectrum of photography.  I have also developed techniques of combining conceptual and reportage photography and I know what processes and pre-requisites go into creating a successful photo essay.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course? 

Definitely take it. Whether one is an experienced photographer or an amateur, the course content, tutor and other students will prove beneficial in terms of tools, techniques, inspiration and networking.

Docklands ©Christian Olsen

Docklands ©Christian Olsen

Following a series of Short Courses in photography at Central Saint Martins, Niaz Maleknia is now studying her Post-Graduate Diploma in Photography at UAL’s London College of Communication.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?  

Motivational, interesting and vibrant

What did you enjoy most about the Reportage Photography short course? 

I enjoyed the weekly briefs and the feedback given by Karl and the other students. I also enjoyed learning about and discussing the work of other photographers.

Can you tell me about your Reportage project and your inspiration behind it? 

My end of course project was titled  Facebook Lolita. I am fascinated by the selfie culture and the use of photography to promote oneself and demonstrate on social media. I am a mum of a 13 year old girl and have therefore become aware of the explicitly of my daughter’s friends’ profile pictures.  I searched Facebook for open accounts and was able to screen shot the images that these girls aged 13-15 years old were posting of themselves.  The girls seemed to be living a double life, one in reality and the other on the social pages. My background is in English literature and the images reminded me of Nabokov’s controversial novel, Lolita.   I wanted to add the emoji faces to protect the identity of the girls and to also add a childhood element to them. I also saturated the colours. The final work was shown on an old slide show which made it seem more uncomfortable for the viewer.

Facebook Lolita ©Niaz Maleknia

Facebook Lolita ©Niaz Maleknia

Has this course benefitted your career or personal development? 
I have really benefitted from the course as it has enabled me to get onto the Post Graduate Diploma Course at London College of Communication. I was able to put together a body of work, and also gained a lot of knowledge which I am still finding helpful.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course? 
I would encourage anyone interested in photography to take the course, as it is taught to a high standard in a fantastic environment, which in itself is so inspiring.  Karl teaches you to look at things in a different way and the briefs are fun and challenging at the same time.  Karl is enthusiastic and gives excellent feedback so you move forward and develop your eye and skills.

Karl with students in class ©Niaz Maleknia

Karl with students in class ©Niaz Maleknia

The next Reportage Photography Short Course is in March with further dates throughout 2017. Check the Central Saint Martins Short Course website for further details.

“Electrifying” Opening Event of METABOLIC by Iris Van Herpen

November 5, 2016 in uncategorised

As part of my current Dips Year internship with Iris Van Herpen in Amsterdam I was able to experience the amazing opening performance of her current exhibition METABOLIC in Deventer, the Netherlands. The exhibition has been installed on the occasion of the Witteven+Bos prize for art and innovation which she received that very same night.

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Having seen the high voltage performance from 2013 on my computer screen only, I was super excited to experience it live at the Bergkerk in Deventer where she currently exhibits various of her creations. The performance which has been created in collaboration with Carlos Van Camp shows artist Natalja who is wearing a specifically designed metal suit and is standing on a tesla coil. She demonstrates the interaction of three million volts controlled by her own body movement.

Watching the spectacle from a few meters distance, I was absolutely speechless, amazed, but also shocked in a way as it felt anything else than real.

Apart from this stunning and memorable opening, some of her most iconic creations are currently still on display in the church including the water dress, the snake dress and my all time favorite crystal-esque 3D printed heels from her collection “Hacking Infinity”.

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BEDLAM: THE ASYLUM AND BEYOND

November 4, 2016 in CTS - Victoria

35The Bedlam exhibition: the asylum and beyond at the Welcome Collection was one that I attended today. Unfortunately the venue has rules against taking photos inside the exhibition due to copyright rules so I was not able to take any pictures of anything that I was seeing beyond the entrance hall.

The history behind this exhibition came from the methods and practises used in mental asylums all the way from the 1600’s up until today. Various techniques used by not only doctors but also artists, sociologists, religious leaders and psychologists are presented in different ways throughout the course of the exhibition. The use of the name ‘Bedlam’ came from a previous 13th Century hospital in London called the ‘Bethlam Hospital’ specialising in mental healthcare.

