Low Residency 2015 day 8

After 2 days based at Camberwell College of Arts doing workshops day 8 was full of visits around London. First was the Stanley Kubrick archive held at London College of Communication one of the other colleges of the University of the Arts London.

Two of the archivists had pulled out some highlights from the archive to illustrate the vast range of material available. Kubrick was known for incredible depth of research a great example of which was some of the preparation for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick produced about 300 files of correspondence with a wide range of companies. He had made contact asking for their vision of what the future would be like in their industry. The files included, letters, telegrams, notes, plans and images and not only from the obvious places like IBM and NASA but also from furniture and make up companies. We also saw a few items from some of the other significant archives such as an extensive comic book archive.

Next was the White Cube Gallery, Bermondsey for the the Christan Marclay exhibition which included a live re-perfromance of a Fluxus event from 1965. A real highlight of this show was the Surround Sounds installation of 4 silent synchronised projected animations.

We finished the day at the Whitechapel Gallery and specifically their exhibition, Adventures of the Black Square. This was an impressive presentation of significant work through the history of abstract art with a focus on the social and political context and impact of the work. The ground floor was full of inspiring and challenging work that still seemed revolutionary even with the passage of time. The second floor felt bit more confused although there was some work that pushed the national boundaries of the usual western European and North American sources, showing work from Iran, Mexico and China amongst others.

Low Residency 2015 day 5

Following last year’s highly successful tour of galleries in Hackney, this year we visited Deptford an area of south east London very close to Camberwell College of Arts which is full of intriguing art spaces. South London Art Map lead the tour starting at Bearspace Gallery.

There were several spaces in the enclave projects development:
news of the world gallery:

Divus London – the UK base of a Czech publisher, with a gallery/reading room:

lubomirov easton was installing a show with a rolling call for limited edition artworks – currently more than 100!

Next we walked past the now empty Faircharm Estate which was previously a centre for a wide variety of creative activity but now earmarked for demolition and new buildings.

APT Gallery‘s huge space was next:

Number 57 is housed in an old chemist and they have kept the beautiful old sign:

Next was Lewisham Art House and an amazing exhibition by children from the local Myatt Garden Primary School. An obviously incredible teacher, Karen Vost, had coordinated a week long creative project inspired by a single work of art, ‘Mr and Mrs Andrews’ by Thomas Gainsborough. Some of the work was simply stunning and it was hard not to think of the Picasso quote, ‘It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.’ (Quoted in: Peter Erskine, ?Rick Mattingly (1998) Drum Perspective, p. 73):

Sadly the final gallery MMX was closed so we concluded with a group photo of those who had made it to the end of the tour:


Low Residency 2015 day 1

There is always a great sense of anticipation at the beginning of the Low Residency times. First and second year students join together, mixing online from across the world join with all the students based in London what could possibly go wrong!

Before we had even started I realised that the White Building in East London had moved their planned showcase and panel discussion on ‘self versioning’ in art to the end of March so the afternoon and evening plans for day 1 had to be changed.

We started with an opportunity for some students to present their work, all of which produced some lively and useful discussion.

Our hastily rearranged afternoon started with a visit to the South London Gallery to see their latest exhibition by Isabelle Cornaro. We then planned to visit Beaconsfield Gallery only to realise on the bus travelling there that it was closed! So we stayed on the bus to visit Tate Britain to explore part of their ‘walk through British art’ taking in a election of work from the 1940s to 1990s. Rounded off with a drink and fascinating discussions in a local pub. Hopefully no more sudden date changes or closures!




Low Residency 2014 day 10

Final day and still a lot to pack in…
• Hannah Clements from Student Employability and Enterprise presented about funding options for students
• an experimental group tutorial/peer assessment/self reflection exercise
• visit to the Whitechapel Gallery
• evening visit to The White Building and a talk by Jamie Sholvin about the making of his elaborate hoax/real 1970s exploitation film Hiker Meat

This whole Low Residency was a first in more ways than one, it has exhausting and exciting . We now need to reflect, evaluate and get feedback on how it went and how to improve it for the future. However the initial feeling is that it has been the rich, diverse and challenging learning experience that was envisioned, thanks to all the people who have contributed and particular thanks to the students for engaging so energetically!

(If you are reading this and like the sound of it do get in touch about the course, we run regular open days at Camberwell and new this year are hundreds of extra bursaries.)

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Low Residency 2014 day 5

With their high profile, large marketing budgets and dramatic locations it is easy to find and visit galleries like Tate Modern, the National Gallery or the Saatchi Gallery but to search out and visit the more hidden spaces, the spaces where fascinating grassroots activity is emerging is much more difficult.

