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A4 Artists artisans assistants audience

I am also an artist working in sculpture. I started employment predominantly at Nottingham Castle after I had an exhibition in the galleries and met the tech team whilst installing my own artworks. The sculptures I make, take their shape from my observations of material applications in architecture, chiefly contemporary architecture. I try to realise these details into sculptures that result in abstracted gestures of a building or structure. I also wouldn’t regard myself as an artisan in respect of my art practice. I just about manage to make the sculptures I want to but hardly ever to the standard I imagine them. A large part of this is because of the way I work in the studio. Designs are usually a cartoon-like sketch and construction begins with me holding up a bit of wood and saying ‘yeah, that’s about the right size’. I think to be called an artisan you have to know what the desired finish will be and apply your honed skills until you have achieved it. Whereas for me, the process of making is scattered and quite often changes in response to the materials I’m using or the new aesthetic decisions I make along the way. I find this more absorbing and stimulating than everything going to plan, even though I can definitely tell you it is a stressful way of working! I often try new techniques and materials each time I work on a sculpture, I never seem to get particularly good at one thing, I am therefore adequate at a few niche skills that I will probably never use again.

I do not really claim to be an artisan, in terms of my work as a technician I feel the term doesn’t apply to me. I have only been doing this kind of work for about a year and don’t feel I have accrued the knowledge and experience to be worthy of such a title. Being a technician most of the time involves carrying and painting things and hanging pictures straight, all of which I have managed to do to a standard which thus far has kept me in employment. I do enjoy the work, I am able to handle and get up close to artworks and artifacts in a way most people do not. I’ve worked with some engaging artists on challenging projects and I take these experiences as one of the perks of the job.

Occupation: Technician

Name: Alex Pain

Name: Andy Lindley Occupation: Technical & Facilities manager at New Art Exchange. My role at NAE is the planning and technical management of installations and events along side general facilities management. Undertaking these two roles simultaneously means my working day can be very diverse. I can go from an intense technical meeting to unblocking a toilet within seconds, I suppose that’s what keeps it interesting! I somehow became involved in visual art installations through my love for music, I began working sound and lights for live events, then I would install the odd semi-permanent film installation and before I knew it I was hanging paintings and working alongside curators! My love for music has now evolved into a wider appreciation for film and sound design. I am now about to complete the construction of a studio space within my home allowing me to develop sound and music as my hobby as well as within my job role.

Name: Gareth Hustwaite Occupation: Freelance technician , musician, artist I work as an art technician at various galleries and also as an events technician and a prop and set builder. The nature of the job means that I work in various industries offering practical solutions for, often quite interesting, problems. It can be quite demanding and unstable but generally it’s pretty rewarding and I work with, and get to meet, some really great people. Freelance work started as a way of obtaining the freedom to be able to drop work to tour with bands, formerly as a musician, but more often now as a visual projectionist. My visual work is formed from a collection of obsolete and broken video technology, disposed format and video feedback through various modes which is then placed in various contexts; music festivals, band performance, installation, live art performance etc. I work with artists and musicians who borrow or hire the aesthetic that I continue to develop, through experimentation, research and collecting. After a great experience working with Liverpool International Psychedelic Festival I’ve been invited to work closely with them on developing the visual aspect for next years event. I’m also working on a series of works for a solo exhibition. The works are formed through a process of experimentation and distillation. The exhibition will be composed of a number of prints and a series of lasers and projections. On top of this, I’m also (very slowly) filling out an application to obtain funding for a research trip to the West Coast of USA. In short this will involve journeying from South to North, I’m going to meet artists and interview them about their practice in relation to their cultural environment. Any content generated will contribute towards an Internet archive of the journey. I plan to continue to pursue my work as a technician and to enjoy making art and music and to hopefully have some good times with inspirational people en route.

Name: James E Smith Occupation: Artist I have lived in Nottingham, on and off, for the last 11 years. This week I am installing an exhibition at Nottingham Castle Museum. The first time I came here was in the spring of 2002. There was an exhibition of paintings by Andy Warhol. I don’t remember actually seeing the exhibition because perhaps I got there after the last admission or something like that. I did buy a Warhol book that day though. According to my mum, I said ‘I’ll see the exhibition when I come back’. What I meant was I would be coming back to Nottingham because I had attended an interview that day for the Fine Art course, and I guess I was confident that it had gone well and I had got a place on the course. I did get on the course. What’s strange for me right now is that the person who interviewed me is in the exhibition that I am installing this week. He has been in a couple of times to bring his paintings in and to put them on the wall. I’ve not been helping him because I’ve been working on a different part of the exhibition, but I have said ‘Hello’ a couple of times. Whenever I see this person I think about how he has shaped my life. Not day to day, not in a way that his attitude and philosophy towards life has influenced me directly, but in the sense that the decision he made 11 years ago has completely changed how the last 11 years of my life have panned out and how that decision continues to shape everyday of my life. The fact that I am here, in the flat that I am writing this in, comes down to the decision made on that day. Had this person not accepted me on the course I would no doubt be somewhere completely different. It’s hard to say. It’s highly unlikely that I would be in Nottingham right now. It’s highly unlikely that I would be in a relationship with the woman I am in a relationship with. In fact, any of the relationships I have had, on whatever level since that day, would most likely not have happened. So there is a strange feeling inside me when I see this person. He is somewhat responsible for my life yet he has no idea of how much he has affected it.