The first noticeable thing when you first enter the exhibition is that the room lighting is dimmed to produce a somewhat creepy or haunted feel that you may associate with mental asylums. It was also un-naturally quiet which definitely added to this overall feeling.

The exhibition was set up so that each event followed the one before it, in historical order, starting with the oldest and ending with the most recent pieces of work. The piece that I liked the most was called ‘Asylum by Eva Kotatkova’. Here is an image I was able to find of the piece:

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The piece is based on the internal effects on a patient and more specifically the way that it would make them feel. It features a woman’s head surrounded by metal cage like bars and a brick wall situated directly in-front of the girls face. The piece acts as a metaphor showing you that mental illnesses create barriers and put walls up for people who are suffering from them. Often, socially it can be hard and something that many will never get over completely.

Overall, the exhibition showed me that mental hospitals are not always as though you would seem. They can be various things including open public spaces where people go to participate in activities with one another – they are not always secluded and away from the general public.

 

The Underpinnings Museum

November 1, 2016 in uncategorised

A useful research tool for contour students has just launched, which I thought you might like to know about. The Underpinnings Museum is a new online resource which aims to showcase and document exquisite objects, and is dedicated to the evolution of underwear through the ages.

The Underpinnings Museum - photography by Tigz Rice

Whilst high profile exhibitions on the history of lingerie hit the headlines in Paris, New York, Sydney and now London, and brands seek to celebrate their heritage by looking to their archives for inspiration, lingerie lovers can struggle to find in depth information and analysis of garments. The Underpinnings Museum aims to satisfy this desire by offering free access to all, with high-quality photography capturing the garments in exquisite detail. Each object is accompanied by extensive technical and historical contextual information.

The museum creates an invaluable community resource for lingerie lovers, fashion students, historians and home sewers, with permanent items and regular exhibitions offering an unparalleled depth of insight and fresh perspectives on the world of undergarments through the ages and across the globe. It’s an ongoing project too, constantly updating and expanding its collections. Beginning by documenting an extensive vintage collection dating between 1880-1960, the project will add crucial historical pieces to the archive and explore contemporary design controversies.

The launch exhibition is made up of thirteen pieces that the museum’s director, Karolina, and I chose to show the breadth of her collection and give a brief glimpse into women’s underwear in the early twentieth century. Each was carefully photographed by Tigz Rice and offers a taster of what is to come. I’ll keep you all updated on the progress of documenting the collection and will let you know when the next exhibition goes live.

Artist Research – Anthony Gormley’s ‘Fit’

October 29, 2016 in review

Anthony Gormley’s ‘Fit’ @ The White Cube

I know it’s sacrilegious to say, but I haven’t really taken the time to go to many London galleries since I’ve lived in London. I’ve tried, but i’ve always seemed a bit too busy, or perhaps I was just a bit too lazy. One of the many  galleries I had never been to, happened to be the white cube in south London. I was struck by its location, hidden within a warren of housing estates, nestled behind a series of winding back streets which appear to only be populated by garages and long-forgotten pubs. It’s a striking building, obviously inspired the architecture of the brutalist and Bauhaus movements, but the building can most obviously be attributed to modernist architecture. To enter the gallery, you have to first have to cross an expansive brick courtyard to get to a large glass door. The door is probably 6-7 metres high and 3 metres wide. Like most galleries, the White Cube intimidates you into a state where you feel ready to accept an artistic and cultural education. The door also sets up the aesthetic of the whole experience. The main passage through the gallery mimicking the entrance is long and wide, with openings to the left and right every so often, leading you to gallery spaces or the obligatory gallery shop. The White Cube is reminiscent of something from a science fiction film or the J.G.Ballard novel, ‘High Rise’. I felt as if I were gliding through the space to the end of the hall where the Gormley exhibit began. You are greeted by a gallery assistant brandishing a map of the exhibit and a health and safety form alongside a small passageway large enough for just one person. The setup of the exhibition is something quite unique from any other exhibition I have been to. Each piece was given its own room in which to inhabit, and make no question about it the works lived in the room they were given. It is hard to explain in words, but the sight of a gargantuan block of concrete or steel waiting for the viewer in a space (a space which gives very little room for the viewer to navigate) forces you to observe the power of Gormley’s work. The rooms form a labyrinth which the viewer has to navigate purely by the visual power each piece has, dragging you from room to room. The layout of the exhibition is similar to the structure of one of the pieces in the exhibition, ‘Run’ (2016). A seemingly whole structure, that appears to have no beginning or end. It invites you to move around it and appears to want you to pass through it. ‘Run’ is a labyrinth that doubles back on itself, moving all directions and confusing the eye. This is what the layout of Fit is, a labyrinth of structures, each more thought-provoking and visually arresting than the last.

