Archive for the ‘Student’ category

Central Saint Martins Students Create New Fred Perry Shirt Designs

Fred Perry and Central Saint MartinsFred Perry has teamed up with the Central Saint Martins Foundation Course and the Amy Winehouse Foundation for a subculture-themed design project, run over two weeks.

150 students on the fashion and textiles pathway were invited to create their versions of both the classic Fred Perry polo shirt and the Amy Winehouse Foundation Collection Bowling Shirt. The final designs will sit alongside a capsule collection of pieces designed in-house to complement the shirts.

Originally only three winning designs were to be selected, but the students produced such strong work that four have been chosen. The successful students will now have the opportunity to work with the Fred Perry design and development teams to realise their designs. The shirts will then be manufactured and distributed globally in Fred Perry Authentic shops and selected retailers.

Fred Perry was a favourite brand of the late singer and supports the Amy Winehouse Foundation by donating a seasonal contribution to the charity, which helps young people with drug and alcohol problems.

More information:
Foundation Course
Fred Perry
Amy Winehouse Foundation

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Wear Your Clothes Inside Out and join students from UAL in support of Fashion Revolution Day

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Two students from London College of Communication and London College of Fashion are encouraging you to wear your clothes inside out for worldwide Fashion Revolution Day on 24 April and join in a day of action to raise awareness of the issue of ethical garment manufacturing.

Fashion Revolution Day, on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster which killed 1,133 people when a factory complex collapsed in Bangladesh, aims to highlight the fashion industry’s most pressing issues, demand greater transparency in clothing supply chains and improve the lives of the millions of often vulnerable people who make our clothes.

“We want people to turn their clothes inside out, study the label, and ask the question: who made my clothes?” says LCC BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design student Katie Baggs, who, together with London College of Fashion student Alice Bodgener, is coordinating a Fashion Revolution day of action on Oxford Street on 24 April.

“We want people to be aware of the working conditions of people that make their clothes, not to take things for granted. What happened at Rana Plaza should affect the entire fashion industry. We have a food labelling scheme in the UK, brands are happy to list the ingredients in their food. We know how our fish is sourced, why not our clothes?”

The day of occupation and activities, which Katie is keen to stress is “not a day of protest, but a day to ask questions”, will start at 8am at Oxford Circus and end with a “fash mob” [sic] on Carnaby Street in collaboration with ethical underwear makers Pants to Poverty.

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Perhaps one of the most surprising aspects of the Rana Plaza disaster was that, even a week later, many brands did not know whether or not they had been producing clothing within the building.

The theme for the first year of Fashion Revolution Day brings the consumer to the forefront and tell brands that they want to know who made their clothes.

People are encouraged to be curious about their clothes by taking pictures of their labels and sending them to brands on social media, asking them where they’re from. The hope is to create a global movement and inspire ongoing action, the way it has with Katie and Alice.

“My involvement with Fashion Revolution sprang out of a collaborative ‘Critical Mass’ project and exhibition for LCC Green Week,” say Katie.

“Researching Rana Plaza I was shocked by what I found and so the project was a response to that. We used giant washing label instructions to carry the message, in posters, and through an intervention in Oxford Street, speaking to people about sweatshop labour and raising awareness of Rana Plaza. With Alice, I have developed the design and the idea further for Fashion Revolution Day and we want to continue after that.”

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One way the action will continue is through the Evolving Fashion Society created by Alice and LCF students which will be encouraging interdisciplinary conversations and interactions.

“Our hope with Evolving Fashion is that it acts as a network to bring students who are already exploring sustainable practices together, to share ideas, collaborate and promote sustainability to a wider audience,” says Alice, who is a second-year FDA Designer Pattern Cutter student at LCF.

“The fashion industry is in dire need of a revolution, and Fashion Revolution and Evolving Fashion exist to support the next generation to make that change.”

How to get involved in Fashion Revolution Day:

Be curious and find out where your clothes are made…

Wear your clothes #InsideOut and Tweet: Today I’m wearing my (shirt/dress/T-shirt etc.) #insideout because I want to ask @ (brand/retailer) Who Made Your Clothes?

Support brands you know are creating ethical and sustainable solutions…

Wear your clothes #InsideOut and Tweet: Today I’m proud to wear my (shirt/dress/T-shirt etc.) #insideout because @ (brand/retailer) KNOW Who Made My Clothes.

