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Listening Across Disciplines – AHRC Network Grant announced

Principal Investigator,  Dr. Salomé Voegelin, Reader in Sound Arts at the London College of Communication, UAL, and Co-Investigator, Dr. Anna Barney, Professor in Biomedical Acoustic Engineering at Southampton University, have been awarded a 12 month Arts and Humanities Research Council  network grant for their project Listening Across Disciplines.

This network project, developed with a strong commitment to cross-disciplinary research, will bring together artists, musicians, scientists, technologists and social scientists as well as scholars and practitioners from the humanities, to work across disciplinary boundaries on the recently emerging focus on sound and listening.

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The aim of this £33,688 grant is to initiate an exchange that draws together auditory research initiatives and methods from across the disciplines to advance their status and use. The principal and longer-term ambition of this network project is to establish a research hub in listening methodologies. The hub will provide the infrastructure and shared terrain to develop and document, educate and disseminate information, guidelines and policies about listening as a methodology of investigation and communication; it will offer a space where culture and science can collide to generate new knowledge and create innovative modes of knowledge production and communication that bring value within and between the disciplines, and ultimately to a general public.

Related links

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An angel rises in Islington as emerging star artist creates celestial public sculpture

This week, rising star artist Alex J Wood was announced as the winner of the prestigious Picton Art Prize, as his winning work ‘Celestial’ was unveiled at a ceremony in Islington. The award-winning artist revealed his dramatic bronze angel sculpture on Wednesday, launching north London’s newest piece of public art.

Celestial, 2016. Artist: Alex J Wood. Image courtesy of Picton Art Prize

Created in the London Bronze Casting foundry, the impressive bronze sculpture will stand at 2 metres high, and is located as a centrepiece within Picton’s Angel Gate development, EC1.

Recognizing new talent

The Picton Art Prize judges comment that: “British eccentricity is a significant area of Alex’s practice, as well as the notions of obsessiveness through the creation of very intricate models. He combines lo-fi materials such as paper or wax with a high art material such as bronze, juxtaposing the two materials together to create amusing sculptures that portray narratives relating to human endeavour.”

Tim Hamlin, of sponsors, Picton, said: “We are delighted to announce Alex J Wood as the winner of the Picton Art Prize. In developing the prize, we specifically wanted to recognise new and emerging talent. We are thrilled to support the talent developed at UAL, which is reflected in the high quality of the shortlist.”

Nigel Carrington, Vice-Chancellor, UAL, said: “It’s vital that we support our students and graduates in the early stages of their careers, offering them opportunities to develop their practice and extend themselves, as well as high profile platforms on which to showcase their work to new audiences. The Picton Art prize offers just this.”

A rising star artist

Alex J Wood graduated from Chelsea College of Arts in 2014, with an MA in Fine Art. In 2014 Alex was the first Foundry Fellow at Camberwell College of Arts where he created a series of space travel inspired bronzes including ‘Fly Me to the Moon’, a bronze space rocket based upon the 1902 Georges Méliès film “A Trip to the Moon”. ‘Hidden Depths’, is verdigris green patinated bronze with an ambiguous form now in The Patrick and Kelly Lynch collection.

In 2015 Alex was shortlisted for both The Mark Tanner Sculpture Award and The Henry Moore Plinth Prize, and in 2014 he was selected for art residency in Beijing. In April 2013 Alex was resident artist at Tokyo Wonder Site in Japan, and exhibited in Tokyo and London.

Alex was recently commissioned by Penguin Books to create a sculpture for Foyles Flagship London store. Whilst studying for his MA Fine Art at Chelsea, Alex was the 2013 recipient of The Patrick and Kelly Lynch Scholarship. His work is held in various private collections in the USA and Europe as well as the University of the Arts London collection. In both 2013 and 2014 he was shortlisted for The Clifford Chance Sculpture Award.

The judges

The Picton Art Prize juding panel comprised artists Susanna Heron and Nick Hornby; Head of Arts and Culture for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Adriana Marques; Picton Asset Manager, Tim Hamlin; and Director of External Relations, Central Saint Martins, UAL, Stephen Beddoe.

Read more about funding and mentoring at UAL

Discover fine art courses at UAL

See Alex J Wood’s prize-winning Angel sculpture at Angel Gate, Islington, EC1

Read more about Alex J Wood

The power of The Collective

Gone are the days of getting discovered in obscure downtown galleries – it is the era of The Collective. Assemble – part architects, part designers – proved just that when they were the first Collective to scoop the Turner Prize last year. Death of the Turner? Or just a new way of practicing art?

