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Allen Lowe: Visual Artist

EDUCATION:

2010 BACHELOR OF ARTS IN FINE ART (2:1) - STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY, STOKE- ON-TRENT

2007 FOUNDATION DEGREE IN ART AND DESIGN - STOURBRIDGE COLLEGE, STOURBRIDGE


PRACTICAL SKILLS:

PUT THE FOUNDATIONS IN PLACE FOR ALL ASPECTS OF PROMOTION AND SALES

ABILITY TO ANALYSE WORKS OF ART

EXPLORE CROSSOVERS BETWEEN ANALYTICAL AND CREATIVE THINKING 

ISSUES IN CONTEMPORARY ART

SELF-INITIATING A CREATIVE ARTS PROJECTS

TRANSCRIPTION

EXHIBITING AND CURATION

THEMES IN CONTEMPORARY ART

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

THE ABILITY TO BUILD, MAINTAIN AND UPDATE WEBSITES AND BLOGS


COMPUTER SKILLS:

ABLE TO USE BOTH WINDOWS AND MAC IN ADMINISTRATIVE AND WORKSHOP PROCESSES

ADOBE PHOTOSHOP 

ADOBE INDESIGN

MICROSOFT OFFICE SUIT

VIDEO EDITING

CREATING/EDITING BLOGS


EXPERIENCE:

FEBRUARY 2011 TO DATE - FOUNDER, CURATOR AND MARKETING MANAGER, INNATE PROJECTS

WOLVERHAMPTON, WEST MIDLANDS.

  • FOUND THE ORGANISATION
  • ORGANISE/APPROACH VENUES FOR ART EXHIBITIONS
  • ORGANISE AND APPROACH ARTISTS FOR ART EXHIBITIONS
  • PROJECT MANAGEMENT
  • INSTALL AND MAINTAIN ART EXHIBITIONS
  • LIAISE WITH ARTISTS, GROUPS AND VENUES INCLUDING NETWORKING
  • MAINTAIN WEB PRESENCE ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER, AXIS AS WELL AS INNATE PROJECTS WEBSITE. (www.innateprojects.co.uk)

MARCH 2011 TO AUGUST 2011 - ARTS PROMOTER, GECKO ARTS AND MEDIA

WOLVERHAMPTON, WEST MIDLANDS

  • PROMOTE HIGH QUALITY LATIN AMERICAN ART
  • START AND MANAGE THE SALES DEPARTMENT FROM ADMIN TO SHIPPING
  • CREATE, EDIT AND MAINTAIN WEB PRESENCE
  • ADVERTISING AND MARKETING

SEPTEMBER 2010 TO PRESENT - VOLUNTARY LECTURER

STOURBRIDGE COLLEGE, STOURBRIDGE, WEST MIDLANDS

  • GAVE STUDENTS ADVICE, TUTORIALS AND GUIDANCE RELATING TO THEIR PRACTICE
  • TAKE AN ACTIVE ROLE IN CLASSROOM DISCUSSIONS, ADDING RELEVANT INFORMATION
  • GIVE LECTURES TO STUDENTS ABOUT PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE, EXHIBITING AND CURATION
  • SUGGEST POSSIBLE IDEAS TO HELP TUTORS AND THEIR DELIVERY TO THE STUDENTS
  • CREATED SHORT VIDEOS ACCESSIBLE TO STUDENTS SHOWING TECHNIQUES AND WORK THAT THEY MAY OF MISSED

 

SEPTEMBER 2010 TO FEBRUARY 2011 - EXHIBITIONS PRODUCTION INTERN

THE PUBLIC, WEST BROMWICH, WEST MIDLANDS

  • INSTALLATION AND TAKE DOWN OF ARTWORKS CONSIDERING ALL ELEMENTS SUCH AS  LIGHTING, PACKING OF ARTWORKS AND SAFE STORAGE, ARRANGING COLLECTION OF ARTWORK
  • CURATED AND INSTALLED MARTIN PARR’S EXHIBITION BLACK COUNTRY STORIES 
  • ASSISTED THE CURATOR, TAKING AN ACTIVE ROLE IN DISCUSSIONS IN REFERENCE TO  INSTALLATION AND CURATION
  • LEAD AND ASSISTED WORKSHOPS WITH PEOPLE OF ALL AGE GROUPS
  • USED PHOTOSHOP TO EDIT PHOTOGRAPHS AND CREATE ACTIONS FOR DISPLAY ALSO USED INDESIGN FOR CATALOGUES, SIGNAGE AS WELL AS USING TOUCH SCREEN SOFTWARE
  • KEEP UP WITH GENERAL MAINTENANCE OF THE GALLERY AND ARTWORKS INCLUDING SOLVING PROBLEMS WHICH PERSIST ESPECIALLY TO DO WITH ARTWORKS