Join Fashion Revolution Day on Thursday 24 April at Oxford Circus with Pants to Poverty and the Evolving Fashion Society. See the Facebook group for where and when: facebook.com/events/220104868179904/?fref=ts


Further Reading:

fashionrevolution.org/about/why-do-we-need-a-fashion-revolution/

blogs.arts.ac.uk/csm/2014/03/31/fashion-revolution-day/


Social Media:

twitter.com/fash_rev

instagram.com/fash_rev

twitter.com/EvolvingFashUAL

The post Wear Your Clothes Inside Out and join students from UAL in support of Fashion Revolution Day appeared first on London College of Communication.

Olivia Moullaali – on her undergraduate student experience.

Wimbledon College of Arts catches up with BA Fine Art: Painting alumna, Olivia Moullaali on her experience as a student and her current practice.

Olivia Moullaali. Foliage, 2013. Oil on canvas, 110 x 97 cm.

Olivia Moullaali. Foliage, 2013. Oil on canvas, 110 x 97 cm.

WCA: What was your time studying at Wimbledon like?

OM: My time at Wimbledon was great. Looking back, in particular now it’s funny to think of how much your practice evolves from start to finish, even in the final few months of third year a lot of us noticed a dramatic change in our work. I think an advantage Wimbledon has is its smallness; there is a good sense of community throughout the school and no real divide between the year groups. Working alongside third years in my second year completely changed my worth ethic.

WCA: What did you find was the most valuable transferable skill you learnt whilst studying at the College.

OM: Being self-motivated is definitely a big one. I think personally degree show was where I learnt the most about working at a more professional level. Working towards a deadline and then selecting, installing and presenting your work. The atmosphere among everyone changes completely. Even though on a practical level I’m pretty hopeless, the  Painting Technician Tim and from woodwork Pete and Will offer outrageous amounts of guidance and patience which is invaluable.

WCA: Please tell us about your current practice

OM: I am always interested in spaces which create a sense of emptiness that is sort of eerie yet inviting. I always trawl through various online blogs saving images, never really sure what initially strikes me about the image. The image that I’ll end up using is of a scene, which I feel has enough gaps that allow me to reinvent it in a way. I also like to photocopy the image so I can use my own colour intuition, incorporating flecks of paint or dirt that have transferred onto the photocopy.

Olivia Moulaali. Bundle, 2013. Oil on canvas, 99 x 89 cm.

Olivia Moullaali. Bundle, 2013. Oil on canvas, 99 x 89 cm.

WCA: What has been your proudest moment as a practising professional so far?

OM: Involvement in group exhibitions such as the Zeitgeist Open in particular was exciting. You are selected on the piece of work you send in only, no background information matters, which I think is a really good selection process. Being one of the youngest there and meeting artists that had been practising professionals for some time, and also the artists who run Zeitgeist was really inspiring.

WCA: Do you feel your time at Wimbledon assisted you in your career?

OM: I think having 3 years, which concentrate solely on your practice, definitely helps, as once you graduate you have to manage your time much differently. By the end of third year I felt like I was at a really good stage with my ideas and the work I was creating. The pressure is raised massively on the lead up to degree show, which gives you great experience for shows that you are involved in once graduating.

WCA: Any advice for future Fine Art students?

OM: I’d say the most important thing is putting in the hours if you’re all putting in the graft together you stay motivated and focused.  And also use all the support you can get from all the tutors and technicians.

Olivia Moullaali. Room With Garden View, 2013. Oil on board, 80 x 60 cm.

Olivia Moulaali. Room With Garden View, 2013. Oil on board, 80 x 60 cm.

Olivia graduated from BA Fine Art: Painting 2013.

www.oliviamoullaali.co.uk

To find out more about our Undergraduate Courses, book onto one of our Open Days.

The post Olivia Moullaali – on her undergraduate student experience. appeared first on Wimbledon Blog.

Open Now – Jean Paul Gaultier: Be My Guest

Jean Paul Gaultier: Be My Guest at the Fashion Space Gallery Jean Paul Gaultier: Be My Guest at the Fashion Space Gallery Jean Paul Gaultier: Be My Guest at the Fashion Space Gallery Jean Paul Gaultier: Be My Guest at the Fashion Space Gallery Jean Paul Gaultier: Be My Guest at the Fashion Space Gallery Jean Paul Gaultier: Be My Guest at the Fashion Space Gallery

 

Jean Paul Gaultier: Be My Guest is now open at LCF’s Fashion Space Gallery, bringing together the fashion designer’s graphic design work for the first time.