Here, UAL talks to Steph Wilson, 23, founder of the Lemon People who says the Collective just well may be the way of the future.

Lemon People group shot

You’re the founder of the Lemon People who are…
We’re a London-based collective made up of artists, writers, photographers, filmmakers and musicians. We work as individuals, mostly as freelancers, but a lot of our work wouldn’t be possible without the combined effort of the Lemons. Plus, our never ending favours to one another means our creativity is never hindered.

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Alice Zoo

Do you actually just need to be in a Collective to afford studio space and have enough money to study and have a social life?
No, but it definitely helps. Being in a Collective just adds more reason to go out of our way for each other. There’s an element of knowing that if a fellow member succeeds, then that success will lead back to the Collective. That way, you and your fellow Lemons work will be seen more frequently.

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Elliott Arndt

Do Collectives get noticed more?
In a literal sense, yes they do. By having our work all linked to Lemon People it all leads back to one place – increasing the views of our website, and our collective’s work. We become more noticeable.

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Steph Wilson

You all look like models! Is there a conscious effort to look a certain way as an artist?
Yes, I intended to make an art collective/model agency hybrid. Really? No. We just got lucky.

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Is there an ‘audition’/ hazing ritual process for becoming a Lemon?
We’re all close friends, so, to become a Lemon I guess you’ve got to get on our good side for, on average, about five – 10 years. I’ve known most of the girls since we were about 12. We all went to school together. Either that or you could donate £100k to the Collective. We’d let you be a member for that, too.

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What is it about Collectives that make them powerful?
It serves as a kind of comfort knowing that there are people who have got your back. We know that if a job comes up that I can’t do, it’s not a wasted opportunity and it’ll go to a Lemon and vice versa.

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Do you operate almost like a ‘dysfunctional’ family and tell each other when one of the Lemon’s work is not up to scratch?
If a dysfunctional family means that I am the angry nagging mother that says how shit something is occasionally, then yes. It’s difficult when people are at a risk of being offended. I’m a fan of being as blunt as possible, regardless of how tactless it comes across as, and I’m sure I’m hated for it. But hey, someone’s got to do it.

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What are the biggest tensions/ most frustrating thing about being in a Collective?
Ego. Almost all of us are quite strong characters with our own minds made up about certain things. Ego and stubbornness often gets very frustrating, and we still need to learn to curb that into a positive asset by asserting official roles when working together collaboratively as to not trip over each other.

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If you could come up with a new ‘model’ for how artists work, what would it be?
I would design a laissez-faire art system. I liked how when I did a 6 month foundation course at UAL’s Chelsea College of Arts, it was based on positive criticism, led by an experienced figure. But essentially, you’re left to your own devices. To learn in an environment, where you are free to simply soak up knowledge and experience- would be a good structure. Constantly meeting useful and interesting people always gets you so much further than a piece of paper.

Alice

Alice Zoo

What are your predictions for the ways artists will work in the future?
People are getting quite lazy, so I hope it’s not just online stuff or work so abstract you eat it by accident at the private view. As young people get more savvy – because they have to – hopefully this will lead them to become even more creative in order to survive. I just hope it doesn’t turns into the very wealthy taking on their mother’s art gallery and only exhibiting their very wealthy friends’ shit work.

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Steph Wilson

Sex? Politics? What do you think will always be the ‘best-selling’ subject as an artist?
Oneself. We’re all obsessed with ourselves; what we think, how we feel, what our shit looks like, everything.

Meg Nixon

Meg Nixon

The worse the break-up, the better the art?

You can cry and scream, or you can do what these 12 artists did…

1. FEEL THE BURN: Microwave the evidence

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Hansika Jethnani, Xhibit Artist, London College of Communication, UAL

“My long distance ex-boyfriend broke up with me over a WhatsApp conversation. Breaking up in person was impossible, and so it happened over a cyberspace of floating words instead. Like the anticipation of heating something up in the microwave – I was in constant agony waiting for a reply. When I heard back, it was gut-wrenching words that broke my heart. I put Polaroids I photographed in the microwave. What I photographed did not matter – it was what happened to the Polaroid once popped into the microwave that did. Burnt and damaged they resembled me through the wretched phase of my relationship.” – Hansika Jethnani, Xhibit Artist, London College of Communication, UAL.
See it now: Xhibit 2016 @UAL

2. SHELVE YOUR PAIN

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“Ex-Axe”: Museum of Broken Relationships.

