Sunday, 31 July 2016

MFA Exhibition advert in NARC

The Newcastle University MFA Exhibition is advertised in the August edition of NARC, the independent guide to alternative music, art, literature, comedy, film, theatre and culture for Newcastle and the North East.

@NARC.magazine



For more information about the MFA Exhibition please visit


http://fineart.ncl.ac.uk/ma2016/

https://www.facebook.com/events/999149123537368/

Drone Ensemble at The Occasion Collective, Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle, 29th July 2016

Here's a video of the Drone Ensemble playing at The Occasion Collective, Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle on Friday 29th July 2016




https://youtu.be/h_AfELaE7OY

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Drone Ensemble at UnEARTH

Last night the Drone Ensemble played as part of TOC's UnEARTH event at Alphabetti Theatre.

"UnEarth at Alphabetti Theatre will showcase some of Newcastle's most interesting experimental and electronic musicians. From artists pushing the boundaries of live coding, improvisation and a number of creators building their own instruments, UnEarth is sure to be a highlight of the summer. Expect to experience the power of the acoustic drone and get your grove on to some seriously dancey vibes."

Performers included Mr Blazey, Jamie Cook, Ben Jeans Houghton, The Drone Ensemble, Phil Begg, Shelly Knotts and co¥ᄀpt aka Sean Cotterill.

Mr Blazey kicked off with his Kalimbo Project:

"[This project] is an attempt to apply collage techniques to every level of a musical performance; a thumb-piano ‘collaged’ together from everyday objects (lunch box, cupboard door handles, bike spokes etc.) contains motion and touch sensors which control effects while triggering, layering and juxtaposing fragments of samples and found-sounds through simple gestures. Expect exploratory shifting layers of ambient drones sprinkled with sloppy beats."



Check out the demo here:

mrblazey.tumblr.com

The Drone Ensemble were next up. We began with one of the friction drums, then gradually added another friction drum, followed by another. 

 


Edwin then introduced the large hurdy gurdy and after a while Ben shifted from playing the friction drum to playing the pipe gurdy. Later, I left my friction drum and took over from Edwin on the hurdy gurdy as he moved onto the percussion, shortly followed by Bex. 


Ben moved back to the friction drum for the remainder of the set. Bex and Edwin gradually faded out the percussion, and Edwin joined me on the hurdy gurdy, pressing on the strings to alter the sound produced. We ended the set by gradually fading out the hurdy gurdy.


We were pleased with how the performance was received, and felt it suited being played in such a venue. Unlike some other places where we have played, at the Alphabetti theatre each of the performers could hear the sound of the instrument they were playing. Hopefully the recording (which will go on the Drone Ensemble soundcloud soon) will sound as good.


Ben Jeans Houghton followed our set. creating layered loops with a multitude of instruments and his voice. Awesome!

For more information about Ben's work visit

Thursday, 28 July 2016

MFA Summer exhibition website up and running!

As we head towards the MFA Summer exhibition, check out the MFA Summer exhibition website containing information and images about all the artists involved:

http://fineart.ncl.ac.uk/ma2016/













Anna MacRae
Bex Harvey
Hannah Elizabeth Cooper
Harriet Sutcliffe
Helen Shaddock
James Quin
Jim Lloyd
Liying Zhao
Mehan Fernando
Michael Mulvihill
Mirela Bistran
Yein Son

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

MFA Summer Exhibition 2016 - Media Release



Press release

NEWCASTLE UNIVERSITY MFA SUMMER EXHIBITION

PREVIEW FRIDAY 19TH AUGUST 6 PM


“There are a diverse array of points that link together each of the works with one another. A myriad of different paths can be traced along this matrix. The wayfarer in this exhibition is liberated to walk about, to wander in an exploratory fashion.”

Newcastle University’s Master of Fine Art students will soon take over the Fine Art department, creating a labyrinth of contemporary art for audiences to lose themselves in during the annual MFA Summer Exhibition.