Dating from the early 1980s to the present day, pieces include, the couturier’s unique designs for invitations to haute couture and prêt-à-porter, as well as his iconic advertising campaigns. Be My Guest reflects how Gaultier has shaped his image and translated his visionary catwalk collections into these graphic works.

The exhibition comes alongside The Barbican Art Gallery’s retrospective of the designer, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk.

  •  Photography: Katy Davies

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Pulse – Trade Show Professional Development Programme

In conjunction with our stand at Pulse London this year, SEE is running a series of free training events for people wanting to exhibit and sell at trade shows

Writing a Press Release for your Design Brand
6-7pm, Thursday 24 April
Ground Floor Lecture Theatre, UAL, 272 High Holborn, WC1V 7EY
Book your place

Protecting & Licensing Your Designs
6-7pm, Tuesday 29 April
Ground Floor Lecture Theatre, UAL, 272 High Holborn, WC1V 7EY
Book your place

Attracting and Selling to Trade Buyers
12pm-1.30pm, Friday 2 May
Room 313, UAL, 272 High Holborn, WC1V 7EY
Book your place

Research Student, Samson Kambalu wins AHRC funding for a summer fellowship at Yale

Two Mushroom Clouds UAL Samson Kambalu

Samson Kambalu is a PhD student at Chelsea College of Arts, UAL, his research project, 13th Room:  The General Economy in Meschac Gaba’s Museum of Contemporary African Art is funded by the AHRC. Samson has recently been awarded funding for a fellowship at Yale Center for British Art for the Summer of 2014. Samson says of the opportunity,

Yale is an exciting opportunity for me both as a student and an artist. My time there will not only offer me rare material resources and expertise regarding psychogeography and themes of sovereignty in William Blake and Romantic art, but will also be a unique opportunity for me to develop my research and practice while in communication with world class researchers, curators and artists. I would hope that these connections could lead to long term, collaborative opportunities.

My practice as a cosmopolitan artist of African origin has involved travelling to various cities popular with African diaspora, such as London, New York and Paris, and being inspired by their psychogeography. Coming to New Haven will enable me to carry out this endeavor while deepening my knowledge of how Romantic and African ideas of sovereignty, such as the Nyau masquerade tradition of my father’s tribe the Chewa, can be translated within contemporary art and the everyday life.

UCU Marking Boycott starting 28 April

Message from Mark Crawley, UAL Dean of Students

UCU, the trades union for academic staff, is planning a marking/assessment boycott with effect from 28 April. This action is clearly designed to maximise the impact on students and particularly those due to complete their course this summer. We will do all we can to minimise any disruption to your assessment.

This industrial action is being taken as part of a national dispute relating to pay increases from August 2013. UAL, like most other universities, participates in national pay negotiations because we believe it is important that academic (and other) staff are treated equally wherever they work in the higher education sector.

None of us want this action to happen but it is important that students are aware of the true picture. There have been claims of a 13% real terms pay cut since 2009 but this is untrue. More details are explained in the Frequently Asked Questions information available online. In the public sector generally (and indeed other sectors) there have been stringent pay freezes. In universities we have all been keen to ensure that our staff do receive increases – both through national pay rises and incremental progression on salary scales.

Further information about what we are doing to reduce the impact of the boycott on students – and particularly those completing their course this summer– is in the Frequently Asked Questions information.

Sasha Bowles – Future Map 2013 exhibitor on her postgraduate student experience

Wimbledon College of Arts catches up with MFA Fine Art alumna, Sasha Bowles on her experience as a postgraduate student, her current practice and what’s next for Sasha as an artist.

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Sasha Bowles, ‘It Went By’. Oil on Linen 40 x 30 cm

WCA: What was your time studying at Wimbledon like?

SB: Really intense. Having not been in education for a while, I felt I had been thrown in at the deep end. Drowning at times, feeling exposed, but finding support was there when it was needed. I felt it was a privilege to have had 2 years to really explore what my work was about and  learn how to articulate it.

WCA: What did you find was the most valuable transferable skill you learnt whilst studying the College?

SB: Researching. Feed your practice.

WCA: Tell us about your current practice.

SB: My current practice is predominately painting and mostly dealing with subject matter relating to memory. The fallibility of memory, how it morphs and folds in upon itself. I use landscape as a trigger for memories; incorporating, real, imagined and appropriated images. The paintings are either small and intimate or large and foreboding.