Forget storing memories of your ex in a tattered shoe box – display the remnants of your break-up in the Museum of Broken Relationships instead! Sheer exhibitionism? Cathartic relief? Closure? Whatever the motivation, you are free to share in and gawk at others misery in a united “we’re so over you” front. From a toaster stolen out of spite, to a used axe that a spouse had used to smash up every bit of her cheating husband’s furniture – there’s something for everyone. Even Jeremy Clarkson revealed to Sunday Times readers that he was impressed: “…most of the world’s museums are filled almost entirely with stuff that’s not very interesting. (This) was the only museum I’ve visited where every single thing on display was utterly fabulous. Certainly, I must confess, as I moved from exhibit to exhibit, that I felt a tinge of fear that the next would be a teddy bear with a severed head and a short accompanying story about a former local newspaper reporter with an interest in cars and a very small gentleman sausage . . .”

3. PUBLICLY SHAME THEM: Get Ex-ting

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Allison Wade/ Huffington Post

“I obviously date the wrong people,” artist, Allison Wade told The Cut after she received a text message from an ex telling her: “I’ll contact you after the burial”. She never heard from him again. It prompted her to comb her phone for other break-up texts and used these, along with inspiration from rom-com clichés to create a series of Break-up Text paintings, which showcase the messages she’d sent and received at the end of various relationships. Dizzying texts: “WTF!!! You left for Ibiza without me,” to “Sorry I have been out of touch this week. There was a snowstorm and I have been watching movies,” to “on Zanax at the airport had a panic attach please stop calling me” are juxtaposed against jaunty colour hues – perhaps a nod to the cold nature of screen-based communication.

4. FLAUNT IT

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You can cry or you can show them how good you can look – which is exactly what Alexis Housden, London College of Fashion, UAL student did when he based his MA16 Menswear show on a break up. “When someone leaves you, you think you are going die but you don’t – everything ends up OK and life continues – the world continues to be light and wonderful.” Housden’s collection represents mourning, anger and then rebirth.

5. BECOME AN ICON

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The Scream, Edvard Munch, 1893

It may very well have been a break-up that led to expressionist, Edvard Munch’s seminal work: “The Scream.” It’s 1892 and Munch confesses in his diary: “I felt tired and ill. I stopped and looked out over the fjord—the sun was setting, and the clouds turning blood red. I sensed a scream passing through nature…” His misery may have been born out of an ill-fated on-again, off-again affair with his cousin’s wife – irrational bohemian Tulla Larsen. The affair ended with a bang, when Larsen shot off one of Munch’s fingers with a revolver during an argument. Adding insult to injury, Larsen went on to marry one of Munch’s colleagues.

6. GET A DIFFERENT TAKE

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Sophie Calle, Take Care of Yourelf, Artation

French artist, Sophie Calle received an email sent to her by a boyfriend intent on breaking up with her. It ended with the words, “I would have liked things to have turned out differently. Take care of yourself.” And so, she did just that. Calle sent the letter to 107 women from different professions and backgrounds—a psychiatrist, an author, a rifle shooter, an opera singer, a family mediator, a lawyer, even a parrot—asking them to interpret the text. It resulted in her 2007 tour de force, Take Care of Yourself that saw an entire gallery taken over with interpretations and performances of the letter. The repetition of the original letter, played over and over again, led Calle to focus on the project – not the man. Voila! Take her of herself, she did.

7. UPGRADE YOUR LOVER

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Matthew Broderick & Helen Hunt, 1987, Old Loves

Old Loves. The name invokes images of elderly lovebirds, but it’s actually an exhaustive catalog of celebrity couples who are no longer together. From Matt Damon and Winona Ryder, to Matthew Broderick and Helen Hunt, and Cher and Gene Simmons. The ex-files are out.

8. FACEBOOK PHASE-OUT

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Screenshots of the Facebook breakup tool, New York Times


Not only does Facebook have a dedicated Compassion Team – it also has tools that allow you to digitally fade out former lovers. Product designer, Emily Albert got thinking when she found it difficult to face her former flame’s Facebook post. Solution? Create a tool that prompts users to choose from a variety of phase-out options after changing their relationship status: “Take a Break. Here are some changes that might be helpful. We won’t notify Taylor of any changes you make. See less of Taylor. See Taylor on Facebook only if you visit his profile.”

