Sunday, 30 October 2011

Big Draw at Crmz, Widnes

Halton-based artist collective Markmakers have been in residence at the Crmz, a new youth centre in Widnes as part of the borough's Big Draw activities.

Artists Carys Anne Hughes, Jennifer Kenworthy, Sharon Lelonek and Claire Weetman spent the half term week working with young people at Crmz on a variety of drawing activities.

Carys Anne Hughes took her embroidery practice to the youth centre, creating a curtain with the young people that used continuous line drawing and pattern.

Jennifer Kenworthy, whose work features drawing, embroidery and landscapes, created images on a glass wall with the participants. Using sticky vinyl, they built up images in small pieces.

Right: Curtain with embroidered drawings made by young people with artist Carys Anne Hughes

Vinyl drawings made by young people with Jennifer Kenworthy

Sharon Lelonek is a printmaker who uses pattern and repetition in her work, often using marker pen to draw directly onto metal etching plates. As part of this programme of work, Sharon exhibited one of her prints in a new exhibition facility at the Crmz, sharing real artworks with the young people in the centre. For this big draw activity, Sharon used her technique of marker pen doodles, this time making them onto paper lined pillars that form part of the architecture of the building.

Also working with the architecture of the newly refurbished building was Claire Weetman. In one of her works 'Dicing with Drawing' participants were asked to generate random numbers by rolling dice. They were then able to connect two numbers on the glazed wall of the building using black tape. Young people also created versions of this on paper, using a variety of drawing materials, the results of which were exhibited in the new exhibition frames for their peers to see.

Drawings by young people using chance, dice, and a variety of drawing media

Claire also likes to use Graphite powder to create drawings and has started working with animation in her practice. Working with a small group of young people she helped them to create a short animation called 'Blink'. Using stop motion animation techniques, graphite powder and erasing, they created the following film:

The idea to make drawings of eyes came from the work that Markmakers member Sue Archer had created with a local primary school. The work pictured here is a hanging made from felt that features eyes, noses and mouths, creating abstract faces as it is viewed.

Right: Felt hanging produced by Sue Archer with a local primary school.
Photographer: Luke.

The Big Draw in Congleton

Claire Weetman worked with Cheshire East Council, Congelton Leisure Centre and it's visitors on Saturday 22 October 2011 to create a Big Draw sporting spectacular. Digi Dot-to-dot featured a numbered course, laid out like a dot-to-dot, with flags and fun.

Children, mums and dads all joined in to select a sporting way of navigating the course, which was laid out in the outline of the London 2012 logo for Track Cycling. Space hoppers abounded, hula hoops rotated and families teamed up for wheelbarrow races around the circuit. Skipping dads, crawling mums and crabbing kids competed for top spot on the power lap board, where, unlike Top Gear, points were awarded for a creative method of travel rather than speed.

All of this exhausting activity was filmed from above where the cyclist image could be seen to greatest effect and edited into the following video where the traces of the people can be seen to trace the outline of the figure.

Those who needed a breather from all this activity could release their creative juices on paper, completing dot-to-dots and making their own. Flowers, a combine harvester, sailing boats and a surfing cat were all drawn through the medium of dot-to-dot.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Artist in Residence, Salford University

I've been selected for the AA2A (Artists Access to Art Colleges) residency at Salford University. The AA2A project provides placements for visual artists and designer makers in Higher and Further Education institutions across England. In 2011/2012, AA2A schemes will run in 32 institutions, providing 128 placements nationally. In the last 12 years, over 1,200 participants have had the opportunity to undertake a period of research or realise a project, using workshops and supporting facilities in participating fine art and design departments.

I've proposed to develop Motus:Immotus and Tearing Space apart - two works that have been initiated over the past 6 months, but now need public installation space to develop them further. Salford University has installation spaces at it's studios but also exhibition and installation opportunities at the Lowry Outlet Mall and possibly also Media City.

More news about the residency will be posted here as things happen.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Drawing Showdown - Saatchi Online

I've entered a drawing from 2008 into this competition by Saatchi Online. There are currently 2000 entries open for public vote in an art face-off. You pick your favourite from a choice of 2 drawings and they are all ranked according to how folks vote. The top 300 go through to a judges panel.

My entry is 'One minute: Kyoto Station' a drawing from 2008, but part of a series that i'm revisiting with plans for drawings from my recent travels in Portugal, Holland and Ireland. One minute of digital video is taken from a high balcony, or at the top of a flight of stairs. The video is then projected, and a drawing made that traces the movement of the people in the image.

The drawing is currently hovering between 140th and 220th place, so hopefully it will go through to round 2, but you can vote for the work here:
You either need to register or connect with Facebook to vote - Thanks for taking the trouble.