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Sasha Bowles, ‘The Disproportionate Loss of Self in an Altered Landscape’. Oil on Canvas 150 x 180 cm

WCA: What has been your proudest moment as a practicing professional so far?

SB: Recognition for my work by selection for various exhibitions including Future Map.

WCA: What is next for you?

SB: Further explorations into my practice, continuing to push at the seams. Inclusion in The Open West, Oriel Davies exhibitions. Working towards several group shows in London.

WCA: Any advice for future Fine Art students?

SB: Embrace everything. The time goes really fast. Use all the facilities. Leave your comfort zone. Be prepared to fail again and again. Collaborate with your peers. Go to every show you can. Build networks outside college as well. Trust and challenge your tutors. Claim your practice. Have fun.

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Sasha Bowles, ‘Swept Through the Woods’. Oil on Linen 40 x 30 cm

Sasha graduated from MFA Fine Art 2013. www.sashabowles.co.uk

To find out more about our Postgraduate Courses, book onto one of our Postgraduate Open Days.

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Designing for Exhibitions

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A PhD Colloquium exploring the roles of design in exhibitions and exhibition making.

This one-day colloquium seeks to create a platform for the discussion of current PhD research in the area of exhibition design, and to initiate dialogues on questions including: What is exhibition design? Who are the designers, producers, makers and authors of an exhibition? What part does design play in museum and exhibition making? What is the role of the designer? How are these positions evolving with changing interpretation and display strategies? What is the relationship between design and content, between design and object? What is the connection between the designer and the curator, the institution, the visitor? The colloquium is held in association with the “Chaos at the Museum” conference, organised by Central Saint Martins and The University of California Davis. www.re-xd.org

25 April 2014
9:15 – 17.30
Room F104
Central Saint Martins
Granary Building
1 Granary Square
London, N1C 4AA

Please note that the colloquium is now fully booked. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please email Jona Piehl at j.piehl1@arts.ac.uk
Follow our conversation on Twitter @DesigningForEx #exhibitCSM

Programme

9:15 Registration

9:45 Welcome

10:00 – 12:00 APPROACHING

From Tutankhamun to the First Emperor: A Narratological Analysis of Exhibition Design at the British Museum
David Francis (University College London)

Think – Feel – Do: Designing for Visitor Experiences
Toni Roberts (RMIT Melbourne)

When the Designer Designs their Own Exhibition: Thoughts about the Scenography of the Retrospective Exhibition of Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, “Momentané”, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 26 April – 1 September 2013
Brigitte Auziol (Université de Nîmes/Université d’Avignon et des Pays du Vaucluse)

The Exhibition as Experience
Donna Loveday (Kingston University/Design Museum, London)

12:00 – 13:30 Break

13:30 – 15:30 STAGING

Between Bodies: Designing for Material Proximity in Medical Exhibitions
Ane Pilegaard Sørensen (Medical Museion, Copenhagen)

Shop the Museum: Designing Exhibitions about Consumer Culture
Mario Schulze (University of Zurich)

Exhibiting the Norwegian Roma: Discussing the Visitor as Scenographic Material
Annelise Bothner-By (Oslo National Academy of the Arts)

Polish Exhibition Design: Reframing the Past and Designing the Future on the 30th Anniversary of the Polish People’s Republic
Kasia Jezowska (London)

15:30 – 16:00 Break

16:00 – 17:30 PERFORMING

Between Exhibiting Design and Designing Exhibitions: Notes from the Field of Graphic Design
Maddalena Dalla Mura (Free University of Bolzano)

The Exhibition as Speculative Design: Gillian Russell in conversation with Onkar Kular
Gillian Russell & Onkar Kular (Royal College of Art, London)

Organised by Jona Piehl (CSM)
Assistance: Claire M. Holdsworth (CSM)
Design: Francisco Laranjo (LCC) www.modesofcriticism.org

Speakers

David Francis
David Francis is interested in narrative, museum interpretation and visitor behaviour. He has worked in the visitor studies field since 2005, beginning as a research assistant at Chester Zoo, where he experimented with different ways of capturing how visitors engaged with the zoo’s exhibits and their inhabitants. Since 2007, he has worked at the British Museum as an interpretation officer and audience advocate on multiple exhibitions including Shah ‘Abbas Remaking Iran, the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam and Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum. In 2011 he began a PhD at University College London, which explores the relationship between the British Museum’s exhibition narratives and the narratives that visitors bring with them as part of a museum visit. He holds a Masters in English Literature from Leeds University, where he focused on analysing the narrative structure of James Joyce’s Ulysses.

