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Picturing things, taking a view, is what makes us human PLYMOUTH CITY MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY

Student responses to ARTIST ROOMS Gerhard Richter

WE LOVE WORKING WITH STUDENTS. When we heard that we had been successful in bringing ARTIST ROOMS Gerhard Richter to Plymouth, we immediately started dreaming up ideas of how to work with some really interesting people in Higher and Further Education in the city. We wanted to include students in the process of exhibition making; allowing their ideas and enthusiasm to filter through our curation of the ARTIST ROOMS collection, and our engagement programme for children, young people and our exhibition visitors. We started our work with students in October 2014, and have been busy developing the projects ever since. Over the next few pages you’ll find insights into the different projects from students and lecturers, from Plymouth College of Art, Plymouth University, and dBs Music. On pages 12 - 15 you’ll also find a tracklist for the audio created especially for this exhibition. To listen in the gallery, you’ll need your own mobile device and headphones.

“It is a great opportunity for the students, giving them first hand experience of working as a curator, as well as getting feedback from the museum staff.� - Ella McCartney, Lecturer


PLYMOUTH COLLEGE OF ART Second Year students from BA (Hons) Fine Art on the Critical and Curatorial Practice module - led by their lecturer Ella McCartney - were asked to develop a curatorial approach to the ARTIST ROOMS Gerhard Richter exhibition, and present their ideas to a panel of staff from the City Museum and Art Gallery. To support this work, our Learning Development Officer regularly attended seminars and participated in group discussions with the students. The students also developed a series of three audio guides for the public, each discussing different works included in the exhibition, and each completely different in approach. For a tracklist, and QR codes, please head to pages 12 - 15.

ELENA BRAKE “We were split into two groups and tasked with planning the exhibition of work by prestigious artist, Gerhard Richter, right down to selecting and positioning the work from those available, and planning events to draw a target audience to the exhibition. Along with a 1000 word written proposal, we presented our ideas visually to a panel from the museum. Throughout the project, each group had to arrange meetings and sessions to co-write the proposal, an experience we all found valuable. I really enjoyed the project. It was a real challenge to think about things that I would never have thought about, and how an exhibition is planned. I think we all learnt a lot during this experience.”

CHARLIE KNIGHT “I feel that this project has been very successful and as a group we have worked well to create an audio guide that is appropriate and keeps a sense of identity and character from us who made it. We chose Richter’s dual piece, ‘Gilbert, George’, for our audio guide because we felt that by choosing a piece concerning real people, one of whom is connected to Plymouth, it would enable us to make a guide that would be both factual and relevant, thereby being more relatable to visitors to the exhibition.”

JESS WRIGHT “I am hugely proud of what my group and I acheived during the short amount of time we had, and of what we planned, prepared and proposed to Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery. I am really looking forward to working with them - this is such a good opportunity.�

“It has been a really exciting opportunity for students, staff and graduates from the School of Art and Media at Plymouth University and dBs Music to respond to the Richter paintings! We hope that the public visiting the gallery are stimulated by the diverse response to the work.� - John Matthias, Lecturer


PLYMOUTH UNIVERSITY Students from BA (Hons) Media Arts, PhD Arts and Media, researchers, lecturers and Professors from Plymouth University - led by lecturer John Matthias - were asked to record audio responses to the various works included in the exhibition. Students past and present from dBs Music; a recording studio and teaching college in Plymouth, also contributed. These responses form a ‘sound track’ to the exhibition - each can be listened to in isolation, or as one continuous track, leading you around the exhibition. We are also grateful to Jay Auborn at dBs Music for his excellent mastering skills, and for compiling the audio for this project. The tracks include field recordings in the Museum and Art Gallery, composed music, binaural recordings, and many other noises. For a tracklist, and QR codes, please head to pages 12 - 15.

JAY AUBORN, dBs Music ”We’ve had an enormous response from musicians and sound artists submitting work for the Richter playlist. A wide range of styles and genres were put forward, pairing well with the broad range and scale of Richter’s work being exhibited. The students contributing from dBs Music, both past and present, have had a rare and exciting opportunity to explore the borders between visual and sound art, with works by a true master of the craft as their starting point.”

Jay Auborn from dBs Music’s Batter Street studio compiling and contributing to the Richter playlist. Photo by Joe Auborn

CHRISTIAN GALE, Associate Lecturer “The opportunity to create a sonic response to one of the world’s most significant living artists has been exciting and encouraging, both as a resident and artist of Plymouth.”

EWA STRYCZEK, BA (Hons) Media Arts “Creating a piece of work based on Gerhard Richter allowed me to explore and dive into the world of visual art today. Being the first time that I was making a piece for a live project, I was excited to consider different aspects of space and time in my project, and how the surreal style that I tend to work in could be transferred onto sound, reflecting my thoughts and feelings about the work of Gerhard Richter.”

