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Artists’ collective will encourage young talent to stay in Plymouth to further their careers Oona Wagstaff is a local artist who came up with the great idea of setting up an artists’ collective in Plymouth. Within a week of emailing six people to tell them about her vision, they became a team! She told me: “We have named the group ‘Rhizome’ which in biological terms is a continuously growing horizontal underground stem which puts out lateral shoots and roots at intervals. “Our hope is that other artists and the community at large will be positively affected by an ever growing network of artistic opportunities made available within the Plymouth area.’ I asked Oona what happened at Rhizome’s inception. She said: “The initial group began to develop back in January of this year, when some second and third year students at Plymouth College of Art decided that they needed an ongoing, supportive structure in place for them on graduating from their BA (Hons) courses in painting,

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drawing and printmaking and printed textile and design. I got together with two other third year students, David Muddyman and Ildikó Hurley. We then joined forces with second year students Terry Channell and Marie Taylor to build a business case for the formation of the collective and researched a number of creative avenues in order to bring it into fruition.” Using the extensive and varied sets of skills and experiences of all its members, the group then wrote a business plan, conducted market research and built partnerships with the Plymouth community, local artists and Art Matters Plymouth College of Art. with Kerry Cole The group have managed to negotiate a partnership with the Millfields Trust in Plymouth, which has provided them with accommodation to kick-start their venture. Rhizome moved into their new accommodation on Union Street in Plymouth in July and have spent their summer further developing the collective.  This has included the running of life drawing sessions for the Plymouth community, the establishment of the Rhizome Contemporary Open exhibition and the organisation of a number of events which took place during the Plymouth Art Weekender festival at the end of September. The group are currently applying to the Arts Council for funding and working with Plymouth College of art, the Millfields Trust and other Plymouth arts organisations, to establish ongoing relationships and collaborative projects.  These projects aim to enhance and inspire creative innovation in critical, creative practice, enabling graduates from PCA programmes to remain in the area. I asked Marie Taylor, one of the founding Rhizome artists, why the collective was important to her. She told me: “It has given me a fantastic opportunity to start thinking now about bridging that gap when I graduate next year. There is an urgency for this type of thing to support the local art graduates as they emerge out of art school.  “I’d also like to take this opportunity to let people know about something called ‘Crit Club’ which invites art students to bring their work, at whatever stage it’s at, to be critiqued in a friendly, fresh and inspirational way.  “We want to change the stigma around critiques and the anxiety that is associated with them, helping to break down these barriers in a friendly environment whilst developing professional practice and boosting confidence. ‘



To find out more about Rhizome visit http://rhizomeac.webs.com

Profile for Cornerstone Vision

Plymouth Magazine October 2016  

Plymouth's popular and biggest circulation "lifestyle" magazine delivered to 45,000 homes every month.

Plymouth Magazine October 2016  

Plymouth's popular and biggest circulation "lifestyle" magazine delivered to 45,000 homes every month.