Toni Roberts
Toni is a practitioner and researcher in the design of interpretive exhibits and environments for zoos, museums and public spaces. Toni’s PhD thesis, ‘Interpretation Design: building knowledge from practice’ (2013) examines interpretation design as an emerging practice undertaken in collaborative interdisciplinary teams. Drawing on practitioner knowledge gathered through interviews and qualitative case studies, this research investigates various impacts on the designer’s role, how design contributes to visitor experiences and the defining characteristics of interpretation design. The research supports practice by providing theoretical and practical frameworks for planning and critique and contributing to the development of a shared vocabulary for articulation of designer knowledge. A basic model of the foundations of interpretation design encompasses design approaches, techniques and types. A typology of design outcomes illustrates the designer’s use of cognitive, affective and physical modes of visitor engagement. Toni’s current and recent collaborative projects include: Royal Australian Mint Gallery Enhancement and content framework, Werribee Open Range Zoo Entry interpretation design, Whittlesea Bushfire Memorial, Te Wao Nui interpretation design for Auckland Zoo and the World Heritage Exhibition Centre for Mount Tomah Botanic Garden. www.rmit.edu.au/staff/toniroberts

Brigitte Auziol
Brigitte Auziol is a design teacher at the Université de Nîmes and a 3rd year PhD Candidate in ‘Information and Communication Sciences’ at the Université d’Avignon et des Pays du Vaucluse, Culture & Patrimony doctoral school, UMR 8562: team Culture & Communication, Norbert Elias Centre, under the direction of professor Marie-Sylvie Poli. Her research entitled ‘La médiation du design par l’exposition’ (The mediation of design through exhibition: forms and intentions) focuses on the exhibition as a place that showcases design and can help to analyse its manifestation. Prior to undertaking this research, she graduated from the Ecole nationale Supérieure des Arts décoratifs, Paris (1996) and holds a Master Auteur, rédacteur multimédia from the Université Montpellier 3, Ecole des Mines d’Alès (2003). Brigitte is interested in the reality of exhibitions as a practitioner and teacher of design. The recent appearance of design in public spaces has established alternative cultural status for design in society. The exhibition is a place that glorifies design and can help to analyse this phenomenon. Her research has two goals in identifying, classifying, and analysing types of exhibition design: to better understand the nature of what is exposed as design and to explore its meanings.

Donna Loveday
Donna Loveday is Head of Curatorial at the Design Museum, London. She curates design and fashion exhibitions and oversees the museum’s MA Curating Contemporary Design, run in partnership with Kingston University. She also has responsibility for the Design Museum Collection and Archive. Donna was previously Head of Exhibitions at the Design Museum, and managed the temporary exhibitions programme and curatorial team. In 2002, she established a successful international touring programme at the Museum. During her twelve years at the Design Museum, Donna has curated a number of high profile exhibitions including ‘Verner Panton: Light and Colour’ (1999); ‘Modern Britain 1929-1939’ (1999); ‘When Philip Met Isabella – Philip Treacy’s hats for Isabella Blow’ (2002), ‘Saul Bass’ (2004); ‘Somewhere Totally Else: The European Design Show’ (2006); ‘Matthew Williamson: 10 years in fashion’ (2006); ‘Hussein Chalayan – From fashion and back’ (2009); ‘Christian Louboutin’ (2012) and ‘Hello, My Name is Paul Smith’ (2013), and is in the process of curating an exhibition on ‘Women, Fashion and Power’ due to open in October 2014. Before joining the Design Museum, Donna was Exhibitions Manager at the British Film Institute and Exhibition Organiser at Barbican Art Gallery where she curated fine art and photography exhibitions including ‘Eric Gill: Sculpture’ (1992) and ‘Impressionism in Britain’ (1995). Donna has a research interest in contemporary curating practice and is currently studying for a PhD by Practice at Kingston University, ‘The Exhibition as Experience: Research and Practice in Contemporary Design Curating’. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Ane Pilegaard Sørensen
Ane Pilegaard Sørensen graduated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design in 2010, where she specialized in Exhibition Design. Since 2011 Ane has been employed at Medical Museion in Copenhagen, partly involved in practical exhibition making and partly doing research on exhibition design and medical science communication. In November 2013 she started her PhD project entitled ‘Body, Museum, Medicine – spatial-material strategies in exhibition design’ at Medical Museion. This PhD project is practice based and is conducted at Medical Museion (Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen) in collaboration with The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design. Prior to her affiliation with Medical Museion she worked in the field of art exhibitions at The National Gallery of Denmark and Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art. Ane’s research deals with spatial and material qualities in exhibition media. This research explores how to utilize these qualities in exhibition design and how exhibitions might address a richer complex of sensory modalities, rather than just the focused eye. She is especially concerned with the interconnection between visual and tactile sensory modes, and how they supplement each other in the perception of exhibition displays.