 

MARCH 2009 - TEACHING ASSISTANT

STOURBRIDGE COLLEGE, STOURBRIDGE, WEST MIDLANDS

  • SERVED AS A TEACHING ASSISTANT TO STUDENTS STUDYING A FOUNDATION DEGREE IN ART AND DESIGN
  • HELPED STUDENTS WITH ARTIST REFERENCES AND GUIDANCE WITH THEIR PRACTICE


DECEMBER 2008 - CURATED TRANSCRIPTION EXHIBITION

STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY, STOKE-ON-TRENT, STAFFORDSHIRE

  • INSTALLED AND TOOK DOWN EXHIBITION TO A DEADLINE
  • NEGOTIATED THE RELEASE AND PLACEMENT OF ARTWORK FOR THE EXHIBITION IN THE GALLERY
  • CREATED A CATALOGUE FOR THE SHOW
  • PREPARED THE SPACES READY FOR EXHIBITING IN


EXHIBITIONS:

SEPTEMBER 2010, WIRKSWORTH FESTIVAL, WIRKSWORTH, DERBYSHIRE

JUNE 2010, GRADUATE DEGREE SHOW, STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY, STOKE- ON-TRENT,  STAFFORDSHIRE

APRIL 2009, LEVEL TWO GROUP SHOW, STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY, STOKE- ON-TRENT,  STAFFORDSHIRE

DECEMBER 2008, TIME, CADMAN STUDIOS, STOKE-ON-TRENT,  STAFFORDSHIRE

APRIL 2008, LEVEL ONE GROUP SHOW, STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY, STOKE- ON-TRENT,  STAFFORDSHIRE

JUNE 2007, FOUNDATION DEGREE GROUP SHOW, CROWN CENTRE, STOURBRIDGE, WEST  MIDLANDS

CURATED EXHIBITIONS:

AUGUST 2011 - INNATE PROJECTS AT THE PUBLIC, WEST BROMWICH

JULY 2011 - INNATE PROJECTS AT QUEENS SQUARE, WEST BROMWICH

JUNE 2011 - THE PUBLIC’S SUMMER EXHIBITION 2011, WEST BROMWICH

NOVEMBER 2010 - MARTIN PARR: BLACK COUNTRY STORIES, THE PUBLIC, WEST BROMWICH, WEST MIDLANDS


 EMAIL: allenlowe@live.co.uk

Artist Statement

An exploration of the mundane, daily routines and action is common to the work produced recently, with an emphasis on the viewer/audience having an experience, positive or negative, with the work. Producing something that is unexpected and unusual to see in a gallery context. The qualities of specific materials have been explored as metaphors used to comment on society, the environment and the way we live. The objects I use are often things we are familiar with, even if the viewer cannot immediately recognise this. This may be through an act of replacing an action or an object’s property which creates an uncomfortable position or cause momentary confusion. My work involves me taking an item out of its usual context and creating a new proposition for the object. When I change the property of an object I draw attention to it, which leads to an expressive advantage; this may lead to the materials been employed against purpose.

Will Alsop

'Box of Delights'

2012

Andy Day

'Parkour Photography'

2012

Rick Davies

'Black Country Stories'

2012

INNATE Projects’ latest exhibition at The Public gets coverage from the Express & Star! (September 2011)

INNATE Projects’ latest exhibition at The Public gets coverage from the Express & Star! (September 2011)

And so on…

It has been 8 months since my last post, and as much as that does surprise me that I could let so much time pass without making as much as a peep on the Tumblr network; including not allowing myself the time to revise where, what and why I have been doing the things I have. I think it’s time for a quick update, for my sake as much as yours! 

