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ArtsCulture Plymouth


Image if Plymouth was the place to be... Plymouth artist and man-about-town Martin Bush with offers up his unique take on the vibrancy and creativity of the city The artisan in Plymouth has struggled in the beginning of this millennium to become noticed, which is surprising – we have some well known national treasures who were in the limelight in our infamous Barbican, where artists’ studios sit alongside galleries and offers a unique take on what art is here in our city.

The limelight of our most famous artists has to some extent been stolen by the train of commercial trade and to find that inspirational arty folk who stood out in a crowd seems to be a bit more difficult. However, there is a new light and the spread of art in Plymouth has resurfaced in many different guises, and it is integrating itself into different

parts of the city as well as reigniting new life in the Barbican. The Lavinsky building and its art orgs are putting on ever-exciting exhibitions, galleries are morphing into modern times and artist-lead shows are blooming. I moved here six years ago as an artist and felt that Plymouth had what it takes to be noticed and I wanted to let my flow of painting grow in parallel with this new Plymouth. In 2010 so much seems to be happening that is difficult to keep up,

Features Translating the arts Plymouth City Council’s Art Officer Kath Davies on her role promoting art in the city... p6

Face and figure

Steve Stones of band Arthur Walker talks to the artist behind the cover art... p24

Sonic artist

Kasia Andrews is finds the face and figure endlessly fascinating... p10

Dan Sidey chats to Plymouth’s craftsman of soundscapes Neil Rose... p14

Tracing the intangible

Viewpoint

Ancestry and identity make up the focus of Clem So’s work... p16

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Butterfly skulls

Hannah Jones of the Viewpoint Gallery on good exhibitions... p19


from the great jazz week in May to the Respect Festival, art-lead cabaret night clubs and bars and artist-lead exhibitions popping up here and there I’m all a fluster. For the past five years I have had a fabulous space in the Royal William Yard where I have been able to indulge on new creations and flow out ideas. Getting to meet the public close up, understand that Plymouth’s art scene is wishing its future to be up with the most cultural cities, if not on top.

The university art dept also resides in the Yard and put on two exhibitions a year for their second and final year students, which is always a challenging art show and gives you a sense that there is great talent blooming in our mists. I recommend our ever-growing city for its art, and all who are involved are always pushing down barriers and making it happen here in Plymouth. So come on support your city’s artists and be a part of what is going to be a fabulous 10 years of growth for the creative people of our city.

New Beginning by Martin Bush

New York meets Plymouth Award-winning Boho loft-living comes to the South West... p21

Art of research Artist Kayla Parker talks interviews herself and Dr Roberta Mock... p26

Josie McCoy: workspace Josie’s portraits of film and TV characters touch on fear, death and insolence... p10

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ArtsCulture arts coverage Promote yourself, your work and your creative community We believe arts, culture and communication build confident communities. ArtsCulture has news and features for artists and sometimes by artists about themselves and their community. Promote yourself with our artists’ Q&A, write about what you do or cover other events. Take control of your media

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Cultural Plymouth

Cultural comets come to Plymouth with British Art Show 7 The British Art Show is almost the Halley’s Comet of British art. Although it comes round every five years rather than the 75 for the comet, it’s no less sought after, and the fiveyear frequency of the show means it’s been able to big up a reputation as the most ambitious and influential exhibition of contemporary art in Britain. It’s a mark of how edgy, up-and-coming and accomplished the Plymouth art scene is that it has been chosen as one of the venues for British Art Show 7, which will shake its contemporary art-shaped tush around the city from September 17 to December 3, 2011 (book your rooms now). During the quintennial event, the show tours four cities in the UK, and number seven will open in Nottingham. Then pop along to the Hayward Gallery and Glasgow and then Plymouth (that’s the kind of company the city keeps!). Thirty-nine artists have been chosen for the show, which covers painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, video, film and performance. Show number seven is subtitled In the Days of the Comet, from the 1906 HG Wells science fiction novel of the same name. Curators Lisa Le Feuvre and Tom Morton said: “We are interested in the recurrent nature of the comet as a symbol of how each version of the present collides with the past and the future and the work of the artists in British Art Show 7, in many different ways, contest assumptions of how ‘the now’ might be understood.” Overarching themes can sometimes seem an unnecessary imposition on an exhibition, but the strong curatorial nature of the British Art Show, and the notion of change and wonder that accompanies a comet, could be fitting as the show crashes into the four venues around the country. The event is organised by Hayward Touring (the bit of the Hayward family that organises touring exhibitions), and Ralph Rugoff, director of the Hayward Gallery, said: “The curatorial premise of the British Art Show 7 allows visitors the chance to discover younger artists, and also re-evaluate and reconnect with artists whose work they thought they were familiar with, but whose new developments hold many surprises.”


“The curatorial premise of the British Art Show 7 allows visitors the chance to discover younger artists, and also re-evaluate and reconnect with artists whose work they thought they were familiar with, but whose new developments hold many surprises.” two venues for the British Art Show 7 in Plymouth. Plymouth College of Art, top, and Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, bottom (by Smalljim, used under Creative Commons)

The British Art Show 7 will be at the Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham Castle Museum and New Art Exchange from October 23 to January 9; the Hayward Gallery, London on February 14 to April 17, 2011; the Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Art, Gallery of Modern Art and Tramway between May 28 and August 21, 2011 and in Plymouth (Peninsula Arts, Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery) from September 17 to December 4, 2011.

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Reader offer Clem So

Our cover image is from Devon-based artist Clem So, whose work investigates culture and identity (see page 16). As a special reader offer, you can win a signed limited edition print of one of Clem’s pieces of work. All you have to do is email clemso@newsandmediarepublic and quote ‘Plymouth Art and Culture’ to be put in the electronic hat. The first email picked on December 1, 2010 will win the signed limited edition Clem So print. Read this magazine offline! If something grabs your eye, and you’d like to keep this magazine to read in the bath maybe, well, you can


Translating the arts

Kathryn Davis is the Arts Officer for Plymouth City Council. We got in touch with a few questions to find out what that involves What’s your role as a council arts officer?  My role is to enable, facilitate and promote partnership working to develop the creative economy of Plymouth. The role encourages positive working practices to enhance the current cultural offer of the city. I also work strategically to develop and support creative practice in Plymouth.    How is art seen by the council – what department does it fall into and what does that mean?  Across the board art is seen positively, and it falls into many departments – some you wouldn’t expect. I work closely with officers in Services for Children and Young People, Development and Regeneration, Economic Development, Planning, Project Services, the City Centre Company, and of course our department, Culture Sport and Leisure.   We sit alongside all aspects of

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culture in our department from: the City Museum and Art Gallery; the Library Service; Mount Edgcumbe; Events; and Sports (which ranges from Sports Development to facilities such as the swimming pools).  The Arts Unit champions and acts as a translator, we support and understand the arts and the creative process and we work hard to support officers in the council in engaging with artists. We work within systems and processes that can be challenging or confusing for artists who choose to work with the local authority, and we endeavour to explain and translate these.   How does what you do affect the average artists in Plymouth? 

