Just a quick update from myself, Rosie, the current Freefall tutor. The group have recently started a new project, inspired by an Exeter Phoenix exhibition, PigDogMonkeyFestos. The exhibition, in essence, is a collection of artist’s responses to the theme of Art Manifestos. It was (the exhibition is now closed) a riotous, colourful explosion of cynicism, hope, in-jokes, collective consciousness, and humour. At Freefall, we’ve been thinking about what WE believe in, which, as we’ve discovered, is sometimes hard to know! We originally cribbed snippets we liked from other artist manifestos, before having a crack at making some ‘statements’ ourselves. I have challenged the group to think of one sentence they want to say to the public. The plan is to create a real manifesto between us that will start appearing round the city. We welcomed talented Graphic Designer George Barron to our sessions recently to introduce some expertise in the field of print. After using collage to create some designs, we then moved on to a letterpress set. The group have been experimenting with using this set, with it’s different fonts to stylise their statements. Here are some prototypes the group made, with images of them hard at work with their thinking caps on. I know some of them are worried about what they look like in these photos. Please don’t worry, you are all beautiful!
On Thursday, there was a private view taking place downstairs at the Phoenix so myself and Alicia went along. Neither of us had read anything about the work… so we were experiencing it ‘at face value’. I quite enjoyed the irreverent nature of some of the work, and the implicit critique of the art world itself, plus the deliberate naïve style employed by some of the artists. I think both of us weren’t sure whether we could pick up a poster, from the stack on the floor. We felt this was part of the game played by the collective. At one point we were both trying to read something on the wall (the place was littered with a real explosion of art… there is lots to see at all different heights), when this robot like creature started up a kind of horn sound in the room. This challenge to our concentration was indeed a challenge! We returned to the art studio and discussed what we’d seen. Annoyingly, our notes from this discussion got lost on my phone! Sorry Alicia. We popped back down for a performance by two artists doing a kind of faux-rap. However full on the exhibition is, the space was certainly brought alive.
Alicia has a blog on which she reviews the work of artists she admires. Unfortunately I can’t find it online but maybe Alicia can give us the link?
To find out more about the Phoenix’s current art show, go here: http://www.exeterphoenix.org.uk/events/pigdogandmonkeyfestos/
‘I paint not the things I see, but the feelings they arouse in me.’ Franz Kline
Last night’s session was really fun. It was attended by Peter, Alicia, Ashley and Lily. We started off by looking at a reproduction of a painting created by Franz Kline in 1950 called ‘Chief’. Kline was an American artist who lived between 1910 and 1962.
The group considered what the painting made them think of and I read from a book about critical interpretations of the painting and some biographical information from the artist’s life.
We then tooled up with paint brushes, and scraps of card, ready to make wide marks in response to our conversation. The topics volunteered by the group included Cancer, Terrorism, X-Factor and Home. It seems all these topics aroused feelings as the session was very productive, and actually more fun than it sounds! Here are some of the quick paintings we made.
Hello, and my apologies. It has been nine months since I took up the post of Freefall Tutor and not a bean has been posted. My name is Rosie Jones and I am a visual artist based in Exeter. I am delighted to be currently at the helm of this group of rambunctious, creative, eccentric and delightful individuals. Briefly, I will endeavour to catch you up on all we have been doing. We dip dyed some eggs at Easter; we had a go at making small cardboard houses, imitating a trope from my own practice; we went to Isca to watch Joel and Josh and Maxim perform small plays around the school. We used bleach on items of clothing to make new logos and designs of our own. We thought about conceptual art: what it is, in essence, and had a go at making some art which had something to say. Freefallers! Have I missed anything? I regret that all of this has not been better documented.
However, we have something to share and it is something I think we’re all very proud of. At the beginning of the autumn term we started a new project: everyone had to make a square shaped piece of art which tessellated with the squares of other individuals. They tessellated because i. Together, all the squares made one big square, but ii. Each square was supposed to have half a pattern on… the other half of which would be on another square and so on and so forth.
Eventually we had a big giant square that could be played with in terms of whether we folded some squares, or rearranged them, or had them matching up patterns wise or not.
It looked a bit like this:
A wonderful mosaic of a dozen personalities!
We then filmed ourselves using animation software, the results of which can be found below.
Having already been through two processes; a mural and animation, I felt if we brought in either a filmmaker or a photographer, they could help us add another layer to this project, and perhaps bring some of their own creativity to it’s direction.
Enter David Salas, resident film maker at Exeter Phoenix. Before he joined us we had a go at writing a story board for the film. All our ideas were pooled and the resulting story board featured game boys, a chase, fire, and a strange re-enactment of the test card from the 1970s. We hope you’ll find the results curious and entertaining. I think it has given us all confidence and skills in future film making. Many thanks to David for his help.
On the 11th of February Freefall opened there exhibition “Freefall map the city”, which is a map of Exeter with a twist. We took parts of Exeter and changed it to more interesting and artistic places/buildings. We explored how people perceive their city. We challenged our imaginations when we did this project, making us think about how to make our maps 3D, and what we’d like to get out of Exeter.
“I was pleasantly surprised by how it turned out. Couldn’t quite see it in my mind, but it looked awesome in the end. I thought it would stick out more but it turned out that it was okay.”
“I thought it was going to be a lot less colourful form what I had previously seen. I thought it was going to be silver and white, but when I saw it it was really colourful with the hanging birds and yeah.”
“I was surprised about how many people turned up, and I felt proud when I overheard people talking about our exhibition and explaining it to there friends. I was worried that it wouldn’t fill very much space but it was saved by all the roads, the only thing I think I would change Is time because we would have produced a lot more if we had more time. But other than that I’m really happy with it!”