Where better to start than those post-graduate blues that, in a way, still haunt and play upon my mind. Still, no artwork has been made; (I shall digress why throughout my post.) Yet my mind still flirts with the future artworks and what can be creatively constructed. The key factor behind this halt in production still is a lack of funds. Still paying off an overdraft, that is now thankfully halved, I feel almost like I have betrayed my creativity for the trials and tribulations of real life?

I worry not so much about the creation of work as all my ideas are firmly tucked away in my notebooks.

In reference to people venturing onto Post-Grad courses and whether it was “easier to put off longer term plans just for another year?”, only time will tell. The people I come to know during my time at Uni and then went onto do post-grads, have only just finished. In my previous post I referenced how work places and institutions seem to prefer experience over the number of letters you are entitled to put at the end of your name; I feel this is still true. Since my last post where I had just left The Public after a 6 month internship, I have started and finished a few interesting projects. All as beneficial as the other as I broaden and expand upon my skills as a worker and knowledge as a creative thinker. 

I ended the voluntary lecturer/teaching assistant position at Stourbridge College due to starting employment, I shall discuss my employment later. I did really enjoy my time at Stourbridge College meeting new and interesting, young individuals who have sparkling, clean, gargantuan ideas of how they want their careers to unfold. This is all good but I did find myself not quashing their dreams, merely bringing them from cloud 9 and realising that their path to success isn’t easy but with hard work can be achieved, even if it doesn’t happen straight away. I have found since graduating that patience is a definitely a virtue. I think that these are the sort of experiences I was making reference to in my previous post, before I went into teaching. Only genuine experiences, good, bad and worse, can harden you to being a believable teacher? If you know what it is really like, then you have the ability to pass this on and the level of dedication it takes? … what do you think?

The PGCE or PCET will just have to wait, for now.

Now onto my practice, or lack of therefore. During my time at university, I guess like most other students who are not privileged to be financially comfortable, I worked up a bit of an overdraft. Thank goodness for a rather understanding bank, Sorry to advertise but if there are any prospective university students reading this, I would definitely suggest Natwest and its Student and Graduate Accounts. VERY easy to understand, VERY easy to talk to someone and VERY easy to make arrangements if you’re in difficulties and VERY nice levels of repayments! I’ve only worked for 6 months, 25 hours a week, on minimum wage since graduating and I’m fairly on my way to paying it off a year early! But back to the practice, The fact that I am constantly thinking about what I could do and where my art could go is a catalyst for me to return to making art more prolific in due course. I am also keeping my mind on what’s happening in the art world by continuing to receive my Frieze magazines. I think it’s got to the point where I pay no more than £40 for a years subscription, which usually is about 8 issues at £5 each. When they are £5:95 each every little helps. I found them a god send at university to help keep contemporary and updated, as I still do now! Worth the investment. I am constantly immersing myself in art books, periodicals and now ARTISTS!

Even though my practice as an artist has being less productive, I have now started my own exhibitions company, organisation, group… whatever you choose to call it, called INNATE Projects. (www.innateprojects.co.uk) At INNATE Projects, we organise exhibitions, approach venues about the possibility of using their space for exhibitions and we’ve even been commission by The Public, West Bromwich to project manage their Summer Exhibition 2011. If you check out INNATE Projects’ website, www.innateprojects.co.uk, you’ll get more of an idea of what we do and why. We’re not making any sort of live-able income off I.P’s dealings as of yet, but hey; Where there are no opportunities, you have to go out and make them for yourself, or bite the bullet and work from the bottom. I honestly feel that I.P. could be something awesome and developed into a more profitable business. (We haven’t lost any money! We are making profit and either way going to be a little better off at the end.) A benefit of starting IP is that it keeps me creatively thinking in a gallery context as well as talking to artists about their work. As part of the INNATE experience, we offer artist and curator talks about the show, art, the business of art as well as themes and issues in art. In my opinion, it’s ruddy good experience. I deal with the whole process from calling for submissions, approaching/negotiating with venues, dealing with artists, exhibition agreements, administrative duties, curation, install and takedown. I even manage the web presence of INNATE on Facebook, Twitter and Axis. So I feel this venture has some legs…

Only time will tell.