Mario Schulze
Mario Schulze is a full-time PhD-Student at the University of Zurich, conducting research into the history of museum exhibitions in Germany and Switzerland (1960-2000). Mario is funded by the German National Academic Foundation and teaches the history of museums at the University of Zurich and the Humboldt University Berlin. His research focuses on the intertying fields of knowledge, museums and consume. He is interested in the recent history of material culture and architecture and blogs about exhibitions on www.untermuseen.de. Mario holds a Magister Artium (the German equivalent to a Masters degree) in Cultural Studies, Philosophy and Sociology from the University of Leipzig in 2010. He has worked for various institutions that exhibit ‘history’ such as the Holocaust Center of Northern California (San Francisco), the Roman Museum of Basel Augusta Raurica and the Zeitgeschichtliches Forum in Leipzig (Branch of the House of the History of Germany) as well as the German Historical Institute in London. In 2012 he had a residency at the Museumsakademie Joanneum in Graz.

Annelise Bothner-By
Annelise Bothner-By is a research fellow within ‘exhibition design’ at the Faculty of Design, Oslo National Academy of the Arts. Her research fellowship is organized and funded by The Norwegian Artistic Research Fellowship Programme. This is an equivalent to an academic PhD, with the specific feature that its outcome should be artistic work accompanied by a critical reflection. Bothner-By’s research project is concerned with the visitors’ spatial presence and social interaction within the exhibition space, and how the visitor is part of this situation. She explores the transitions between the visitor as social actor and a narrative element. She conducts this practice-based research through site-specific designs in collaboration with Oslo City Museum, the Cultural History Museum and The Natural History Museum in Oslo. She is an educated interior architect MNIL, with 10 years practice as an exhibition designer, and holds as additional bachelors degree in ‘Pedagogy, History and Cultural Ethnology’.

Kasia Jezowska
Kasia Jezowska curates, writes and lectures about design and exhibitions. She graduated from the joint MA in Curating Contemporary Design at Kingston University/Design Museum and completed an MA in History of Art at the University of Łódź, Poland, with a dissertation about recent Polish design displays. Her current research, initiated at the Royal College of Art, examines Polish design exhibition history after the Second World War. She also works as an Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martins and the University of Arts, Poznań. www.kasiajezowska.com

Maddalena Dalla Mura
Maddalena Dalla Mura carries out research in the fields of graphic design, design history and museum studies. She holds an MA in Preservation of the Cultural Heritage and received her PhD in Design Sciences from the Università Iuav di Venezia in 2010, with a thesis on design and museums. She served as assistant curator for the exhibition Graphic Design Worlds, curated by Giorgio Camuffo and held at the Triennale Design Museum in 2011. In 2012/2013 she collaborated as a researcher at the Faculty of Design and Art at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, investigating the relationship between graphic design, the exhibition context and curating. Recent publications include:  Graphic Design Worlds/Words (co-editor with Giorgio Camuffo; Electa, 2011); chapter “A Historiography of Italian Design” (with Carlo Vinti) in Made in Italy: Rethinking a Century of Italian Design (Bloomsbury, 2013); “Graphic Design, History, Italy” a special issue of the magazine Progetto Grafico (co-editor with Carlo Vinti, Aiap, 2013); Graphic Design, Exhibiting, Curating (proceedings of the conference of the same title, organised in 2012; co-editor with Giorgio Camuffo; bu,press, 2013).