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Fit shows a collection of new works made since 2015. Gormley’s work examines how the human body is represented within art and how people view the human body across the world. Gormley uses his own body as the inspiration and focus of his work. In my opinion he is first and foremost interested in how his own body can apply to all people. He abstracts his body to the point where you know that what you’re looking at is based on the human body but you’re not sure how.

Gormley primarily works with concrete or metal. I believe that even this is carries a meaning. Creating works that represent the human form, a frail and fragile thing, out of such solid materials is sending a clear message about human mortality and the idea that if you create someone, in this case a self-portrait, in such robust materials you basically immortalise a person. The image may tarnish, rust or become discoloured, but it will defend itself against the effects of time and nature. One of the most impressive and immersive works is Sleeping field (room VI). Sleeping Field (2015-16) is an installation made up of over 500 small iron sculptures. At first glance Sleeping field appears to be a depiction of the world from Ballard’s ‘High Rise’; a look into a dystopian future full of looming, grey high rise buildings. If you look closer you realise that Gormley has created over 500 human bodies in different positions, crammed in together in close proximity to each other and the room. Like other works by Gormley, he uses the human form and abstracts it to a point where you understand the notions that are tied up within our cultural idea of what a body is such as physical frailty, emotional weakness, male chauvinism, etc. By abstracting the human form to a series of iron cubes, Gormley  makes the work universal, allowing people to project their own ideas about body image and a person place in the world onto the work.

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The other piece that I feel is worth mention is ‘Passage’ (2016). ‘Passage’ is a 12 metre-long tunnel which has been created in image of the human form. It allows you to descend into the darkness that is created due to the length of the tunnel. It is a metaphor for the act of self-discovery that all people would take. At the end of the tunnel is a light outline of a human form, this outline is not so bright as to blind you, it is subtle. Upon reflection it is about exactly that, reflection. The act of self-discovery requires a certain amount of reflection, reflection on who you are as a person and the actions you take. The discovery that one makes after a journey of discovery (possibly a 12 metre journey) is never striking, as Gormley shows us, it is probably quite subtle.

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Gormley’s exhibition, ‘Fit’, is a great show of where the artists work has come from and shows us that he is still able to make the audience question their role in the world and the impact the body has upon it.

BJÖRK DIGITAL

October 21, 2016 in IID

We went to see the Björk digital exhibition at Somerset House.

The exhibition consisted of various interactive videos and displays of her musical work combined with a 3D graphical film to match.

“I’m self-sufficient. I spend a lot of time on my own and I shut off quite easily. When I communicate, I communicate 900 percent; then I shut off, which scares people sometimes.” – Björk.

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During the exhibition you were taken round in groups into different rooms where everyone would put on the video goggles and headphones. The goggles worked in a way that when you move around you can see the whole scene as if you were there, when the people move around you can move with them. It makes it seem as though you are there in person; the camera is from your point of view and you can choose what you look at. At the very beginning and very end of the exhibition there were screens that you watched in a room like a normal movie theatre.

3000I really liked the way everything was set up and think that it was a great way to get involved. It made me think about all the things you could achieve and the endless possibilities you have when creating something digital and interactive. It doesn’t have to always be kept simple.

Jeff Koons: Now – Newport Street Gallery

October 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

During summer I went to see the Jeff Koons: Now Exhibition at Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall. It is a rather small exhibition in terms of the amount there is to see, but, the sheer detail and size of Koons’ work displayed really blew me away. The Gallery itself is a nice, open building with tall white rooms which really caused Koons’ pieces to be centre of attention. In Gallery 3 there were some explicit features that you were not allowed to photograph, the canvases were so big that they really empowered a certain mood to the room as soon as you walked in there; this has taught me to really think about positioning and layout in a space. My favourite piece from the exhibition was in the final gallery called Play-Doh which was a huge polychromed aluminium sculpture and basically a giant piece of play-doh. I was really impressed with how real this sculpture looked even after being enlarged so much, the colours and textures were exactly like a real pile of play-doh.

