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Meet: Nicola Anthony

Nicola Anthony studied Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at Central Saint Martins in 2003.  She has been working as an artist ever since, and was recently selected to create a sculpture for the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore. She used 10,000 ping pong balls, each inscribed with a wish from 5000 students, teachers, families, the public, folk back home in the UK, and even Singapore’s beloved national table tennis players…

Ouroboros for the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore

Nicola with the sculpture ‘Ouroboros’

What made you decide to come to London and study Art & Design?  And what specifically interested you about Central Saint Martins?
London is the hub of the creative world, where many cultures, subcultures and a deep history infuse the city. I had visited the degree shows many times and just felt drawn to CSM.

Did it help you prepare for life after graduation?
Training was intense, as is London and the art world. It taught me to constantly push myself and be proactive. Living in London also gave me the ability to adapt to life in other cities where I have lived and travelled – currently Singapore.

What tips would you give to new students preparing to study the degree at CSM?
Use the course to its fullest.  Grab every opportunity you can to learn and gain new skills while you have the space, tutors and equipment at your fingertips.

What was the most important thing you did after graduation?
I got my own space in London, and then I made the decision to ignore the competitive and cagey side of the art world and instead approached it in an open manner. I am always happy to help other artists in their practice and careers, and so I am surrounded by a supportive network who will also help and advise me.

Six Thousand Moments at EX PARTE

Six Thousand Moments at EX PARTE

Tell us about your career highlights so far, and how your sculpture came to be commissioned for the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games…
I’ve been creating large works in Asia, as well as working with the human voice – often doing opening calls for my Word Collection or inviting select communities to become the subject of the artwork. For this sculpture the SEA Games wanted to get that human voice across, so they invited me to propose an idea. I think the fact that I wanted to do something slightly mad with Ouroboros – work with over 5000 individuals, and use 10,000 ping pong balls as material convinced them it was extraordinary enough to represent the SEA games!

I’m also showing in an exhibition on Brick Lane opening this week on 18th June – EX PARTE – which is selected by curator Annie Jael Kwan to showcase key artists who work in the UK and Singapore. For me this is great recognition and a poignant link between my two worlds. For the first time ever I am presenting quite a personal work where the subject is the journey between my two homes.

Next year I have been invited on the NPE residency in Asia, which is a collaboration with a printing factory. I hope to use the time to develop some ideas that have been infusing on the back burner.

Who/What is your greatest inspiration?
There are so many. Being inspired is important. I like to learn from the passion and spirit of others from the Art world and further afield – I watch a lot of TED talks!

It sounds clichéd, but my first inspiration to become a professional artist was the Young British Artists show. I read a lot about them and the way their careers came about, I saw that they were able to create unconventional pieces.

Anything else exciting to mention?
Actually I’ll be giving a talk in London at 2pm on Saturday so do come to find out more about a new work called Six Thousand Moments at EX PARTE.  I hand collected and hand numbered 6000 seeds in Asia. Each number relates to an entry in the archive of seed memories, a log of the moments in which each was collected. The audience are invited to pick up a seed to keep, thereby sharing those stories with me.  You can watch a video about the exhibition here.

Research presentations on Exhibition Studies – 24 March

Paulo Nazareth, Noticias de America [News from the Americas], 2011–12 (Michelle Sommer)

Paulo Nazareth, Noticias de America [News from the Americas], 2011–12 (Michelle Sommer)

Tuesday 24 March 2015
Time: 10am to 1pm
Venue: CSM, Room KX D119

Presentations by 3 members of staff/visiting scholars:

Erika Tan (4D Pathway tutor at Central Saint Martins) will speak about her current research for her next film, focusing on ‘minor exhibition histories’ through the figure of a forgotten Malay weave/performer within the Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924.

Maria Iñigo Clavo (visiting research fellow in Exhibition Studies, from the University of São Paulo) will reflect on how to display history. What happens when you rub a work of contemporary art up against one from the colonial era, or against an ethnographic artefact?

Michelle Sommer (visiting PhD candidate in Exhibition Studies, from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul) will speak about her current research into contemporary practices of ‘errancy’ in Brazilian art, reflecting on artistic proposals for which being in motion is a fundamental condition. The leading question is: how to exhibit an art that escapes the frame of an exhibition, or how is it possible to write new exhibition narratives to discuss these artworks?

Places are limited, so please contact Dr Lucy Steeds if you are interested in attending:

Email: l.steeds@csm.arts.ac.uk

Further information about the CSM Research Group: Exibition Histories Practices.

Hammad Nasar: Navigating the Afterlife of ‘The Other Story’ – 14 April

Cover of the exhibition catalogue for ‘The Other Story’, Hayward Gallery, 1989

Cover of the exhibition catalogue for ‘The Other Story’, Hayward Gallery, 1989

Tuesday 14 April 2015
Time: 10am to 12.30
Venue: CSM, Room KX D107

A presentation by Hammad Nasar.

Tate Britain’s exhibition ‘Migrations: Journeys into British Art’ (2012) can be seen as an attempt to map the impact of immigrant artists on the landscape of ‘British’ art over the past 500 years. It can also be positioned as an effort to productively complicate the ‘Britain’ in Tate Britain. But if we sharpen our focus to one of the nine galleries covering different eras that comprised the exhibition, it can be read as a partial restaging of the Hayward Gallery’s ‘The Other Story: Afro-Asian Artists in Post-war Britain’ (1989).