The Arts Unit continually promotes and champions the artist, the creative process and the need to engage with artists and increase opportunities.

Interesting question, is there an average artist?  The Arts Unit continually promotes and champions the artist, the creative process and the need to engage with artists and increase opportunities. I am in the process of finalising an

Workspace Josie McCoy

“I am continually fascinated by the idea of taking a split second of time from a film and painting it in this incredibly slow and labour intensive process. “


Kathryn Davies by Pete Davies

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Arts Plan, which explains our work and maps out the plan for the next three years. When complete, it will be made available on our website, the main aim I hope to achieve is to uncover our work, our partners and the rationale for what we do.   On this basis, I believe the Arts Unit and its partners are working very hard to support, recognise and encourage every artist in the city, and for audiences in Plymouth to engage with art.   What other agencies do you work with?  The Arts Unit has so many partners across the city, some have a direct link through funding, some are through shared agendas whether it is for a specific project or target group, or because we have signed up to the Cultural Strategy for the City ‘the Vital Spark’.   Simply listing everyone would not do justice to the work we do together, and would simply be too long!    With councils facing cuts, how important is an arts officer?  Again interesting question, in an organisation as big and expansive as a local authority or district authority (thinking Devon), I believe it is important to have someone who understands art, artists, and creativity. It is hard enough for those external to local government to deliver exciting projects without having to explain the fundamentals, and internally someone to advocate the need to support art.   As we know, art has so many functions and possibilities, it impacts on the health and well being of society, supports the education system and process for all, gives us our identity and in my view creativity is the start of

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page ] Face [ 12.

& Figure

Plymouth has moved on immensely in the past few years, the critical mass of artists is growing, we have partnerships and projects that are breaking new ground. the individual – even if it is what colour clothes we choose to wear.   So to answer the question, I would say, ‘very’.    How important is cultural life in promoting other aspects of wellbeing for the broader community – do you have any examples?  I touched on this in the previous question.   There are so many, from the Attik (Dance) project, Time to Dance, to the fantastic work coming out of the Theatre Royal’s Creative Learning team.   You have places like Plymouth Music Collective, whose membership covers the whole city and who managed Underage, the youth music festival at Saltram House, to the great work of Plymouth Music Zone in Devonport. 

Or, Freesound, Plymouth Arts Centre’s FM and online radio station, which is broadcast across Plymouth and the world. It has been running during the summer for three years, reflecting the diversity of Plymouth through music and debate; contributors’ ages have ranged from 14 to 89; and programmes have been broadcast in five languages. Approximately 110 volunteers each year offer their talent and time as presenters and guests. For 28 days, the contributors drive the content of the station and consequently an element of Plymouth Arts Centre’s programme.   I could go on.   What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role as arts officer?  The biggest challenge is managing expectation.   Plymouth has moved on immensely in the past few years, the critical mass of artists is growing, we have partnerships and projects that are breaking new ground. However, some of the work, due to its infancy is not as visible as perhaps we would like, or they need time to establish. The problems won’t be solved overnight, but Plymouth has a great group exciting and creative of people all working very hard, so the future is looking bright.   If I were to ask how does the future look for art and culture in Plymouth, I’m sure you’d say it was rosy, but what conditions need to be in place to ensure a vibrant arts and culture community and how can the council assist with that?  The answer to this question can either be very complex or simple.

I find the face and figure endlessly fascinating because every person is different. Plymouth artist Kasia Andrews


Simply, Plymouth needs Artists - in the broadest sense, including musicians, to practice, to make, and to create. Artists with their intrinsic nature .... (as is for the rest of the sentence). The more complex answer involves many partners, cultural stake holders, organisations and the City Council working together to achieve the vision of ‘the vibrant cultural waterfront city’. Collectively we need to increase opportunities and resolve some of the key creative issues for the city.   I’ve always seen Plymouth as an arts performance town. What stands out for you for creative themes that run through the city?  Another interesting question!  I think there is collective thinking around festivals and events and what is the significance and diversity of these. The International Jazz and Blues festival has great ambitions, and In the Flesh grows from strengthto-strength showcasing some very cutting edge, avant garde performance art and experimental theatre.  We also have big projects coming to the city which, I am unable to say anything about just yet!   Plymouth is also celebrating the Cultural Olympiad with a number of key projects, and for example we are looking into public art as well as auditing the performance stages in the city.    Can you sum up the Plymouth arts scene and/or what you do in 140 characters in a Twitter-esque stylee?  The arts scene in the city is exciting, diverse, and showcases quality from local practitioners and the national/ international stage.   Is there anything you’d like to add?  I love being in Plymouth!

Plymouth artist Hall of fame Beryl Cook The artist that is seen as being quintessentially ‘Plymouth’ grew up in Reading and ended up running a theatrical boarding house in Plymouth after living in Southern Rhodesia and Cornwall. Beryl Cook, whose chunky witticisms painted pictures of a was described by Victoria Wood as Rubens with jokes. She was inspired by Stanley Spencer and Edward Burra, although her characters were boisterous, blousey and fun. She told the BBC in 2006, “I’m only motivated to paint by people enjoying themselves.

“If I saw something sad I wouldn’t dream of painting that. It wouldn’t mean anything to me to paint it. I might feel sorry for them, but I certainly wouldn’t want to paint it. “Human nature is immensely interesting to me and I accept it all, just as it is. I hope my pictures convey some of the pleasure, fury, amazement and delight I feel in activities going on around me. “I love it when I see people enjoying themselves. I’d quite like to be the one singing and dancing drunkenly in the middle of a crowd!”

Gilbert and George The famously conservative George Passmore, of the contemporary duo Gilbert and George, is a Plymouth lad. He met Italian Gilbert at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, and so began the partnership that saw the pair become Living Sculptures, inspired by their The Singing Sculpture, which also gave rise to the pair’s suited uniform.

But it’s probably the big stained glass-like pictures that elevated the pair to fame – not least through elevating themselves in the pictures. George left the south west behind him, and the pair’s work focuses on London’s East End. He told the Daily Telegraph: “Nothing happens in the world that doesn’t happen in the East End.”

