The nature of the AA2A platform means my blog has been live since its inception in November 2019, at which point I was very apprehensive about its creation and content. Returning to education at 50, I undertook my degree to formalise a lifelong, but superficial, interest in the arts. With age I have come to appreciate the benefits of pushing myself out of my comfort zone, both academically and, just as importantly, for self-development. Creating my blog has been the most effective tool for reflection and one of the most satisfying parts of my final years work.
Looking back I made a, now prescient, comment about plans often changing and, due to Covid-19, my third year has certainly not ended as anticipated. That is not necessarily a bad thing, as lockdown has focused both my mind and my practice, indeed, collage has proven a sustainable and practicable way in which to continue creating whilst in isolation. I must admit, however, even as a self-motivated and well organised individual, I have found ‘self-direction’ challenging and motivation to make work under lockdown has been a struggle at times.
I have come to terms with the fact that, in subverting and modifying existing objects with collage and mixed media, my work is very eclectic. The knowledge I have gained during my studies has enabled me to place my practice in the context of other artists and artistic movements, and therefore some confidence in defending my position. As a mature student who has already retired once, it is liberating not to rely on sales of my art for income, doubtless fortunate, as I recognise a very limited market for this type of work. I must however acknowledge the broader range of skills learned during my degree studies, that do enable me to produce, market, and sell more commercial work.
My latest piece, which I am proposing to exhibit in VR for my degree show, ‘Cadavre Exquis’ consists of five individual collages, which together form a larger work, influenced by the eponymous surrealist game. It has been featured at different stages of its creation in AA2A social media, across platforms Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and also selected by the University of Chester, for use in promoting the Art and Design Department. My previous experience in marketing indicates this has gone some way to creating what may be considered my own branding, and as such I have also included a portion of it as my degree show catalogue image.
The degree show will now take place online and opens on 12th June, it will run across several digital platforms until 26th June. The link https://www.cascgallery.co.uk/degreeshow means you can view at your leisure, but I hope that the show will also take place in the ‘real’ world at some future date.
A collection of my work, created throughout the three year degree, will be exhibited at Chester Art Centre https://chesterartcentre.co.uk from 18th November with a preview evening on Thursday 19th, it would be great if you could join me then.