Gillian Russell
Gillian Russell is a designer and curator whose projects centre on the interplay between design and its critical contexts. She is co-founder of the design think tank DeTnk.com, and since 2006 has been Senior Tutor in the MA Curating Contemporary Design Programme at Kingston University, London (run in partnership with the Design Museum, London). She is completing a PhD in Design Products at the Royal College of Art, London. Her research addresses the relationship between emerging design practice and museums, and is being undertaken as part of an AHRC funded collaborative doctoral award with the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

Onkar Kular
Onkar Kular is a British designer and artist based in London. His work is disseminated internationally through exhibitions, workshops, lectures, film festivals and publications. He combines his own practice with research and teaching at the Royal College of Art in London, where he runs a teaching unit in the Design Products Department. Recent exhibitions include Risk Centre with Inigo Minns, an installation at the Architecture Museum in Stockholm. I Cling to Virtue with Noam Toran & Keith R. Jones, an installation at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2010. Other projects include The MacGuffin Library (with Noam Toran & Keith R. Jones), 2008 and Elvis Was Here, 2008. www.onkarkular.com

Artist Frank Bowling donates two new scholarships to MA Fine Art at Chelsea

Frank Bowling at home © Gavin Freeborn.

Frank Bowling at home © Gavin Freeborn.

Two MA Fine Art students from the UK and Europe will have the opportunity to apply for their course fees to be fully paid this year, thanks to a kind donation from artist and Chelsea alumnus Frank Bowling OBE, RA. 

To celebrate the launch of these new scholarships, which will support ten students over the next five years, we visited him at his home a stone’s throw from Chelsea’s Millbank site to talk about his long career as a successful painter on both sides of the Atlantic and what inspired him to want to support the artists of tomorrow.

Frank Bowling became an artist in 1956 after completing his National Service which saw him employed as a clerk in the RAF. On meeting the artist Keith Critchlow and sitting for a portrait by him, he says he got a feeling suddenly, out of the blue, that “poetry was the best way to talk to myself, about myself” and began to write. Now known for his painting, he first picked up a paintbrush while looking for a more physically-involving form of self-expression. “What inspired me to make the move was that I felt, on being introduced to painting particularly, that I was using more of myself – I was using my body – to deliver the material onto the surface of the canvas.  It seemed to me more all encompassing than sitting at a desk with a blank piece of paper trying to deliver what you’re feeling and thinking.”

He hasn’t given up on language entirely, however. “A blank canvas is much more inviting to me than a blank page. Though I’m constantly scribbling this, that and the other. I play with words in my titling using riddles and hints, because the paintings are there to deliver their own message and if you can open a door to the content of the stuff on the surface, all the better. Just yesterday someone was asking me about one of my titles!”

Having decided he wanted to study visual art, he joined Chelsea before winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in 1959. At the RCA, his fellow students included David Hockney to whom he lost out on the gold medal when they both graduated in 1962. Frank showed us his silver medal which happens to be sitting in its box on the coffee table, and I spied some spots of red paint along the edges. It has clearly been with him to the studio once or twice.

Frank has had the same studio in Elephant and Castle for the past 30 years, and at the age of 78, in spite of some health problems, he still visits it to paint for at least two hours every day.

Frank Bowling OBE, RA In his studio, London, 2008. Photograph: Luke Potter

Frank Bowling OBE, RA, in his studio, London, 2008. Photograph: Luke Potter

Once he had left college, he visited New York in the mid-1960s, and it was here that he moved from figurative to the more abstract work that he still makes today. Indeed, he still has a home there in the DUMBO area of Brooklyn with a view of the bridge and, as in London, right by the river. There, his studio is in the same building in which he lives, and Frank describes the time he spends there as an idyllic existence, hearing “the musical rattle of the subway trains over Manhattan Bridge” as he listens to jazz or classical music on the radio.

Though he is no longer able to spend half the year there, he still visits. Indeed, his next visit to New York will be for a show of new work at his gallery, Spanierman Modern, which opens this month, and has also financially supported an arts centre in New Jersey that was founded by a friend of his, allowing them to buy the building and create a sustainable complex dedicated to art, music and dance.

It is clear that he thinks it’s important to offer support to other practitioners where and when he can, an instinct which can be traced back to his membership of the artist-run The London Group which was set up in 1913 as a counter-balance to institutions such as the Royal Academy. Though still a member and former vice chancellor of the group, Frank has since become the first black artist to be elected a Royal Academician.  When asked what drove his decision to set up these scholarships for MA Fine Art students at Chelsea, it seems that it was a straight-forward decision to make. “The thing is, it’s always the simple things that are so difficult to explain. Clearly my own life informs the decisions to do things like this: when I was a student, if there was somewhere I could have gotten a scholarship to avoid having to ask my parents for support I would have done it.”