Today was a real treat as Holly Willats from Art Licks led a tour of 5 very diverse spaces in Hackney, East London. However, visiting the spaces was only half of the experience, the whole day was enhanced by opportunities to speak to owners and curators at each space and the discussions that happened as we walked.

We started at X marks the bökship a a bookshop and project space for independent publishers where owner and manager Eleanor Vonne Brown introduced the current artist postcard exhibition.

x marks the bökship visit MA Fine Art Digital

Next was Acme Project Space, the unusually double triangular shaped space of the huge studio provider Acme. Lea O’Loughlin the manager of Acme’s International Residencies Programme introduced the current exhibition by Canadian artist Sophie Jodoin. She explained the purpose of the project space as somewhere artists, particularly those on the international residency programme, can test ideas in a public setting but outside of what may be somewhat restrictive systems around their own gallery representation.
Acme project space visit MA Fine Art Digital

We were not able to visit Cell Project Space as they were in between exhibitions.

We then visited Space In Between in the Regent Studios building and an exhibition by Brazilian artist Adriano Amaral. Hannah Hooks and Laura McFarlane who run the space talked about the work and some of their own experiences in running a variety of spaces and the challenges of sustaining curatorial practice over the long term.
Space in between visit Space in between visit Space in between visit

On the top floor of the Regent Studios building we visited Five Years a collaborative artists’ project with an unusual structure. There are 12 members who can present 2 exhibitions every 18 months, 1 exhibition can include their own work but the other must by an invitational show. The current show was showing some early films by Ian Bourn.
five years visit

On the way down an amazing sky was presented above us!
incredible sky clouds

Finally we visited space studios  where curator Paul Pieroni gave a tour round the 4 different exhibitions currently on show.
space studios visit

These included a show of early video work by Paul McCarthy, presented in a field of old monitors,
space studios Paul McCarthy

and a video installation in the original graffiti covered stairwell showing an intriguing play with a 1960s tv interview with Situationist International co-founder Michèle Bernstein, often with comic effect.
space studios visit MA Fine Art Digital space studios visit MA Fine Art Digital

and a final comment on the wall:
space studios

Low Residency 2014 day 4

Visit to Art14art14

‘We strongly believe in the need to create a dedicated platform for art from across all corners of the globe, in dialogue with each other and the visitor, to ensure an experience of the very best of modern and contemporary art for a broad audience.’ Grand beliefs from the opening paragraph of the Art14 London catalogue.

It seems that many artists have a love hate relationship with art fairs and often gallerists view them as a necessary evil. Art14 is like any other art fair, temporary wooden booths create the illusion of white cube gallery spaces, just don’t look to closely at the construction standard. However this art fair does have a very wide range of countries represented and with half our students based online it was fascinating to see galleries from most of the countries MA Fine Art Digital students come from, including Athr Gallery in Saudi Arabia.

Black Ship from New York were showing Cristina de Middel’s project ‘Party’ where she adapted an English translation of Mao ZeDong’s Little Red Book. This project stirred significant debate amongst the students with some questioning the outsider’s critical view and whether it is possible to take an objective position.

We finished the day at Jerwood Visual Arts space for a South London Art Map last Friday late opening. They were screening  ‘Surfaces of Exchange’ a film by Emma Charles which explored the hidden structures of a city and the vast networks that gives physical form to the internet. At one point, after several minutes of panning shots of vast bundles of cables a computer came into view and despite the film being made in 2013, it was an ancient machine sporting the latest in storage technology, a floppy drive!




Low Residency 2014 day 2

1 to 1 tutorials with visiting artists can be a scary experience. You have a short time to present some of your ideas and then engage is a deep discussion about your work. Today the students had tutorials with people they did not know and who knew nothing of their work. This creates a challenging but fascinating experience. The fresh perspective on your work can open up rich veins of investigation.

In the afternoon there was the latest in the current MA lecture series at Camberwell, this talk given by Helen Douglas who has been making artists’ books since the 1970s, check out weproductions for more details, images and a their digital productions including a book called The Pond and Deuchar.

Finally a visit to Peckham Platform a small gallery with a big impact. Situated in the centre of Peckham (very close to Camberwell College of Arts) this gallery is all about connecting art, people and place. It’s engagement with socially engaged art practice has seen it work with many different groups within the local community and under the leadership of Emily Druff it is a beacon of what is possible when you attempt to make these connections. An example, today the gallery staff acted as expected in being friendly, helpful and willing to have a dialogue about the work and the gallery’s vision. Thank you.