‘The Other Story’ – Rasheed Araeen’s polemical intervention – is among the small number of historically significant exhibitions in 1989 that have collectively shaped a new geography of contemporary art. But I do not see ‘Migrations’ as an example of the de rigueur reconstruction of key exhibitions. I see it, instead, as an inadvertent restaging: compelled, as if by a ghost, to address questions that have been left unanswered.

Based on access to Araeen’s personal archives, this paper begins a longer-term inquiry into how the artworks, and the discourses they were embedded in, changed during the 23 years it took them to move from the South Bank to Milbank. It also asks, through specific examples based on recent exhibitions in Asia, if migration ‘into British Art’ is matched by an emigration out of other places? Where does British art history intercept with that of Pakistan, the Philippines, or Taiwan?

Places are limited, so please contact Dr Lucy Steeds if you are interested in attending:

Email: l.steeds@csm.arts.ac.uk

Further information about the CSM Research Group: Exibition Histories Practices.

Meet Mette Sterre

Mette Sterre, MA Performance Design & Practice at Central Saint Martins, is another of our fabulous alumni to be selected for the Catlin Guide 2015. Here she talks about how her time at CSM and her unique performance art…

Mette Sterre: Crystal Mette & the Fictions

Mette Sterre: Crystal Mette & the Fictions

Why were you drawn to Performance Design? And what made you want to move to London, and particularly CSM to study?
I’ve always been in love with London, ever since I was five years old I knew I had to be here. Roaming the streets with my parents when I was 12, I knew it wasn’t just my imagination. I did my BA in fine Art in Rotterdam and started to do performances whilst studying, encouraged by one of my tutors ten years ago. I knew I wanted to a masters abroad and I knew I always wanted to live in London. I also knew I wanted to understand and learn from the history of theatre, be conscious of its discourses and so luckily I ended up at Central Saint Martins. I had a bit of sidewinding in the road that brought me here, but thank God my mama taught me perseverance.

Describe your time at Central Saint Martins in three words…
crazy sexy cool, no just kidding: challenging privileged and enlightening

Would you recommend the course?
Yes, definitely, you can do what you want with the support of peers and the amazing staff in the workshops, and your tutors (of course). I understood and was able to apply new knowledge to my practice but also understand so much better how we construct reality through our belief systems.

Tell us about your work?
My work deals with the grotesque; the world of topsy-turvy, the paradox and the uncanny.  I make sculptural costumes on which I base a narrative and create a performance.
Like a Dr. Frankenstein, I sew body parts together, creating new forms of living beings in the forms of sculptural costumes. I’m interested in distorting the human contours. By the de-identification of the human body I question the stigmatisation of “the other” and the social construction of identity.
My work critiques on contemporary culture; I’m inspired by fiobinacci patterns in nature, the notion of animism, artifice and horror movies.
I’m super happy if my audience experiences uncanniness and doesn’t know how to define whether the creatures I make are human or not.

Hummerman, Credit: Lovis Ostenrik

Hummerman, Credit: Lovis Ostenrik

How do you think being selected for the Catlin guide will benefit you?
It’s amazing to be part of this great selection of artists and to get the thumbs up by the selection committee. I hope I’ll be able to reach more potential collaborators, audience members and interesting places to make new projects with and in.

What are your plans for the next few years?
I hope to make a new theatre production in which I want to work together with a dance group and musicians; collaboration, make music videos, travel, expand and get back into drawing and photography. Develop tools to create my costumes more rapidly or get some assistants. Grow as an artist, learn to explore and develop. Open up a design studio possibly maybe.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
The bible/lifelineguide of my life is Baz Luhrman’s song “everybody’s free to wear sunscreen”, I try to live by this song. Recently I also got this great piece of advice which was “you may have missed the past but the future belongs to you” which is also a pretty good one.

Where do you live? And what are your favourite hangouts?
I’m currently a true European citizen, travelling from one place to another and I am in the super position to have two bases; London and Rotterdam. I love the Wellcome collection library, it might sound a bit dull but I just lalala-love books. In Rotterdam it probably would be the Koffie Lokaal, great coffee and interior.

You can see more of Mette’s work on her website 

Find out more about MA Performance Design & Practice at Central Saint Martins

TFRC and CSM Research sponsors: Studio Houndstooth launch of The Houndstooth Project

Studio Houndstooth

Studio Houndstooth launches The Houndstooth Project – a serious play, ludic, egalitarian project, which uses the well-recognised, houndstooth textile motif as the starting point for a public engagement making project for everyone and anyone as either individuals or as collaborators, using any media or approach, actual or virtual.

The launch will be a workshop to make freely with a range of materials and also provide the opportunity for participants to make links and to seek future collaboration and co-design relationships.

Date: 29  January 2015
Venue: The Crossing, CSM, Kings Cross
Time: Drop in anytime between 10.30am -5.30pm
Materials: All materials provided

www.thehoundstoothproject.com

Sponsors: CSM Research and Textile Futures Research Centre