(www.facebook.com/innateprojects - www.innateprojects.co.uk#INNATE_Projects)

POST GRADUATION BLUES AND MY LIFE AS A VISUAL ARTIST

This is my first real look back at the past 6 months or so. I know I have not done anything of major significance to do with creating thought provoking or absurd works since graduation. This was always going to be a tough time. Most of us leave university with no idea of what is to happen next, where the next studio space will be, to think, experiment and create. This lead me to think, do graduates go onto Post-Grad courses just because it’s easier to put off longer term plans just for another year? This is in no way an attack upon those that do Post-Grads straight after BA for example. You hear a lot of companies and institutions in this current economic climate opting for experience with shorter length contracts over the number of pieces of paper you have in your educational certificates folder. I left university wanting to get some experience in the art world and do what I was interested in and gain experience. So for the first 3 months after completing my BA Fine Art Course I finally got myself an internship at The Public in West Bromwich as an Exhibitions Production Intern. This involves me installing and taking down the artworks, preparing the spaces, temporary walls and all aspects needed to be considered for an exhibition, such as lighting and to liaison with technicians as well as the artists and curator. This is what I enjoyed and do still enjoy, I wouldn’t be doing it for just expenses if I didn’t. After all, it’s not going to do me any harm!

I got involved with the college I studied my Foundation Degree at and I have been a voluntary lecturer there since september. I have been offered to do my PGCE there which is a great opportunity and I am thinking about it seriously, BUT, I cant help but think that if I did this I would end up teaching for the rest of my career with a decent wage and good holidays! I feel I want to experience something actually in the art industry before I possibly pass on my knowledge to other budding artists!

I have recently thought about my own practice and I got a little bit stressed at the thought of not creating objects to be scrutinised got me down a little. After a month or two of finishing university I started to miss the availability of a studio, the equipment available and the other students to just talk to, in most cases, ludicrous ideas and bollocks about creating something that sounded spectacular and exciting and bouncing ideas. Then realise that this little niggle of money holding me back, not being able to afford materials or tools and equipment.

So I used this time, I felt and still do feel, wisely. As I continue to look for some sort of space, which is as cheap as possible, (as I am not earning enough money to afford some of the rates of renting) I have filled my time with an internship and gaining experience within an art institution.

As the lack of money situation chomps down that little bit harder, almost like one of those Chinese finger traps. The harder you fight for what you want to do and enjoy with out some sort of income, the more difficult it is to continue doing it. (Don’t worry, if you are at all, I am not considering quitting my internship.) I have such a good opportunity there and I am showing everything I am capable of. Completing tasks to a high standard as well as being entrusted to curate Martin Parr’s Photos, which in itself is an amazing opportunity which I grasped with both hands and I feel was and still is successful. With Parr himself congratulating me and expressing his delight at having to, not just show but deliver the images to a high standard.

My thoughts have today returned to creating Art. After seeing a few inspiring works by Roman Signer and Zilvinas Kempinas, I have come to realise I miss this humour and delight that art brings to people. A smile and thinking which is not so intriguing and direct from other disciplines. Causing the viewer or audience to criticise your work, which I find as equally enjoyable and thought provoking as the positives. I want to get back to doing this. After another read of my artist statement, I honestly questioned myself; Do I really need all this Art jargon to, in a way, validate my work as Art? Can Art just exist as an experience? an effect upon a viewer? Why do we have to tell the viewers, when asked, all this reasoning behind a piece? Can Art just be a non-definitive commodity? Would this in some peoples/artists eyes ‘cheapen’ Art? Would it become less important without the deep, meaningful, fully referenced waffle we churn out? What are the chances of the audience grasping fully what we intended to portray in our abstract, sculptural, installational pieces? Practically zero, I feel. In my own practice I have realised I am thinking more and more about the viewer taking away an unexpected/unusual experience away with them after witnessing my work. And I know many artists have done this in the past and still continue to do so. I guess I have come to a point where I try to give the viewer something to remember, for example,

"did you go to that exhibition, in London?" 

"Is that the one where this absurd and amusing piece which that fella did?"

I would rather have a lasting effect upon someone rather than be forgotten as ‘just another painting’. I try to make things which are not expected to be seen in a gallery environment, stand out from the fellow exhibitors. 

I like the idea that my work is considered “absurd and amusing” whether people like it or not, that absurdity stays in peoples minds. I like to get a reaction from people, positive or negative. I think this is what I would like to do… maybe?

