David Henckel - winner of the Student vote 2010

As winner of both the public and the student vote we invited David to speak at our AA2A college briefing day. Whilst presenting his work David strongly put across the valuable exchange between students and AA2A artists.

David graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art, and continued his practice working in paint, animation and screenprinting in Preston. David heard about AA2A through other members of Artlab Contemporary Print group, who are based at UCLan, and was persuaded by AA2A artists and technicians to apply. AA2A appealed to David as its more flexible than a major residency, It was local so didnt require relocation or major change of lifestyle, although it was similar in part to an MA, without the cost and longer term commitment. Tutorial type support is more informal and there was also the social aspect of being at a University with likeminded people to speak to on a daily basis."

Contact with students
As he had an interest in teaching at an art college he was pleased that AA2A emphasized the interaction with students. He put work up regularly in the drawing studio. I cant emphasise enough how much I enjoyed being in a studio that is full of people doing interesting work and who are happy to talk and exchange ideas. UCLan also have AA2A corridor exhibitions throughout the scheme, in a busy throughfare. Exhibiting here for two months meant possible sales of work and allowed for more feedback. I think the scheme is a particular success in Preston because of the effort that Tracy, Magda and Pete Clarke put into it and how welcome they make you feel.

For him the highlight of the scheme was having the space and freedom to experiment with ideas such as the series of playful images using shaving foam, matches, rice crispies, etc, which provided reference material for his screenprints. AA2A allows students get to see the things that dont work, as well as the work that ends up on the wall, something they wouldnt normally get from an artists talk or presentation. My experimentation was encouraged by the technical staff who were always happy to discuss ideas and processes. I was also spurred on by creative thinking sessions run by staff, which were of great benefit to the way I approached my work. Use of everyday materials and humour are important elements of my work and I thought shaving foam was a good starting point. I spent a lot of time using these sculptures as a way to experiment with colour and produced multiple test pieces based on four colour process techniques. Colourwise the inspiration came from the icebergs, glaciers and snow capped mountains in Argentina and memories of drawing with my Grandma.

Davids project - The Table Print
Revealing areas of unconsciously collaborative activity, this was a bit of a breakthrough for me. In the print studio there are two tables in the centre of the room which are used for drawing/lino cutting/etching etc. They have been there for a long time and are covered in cuts and scratches. I inked up a whole table and took a relief print off it with newsprint. I love the image I got from the table, which reveals even more marks than there appear to be on the surface. Whilst on the scheme I also created the chewing gum piece, which visually reveals a build up of activity. The entrance to the Victoria building is covered in splats of chewing gum, with a high concentration in front of the doors. I took lots of photographs and played around with these images to make a screenprint. For the final AA2A show I also painted all the chewing gum leading to the entrance to the PR1 gallery. Im currently working on translating the pattern of distribution into a piece of music, ideally to be played on an old fashioned automatic piano.

New technologies
Davids grasp of new technologies impressed the AA2A team. Its important to use the same language as younger artists and students. I was invited by Creative Review to make an artist pack for a new ipad application called the Granimator. This is a digital wallpaper creator that allows users to interact with an artists work to make endless variations. I gave a talk about my pack at the Apple store in London. Its a great promotional tool for me, as the Granimator site links to my own website and users can see some of my work in the included portfolio.

How AA2A has furthered Davids career
Taking part in AA2A lead David to the decision to do an MA specializing in Site and Archive at UCLan and contributed to his application portfolio. Being able to speak to students and tutors about the MA allowed me to make an informed decision. He is also now teaching an advanced screenprinting course at the Bluecoat in Liverpool.

Selected Exhibitions

  • 'AA2A exhibition PR1 gallery', UCLans in conjunction with the MA final exhibition

  • The Continental - curated by Lisa Wigham (MA student) and Kathryn Wheatley

  • Trialogue - Editions Gallery, Liverpool I was asked to be part of a group show with two MA students as part of the Liverpool Biennial independents.

  • Global Echo - an exhibition for 10 Universities internationally with staff and students exhibiting together.

  • 'MA & other Post Graduates' Atkinson Gallery, Somerset, 21 Feb - 2 April 2011

  • '24/7 project' at the Gooden Gallery, curated by Chris Meigh-Andrews, London, 22 April 2011

  • 'Monopods' acrylic on canvas

    Shaving foam sculpture

    Gum Splat intervention, acrylic on chewing gum

    Granimator generated image

    'Ocular Looming' waterbased screenprint