Ceramics Short Course alumni Maria Gasparian wins MullenLowe Nova Award

September 29, 2016 in courses, Student Stories

It’s been an interesting journey for Architect Maria Gasparian, who following an inspirational Short Course in Ceramics at Central Saint Martins, subsequently enrolled on an MA in Ceramic Design and graduated with distinction this summer.   Following this she won a MullenLowe Nova Award and Unilever Sustainability Award for her Colour Ceramic City, which aims to offer an engaging and sensory experience within pubic urban spaces.

Photo by Vic Phillips

Maria Gasparian, Colour Ceramic City Photo by Vic Phillips

Currently on display at Brain Waves, a Central Saint Martins Lethaby Gallery exhibition, the self-supporting sculptural ceramic pieces and dynamic volumes, formed by extruded clay coils have an abstract plane with two faces that celebrates the plasticity of clay and brilliance of the glazes. The pieces are scalable and can adapt to local contexts offering endless opportunities for site-specific interventions creating vibrant spaces within a city.

Maria Gasparian, Ceramic City, materials: clay, earthenware glaze Photo by Vic Phillips

Maria Gasparian, Colour Ceramic City, Materials: clay, earthenware glaze Photo by Vic Phillips

We asked Maria about her journey from ceramics short course student to award winning MA Ceramics graduate and how her Ceramics Short Course changed the path of her career.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?   

Eye-opener, Informative, Intensive

What did you enjoy most about your course?  

The teaching, hands on experience and experimentation.

How has this course benefitted your career or personal development?

The short course on Architectural Ceramics was a start of a new path in my career. I had been practicing as an architect at the time and also attending part-time pottery classes. Joining the short course gave me an idea about how to combine the two practices. Subsequently I enrolled on MA in Ceramic Design at CSM and graduated with distinction this summer.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course?

With work, study or family commitments it is often difficult to subscribe to a full time course particularly if it is in a new discipline for someone. Short courses are a very good way to try new ideas or test something that one had on their mind for a long time.

The next Ceramics for Beginners short course starts on 22 October 2016.  For further information please visit our website.  Taught by Simeon Featherstone, the course will teach you how to construct forms using hand-building techniques, create colourful and decorative surface patterns and also experiment with slip-casting.

Also in December we have exciting new course, Ceramic Screen-Printing and Ceramic Transfers, which will teach you how to design and produce your own screen-printed transfers.  Our full course offer of Ceramic Short Courses can be found on the Central Saint Martins Short Courses website.

V&A Friday Late: Brief Encounters

June 26, 2016 in uncategorised

Appropriate for the V&A? We say YES!

Last Friday the Victoria & Albert Museum hosted a Late Night inspired by the Undressed exhibition with activities addressing underwear’s relation to everthing from sexuality and gender to fashion and form.  From French lingerie designer Fifi Chachnil to Coco de Mer founder Samantha Roddick and many more, the event offered numerous talks, activities and an intimate fashion show relating to underwear through the ages.

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Knit-a-Tit
In contribution to a charity shop we were offered to “knit-a-tit”, a special handmade breast prostheses for women who have undergone mastectomies or other procedures to the breast. To be honest, Yasmin and I did not quiet manage to finish it as it turned out to be quiet tricky…. but at least we tried!

Fifi Chachnil
My personal highlight was the performance of French lingerie designer Mademoiselle Fifi, founder of Maison Fifi Chachnil which is marked by frivolous beauty, who presented her very own album during the event. Her designs have previously  been shown in an intimate catwalk show in the Grand Entrance Hall earlier that night.

Baloon Bustles
Since we are striving and upcoming lingerie designers, we thought it would be fun to join the arts and crafts workshop Baloon Bustles and make some quirky paper corsets using cardboard, gems and crepe paper. I think we totally made the most of it!

It was an overall fun evening in the V&A, looking forward to the next Late Night!

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