Roman Signer, 56 Kleine Helocopter. http://www.romansigner.ch/

(Source: mpday)

Allen Lowe: Visual Artist

EDUCATION:

2010 BACHELOR OF ARTS IN FINE ART (2:1) - STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY, STOKE- ON-TRENT

2007 FOUNDATION DEGREE IN ART AND DESIGN - STOURBRIDGE COLLEGE, STOURBRIDGE


PRACTICAL SKILLS:

PUT THE FOUNDATIONS IN PLACE FOR ALL ASPECTS OF PROMOTION AND SALES

ABILITY TO ANALYSE WORKS OF ART

EXPLORE CROSSOVERS BETWEEN ANALYTICAL AND CREATIVE THINKING 

ISSUES IN CONTEMPORARY ART

SELF-INITIATING A CREATIVE ARTS PROJECTS

TRANSCRIPTION

EXHIBITING AND CURATION

THEMES IN CONTEMPORARY ART

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

THE ABILITY TO BUILD, MAINTAIN AND UPDATE WEBSITES AND BLOGS


COMPUTER SKILLS:

ABLE TO USE BOTH WINDOWS AND MAC IN ADMINISTRATIVE AND WORKSHOP PROCESSES

ADOBE PHOTOSHOP 

ADOBE INDESIGN

MICROSOFT OFFICE SUIT

VIDEO EDITING

CREATING/EDITING BLOGS


EXPERIENCE:

FEBRUARY 2011 TO DATE - FOUNDER, CURATOR AND MARKETING MANAGER, INNATE PROJECTS

WOLVERHAMPTON, WEST MIDLANDS.

  • FOUND THE ORGANISATION
  • ORGANISE/APPROACH VENUES FOR ART EXHIBITIONS
  • ORGANISE AND APPROACH ARTISTS FOR ART EXHIBITIONS
  • PROJECT MANAGEMENT
  • INSTALL AND MAINTAIN ART EXHIBITIONS
  • LIAISE WITH ARTISTS, GROUPS AND VENUES INCLUDING NETWORKING
  • MAINTAIN WEB PRESENCE ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER, AXIS AS WELL AS INNATE PROJECTS WEBSITE. (www.innateprojects.co.uk)

MARCH 2011 TO AUGUST 2011 - ARTS PROMOTER, GECKO ARTS AND MEDIA

WOLVERHAMPTON, WEST MIDLANDS

  • PROMOTE HIGH QUALITY LATIN AMERICAN ART
  • START AND MANAGE THE SALES DEPARTMENT FROM ADMIN TO SHIPPING
  • CREATE, EDIT AND MAINTAIN WEB PRESENCE
  • ADVERTISING AND MARKETING

SEPTEMBER 2010 TO PRESENT - VOLUNTARY LECTURER

STOURBRIDGE COLLEGE, STOURBRIDGE, WEST MIDLANDS

  • GAVE STUDENTS ADVICE, TUTORIALS AND GUIDANCE RELATING TO THEIR PRACTICE
  • TAKE AN ACTIVE ROLE IN CLASSROOM DISCUSSIONS, ADDING RELEVANT INFORMATION
  • GIVE LECTURES TO STUDENTS ABOUT PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE, EXHIBITING AND CURATION
  • SUGGEST POSSIBLE IDEAS TO HELP TUTORS AND THEIR DELIVERY TO THE STUDENTS
  • CREATED SHORT VIDEOS ACCESSIBLE TO STUDENTS SHOWING TECHNIQUES AND WORK THAT THEY MAY OF MISSED

 

SEPTEMBER 2010 TO FEBRUARY 2011 - EXHIBITIONS PRODUCTION INTERN

THE PUBLIC, WEST BROMWICH, WEST MIDLANDS

  • INSTALLATION AND TAKE DOWN OF ARTWORKS CONSIDERING ALL ELEMENTS SUCH AS  LIGHTING, PACKING OF ARTWORKS AND SAFE STORAGE, ARRANGING COLLECTION OF ARTWORK
  • CURATED AND INSTALLED MARTIN PARR’S EXHIBITION BLACK COUNTRY STORIES 
  • ASSISTED THE CURATOR, TAKING AN ACTIVE ROLE IN DISCUSSIONS IN REFERENCE TO  INSTALLATION AND CURATION
  • LEAD AND ASSISTED WORKSHOPS WITH PEOPLE OF ALL AGE GROUPS
  • USED PHOTOSHOP TO EDIT PHOTOGRAPHS AND CREATE ACTIONS FOR DISPLAY ALSO USED INDESIGN FOR CATALOGUES, SIGNAGE AS WELL AS USING TOUCH SCREEN SOFTWARE
  • KEEP UP WITH GENERAL MAINTENANCE OF THE GALLERY AND ARTWORKS INCLUDING SOLVING PROBLEMS WHICH PERSIST ESPECIALLY TO DO WITH ARTWORKS