Lenkiewicz Controversial, eccentric larger than life, you can’t swing a cat in Plymouth without it hitting someone with a story about Robert Lenkiewicz. Not surprising for an artist who enthusiastically stomped his ground in the pursuit of his art – 10,000 works according to Plymouth photographer and writer Jojo. Lenkiewicz was fascinated with death, not only in his pictures, he said: “To paint oneself is

to paint a portrait of someone who is going to die. And the same applies if one paints anybody else.” But also in his ‘collections’ – the body of an embalmed tramp was found in his rooms, and Ursula Kemp, a 16thcentury midwife who was hanged for witchcraft and nailed into her coffin. But also his pastimes – 1981 he ‘faked’ his own death (19 years before he actually shuffled off).

Have we missed anyone? Got any other hall of Plymouth art and culture hall of famers? email ideas@newsandmediarepublic.org

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workspace: Josie McCoy Plymouth-born artist Josie McCoy has a studio in London and Valencia. She talks about her work and creative process

My work consists of portraits based on film and television characters. Through the transformation of imagery found in films, television programmes, the internet and magazines, I aim to show an alternative view of familiar film and TV actors. This shift in context allows the viewer to engage in the works on a personal level, using their own store of references and past experiences to add to the works. I tend to favour close-ups that are poignant or those which have some resonance in my life. Recurring themes include fear of death, love and moments where the character is feeling particularly insolent or determined. I use a similar aesthetic language to the popular culture I am appropriating, such as the bleaching out of pop videos and unblemished perfection of magazine images. The paintings also refer to the type of source material I use, and include the minute abstract shapes formed by the television screen and photographs I work from. Although the subjects of my paintings often seem uncanny or masklike, they are painted with genuine fondness. The work aims to explore issues of desire, identity, authorship and art’s relationship to popular culture imagery. My creative process begins with viewing and selecting scenes from films and television programmes. I note down the moments I like while watching, and then photograph the television using a manual Pentax SLR camera. Sometimes there are many stills I like within one second and I will photograph all 24 frames and then select the best images to paint. I have created a number of series in this way from films including The Fifth Element, Moulin Rouge, Mr and Mrs Smith and Sleepy Hollow. These can be seen on my website in the section entitled Time Series. My main interest in making these works is to explore further the poses adopted and shifts in expression of a character that would otherwise be missed due to their movement.


Another form of source material is from images found on the internet or in magazines. I use these when there is an actor I want to paint but can’t find a suitable image in the TV programme or films available. If I’m painting someone as a commission then I take up to 50 photographs of the person so I can get to know their face before I start the painting. Once the photo film is processed, I tape all of the photos to the studio wall and start the process of selecting the best images. If I am preparing works for a solo show, I will select images in order to create a dynamic between the gazes of the subjects. Once the images are decided, I draw lightly onto the canvas, using a slide projector and the negative of the photo I am going to paint. I paint in very thin layers of oil paint using a lot of odourless solvent to dilute the paint– the first layer is transparent and has a watercolour quality. I then build up the density of the paint. I drag a dry brush over the surface to blend what I’ve painted and to give an even finish. Each painting takes between four and eight layers of paint for the skin and up to 15 for the features. I paint at least four paintings at once to allow drying time between layers. A painting generally takes three months complete. I am continually fascinated by the idea of taking a split second of time from a film and painting it in this incredibly slow and labour intensive process. The colours I use are a mix of muted, pastel colours for the skin with stronger colours for the features, hair and background. I often use pale green for the skin, to reference old master painting techniques (in which green was an undercoat giving luminosity to the surface colour) or pale blue, to imply the glow of a cinema/television screen on someone watching. You can see images and more information on my website: www.josiemccoy.co.uk

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What is it about the face and the figure that attracts you? I find the face and figure endlessly fascinating because every person is different. I often notice the smallest aspect of someone’s face or body and that will make me want to paint them, it can be as simple as the way their neck looks from a certain angle or even the forms in the flecks in their eye. Your latest work on disability, working with Kevin French, won at the Sue Ryder Care Art Liberating Lives exhibition. You said you wanted ‘to help dispel the uneasiness often evoked by an abnormal body by proving that ‘different’ can be as beautiful as ‘normal’.’ How successful do you think you have been, how is this is a progression of you earlier work, the diptychs of the twins for example? I feel the paintings I did of Kevin were really successful, people have commented on the fact that his disability was not really noticeable in the paintings and this was intentional because I didn’t want the paintings to be of his disability, but of his ability to look as attractive as any other model. So really the paintings were about looking past his disability, a thing that some people find difficult to do. I feel my work has progressed in a number of ways since I did the twins series, but most noticeable is the development of my painting skills, I still can’t believe I only started painting in 2004! As for my subject matter I would like to work more with the type of people who are not considered model material, I would especially like to work with people with facial disfigurement, by painting a face with a disfigurement I hope it will allow the viewer time to get over any adverse reactions and start

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Face and figure

Kasia Andrews celebrates difference. By focusing on details, she highlights the individual. She explains more to Arts+Culture


to see the beauty that can be found in every face. As you focus on the figure and the face, how important is the model to your work? The model is very important in my work; they often dictate the pose I choose without even knowing it. I have often gone into the studio with a specific idea of a pose only to change it the more I get to know the person. This happened with Kevin actually, as he moved I just saw more and more striking forms, he is by far one of the best models I have ever worked with and I have plans to work with him again in the future. You use black and white in your work. Why the preference for this style, and will you develop a colourpalate, maybe along the lines of Caravaggio? Before starting my degree I enjoyed drawing people and loved black and white photography, so when I was asked to paint something I felt it was a natural progression to paint in black and white. I was also inspired by the early black and white paintings by Chuck Close. I have often considered painting in colour but currently still feel I have more to learn and further to go with the black and white palette. If I were to work in colour it would certainly be in the muted colour style of Caravaggio, I have already been inspired by his use of strong directional light and intense shadow.

Kasia’s pictures of Kevin French

There’s something contemplative about paintings, can they still thrill, shock and excite while being still moments in a moving world? Yes, I believe paintings can evoke all these emotions and many more, a good example would be the work of Francis Bacon, he managed to capture moments of raw emotion and movement that are extremely believable. The world we live in is so fast moving that some moments can almost pass us by unnoticed, paintings enable us to stop and reflect.

