For this week’s episode the girls went back over to the Tyneside Cinema to check out what’s on in the Projections programme. This time Holly Argent, known for starting the Women Artists of the North East Library, gave a ‘performative lecture’ about here archival findings of the Polish art duo, KwieKulik. This was a really amazing and unique experience, and a fantastic taste of what you can check out at Projections.
For this week’s episode we’ve got a double-bill! Abject gallery currently has two exhibitions going on so we thought we’d check them both out! First up is Erin Dickson’s awesome multi-channel video piece ‘More Gnarly Illusions’, and next is Georg Óskar’s body of paintings, ‘I felt bad but I feel little bit better now’. They’re radically different and we loved them both, let us know what you thought!
For this week’s episode the girls went along to Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens to check out the Da Vinci drawings, but we were blown away by other exhibitions that were available to see as well! Specifically we loved the body of work by Andrew Tift called ‘One Day You’ll Be Older Too’, which was commissioned by the museum and features remarkably realistic hand-drawn portraits of local care home residents and their stories.
Hey there, Alice here. As you all may or may not know I am an avid photographer, and my main medium is that of analogue photography. Now, a lot of the analogue cameras you may have seen look pretty recognisable, like compact cameras, disposable cameras and slrs, however they didn’t start out like this. After seeing the subject of this week’s episode ‘No Man’s War’ at Bishop Auckland Town Hall, and an old Kodak Vest Pocket Camera in a display cabinet, I was inspired to write a little bit about using the oldest camera I own.
So this camera is a Kodak Brownie No.2, and it’s literally a cardboard box with a spring shutter and a couple of bits of glass/plastic. This model in particular hails from all the way back in 1917 (ish), which coincides with the First World War and the subject of much of the exhibition. Back in the day this type of camera was the everyday camera for families, much like the disposable camera. When you shot a roll of film with this camera you’d just take the whole thing back to the shop, and they would take the film out, develop it, print it and load up a new roll of film, making it ready to use immediately.
Despite its age and ridiculously simple design (its very much the definition of a point-and-shoot camera, there’s nothing by way of settings or adjustments to make), the photos this camera makes can be pretty amazing. A quirk the images have is a really sharp centre, however the edges can be pretty blurred, which I imagine is because of the quality of the super old lens. The negatives you get from this camera are also pretty ridiculous in how big they are: a whopping 6x9cm. To see the comparison between this size and 35mm film, here’s this handy-dandy diagram.
One of the main reasons I fell in love with shooting film was the fun you can have trying out old cameras like this, the ones that you don’t really see anything like anymore. Also you can find them for real cheap on eBay so that’s always a plus!
I hope you liked this little look into my little world of photography, and if you’re thinking of taking up film photography I’d really recommend having a go of a box camera like this – it’s so much fun!
For this week’s episode the girls went on down to Bishop Auckland to check out the fantastic touring exhibition ‘No Man’s Land’ currently showing at the Town Hall. It’s a wonderful mix of historic photography taken by women on the front lines of WWI across Europe, and some more contemporary pieces by female artists. It was honestly an awesome visit and we’d wholly recommend it!
For this week’s episode the girls went on down to the BALTIC to check out ‘Digital Citizen – The Precarious Subject’. It’s an expansive exhibition by several contemporary artists that takes a look at what it means to be a citizen of the world in this digital era.
For this week’s episode the girls went along to the Hatton to check out one of their newest exhibitions, ‘Francis Bacon | Ellen Gallagher’, which looks at the visual links between the works of these two very different artists.
For this weeks episode the girls talk about that time they went to London in January, and when they went to go see ‘Living with Buildings’ at the Wellcome Collection. It’s an extensive exhibition that takes a look at the history of design and scientific input when it comes to the places we live and how they affect us physically and mentally – it was super interesting!
This week, myself and Alice discussed our experiences at ‘The Naked Portrait’ currently at the Laing. We would really recommend giving it a visit using the discount on their Facebook page!) and if you haven’t heard our thoughts you can give it a listen here.
In its exploration of the difference between ‘naked’ and ‘nude’ the exhibition included some examples of life drawing that I found to be truly mesmerising. During all of my education I was never given the opportunity to try life drawing (absolutely shocking for an art student) and so this is something I chose to pursue after I had graduated. I love the act of studying the human form and feel it has improved my observation skills and my decisive mark making, i.e the ability to make a bold mark on a page with confidence.