“My own agreement to do this is informed by that experience and I can only say that my fortunes having changed, it seemed to me rather a waste to give the money to a government that is not particularly supportive of cultural heritage.” He adds, “I’m not grumbling about the state of government or anything, I just know culture comes last on the list. By the time I was teaching [at Camberwell College of Arts] Mrs Thatcher came along and all the students’ support systems vanished overnight – no grants, you couldn’t get materials…”

“What it did is expose yet another aspect of culture: people who want to make creative things will do it anyway, they’ll do it with anything! Put an artist under pressure and they will find a way of coping and my contribution here is a way of facilitating that. Artists will always do what they have to do and find ways of doing it, but if I can find ways to alleviate some of that stress then you’re duty bound to do it.”

Frank Bowling, Hafenlicht, 2007, acyrlic on canvas.  Image courtesy of the Artist and Hales Gallery, London.  Copyright of the Artist.

Frank Bowling, Hafenlicht, 2007, acyrlic on canvas. Image courtesy of the Artist and Hales Gallery, London. Copyright of the Artist.

The London Group was founded in part by artists who would go on to found the Vorticist movement, and Frank still identifies with a modernist tradition in his work today. Inspired while in America by the abstract expressionists and colour field paintings, the influences are still visible in the works he makes. Among the artists he mentions as he talks are Matisse, whose work he is “rethinking” and Auerbach, whose work at the De La Warr Pavillion in Bexhill recently “transfixed” him with “vicious brush strokes”.

However, he’s also looking further back into art history. “Right now I’ve been looking at Chinese art, which is partly to do with the fact that my dealer gave me a big bag of silk to use in the work I’m making and the Chinese painted on silk, so I’ve been looking at that in particular.  I’m using the silk in a very different way, but I’m looking at the way silk has been involved in the making of art in history.  I’m still quite visited by a lot of classical African art such as works by the Bambara and since what I do is extemporizing all the time, it’s coming from nowhere, coming from everywhere and coming from me.  I don’t feel inhibited by hints in my work of other cultures, I feel it’s available to me and I can use it if I can make works that have that ingredient of modernism.”

“Novelty is a large ingredient in modernist art and of course, like anything else, novelty can be excessive and you can get ‘bling’ rather than art.  I’m more concerned with carrying on the modernist tradition than locating myself into any sort of cultural bracket.”

Frank Bowling, As Above So Below, 1982,  acrylic on canvas.   Image courtesy of the Artist and Hales Gallery, London. Copyright of the Artist.

Frank Bowling, As Above So Below, 1982, acrylic on canvas.
Image courtesy of the Artist and Hales Gallery, London. Copyright of the Artist.

Indeed, with regards to this aspect of his work, he admits that he has been frustrated in the past by being pigeonholed as a black artist, and the expectations this gave people about what his work should look like and be about. Born in Guyana, South America, his family settled in the UK when Frank was 15 years old. Yet his thoughts in response to Chelsea’s recent appointment of Paul Goodwin and Sonia Boyce as Chairs of Black Art and Design are perhaps somewhat unexpected. “I think terminology can be excluding – I don’t think there’s any such thing as ‘black art’, I think black people make good art.”  He is supportive of both Paul and Sonia’s work, however, and is looking forward to seeing how the new roles have an impact at the level of higher education.

With our time at his flat coming to a close, we decided to end the conversation by asking him if he had any words of advice for the students that are about to embark on their post-graduate studies. “Keep on keeping on – just hang in there and on with it. The system is daunting and younger artists don’t realise that. When you start making art there’s something called ‘the career‘ that comes behind it and that’s the most difficult bit to deal with. It’s almost as if you can’t escape ‘career’. The art part is organic, natural, but the career concerns can be daunting and in fact a lot of people become disenchanted with the activity because they tend to weigh down your spirit.”

“Remember to go back and get on with your work. Have a good time in your studio, that’s where it’s at.”

 

Find out about the Frank Bowling Scholarships, and other opportunities for support in funding  your postgraduate studies at University of the Arts London on our Postgraduate Scholarships page.

Frank Bowling, Bartica Born I, 1968, acrylic on canvas.  Image courtesy of the Artist and Hales Gallery, London. Copyright of the Artist.

Frank Bowling, Bartica Born I, 1968, acrylic on canvas. Image courtesy of the Artist and Hales Gallery, London. Copyright of the Artist.

You can find out more about studying MA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts by visiting our course page.