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Sonic artist poignant contrarian Neil Rose ‘went mad and it was encouraged’. Dan Sidey chats to the craftsman of soundscapes to find out is he for real, artistically speaking I had the pleasure of meeting up with sonic artist Neil Rose for a bit of a biographical chit-chat. The first and most important biographical bit of info is that at some point Neil Rose ‘went mad and it was encouraged’. What I think Neil meant was that at some point in his youth his creativity was spotted, encouraged and nurtured, happily, I think, in a more or less conventional way (since Neil is not really mad). Sixteen-years-old saw Neil already armed with a GCSE in music (taken a year early) and spending much time making music on an Omega 500. This involved the use of hexadecimally coded tracker programmes, “…the most laborious but freest way of doing it.” So here comes the first significant point, because, you see, I didn’t meet Neil wanting to know all the ins and outs of his life, but simply with a checklist of what makes an artist. Is the man for real, artistically speaking? That was my only question. Neil’s comment above about the labour of programming is a good start, simply because art is work – it does

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actually involve some graft, and having the dedication to work is already a good sign, maybe the best. First box ticked. Incidentally, Neil really is a worker, he doesn’t stop making, doing, gluing, screwing, teaching, thinking, writing, constructing, and creating. After graduating in 2003 from Middlesex with a degree in Sonic Arts, Neil inclines toward thinking of himself as an ‘electro-acoustic composer’. Later this becomes ‘sonic artist’ because the latter seems too limiting. But if that’s true, since he now makes all kinds of work, why not just ‘artist’? Because of the dedication to the main medium: sound. That Neil is a craftsman as well as an artist is, for me, not in question. I’ve watched him at a computer putting together musical phrases from raw recordings of any old found-sounds. So, the conventional technical-proficiency-box gets ticked almost automatically. But what about beauty, the sublime, – that which is not the medium but may be expressed through it? I’m jumping ahead through my checklist, but I really want to know

because it’s one of the biggest boxes to tick. And here I have to answer myself by remembering something that took place a while ago. Neil had been talking to the parent of prospective artstudent whose main concern was what career prospects the subject offered to their offspring. Later Neil said to me, “How do you convey to someone like that how much fun I was having, listening to the rain falling down the drain, half-an-hour ago on my break?” The point is you can’t. You either understand or you don’t (the older I get the more I really believe that, sadly). Biggest box ticked. But Neil told a fib. It wasn’t fun he was having, it was something sublime that he was wired into. Who, tell me, who, has two or three special drains dotted around the place that they go and listen to when it’s raining? Perhaps Neil is a bit mad after all. Another box ticked (funny how things start to come together). The opportunity for the same ‘deep listening’ is offered to the listener in all Neil’s work. He wants people to listen, and the beauty of the work is cocreated. To all intents and purposes,


that’s the same for all art. Another box ticked. But enough of ticking boxes and words. The fact is that Neil is an artist and his work is beautiful, that’s all that really matters. How do I know? By experiencing it. Neil has been

called and calls himself a contrarian, mentions the poignancy of the listening contract and “thinks” he is “becoming a musician”. I think he’s right. He means, of course, that because he is not classically trained and does not play a traditional instrument

it’s a bit hard, odd, difficult, to get one’s head around calling oneself a musician, with all that that implies. No matter, he’ll manage, and it fits because he’s a poignant contrarian. What can I tell you? It’s like a musician, except better.

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Tracing the intangible Clem So’s work focuses on ancestry and identity. He outlined some of his thoughts for Arts+Culture I am a practicing Nichiren Daishonin Buddhist and believe in the eternity of life. To me the afterlife is a continuous stream of causality – everything my ancestors were exists through me and everything I do from now validates their lives even more. I am portraying my ancestors, but also through my genealogy, they are also are portraying themselves. Portraying my ancestors and questioning my Chinese identity are not separate. By portraying my ancestors, I am questioning the very core of how I came about. I do not deny that some may find some of these images cathartic, this is naturally the nature of being human and grief may be one of those responses. I take full responsibility for making these images, but the viewer’s response is 50 per cent of this interaction. Each person is an individual and the response has been very different, but I have found from the comments the majority of the audience have enjoyed the work and found it to be deep, powerful and thought provoking. I have had many conversations about my family and naturally this has brought up discussions about family with all who I have spoke with, we all have ancestors, that is a fact that we can embrace. In Buddhism, the link between past, present and future is called The Three Existences. I understand this as a cascading sequence of cause and effect. Using the flow of ink as a starting point, I allow the force of nature to dictate where some of the shape and form of the painting will go. My memories of my family life, early photographs of my ancestor provide inspiration and represent the past. The present is the now statement of the marks I make or the images I create. The response (or effect) is the future. My body is Chinese and my mind is that of a western man. I cannot make myself to be mainland Chinese, that would be too contrived. By default, everything that I am now and tomorrow is my identity. Tracing the intangible is a bit like chasing a rainbow, you never really get there.

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Image: Clem So, by Simon Keitch


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Plymouth

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New York meets Plymouth: award-winning archictect on a Plymouth development Robert Bedner of Research + Design


Viewpoint Gallery Hannah Jones is exhibitions officer at Plymouth College of Art. But what makes a good exhibition? I look for several things in the exhibitions I programme. It’s important that I find ways to support the range of curriculum that is taught at the college, so when programming I reflect on what areas we have already focused on in previous programmes and then look at the areas that may need more attention. I seek to find exhibitions/artists that will motivate, inspire and challenge our students, often searching for artists who they wouldn’t necessarily already know about so to open them up to new work. It’s also essential that the artwork selected fits within a contemporary gallery context. The gallery is a public gallery, so I also think about the context of Plymouth as a city as a whole, trying not to repeat what is being programmed elsewhere and instead offering a programme that complements what else is going on in the city.

success of your achievements. This is particularly pertinent for me as the role of exhibitions officer didn’t exist before I took it on, so every project I have worked on has been about growing, learning and improving. I feel that my greatest success is getting the programme and the gallery to the stage it is now at, a professionally-run space showing great work.

For me it’s about the balance being right, meaning that everything comes together in terms of a content, presentation, interpretation and how our audience responds, along side the important factor of having a positive and productive working relationship with the artist/s. One of the downsides of my role is that you are always looking to the next project rather than reflecting on the

As an artist, the most enjoyable part of the job is getting to work with other artists, especially on the development of new work. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes – meetings, working out logistics, trying to find solutions to tricky problems – sometimes it can be quite stressful (I’ve even dreamt about projects in the past), but after the week spent working with the artists

Although we are a small space we are a serious contender in terms of offering high-quality exhibitions for a wide range of people to enjoy. There aren’t many galleries in the city so it’s vital that we offer an exciting programme of exhibitions that add to and enhance the mix of visual arts activity in the city. I work in collaboration with partners in the city and feel personally invested in helping to develop and grow the visual arts provision in the city.

and a great team of volunteers and meticulously putting the show together, the excitement and achievement of seeing it all come together is really satisfying. One of the greatest challenges of being an artists is that more times then not you don’t get paid for the work you do, so I also get a great sense of satisfaction in being in a position where I can pay artists well and promptly. How you frame work up is important – how you can help the audience navigate an exhibition and engage in the artworks is something that we think about differently for each show. It’s about understanding the context of the environment you are working in. We have a real mix of students studying at the college so it’s important to recognise and to be sensitive to this. I show work that may be challenging to my audiences in a range of ways and for different reasons, so it’s hard to be clear cut about what is challenging or ‘risky’ – classically this may be to do with work that includes nudity, violence, profound language and/or deals with difficult subject matter. I would not be adverse to showing work that involved any of these aspects as long as it was good work and relevant.