 

MARCH 2009 - TEACHING ASSISTANT

STOURBRIDGE COLLEGE, STOURBRIDGE, WEST MIDLANDS

  • SERVED AS A TEACHING ASSISTANT TO STUDENTS STUDYING A FOUNDATION DEGREE IN ART AND DESIGN
  • HELPED STUDENTS WITH ARTIST REFERENCES AND GUIDANCE WITH THEIR PRACTICE


DECEMBER 2008 - CURATED TRANSCRIPTION EXHIBITION

STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY, STOKE-ON-TRENT, STAFFORDSHIRE

  • INSTALLED AND TOOK DOWN EXHIBITION TO A DEADLINE
  • NEGOTIATED THE RELEASE AND PLACEMENT OF ARTWORK FOR THE EXHIBITION IN THE GALLERY
  • CREATED A CATALOGUE FOR THE SHOW
  • PREPARED THE SPACES READY FOR EXHIBITING IN


EXHIBITIONS:

SEPTEMBER 2010, WIRKSWORTH FESTIVAL, WIRKSWORTH, DERBYSHIRE

JUNE 2010, GRADUATE DEGREE SHOW, STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY, STOKE- ON-TRENT,  STAFFORDSHIRE

APRIL 2009, LEVEL TWO GROUP SHOW, STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY, STOKE- ON-TRENT,  STAFFORDSHIRE

DECEMBER 2008, TIME, CADMAN STUDIOS, STOKE-ON-TRENT,  STAFFORDSHIRE

APRIL 2008, LEVEL ONE GROUP SHOW, STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY, STOKE- ON-TRENT,  STAFFORDSHIRE

JUNE 2007, FOUNDATION DEGREE GROUP SHOW, CROWN CENTRE, STOURBRIDGE, WEST  MIDLANDS

CURATED EXHIBITIONS:

AUGUST 2011 - INNATE PROJECTS AT THE PUBLIC, WEST BROMWICH

JULY 2011 - INNATE PROJECTS AT QUEENS SQUARE, WEST BROMWICH

JUNE 2011 - THE PUBLIC’S SUMMER EXHIBITION 2011, WEST BROMWICH

NOVEMBER 2010 - MARTIN PARR: BLACK COUNTRY STORIES, THE PUBLIC, WEST BROMWICH, WEST MIDLANDS


 EMAIL: allenlowe@live.co.uk

Artist Statement

An exploration of the mundane, daily routines and action is common to the work produced recently, with an emphasis on the viewer/audience having an experience, positive or negative, with the work. Producing something that is unexpected and unusual to see in a gallery context. The qualities of specific materials have been explored as metaphors used to comment on society, the environment and the way we live. The objects I use are often things we are familiar with, even if the viewer cannot immediately recognise this. This may be through an act of replacing an action or an object’s property which creates an uncomfortable position or cause momentary confusion. My work involves me taking an item out of its usual context and creating a new proposition for the object. When I change the property of an object I draw attention to it, which leads to an expressive advantage; this may lead to the materials been employed against purpose.

Will Alsop

'Box of Delights'

2012

Andy Day

'Parkour Photography'

2012

Rick Davies

'Black Country Stories'

2012

INNATE Projects’ latest exhibition at The Public gets coverage from the Express & Star! (September 2011)

INNATE Projects’ latest exhibition at The Public gets coverage from the Express & Star! (September 2011)

And so on…

It has been 8 months since my last post, and as much as that does surprise me that I could let so much time pass without making as much as a peep on the Tumblr network; including not allowing myself the time to revise where, what and why I have been doing the things I have. I think it’s time for a quick update, for my sake as much as yours! 

Where better to start than those post-graduate blues that, in a way, still haunt and play upon my mind. Still, no artwork has been made; (I shall digress why throughout my post.) Yet my mind still flirts with the future artworks and what can be creatively constructed. The key factor behind this halt in production still is a lack of funds. Still paying off an overdraft, that is now thankfully halved, I feel almost like I have betrayed my creativity for the trials and tribulations of real life?