Nottingham Contemporary Arts Technician New Art Exchange Arts Technician New Walk Museum Arts Technician Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College Technician / Gallery Officer Phoenix Square Arts Technician Leicester Lo-Fi Photography Director The Great Central Gallery and Studios Former Co Director Stephen Alexander Lynch Bicycle Restoration and Repairs Emporium Vintage Bike Mechanic Stephen Lynch Photography Commercial Photographer The Great Meeting Unitarian Chapel Caretaker

I hope you will be hearing much more from us in the future.

This was a buoyant time for the Leicester arts scene and this positive experience lead on to other projects. Foremost of which I took over the Function Room and, with artist/curator Eric Rosoman, turned the studio into The Great Central Gallery. I took on more technical, gallery and education work to support The Great Central Gallery. This led me to meet other photographers who, like me, wanted to support analogue and alternative image making. Thus we formed Leicester Lo-Fi, dedicated to supporting film photographers and preserving traditional image making. Just as I write this I’m pleased to announce that we now have a darkroom to refurbish and help expand our activities.

However, to be involved in this small community was what I wanted, so to support my own projects I decided to do whatever I could to get involved. I started as a technician at the now sadly lost City Gallery in Leicester. This supported my own projects using and adapting film cameras in search of lost stories in the scars of the rural landscape. Still, I wanted to get more involved so I moved into the Function Room, a former studio in Leicester where I lived with Ed Orton, a self proclaimed Func Artist (art which functions as art and usable object) and co founder of the artist group DOT.

When people ask me what I do, or perhaps what is my practice, to say that I am a photographer, technician or artist would be too short, and at worst misleading. The truth is that I enjoy reeling off a list of jobs/ projects as a conversation starter to avoid the “that’s nice” social conventional reply. The truth is that since leaving the bosom of university, the arts were a mysterious and difficult career path to enter.


Occupation: Technician, Co-Director of The Great Central Gallery

Name: Stephen Lynch

Steve Barnett was Facilities Manager for New Art Exchange, Nottingham when it opened before moving to Nottingham Contemporary as Facilities and Technical Manager.

Steve has toured extensively throughout the UK and Europe, with all sorts of production, from small self-contained theatre shows to full production touring to found spaces. Lighting Design credits for the National Theatre include; Sparkleshark, Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads, Shadow Of A Boy, The Mentalists and Closing Time. He has also worked in the corporate entertainment and Rock and Roll sectors, including lighting ex-Genesis guitarist, Steve Hackett on tour in the UK, Italy and Switzerland.

Steve has worked in the arts for over 25 years. He has designed the lighting for shows at The Redgrave Theatre, Farnham; The Theatre Royal, Windsor; and he worked at the National Theatre for over eight years, where he helped design, and was resident Lighting Designer in the Loft Theatre.

Occupation: Facilities and Technical Manager at Nottingham Contemporary, lighting designer, sound engineer, production manager and general all-round technical genius.

Name: Steve Barnett

Name: Steven Ingman Occupation: Artist, art technician As a freelance art technician, I work at Nottingham Castle, Newstead Abbey and Wollaton hall. I enjoy the work and find it a privilege to meet and work with lots of interesting people. I get to work with a variety of works of art, both historical and contemporary as well as historical objects. It’s interesting to find out information on the work I am dealing with and I often find myself wanting to know more. I don’t really get bored of the job due to the ever-changing nature of exhibitions and projects. I love the problem solving aspects and I am often learning new skills. From a creative aspect I am learning all the time, I find myself considering new directions in how to exhibit art and seeking interesting ways to engage audiences in my work. As an artist, my work is often influenced by a combination of places I have been to, environments that I have lived in, journeys I have made, explored and have memories of. I mainly work in the medium of paint in rediscovering these environments, often experimenting and problem solving with the idea of recreating the essence of an environment from a photograph. I want to create paintings that are an ambiguous representation. My aim is to break down the photograph by paying close attention to the manipulation of the canvas surface. I consider the handling of paint by using elements of slight abstraction, of marks and colour, whilst working with the canvas surface and experimenting with different mediums and ways of applying paint. Recent exhibitions and projects include 2008 Derby Open - First Prize Winner, 2009 Arts Council England Award, Solo show 2010 - Night Light at Derby Museum and Art Gallery, British Art Show 7 Sideshow - Wunderkammen and Mik’s Front room - Nottingham, Leicester 2010 Open – The Great Central Award and Attenborough shortlist, Opem 2011 The Collection Lincoln, Home insecurities (group show) 2011 - The Great Central Leicester, Castle 2012 Open – Winner of the Great Art Award. Steven Ingman lives and works in Nottingham and is the studio manager of 3rd Space Studios, Nottingham.

NO OFFICIAL NAME WOULD LIKE TO THANK... New Art Exchange NOttingham Castle Nottingham contemporary For allowing us to document their recent exhibition installations.

THe artisans: Alex Pain Andy Lindley James e smith Gareth Hustwaite stephen lynch steve barnett STEVEN INGmAn

And photographer: David Severn twitter @noofficialname tel: 07549594776


The third publication in the A4 series is entitled Artisans and looks at the double lives of Nottingham technicians, who not only install ar...