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Architecture and design office Research + Design won the Highly Commended category for CIAT’s national award The Alan King Award 2009 for their first completed project–an innovative timber clad residential extension located in the Barbican area of Plymouth.

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New York meets Plymouth The Boho loft-living of Soho (NYC) comes to the South West in the form of an extension with a difference. Award-winning architect Robert Bedner explains After ten years living in the heart of Manhattan I relocated to Plymouth with my family in 2001. In New York City I had gained the opportunity to work on some great projects – luxury apartments for celebrity clients on Central Park West, the design of a museum for the underwater explorer and discoverer of the Titanic Robert Ballard, a new façade for the Soho art gallery Storefront for Art and Architecture. With the birth of my daughter priorities changed and my wife and I were attracted to thoughts of a life in the south west of England between the moors and the sea. I was looking for a place that was urban, but still had connections with the power of nature, the coast and the countryside. I had been to Marfa Texas to see the home, art, and architecture of Donald Judd and driven to Arizona to see James Turrell’s Volcano – these artists had rejected places like New York and LA for desert and big sky country and in a way this is how I liked to think of my exodus from New York to Plymouth. Professional life began working for the architect Sverre Fehn in Oslo Norway. Inspired by a story I had heard about the architect Jorn Utzon working his way over to the States to work for Frank Lloyd Wright I managed to get on a ship and work my way over the Atlantic to Oslo. I knocked on his door and as luck and Prof Fehn’s generous nature would have it, I had the opportunity to work for him practically on a one to one basis for almost a year.

the Barbican that had been referred to me by a friend and colleague who was relocating to London. The project took nearly two years and came within budget. The clients were fantastic and supportive throughout the whole process – a designers dream. The team for the project was integral to its success and continues to work together on projects to this day. The main contractor responsible for overseeing all aspects of the build from start to finish was Milehouse Construction headed up by Tim Swabey and Michael Cassidy. The joinery and timber detailing utilising Siberian Larch throughout also played a major role in the success of the project – all expertly crafted by Plymouth joinery firm Watsun and Gardiner. This past November Research + Design received the Alan King Award in Leeds in a black tie gala event for the project in the highly commended category. A plaque and local ceremony commemorating the award is planned for the project later this year. The design of the project is as follows:

Fehn’s architecture (the actual buildings) and his way of speaking about architecture had a great effect on me and still inspire me to this day. Fehns work was about heart and technical precision and a type of built poetry about our existence in nature through construction.

The Brief The client brief was to design a very small contemporary two-storey infill extension – ‘something special’ to an existing 1970s development townhouse. The design was to provide a new children’s bedroom and a multifunctional sunroom to be used for yoga, entertaining, study and as a children’s play area. In addition, a new stair and “seagull proof” stair skylight were required. All of the above to be accommodated in a tiny existing balcony area 2.5 metres by 2 metres and in a sensitive historic conservation area of the city and to a tight budget.

I opened Research + Design in the Formation Zone at the Roland Levinsky Building at the University of Plymouth in 2008. The New Street project was already underway when we moved in – a small infill extension for a family in

The Solution The sunroom can be configured in a variety of ways utilising custom panels that disappear into wall recesses. This space can accommodate yoga and study when closed

Image by Joakim Boren

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Coming soon… … from the award-winning writer/director Ashley Thorpe who bought you Scayrecrow, The Screaming Skull and The Hairy Hands, the next in Penny Dreadful series

or entertaining as open or as a children’s play area when partially closed off. The larch doors, window cills and stair handrails have a clear and tactile finish. The larch cladding will age naturally and gracefully to a silvery finish. An opaque ‘seagull proof’ skylight fills the renovated stair area with natural light. The children’s bedroom has a small secret hatch that disappears into the cladding. The final construction cost came within £600 of the jct contract. Sustainability and Details The extension offers a quiet reference to local Elizabethan architecture by incorporating the traditional device of a proportionately cantilevered upper storey, and through a strategy that allows new building work to be distinct but integrated through careful detailing and craft. The sun-room maximizes the thermal benefits of winter sunlight. Ventilation is improved by warming internal air in the stairwell by a naturally generated stack effect. All timber cladding and joinery is from FSC accredited sources and procured from renewable stock. The feature internal panels are fireproof, and have been detailed with fire-resistant seals and hidden fireproof hinges. With the completion of the New Street project Plymouth continues to grow on me. Research + Design are getting involved in designs for new creative artists facilities in Plymouth, student accommodation, a bandstand for Devonport Park and some great residential and commercial projects. There is a large and growing population of local creative artists and in addition students graduating from the Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth University who are deciding to stay and do their art here. I think that’s great and a good thing for the city. Plymouth is changing and it’s in a good way, a cultural way. About Research + Design Research + Design provide intelligence, inspiration and insight for new residential, commercial and cultural projects, contemporary conversions, extensions, self-build projects, alterations to period properties and feasibility studies in Devon and Cornwall. R+D propose an architecture of places as opposed to objects and images. R+D apply this philosophy to all of our work regardless of size, type, or budget and believe that design with these values should be available to everyone. Further information can be found on the company website: http://www.researchplusdesign.co.uk/

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A Good Ole Whinge

As part of The Pigs of Today are the Hams of Tomorrow, Plymouth hosted a Complaints Choir. Heather Smith went behind the scenes