ANNA WALKER, PhD Arts and Media “Making ‘The Dead’ came quickly, almost like a sketch in sound. I had gone to bed with Richter’s paintings foremost in my mind and had woken early with an idea, the essence of which worked the first time round. The rest of the making involved minimal fine tuning and editing to retain the essence of that first impulse of an idea that’s hurried, and needs representing quickly before it disappears.”

PLAYLIST To play all nineteen tracks in sequence as a playlist, please follow this link, or scan the QR code:

ONE dBs Music 809-3-2 Suvi-Eeva Äikäs is a Bristol based composer and a visual artist from Finland. This track is inspired by Abstract Painting 809-3.

TWO Plymouth University PLACE-MATCHING Artist and researcher Emma Whittaker is interested in the cognitive processes involved in our rational thought. Binaural audio is used to situate sound around your body. Headphones are essential.

THREE dBs Music TILT, SHIFT Josie Ghost’s piece was written in response to Richter’s work Gilbert, George. It explores themes of ‘self’ and ‘other’ through the playful interaction between percussive piano lines and fragmenting vocals.

FOUR Plymouth University ABSTRAKTES BILD (HAUT) Michael Straeubig, Marie Curie Fellow at Plymouth University, explores oscillation through Abstract Painting (Skin), utilising a bowl of milk and a speaker to create a 60 second recording.

FIVE Plymouth University METRONOMIC Associate Professor John Matthias contributes a recording of four metronomes exploring syncopation, resonance and oscillation. These mirror Richter’s exploration of visual correlations and abstractions.

SIX dBs Music FUNERAL DUB This track by Prague-based artist Sabrehart explores error and digital failure as a composition technique. When listening to the rich sonic textures, Richter’s Squeegee paintings come to mind. SEVEN Plymouth University THE DEAD PhD student Anna Walker introduces a female presence to the allmale artwork 48 Portraits, by layering a female voice to recite the surnames of the portrayed males.

EIGHT dBs Music GERHARD RICHTER Music Production and Sound Engineering student Seren Sparkes found Richter’s work an interesting starting point from which to explore different ideas and themes sonically.

NINE dBs Music ELBE David Muddyman is a Plymouth-based composer and artist. ‘Iceworks’ is a series of music compositions influenced by Gerhard Richter’s series of prints Elbe (not included in the exhibition).

TEN Plymouth University GRAU Diego Maranan, an artist and researcher based at Plymouth University, responds to Mirror Painting (Grey), provoking thoughts of nostalgia and longing for an imagined or poorly remembered past.

ELEVEN Plymouth University INTERFERENCE (GREY) Associate Professor Jane Grant responds to Abstract Painting (Grey) through patterns in the brain’s cortex. This piece is a sonification of a firing neutron, including tiny silences, ruptures and interferences.

TWELVE Plymouth University POD BRAZ Second Year student Ewa Stryczek responds to the various works in the exhibition, focusing on an idea of the relativity of time constantly fading, but none-the-less full of variety. THIRTEEN dBs Music BRIGID POLK Suvi-Eeva Äikäs is a Bristol based composer and a visual artist from Finland. This track is inspired by Brigid Polk.

FOURTEEN Plymouth University MIRROR BLUR Associate Professor Mathew Emmett amplifies the interface between the reflected image and the visionary dimensions of psychoactive space. Many works in the exhibition utilise reflective surfaces.

FIFTEEN Plymouth University 96 FEET Associate Lecturer Christian Gale creates a sonic portrait of our gallery space, recording footsteps walking around 48 times responding to 48 Portraits - creating unique rhythms and melodies.

SIXTEEN dBs Music DARKEN’D Ambient artist Slhhmyr from the South West based Bizarre Rituals label, creates cathartic soundscapes from ‘found sounds’ and vocal samples. This track is based on Richter’s work, Brigid Polk.

SEVENTEEN Plymouth College of Art Students Jordanna Sykes, Courtney Heath, and Ashley Francheschi on the technique used to create Abstract Painting 809-3.

EIGHTEEN Plymouth College of Art Students Charlie Knight, Elena Brake, Elle Spencer and Jess Wright talk about Gilbert, George and ask you to examine it with them.

NINETEEN Plymouth College of Art Students Tom Payne, Harry Watson, and guest speaker Tessa Bricknell discuss the relationship between Mirror Painting (Grey) and the gallery space.

Enjoyed this newspaper or the audio? Why not tell everyone!

#richterplymouth Remember to bring your own headphones and device to the gallery to listen to the audio. Simple QR readers are available for most smartphones and tablets.

Front cover quote - Gerhard Richter, Notes, 1962

Profile for Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery

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Thanks to funding from the Art Fund, we've been able to work with two of our local Higher Education providers in the city to support their...

ARTIST ROOMS Gerhard Richter - Newspaper  

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