9. CREATE YOUR ULTIMATE BREAK-UP FANTASY

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Revenge Dioramas, Facebook Page

Want to live in a world where your ex gets run over by a train? Where lovers rule and the cheats who have wronged them perish in a dinosaur attack? Well, now you can thanks to artist Laura Stokes and her collaborator Nichole Cordin who have created ‘Revenge Dioramas’ – based on break-up fantasies, which they photograph and post to their Facebook pageCountless stories of betrayal inspired Stokes to make her revenge dioramas: “I realized this is really a thing that women in particular need,” she told Mashable. “We need to laugh at men. With all the headlines about men taking away our reproductive rights, denying us justice in court for rape and sexual harassment, refusing to listen and believe women about their experiences, there’s a lot of justified rage in women right now,” she said. “This is just one way to feel some catharsis about that, to strike back just a little bit.”

10. REPLACE THE OLD WITH THE NEW

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Untitled, 2012. From the series Beth. Matthew Swarts.

Constantly comparing? Hard to let yourself fall for new love? Matthew Swarts dealt with these questions he split up with a long-term girlfriend and then found a new one a year later. He channeled the change-over in two photo series. In Beth, he manipulates old photos of his ex-girlfriend so she slowly fades from view. In The Alternatives, he manipulates images of his new girlfriend to represent the complicated process of forging a new bond.

11. GET A MAKEOVER: “Love Raised Me Lipstick Saved Me.”

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Angelique Velez

New York City based make-up artist, Angelique Velez founded Breakups to Makeup, an accessory & apparel line, showing that makeup is more than a simple product – it’s art. And sometime the only thing better than saying it – is wearing it.

12. REBRAND YOURSELF

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Nicole Leth. Instagram: sex.icecream

Take a leaf out of Nicole Leth’s book and rebound from a break-up by launching a business and becoming ridiculously successful. Founder of Sex + Ice Cream, a clothing brand that could be described as “breakup art,” based on “graphic patterns, bright colours, traditional fiber techniques mixed with modern processes, and honest storytelling of my girlhood.” Every fiber of Leth’s being goes into her designs—she’s literally personally attached. “All of the patterns and prints I use are scanned directly from my diary,” she told Nylon.

Charlotte Hodes film selected for the UK’s first film festival launched by the Crafts Council and Crafts magazine

Hodes Film

‘Questions of Travel’ a film by Charlotte Hodes, Professor in Fine Art at LCF and Deryn Rees-Jones, Professor of Poetry, University of Liverpool has been selected for the UK’s first film festival launched by the Crafts Council and Crafts magazine, is set to be among the highlights of this year’s London Craft Week.

Real to Reel: The Craft Film Festival takes place on the evenings of 4 and 5 May at Picturehouse Central in London’s West End, with a carefully curated programme of different films shown each night.

Following an open call, 36 films have been selected from well over 300 submissions, covering the gamut of styles from animation to satire and from documentaries to surreal art pieces. As diverse as the films are, each looks at our relationship with materials and making in different ways.

Questions of Travel follows Elizabeth Bishop’s poem Questions of Travel (1956), deconstructing the binaries of ‘here’ and ‘there’ to develop the idea of travel as a metaphor for the creative process: reading, drawing, thinking and imagining. Bishop’s phrase ‘must we dream our dreams and have them too?’ is central to our exploration of anxieties about empirical thinking and the workings of the imagination. Hodes’ work, which uses physical handcraft and digital processes of ‘cut’ & ‘paste’ engages directly in a visualisation of Bishop’s own aesthetic. It enacts Bishop’s engagement with modernist techniques which sought to disrupt linear time into an act of what Bergson calls ‘continuous creation’. Rees-Jones’ underpinning research for the collaboration draws on Bishop’s early writing and her desire for what she calls ‘experience-time’; playing with screen, stage, frame, ‘binocular’ and ‘monocular’ visions we ally this notion with Bishop’s use of the term ‘stereoscopic’ to dramatise her particular poetics of looking.

‘Questions of Travel’ was commissioned by Dr. Jonathan Ellis, University of Sheffield for the Festival of the Arts and Humanities, Sheffield 2015 and was first screened at the Site Gallery, Sheffield 15 May 2015. It  is the second in a series of commissioned collaborations by artist Hodes and poet and critic Rees-Jones using the poemfilm both as artistic practice and vehicle for critical interpretation. Their  project uses work by women writers, set at historical intervals, to open debates about female creativity. It forms part of an ongoing research project, ‘Reimaging the Muse’.