Well, you wouldn’t believe the trouble I had getting to Plymouth Arts Centre.  First it started to tip down just as I left the house and then my umbrella, (that I’d only bought two weeks ago), broke and then the driver grunted at me when I said that I had nothing smaller….  Seems that life is full of these little grievances. So it was just as well that I was going to just the right place to air them – the penultimate rehearsal for the Plymouth Complaints Choir at Plymouth Arts Centre.  The Complaints Choir, named after the Finnish word ‘Valituskuoro’, which describes a situation where many people are complaining together, is a project started in 2005 by artists Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver KochtaKalleinen. Following a nine-step plan, organisers invite people to contribute and sing their gripes out loud with, the website says, the intention of ‘transforming the huge energy people put into complaining into something else.’    From the formation of the first Complaints Choir in Birmingham, the project is now a worldwide phenomenon with groups in cities from St Petersburg to Tokyo. The Plymouthbased choir was selected by Paula Orrell (Plymouth Arts Centre curator) and Maria Abramovic (commission curator/performance artist) to form part of the performance art event: The Pigs of Today are the Hams of Tomorrow, held at the Royal William Yard, Plymouth, in January 2010.  I was met at the door to the arts centre in Looe Street by the very non-grumpy producer Lucy Walker,

who introduced me to the choir. The posters, emails and radio appearances asking for volunteers had attracted 30 participants from all over Devon and beyond. Several nationalities were represented with singers from North and South America and Europe. Surprisingly, for someone who expected a room full of budding Victor Meldrews, there was a wide range of ages in the choir – it seems that our ability to moan binds us together.  Also at the rehearsal was Devon musician Nick Grew, who had sifted through more than 60 complaints and put together the finished song: A Good Ole Whinge, a selection of 16 moans, in double-quick time.  Planning for the Complaints Choir had started in October, with the first workshop taking place in December. Ironically the weather, a subject much beloved of British complainers had created most problems for Lucy and Nick. Snow had hampered journeys to rehearsals although, as Lucy told me: ‘The participants were amazing – if they could make it, then they would come on foot or bus.’ Recordings of music were also sent to those who had to miss practices, allowing them to sing-along at home.  After splitting people into ‘lows’, ‘mediums’ and ‘highs’ the rehearsals began. The song, fittingly for the area, is based on a sea shanty, the call and answer form fitting the complaints particularly well.  I stood next to Susan, who had traveled from Bodmin. In common with most of the choir members, she had

never sung in public before. ‘I wanted to do something in the dark months of winter, to be part of a community project,’ she said.  Soon the room was filled with the sound of people singing in three-part harmonies about untidy children and neighbours who pee in their herbaceous borders, the choir members affirming the artists’ assertion that ‘it does not matter how you sing if you sing loud.’ There was plenty of laughter. It soon became clear that I was listening to a kind of musical alchemy – the choir changing the negativelycharged words into a positive, shared experience.  As well as the sense of community a Complaints Choir generates – offering audiences the reassurance that we all share the same gripes and niggles – allowing grievances to be aired gives choir members and those listening a sense of power, however fleeting. Moans about cold callers and unfriendly cashiers set to music also help to put petty annoyances into perspective, helping to refocus people on things that really matter.  It seems that the Complaints Choir will carry on bringing people together.  Asked if she sees it continuing after the Plymouth event Lucy said: ‘Definitely… we want to keep things going.’  Being part of the project for a few hours almost made me forget about my broken umbrella disappointment. But then my bus was late and the noise emanating from my fellow passenger’s ‘personal’ music player all the way home just about made my blood boil...  

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type: artwork location: Plymouth style: painting, drawing, tattooing

Butterfly skulls

The zingy, layered and powerful music of Arthur Walker has been packed up album-style. Steve Stones, singer and songwriter from the band spoke to cover art creator Caroline Who are you and how do you describe what you do? My name is Caroline, I paint, I draw, I tattoo, I generally like to have a go at most creative things! What’s your background? I’d always loved to draw, paint and get messy. I went to Plymouth High School for Girls, Plymouth Art College and did a brief spell at Manchester Metropolitan University doing interior design. I guess you can say I never really knew what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to stay creative. I now work in a printers, paint when I can and am learning the art of tattooing, which I love! You say for the album art of Arthur Walker took inspiration from aspects of their lyrics. Which lyrics inspired you, and why? The band approached me with their album cover ideas and I got inspiration from some of the song titles. They gave me requirements for a skull, roses, a broken heart, machinery with a tattoo-inspired theme… ideal for me as I love to design traditional-style

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tattoos and this gave me the perfect chance to experiment, the band liked it and I’m very proud to put it as one of my achievements! What usually inspires you? People, colour, my friends, flowers. I like bright colours and interesting textures. I like my work to make people feel happy when they look at it, brighten their day as it were. I do believe inspiration comes and goes – you really do need to be “in the mood” to paint and have a great deal of motivation to get to it. It can be hard sometimes, but you should never give up and keep trying! Do you tend to tell stories through your work? My works is pretty simple...it looks nice, if i were to tell a story though my work it would probably be quite grim ha ha… No really, I do whatever I feel at the time, there really is no deep meaning behind my work, sorry to disappoint! At the moment I take my inspiration from tattoo design, especially old school styles. I especially love skulls, hearts, roses, orchids and lillies!

You’ve recently branched into tattoo art, and painting people! Do you work in a completely different mindset than you would when painting on canvas? Tattoo art is completely different. Not only is it a permanent piece of art, it’s very important to get it right so there is less flow and more pressure! Also, you are usually working to someone else’s design and not your own. However, it’s a great challenge and I enjoy it.


Ah yes, Arthur Walker. It’s always difficult to know what to say about them. The thing is, they try so bloody hard to be a ’great’ and ‘important’ band, they’re gonna get there sooner or later by sheer force of will. There’s an ease and confidence about Arthur Walker these days – as if they’ve finally stopped making head music and started playing from the bollocks. Heck, it took Pasteur pissing off to Ibiza without washing the dishes for him to eventually discover penicillin, didn’t it?!

How do you find the attitudes art lovers/critics in Plymouth, and is Plymouth a place that encourages your artistic endeavours? I think the attitude towards art has got better. I remember when I left school, art was frowned upon, but now it’s greatly encouraged which is good. However, there is still a snobbery surrounding being an ‘artist’. I belong to an art group called Plymouth Art Group. We started it to be part of a group which could meet up every now and then and just encourage each other and give us a goal with our work, no pressure at all. I find with many groups or galleries here in plymouth, you have to be ‘somebody’ to get in, or to exhibit your work. It’s a shame really.

I got inspiration from the song titles. They gave me requirements for a skull, roses, a broken heart, machinery with a tattoo-inspired theme… ideal for me as I love to design traditionalstyle tattoos

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They’re arguably at their strongest when they’re not showing off. There’s a few ill-advised ventures into what sounds like calypso, and during My Headphone Attracts there’s a breakdown which sounds exactly like McCartney’s Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time (yikes!). The annoying thing is, Arthur Walker have the potential to be a balls-out truly fantastic rock band. When lead singer Steve Stones is doing his best fat-Frank Pixies scream over chunky riffs and clattering drums, you wonder why they bother with the clever-clever stuff at all, and don’t just rock like a mother.

