Episode 49 – The Auxiliary & hun

This episode continues from last week, where we were talking about our last visit to Middlesbrough and the Creative Factory arts trail on the 24th May. Here we have a chat about the opening of The Auxiliary’s brand new space in an old converted warehouse, and the lovely Hun event, ‘The Summer One’.

You can listen to this episode on SpotifyiTunesGoogle, and Soundcloud!

You can find hun on Instagram, and you can check out The Auxiliary here.

The documentary Alice was talking about at the beginning of the episode was Romantic Comedy by Elizabeth Stankey (find it here on IMDb).

Episode 46 – Worth It, part of Women of Tyneside

For this week’s episode Rosie takes a moment to remember Ewan Brown, and the girls have a chat about their recent visit to Vane Gallery to check out ‘Worth It’, a fab exhibition that explored textiles, fashion, and what it means to be a women in Tyneside today. (Part of ‘Festival of Women’, from the Women of Tyneside project).

You can listen to this episode on SpotifyiTunesGoogle, and Soundcloud!

The exhibition actually ends today, the 25th of May.

More information about Women of Tyneside, and the Festival of Women brochure.

Location: Vane Gallery

Opening Times: 12:00 – 17:00

Episode 44 – Liquid Crystal Display with Laura Sillars

For this episode, the girls popped down to Middlesbrough to have a chat with Laura Sillars, Director of the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (Mima), all about one of their current exhibitions ‘Liquid Crystal Display‘. This exhibition looks at crystals in a range of different forms, namely ‘liquid’, and the different contexts in which we as human beings interact with them on a daily basis. It was awesome having a chat with Laura and great to get some further insight into the show and how it was put together.

You can listen to this episode on SpotifyiTunesGoogle, and Soundcloud!

The exhibition runs until 16th June 2019.

More information: here.

Location: Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

Episode 43 – Live from Thought Foundation

This week’s episode is a bit of a special one! Recently we went along to the wonderful Thought Foundation down in Birtley to host a live podcast and discussion with some amazing ladies all about art and being in the North East, in front of an audience and everything! We sat down with Leanne Pierce, Director of Thought Foundation, Michaela Wetherell, curator at Thought Foundation and Platform A Gallery, and local artists Ciara Lenihan and Erin Dickson. We discussed what it is about the North East that has drawn / kept us all here, and the implications of cultural capital and how institutions like Thought Foundation work to tackle it.

You can listen to this episode on SpotifyiTunesGoogle and Soundcloud!

Episode 41 – Middlesbrough Double-Bill: Platform A & Pineapple Black

This week Alice and Amy talk about their trip down to Middlesbrough where they checked out ‘Major Conversations: The Industrial Narrative’ at Platform A gallery, and three new exhibition openings at Pineapple Black (‘Through Sound’, ‘Nights are Not Asleep’ & ‘Girls World’).

You can listen to this episode on SpotifyiTunesGoogle and Soundcloud!

Find out more info about Platform A and thesymposium on the 25th.

More info about Pineapple Black here.

Episode 34 – No Man’s Land

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!

(Don’t forget we’re also on iTunes!)

Exhibition runs until 6th April.

More information: here.

Location: Bishop Auckland Town Hall

Opening times: Monday 10:00-18:00, Tuesday 10:00-17:00, Wednesday 10:00-13:00, Thursday 10:00-18:00, Friday 10:00-17:00, Saturday 09:30-12:30.

Also here’s a link to the Auckland Project: https://www.aucklandproject.org. There’s a lot going on in Bishop Auckland in the next year or so so it’s perfect time to go and check it out!

Episode 33 – Digital Citizen: The Precarious Subject

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.

(Don’t forget we’re also on iTunes!)

// https://soundcloud.com/user-991312750/episode-33

Exhibition runs until 16th June 2019.

More information: here.

Location: BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Opening times: Monday – Sunday, 10:00 – 18:00

Field Trip No.1 – Living with Buildings at the Wellcome Collection

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!

(Don’t forget we’re also on iTunes!)

Find out more information about the exhibition here.

Location: Wellcome Collection (it’s all the way down in London)

Exhibition on until 3rd March 2019.

Opening times: Tuesday-Wednesday 10:00 – 18:00, Thursday 10:00 – 22:00, Friday – Sunday 10:00 – 18:00.

Further Thoughts: The Naked Portrait and Life Drawing

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:

Soft Pastel

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

Newcastle Arts Centre:
Newcastle Arts Centre host a variety of different art classes. Their life drawing workshop spans over 4 days and all of the materials are provided. All abilities are welcome and the classes appear to be very structured, so if this is the work environment you could benefit from go check it out!
https://www.newcastle-arts-centre.co.uk/product/life-drawing-2019/

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.

-Rosie Stronach