Caroline Wendling - winner of the Student vote 2012

Caroline was pleased to be the winner of the Students Choice vote, not only for herself but for her host institution. Anglia Ruskin University was the most improved scheme last year and is now rated by artists as being in the top five AA2A schemes in the country.

Caroline studied at Lcole Suprieure des Arts Dcoratifs de Strasbourg, France. Since 1991 she has lectured in Higher and Further education. She obtained a PGCE from the University of Greenwich, London in 2007. I found out about AA2A through Nick Devison, course leader for MA Print, when we met by chance at an exhibition opening, he spoke about AA2A and sent me the details. I had worked for Nick 10 years earlier.
AA2A offered me the chance to be attached to an art institution, gaining access to print facilities and an excellent library, and the opportunity to do something new.

Carolines project
My AA2A project involved work produced from my walk from home to my studio at Wysing Arts Centre, near Cambridge. Recording what I can remember through map drawing has made me aware of endlessly changing experiences, although I am repeating the same action. Walking is for me a way of connecting with the landscape and sourcing ideas. I am also fascinated by the unevenness of memory how I remember some things and not others.

For my residency at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge I decided to record the changes in the landscape that are natural as well as those dictated by mans interference and management of the land. I set about exploring how both affect the physicality of the landscape and how I responded to these affects. I used the observations taken from the physical surroundings of my walk in order to make work that unravels the human psyche. I believe that by making sense of the world around us we make sense of ourselves. I wanted to explore new ways of image making. I set myself a challenge to use digital photography. The photographs I took were frustrating at first as I was losing the sensorial experience but I decided to pursue my investigation as a way to experiment. Although I carried on with the map drawings, my journey resumed in a series of framed views. The power of photography became extreme when I realized that memory of the photographs became part of my memory of the place. I layered the many images of the same views to create a reality that encompasses the changes due to the seasons, weather, atmosphere, time and mans interference. I combined digital imaging with traditional printing methods. One of the results is a series of screen prints with only small changes dictated by the last printing. The screen prints were scanned to produce large-scale digital prints. I also produced a series of laser-cut woodblocks that have a three-dimensional quality. Some of those where printed using an Albion press. These hand-sized works convey a powerful impression of physical landscape.

Contact with students
The more contact the artists have with students and staff the more beneficial to the University. AA2A artists provide students with an insight into a professional artists practice.
Someone between them and the lecturing staff to ask questions to and to share work with. This might mean they can witness a different approach, or gain knowledge and expertise in a new subject. Each artist will have a different practice and way of operating. The more artists doing the residency each year, the more chances there are for students to see examples of work and working methods.

AA2A artists can also be an example of flexibility and collaborative working, showing how creativity can be used in order to generate employment. Often juggling two or more part time jobs in order to pay the bills but also as a way to carry on with their art practice.

My advice to graduating students would be to take all the opportunities that were offered to you during your studies. Build up your skills, be experts. Learn to do things well that no one else can do. In your last year apply to every competition possible, get your work out, be proactive and organise your own shows. Source people you like to work with and make art with them.
Once out of college connect with institutions that will help you promote your work and help you making your work. Be prepared to do things for nothing.
Stay active one thing will lead to another. Find ways to carry on making your work and be adaptable. Restrictions can be good.
Never give up. If you have something to say make sure that you say it.

How AA2A has furthered Carolines career
Caroline produced a number of screen prints and digital prints. She also made laser cut wooden blocks that she printed from. I was able to develop my work by using equipment I was not familiar with. I had time, a place, equipment and expertise in order to research and work on my project. The outcome has been unexpected and I am now looking forward to developing the work further in my studio and through future opportunities I will use the work to further my research. I hope to be able to use my experience at the University to apply for residencies and paid work. I am preparing an application for an Arts Council grant in order to further my research."

More about Caroline (including more image albums) available on our AA2A Dotbiz networking site.

Caroline says of AA2A
"AA2A is an excellent model. It was a truly constructive residency and the staff and students were fantastic.

'Object, Walk 5/04/2011', camera less photography, 20.3 x 25.4 cm

'h2s view 2' (detail), screen print, 38.5 x 29 cm

'Objects', ink drawings, size variable depending on installation (each drawing 37 x 23cm)

'h2s Forest', laser cut wood block print, 11.5 x 8.5 cm