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Art of research

the way their knowledge was gained and shared with others.

Artist film-maker and doctoral researcher Kayla Parker interviews herself and Dr Roberta Mock, Professor of Performance Studies, about arts research in the Faculty of Arts at University of Plymouth Q. What’s a doctoral researcher? Kayla. It’s someone like me who is studying for a doctoral degree: when qualified, you become a Doctor of Philosophy, and can put the letters ‘PhD’ after your name. Roberta. To be awarded a PhD, you normally study for three years fulltime or five years part-time to produce a thesis which is then examined by experts who have not played a part in the project itself. The form of the thesis used to be quite strict, but recently this has loosened up to include elements that are expressed in ways other than through the written word. Although it varies from discipline to discipline, in the arts and humanities it is normally up to the researcher to create an appropriate programme of study with the help of her supervisors. Q. Artists becoming doctors, whatever next? K. Well, there are many artists who

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have also been researchers: Leonardo da Vinci was a scientist, artist, engineer, and an all-round genius. However, it’s only in the last 20 or so years that art and creative practice has been accepted as part of academic research culture, and I think this is a result of the expansion of higher education, including widening participation initiatives, that took place during the 20th century. Governments since the 1960s have stressed the economic necessity for the UK to compete successfully in a global context, and this is a key driver of the continued upward thrust of education, pushing more and more people into achieving qualifications at ever-higher levels. R. Artists have been awarded PhDs for a long time – it’s just that their own artistic practice wasn’t allowed to form part of their PhD submission. They usually ended up researching and writing only about the work of other artists. And while this may have helped them in all sorts of ways, it denied the validity of a large portion of

Partick Heron

I think the inclusion of art departments in universities – and also the validation of art degrees by universities and the absorption of art schools into universities – over the past 20 years or so has meant that people teaching art in these contexts are expected to be qualified in the same way as lecturers in the sciences or humanities, for example. It is increasingly difficult for artists without PhDs to be offered permanent full time contracts at universities. Q. What does an artist’s PhD look like? K. Research in an academic context needs to fulfill specific criteria, and for a PhD the research must be original and create ‘new knowledge’ that is recognized by one’s peers and is publishable. As artists we can explore and communicate experience – what it’s like – in whatever media and forms we use in our practice. I am doing my PhD ‘by practice’ because, as an artist, I develop ideas, find out things, and present what I have discovered through the process of making films and showing them to people: art is my main language. My PhD therefore has a creative element – my films and other artworks – and a written component that links my own ideas and reflections in response to practice, with the theories and critical thinking, and practices of others. R. It’s important to understand that all of this together is considered the

One of the most popular images at the Plymouth City Museum and Gallery is Rectilinear Reds + Blues by Patrick Heron, Rectilinear Reds + Blues by Patrick Heron, 1968 © PCMAG.jpg


‘thesis’. In the case of performance practice, it is normal for the thesis to include a live performance event as well as documentation of performance events that are discussed in the written elements of the thesis. Q. Why did you want to go back to school and study for a PhD, Kayla? K. For me, someone who’s been making films for around 20 years, the PhD creates a space in which I can review my work and establish contexts for the ideas I’ve expressed through my practice. My thesis title is Every frame counts: creative practice and gender in animation. I explore processes and methodologies of artists’ moving image from a feminist perspective as an artist filmmaker: this is ‘new knowledge’ because the majority of writing on this subject is by men, most of whom are not practitioners. The actual process of getting here is through a series of chance events that became connected. I visited the Facing East exhibition of landscape photography by artists from Nordic and Baltic states, shown at Plymouth Arts Centre in 2005. The exhibition was curated by Liz Wells, whom I met at the Land/Water and the Visual Arts summer symposium at the University in June 2006. This led to me meeting her every few months to talk about ideas, and then to me to writing my proposal for PhD study, and an interview with Roberta in May 2007. Liz Wells, Professor in Photographic Culture, and Dr Roberta Mock, Professor of Performance Studies, are the supervisors of my PhD.

It’s brilliant for me to have two women who are so highly regarded for their expert knowledge in their respective areas, as my supervisory team. As well as an exhibition curator and acknowledged authority on photography, Liz Wells is the editor of two key reference books: Photography: A Critical Introduction and The Photography Reader; and her new book Land Matters, Landscape Photography, Culture and Identity will be published later this year. Liz has just returned from a three month research trip to Australia, so I’m looking forward to hearing about that. I’ll let Roberta speak for herself… Q. What was your PhD about, Roberta, and how do you use it now? R. I completed my PhD in Drama at the University of Exeter in 2002, although I have been teaching theatre and performance full time at the University of Plymouth since 1993. Despite this, at the time I started my PhD I considered myself more as a theatre practitioner who taught than an ‘academic’ (as I do now). My practice was a combination of directing, scenography and lighting design. But I started my PhD before anybody had completed what’s called a ‘practice-as-research’ PhD in the UK so I did a more traditional doctorate that combined performance analysis, critical theory and historical study on the subject of Jewish female performers. A much better rewritten version of my thesis was published

images from the top: The Measure of It: Kayla projecting 16mm film scroll Photographer: Stuart Moore The Measure of It: Kayla drawing on 16mm film Photographer: Stuart Moore White Body: still from animation film by Kayla Parker

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A lot of the work we do relates directly to the south west, the area we live and work in; some of our research focuses onto specific places, or aspects of locality and history of the region as book called Jewish Women on Stage, Film and Television in 2007. I continue to write about Jewish women performers, as well as issues of gender and sexuality in performance. But throughout this period of time I continued with creative practice, mainly with my colleagues Ruth Way and Chris Hall as Lusty Juventus physical theatre. I also became involved in an important project called PARIP (Practice as Research in Performance) between 20012006, which was led by Professor Baz Kershaw who was then at the University of Bristol. So even though I don’t have an ‘artists

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PhD’ myself, for quite some time I have framed by own creative activity as research and nearly all of the PhDs I supervise can be considered ‘practice-led’. http://www.lustyjuventus.co.uk/ http://www.bris.ac.uk/parip/

as an unarmed lone woman travelling through remote and dangerous regions in the first part of the 20th century. Benham’s Tibetan boots are featured in the BBC’s ‘A History of the World’ series that tells the history of our world through object.

Q. How does postgraduate arts research at the university affect people in Devon and Cornwall?

Another example is Lu La Buzz, an artist who is researching the China Clay and Ball Clay deposits in the south west for her MPhil/PhD; also Laurie Reynolds, an MRes Photography student, who uses the water from an abandoned quarry on Dartmoor to develop the photographs he takes at the location, so his work is a kind of collaboration between him and the landscape. Laurie produces extremely beautiful large photographic prints that capture both the ‘sense of place’ and the mysterious mineral processes that form the images themselves.