Even more importantly, my weekly life drawing classes are like therapy. For 3 hours a week I sit in a room and think only about the model and the paper in front of me. I liken the experience to meditation.
I feel this is something that anyone who enjoys drawing should try! whether you identify as an artist or not, life drawing can help you build an arsenal of skills that you will use beyond drawing the human form. Its also fun to spend some time in the presence of nudity without sexual connotations that are now common place in society today – something which can be a little strange at first but that I now find quite liberating.
As always, I would like to take this opportunity to reinforce the idea that there are no rights or wrongs in art – and life drawing is no exception! Even if you are in a room full of other people drawing the same subject, a prospect that can be quite intimidating, what you see will be different to everyone else. Your artistic eye and style will shine through in whatever you do, but more literally your viewpoint of the sitter will be slightly different and therefore so will your artwork. If you find yourself in a class will many other artists it can be very inspiring to see what everyone else produces and see how they have managed to capture the model from their vantage point.
I enjoy using colour to abstract my work. I also find something highly satisfying about ‘half finished’ pieces in which some sections of the body are highly detailed and others are left as an outline:
How to find the life drawing class that works for you:
There are a few options out there so all you need to do is consider the price, frequency, time, style and travel/distance evolved. Depending on what you’re looking for, you can sign up to courses that last multiple weeks or sessions that run on a week-by-week basis. to save you some googling I have compiled a few examples that may be appealing to you. But remember, there are plenty more out there (for example if you are part of a university the arts society may run life drawing classes).
Cobalt Studios: If you’re after a low-key life drawing experience, Cobalt Studios might be the one for you! Each evening promises to offer a slightly different experience but good music and art is a garment. This is a self lead experience with no teacher, but feel free to reach out to your classmates for advice and feedback! You will need to bring your own materials and sketchbook but boards and paper is provided. http://www.cobaltstudios.co.uk/event/lifedrawing-tickets-247259
Local Council Adult Learning: Local councils have an obligation to make sure that all of their citizens have access to learning opportunities and usually have a selection of courses available. Legally they must provide at least Maths and English level 2, but many also offer leisure courses (depending on the local council in question). Since graduating university I have completed courses in ceramics, creative writing and life drawing all of which were offered by my local council’s adult learning programme. I feel it is vitally important to use these services while they are here as, with government cuts to both education and the arts, they may not be around for much longer! By enrolling on these courses we are proving that they are valued and important and give the council a reason to keep them running! There are often discounts available too which are worth checking out! Below I have included the websites to some local council websites so that you can have a look at the prospectuses and spy any arts courses that you may be interested in. North Tyneside:https://my.northtyneside.gov.uk/category/225/finding-right-course Newcastle: http://www.newcastlecitylearning.ac.uk/ Sunderland:https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/article/12113/Libraries-museums-events Middlesbrough:http://www.mcls.ac.uk/art.html
The Lit & Phil: The Lit & Phil is an independent library in Newcastle, housing over 170,000 books, making it the largest independent outside of London. However this institution is so much more than a library; it is also a historic building, a meeting place, office, theatre, lecture hall, jazz venue, performance space and, a classroom! Classes, including life drawing are offered here so check out their website to see how you can get involved. As the Lit & Phil is independent this could be an amazing way to support one of Newcastle’s coolest venues and learning institutions. http://www.litandphil.org.uk/whats-on/2018/apr/life-drawing/
When signing up for life drawing, try not to worry too much about finding a course that is specifically for ‘beginners’ (or the level that you feel you are at), as life drawing is something that even the most experienced art master would need to practice throughout their art career. I would however suggest that if you have never done life drawing before that you choose a course that has a tutor as they will be able to provide you with some art theory and techniques to get you started.
These are just a few examples of the numorous classes that are out there!
I hope this helps you in your search for art classes or perhaps even inspires you to consider taking one if you hadn’t considered it before.
This week the girls went on down to the Laing Art Gallery to catch the amazing ‘The Naked Portrait’ before it closes in March. It explores what it means to be ‘naked’ and how that can be represented across a huge range of mediums and styles.
You can get 20% off of the entry ticket on Wednesdays and Thursdays during February by following this link. Alternatively just check out the Laing’s Facebook page and find the offer.