I worry not so much about the creation of work as all my ideas are firmly tucked away in my notebooks.

In reference to people venturing onto Post-Grad courses and whether it was “easier to put off longer term plans just for another year?”, only time will tell. The people I come to know during my time at Uni and then went onto do post-grads, have only just finished. In my previous post I referenced how work places and institutions seem to prefer experience over the number of letters you are entitled to put at the end of your name; I feel this is still true. Since my last post where I had just left The Public after a 6 month internship, I have started and finished a few interesting projects. All as beneficial as the other as I broaden and expand upon my skills as a worker and knowledge as a creative thinker. 

I ended the voluntary lecturer/teaching assistant position at Stourbridge College due to starting employment, I shall discuss my employment later. I did really enjoy my time at Stourbridge College meeting new and interesting, young individuals who have sparkling, clean, gargantuan ideas of how they want their careers to unfold. This is all good but I did find myself not quashing their dreams, merely bringing them from cloud 9 and realising that their path to success isn’t easy but with hard work can be achieved, even if it doesn’t happen straight away. I have found since graduating that patience is a definitely a virtue. I think that these are the sort of experiences I was making reference to in my previous post, before I went into teaching. Only genuine experiences, good, bad and worse, can harden you to being a believable teacher? If you know what it is really like, then you have the ability to pass this on and the level of dedication it takes? … what do you think?

The PGCE or PCET will just have to wait, for now.

Now onto my practice, or lack of therefore. During my time at university, I guess like most other students who are not privileged to be financially comfortable, I worked up a bit of an overdraft. Thank goodness for a rather understanding bank, Sorry to advertise but if there are any prospective university students reading this, I would definitely suggest Natwest and its Student and Graduate Accounts. VERY easy to understand, VERY easy to talk to someone and VERY easy to make arrangements if you’re in difficulties and VERY nice levels of repayments! I’ve only worked for 6 months, 25 hours a week, on minimum wage since graduating and I’m fairly on my way to paying it off a year early! But back to the practice, The fact that I am constantly thinking about what I could do and where my art could go is a catalyst for me to return to making art more prolific in due course. I am also keeping my mind on what’s happening in the art world by continuing to receive my Frieze magazines. I think it’s got to the point where I pay no more than £40 for a years subscription, which usually is about 8 issues at £5 each. When they are £5:95 each every little helps. I found them a god send at university to help keep contemporary and updated, as I still do now! Worth the investment. I am constantly immersing myself in art books, periodicals and now ARTISTS!

Even though my practice as an artist has being less productive, I have now started my own exhibitions company, organisation, group… whatever you choose to call it, called INNATE Projects. (www.innateprojects.co.uk) At INNATE Projects, we organise exhibitions, approach venues about the possibility of using their space for exhibitions and we’ve even been commission by The Public, West Bromwich to project manage their Summer Exhibition 2011. If you check out INNATE Projects’ website, www.innateprojects.co.uk, you’ll get more of an idea of what we do and why. We’re not making any sort of live-able income off I.P’s dealings as of yet, but hey; Where there are no opportunities, you have to go out and make them for yourself, or bite the bullet and work from the bottom. I honestly feel that I.P. could be something awesome and developed into a more profitable business. (We haven’t lost any money! We are making profit and either way going to be a little better off at the end.) A benefit of starting IP is that it keeps me creatively thinking in a gallery context as well as talking to artists about their work. As part of the INNATE experience, we offer artist and curator talks about the show, art, the business of art as well as themes and issues in art. In my opinion, it’s ruddy good experience. I deal with the whole process from calling for submissions, approaching/negotiating with venues, dealing with artists, exhibition agreements, administrative duties, curation, install and takedown. I even manage the web presence of INNATE on Facebook, Twitter and Axis. So I feel this venture has some legs…

Only time will tell.