K. A lot of the work we do relates directly to the south west, the area we live and work in; some of our research focuses onto specific places, or aspects of locality and history of the region. For example, Catherine Cummings is a doctoral researcher in art history: “My research is the ethnographic collection of Gertrude E Benham (1867-1937) who circumnavigated the globe eight times and collected over eight hundred objects which she donated to Plymouth Museum in 1934. The collection consists of objects from all over the world.” Benham was a mountaineer and traveller. As well as the Alps, she climbed mountains in Canada (the Truda Peaks are named after her), New Zealand, and Japan; and was the first woman to climb Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. She died aged 71 on board ship on her way home from a solo trek across Africa, and was buried at sea off the west coast of Africa. Catherine’s research tells us very much more about Benham’s exploits, and allows us to understand the indigenous peoples she encountered

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R. These are all excellent examples and there are so many more. I think I’d like to mention a really exciting PhD that is very close to completion by Karen Smith. Karen’s topic has been ‘the continuing professional development needs of artists in the South West’. It was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as a collaborative doctorate between ourselves and ArtsMatrix. Karen has made some fascinating and really important observations about artists as professionals and the ways they negotiate their on-going practice in the region. Q. MPhil/PhD: what does this mean? K. When your research proposal is accepted and you register at the

Keep up-to-date with all the Arts+Culture developments online with the Arts+Culture site www.artsculture.co.uk


As a creative practitioner, you can put your art at the heart of your study, and the MRes programme provides a really good structure for you to learn about research and to develop your ideas University, you’re enrolled as a MPhil/ PhD candidate because the first part of your programme is considered to be at masters level, and you’re intending to go on to the next stage: the PhD. At around the one-third stage, you write a report on your research, do a live presentation of your work so far and say how you’re intending to develop this further. If successful, you then ‘transfer’ from MPhil/PhD to PhD status and are allowed to eventually submit for a PhD. R. Some people decide not to go on to complete a PhD but to submit sooner for a Master of Philosophy (MPhil). An MPhil is smaller in scale than a PhD and doesn’t need to make an ‘original contribution to knowledge’ which is the

main criteria for a PhD. Q. MRes… can you explain? K. This is the Masters in Research programme: a great route into doing a PhD because the qualification is customized to suit the area you’re interested in. As a creative practitioner, you can put your art at the heart of your study, and the MRes programme provides a really good structure for you to learn about research and to develop your ideas. All MPhil/PhD students share a research training module in their first year with MRes students, so it’s also a way to meet people and find out about the variety of subjects being investigated. R. We offer 12 MRes programmes in the Faculty of Arts at Plymouth including Dance, Computer Music, Photography, Theatre & Performance, Landscape, History, Art History, English… You can do it in 12 months full-time or 24 months parttime. They’re different from our MA programmes because they really do revolve around the student’s research project and the teaching is kept to the minimum and focuses on research skills. Q. Where can I find out more about what arts researchers are doing at the University? K. Some of us have our own websites where we publish details about our work, projects we’re involved in, and talks we’re giving. Here at the university each researcher belongs to a research group or centre, and there’s info on these websites also. I’m a member of the Land/Water and the Visual Arts research group: http://

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The M(other) Project: M(other)0 Triptych Made by Roberta Mock: action Sarah Swainson: photographs peepee: poster design Text by Algernon Swinburne First exhibited in a group show at the Clifford Fishwick Gallery, Exeter (2005)

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The 39 British Art Show 7 artists are:

www.landwater-research.co.uk/lw.php?pg=home

Charles Avery; Karla Black; Becky Beasley; Juliette Blightman; Duncan Campbell; Varda Caivano; Spartacus Chetwynd; Steven Claydon; Cullinan Richards; Matthew Darbyshire; Milena Dragicevic; Luke Fowler; Michael Fullerton; Alasdair Gray; Brian Griffiths; Roger Hiorns; Ian Kiaer; Anja Kirschner & David Panos; Sarah Lucas; Christian Marclay; Simon Martin; Nathaniel Mellors; Haroon Mirza; David Noonan; The Otolith Group; Mick Peter; Gail Pickering; Olivia Plender; Elizabeth Price; Karin Ruggaber; Edgar Schmitz; Maaike Schoorel; George Shaw; Wolfgang Tillmans; Sue Tompkins; Phoebe Unwin; Tris Vonna-Michell; Emily Wardill; Keith Wilson.

Fine art lecturer Dr Debbie Robinson has been artist in residence at several molecular biology laboratories since she completed her PhD, and there’s information about these research projects on her website: http://www. deborah-robinson.net/home

Arts+Culture is published by News and Media Republic Ltd, a social enterprise media company. We believe communication helps create confident communities. And we rely on contributions and insights from artists to produce this magazine. For more information or to advertise call 01626 202202 or email:

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Sharing your research with other people and getting feedback is an important part of the process of developing and testing ideas in a PhD. As well as giving formal seminars and academic papers, I also run workshops in which I talk about the research I’m doing and enable people to learn film-making skills or animation techniques; I gave a performance, screening and artist’s talk in Studio One at Plymouth Arts Centre recently, and the short films I make are shown in the UK and abroad in exhibitions, cinemas, festivals and as part of touring programmes. I usually put details on my own research website: http://www.kaylaparker.co.uk and on the Sundog Media site that I share with film-maker and sound artist Stuart Moore: http://www.sundog.co.uk R. I agree that websites are a great place to start. The University website features links to research groups and also to individuals. If you are interested in music, theatre, dance or live art, I would start with the Centre for Research in the Humanities, Music and Performing Arts (HuMPA) website: http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/research/humpa For all other art forms, I would start with the Centre for Media, Art and Design Research: http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/researchcover/rcp.asp?pagetyp e=G&page=373. I would also suggest that people subscribe to the Peninsula Arts mailing list since we do try to make arts research available and accessible to the public through this programme. http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/pages/view.asp?page=8132 K. That’s great, thanks Roberta!

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DVD reviews every week

Sex, Leins & Videotape

Tom Leins covers the latest releases on D+CFilm Edge 2010 pass on their skills to a new generation of Devon dancers Devon dance students participated in the workshop which was held by Edge, the postgraduate performance company of London Contemporary Dance School.

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Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery

One of the most recognised/popular among the Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery St Ives pieces. Rectilinear Reds + Blues by Patrick Heron, 1968ŠPCMAG.jpg


ArtsCulture: Plymouth Issue