'Reflecting on my aa2a experience' and 'Thanks to NUCA staff'

NB:  These two blog posts, dated 12 April 2009 have been transferred from last year's pilot 'dotbiz' website.

Reflecting upon my experience on the aa2a scheme at 'Norwich University College of the Arts.'

Having graduated from NSAD in 2003 I was delighted to have been accepted onto the AA2A scheme to return to NUCA (previously known as NSAD) to develop my practice and work alongside the students. I did not know what to expect at the prospect of returning to NUCA, not only has the art school gained University status but many other changes have taken place in the five since I graduated and returning as a member of staff and professional artist was new territory for me. I quickly developed a rapport with the students, staff and fellow NUCA AA2A artists and found the staff very receptive of my presence.

The AA2A scheme has enabled me to broaden the scope for genuine experimentation and assimilation of making processes in the exploration of new methodologies in drawing practice. I have had access to the etching and printmaking facilities at NUCA which has proven invaluable. Since graduating I have found it almost impossible to access such facilities elsewhere and have sought alternative methods of developing my practice which primarily involves cross disciplinary approaches to both drawing and painting. Works produced during the AA2A residency demonstrate a symbiosis of techniques including etching, mono printing, chine colle, collage, drawing, painting, stitching and mixed media.

My work is essentially concerned with the exploration of landscape and inscape, drawing upon the history of landscape genre in painting to rationalize the landscape in which I find myself. Works often emerge as psychological morphologies incorporating organic forms and complex layering of space. My latest works mark an unexpected development in the introduction of figurative drawing combined with a long standing interest in calligraphic line and abstract composition. These works (produced during the AA2A residency) signify the origin of a new line of enquiry inspired by research into Oriental art. These works have assisted greatly in my selection as one of this years artist’s to exhibit with the ‘Norwich print fair.’ In view of this forthcoming exhibition I will continue to explore the integration of printmaking processes including intaglio casting, collographs, dry point and mono printing.

Working alongside the students has been beneficial to both myself and the students as it has provided a platform to share ideas, I have enjoyed the dynamic of working alongside like minded people, once again experiencing the camaraderie of a creative institution whilst offering advice, support and encouragement to students who have been very responsive towards me. My presence was raised by Ernst Nichol (printmaking technician) who presented my work to the students and encouraged them to approach me with any questions or guidance required to advance their own work. Following this engagement I have been accepted as a student mentor at NUCA.

It was interesting to discover that two of the other three NUCA AA2A artists were also NSAD graduates at different stages of their careers as professional artists. We were able to identify our individual paths taken since graduating and to share critique, having formed a solid relationship with the other artists (Tracy Leech- Williams, Michael Smith and Pippa Thurlow) we collaborated to culminate the AA2A residency with a joint exhibition (images of which can be viewed in the art folios.) We will be collaborating again in the near future and details of forthcoming projects and exhibitions will be posted here.


Thank you to NUCA staff for support during my aa2a residency

I would like to record my special thanks to the following NUCA staff who provided support throughout the residency:

Kirk Laws-Chapman (AA2A NUCA coordinator and resource manager,) for the general administration and coordination of the scheme with attention to raising the awareness of my presence within NUCA.

Sonja Ruddick (printmaking workshop manager,) for access and coordination of my use of the printmaking facilities.

Ernst Nichol (printmaking technician,) for technical support, enthusiasm for the scheme and raising awareness of my presence.

Mike Oakes (IT manager) and Chris Lee (IT technician,) for IT support and assistance with exhibition installation.

Molly Thomson (fine art painting tutor,) for provision of the exhibition space and generosity in volunteering her time in the critique of work produced during the scheme.

Sarah Beare (drawing workshop coordinator,) for support in the publicity and organisation of the collaborative AA2A exhibition.

Les Reid (workshop manager) and Kaavous Clayton (wood workshop technician,) for workshop support.


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