(www.facebook.com/innateprojects - www.innateprojects.co.uk#INNATE_Projects)

POST GRADUATION BLUES AND MY LIFE AS A VISUAL ARTIST

This is my first real look back at the past 6 months or so. I know I have not done anything of major significance to do with creating thought provoking or absurd works since graduation. This was always going to be a tough time. Most of us leave university with no idea of what is to happen next, where the next studio space will be, to think, experiment and create. This lead me to think, do graduates go onto Post-Grad courses just because it’s easier to put off longer term plans just for another year? This is in no way an attack upon those that do Post-Grads straight after BA for example. You hear a lot of companies and institutions in this current economic climate opting for experience with shorter length contracts over the number of pieces of paper you have in your educational certificates folder. I left university wanting to get some experience in the art world and do what I was interested in and gain experience. So for the first 3 months after completing my BA Fine Art Course I finally got myself an internship at The Public in West Bromwich as an Exhibitions Production Intern. This involves me installing and taking down the artworks, preparing the spaces, temporary walls and all aspects needed to be considered for an exhibition, such as lighting and to liaison with technicians as well as the artists and curator. This is what I enjoyed and do still enjoy, I wouldn’t be doing it for just expenses if I didn’t. After all, it’s not going to do me any harm!

I got involved with the college I studied my Foundation Degree at and I have been a voluntary lecturer there since september. I have been offered to do my PGCE there which is a great opportunity and I am thinking about it seriously, BUT, I cant help but think that if I did this I would end up teaching for the rest of my career with a decent wage and good holidays! I feel I want to experience something actually in the art industry before I possibly pass on my knowledge to other budding artists!

I have recently thought about my own practice and I got a little bit stressed at the thought of not creating objects to be scrutinised got me down a little. After a month or two of finishing university I started to miss the availability of a studio, the equipment available and the other students to just talk to, in most cases, ludicrous ideas and bollocks about creating something that sounded spectacular and exciting and bouncing ideas. Then realise that this little niggle of money holding me back, not being able to afford materials or tools and equipment.

So I used this time, I felt and still do feel, wisely. As I continue to look for some sort of space, which is as cheap as possible, (as I am not earning enough money to afford some of the rates of renting) I have filled my time with an internship and gaining experience within an art institution.

As the lack of money situation chomps down that little bit harder, almost like one of those Chinese finger traps. The harder you fight for what you want to do and enjoy with out some sort of income, the more difficult it is to continue doing it. (Don’t worry, if you are at all, I am not considering quitting my internship.) I have such a good opportunity there and I am showing everything I am capable of. Completing tasks to a high standard as well as being entrusted to curate Martin Parr’s Photos, which in itself is an amazing opportunity which I grasped with both hands and I feel was and still is successful. With Parr himself congratulating me and expressing his delight at having to, not just show but deliver the images to a high standard.

My thoughts have today returned to creating Art. After seeing a few inspiring works by Roman Signer and Zilvinas Kempinas, I have come to realise I miss this humour and delight that art brings to people. A smile and thinking which is not so intriguing and direct from other disciplines. Causing the viewer or audience to criticise your work, which I find as equally enjoyable and thought provoking as the positives. I want to get back to doing this. After another read of my artist statement, I honestly questioned myself; Do I really need all this Art jargon to, in a way, validate my work as Art? Can Art just exist as an experience? an effect upon a viewer? Why do we have to tell the viewers, when asked, all this reasoning behind a piece? Can Art just be a non-definitive commodity? Would this in some peoples/artists eyes ‘cheapen’ Art? Would it become less important without the deep, meaningful, fully referenced waffle we churn out? What are the chances of the audience grasping fully what we intended to portray in our abstract, sculptural, installational pieces? Practically zero, I feel. In my own practice I have realised I am thinking more and more about the viewer taking away an unexpected/unusual experience away with them after witnessing my work. And I know many artists have done this in the past and still continue to do so. I guess I have come to a point where I try to give the viewer something to remember, for example,

"did you go to that exhibition, in London?" 

"Is that the one where this absurd and amusing piece which that fella did?"

I would rather have a lasting effect upon someone rather than be forgotten as ‘just another painting’. I try to make things which are not expected to be seen in a gallery environment, stand out from the fellow exhibitors. 

I like the idea that my work is considered “absurd and amusing” whether people like it or not, that absurdity stays in peoples minds. I like to get a reaction from people, positive or negative. I think this is what I would like to do… maybe?

Roman Signer, 56 Kleine Helocopter. http://www.romansigner.ch/

(Source: mpday)

Allen Lowe: Visual Artist
Artist Statement
And so on…
POST GRADUATION BLUES AND MY LIFE AS A VISUAL ARTIST

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