Artist studios will be transformed into a wild array of spaces. Audiences will be able to experience an architectural playground, acocoon of sound, a hybrid zoo and illuminated mountains, as they navigate their way through everything from a working film set to edible sculpture; fantastical beasts to landscape poetry; multidimensional animation to explorations in time and space. Final year student Yein Son says, “the space is changing each moment… we can be creators, producers and curators at the same time.”

Hailing from as far away as New Zealand, Korea, China and USA and as close as Hexham, this diverse group encompasses a diversity of approaches, styles and genres. There is something for everyone: painting, sculpture, drawing, video, sound, animation, performance, light, collage, installation and printmaking. Through such a multiplicity of approaches, the exhibition will feature works that reflect the range of backgrounds the artists come from and explore contemporary issues.

For these emerging artists, the MFA provides an opportunity to extend their practice, as the two-year programme encourages experimentation. As Mehan Fernando, in his first year of the programme, says, “my current work is focused on combining different materials to create hybrids. It will be exciting to see the outcome of my piece once it has gone through an experimentation process.”

The two-year, studio-based MFA programme is designed to enable students to further develop their careers as professional artists. The exhibition combines the work of first year Master’s students, alongside the work of those second year students who will be graduating, and this year will also feature several PhD candidates.

“The two-year course gives these artists the opportunity to explore their practice in depth,” says Head of Fine Art Richard Talbot. “The lead up to the exhibition is a very exciting time and we are looking forward to seeing what the students produce in August.”

“Let yourself anarchically play with space, steps, distance, duration, angle and speed as you manoeuvre the exhibition like the operator of a steadicam. Annotate your movements with the productive force of your imagination, merging and linking the pieces on display in your own idiosyncratic manner.”

The exhibition preview on Friday 19th August begins at 6 pm with performance times being advised closer to the time.


ARTISTS ARE:



Anna MacRae

Bex Harvey

Hannah Elizabeth Cooper


Harriet Sutcliffe

Helen Shaddock

James Quin


Jim Lloyd

Liying Zhao

Mehan Fernando


Michael Mulvihill

Mirela Bistran

Pipi Lovell-Smith


Yein Son



–ENDS–


NOTES FOR EDITORS:


PREVIEW | FRIDAY 19th AUGUST, 6 PM


EXHIBITION RUNS FROM SATURDAY 20th AUGUST- SATURDAY 3rd SEPTEMBER | CLOSED SUNDAYS.


NEWCASTLE UNIVERSITY FINE ART DEPARTMENT.
FREE ADMISSION


The MFA Exhibition will run at the same time as the Creative Arts Practice MA Degree Show, showcasing interactive digital artworks and performance from Culture Lab. Further details on both shows can be provided.


For further information on the MFA exhibition and artists or for a media kit, please contact:


Mirela Bistran


M.Bistran1@newcastle.ac.uk


http://fineart.ncl.ac.uk/ma2016/

The Maze - commissioned text by Willow Lloyd

The Maze

“Our language can be seen as an ancient city”, Wittgenstein wrote, “a maze of little streets and squares, of old and new houses, and of houses with additions from various periods; and this surrounded by a multitude of new boroughs with straight regular streets and uniform houses.”

I find this metaphor, that of an ancient city, the best for approaching this exhibition. This is an exhibition in which one finds no logical center, no essential theme.

But between the works displayed there is what Wittgenstein would have called a ‘family resemblance’.

There are a diverse array of points that link together each of the works with one another. A myriad of different paths can be traced along this matrix. The wayfarer in this exhibition is liberated to walk about, to wander in an exploratory fashion.

The exhibition can thus be thought of like language itself.

Let yourself anarchically play with space, steps, distance, duration, angle and speed as you manoeuvre the exhibition like the operator of a steadicam. Annotate your movements with the productive force of your imagination, merging and linking the pieces on display in your own idiosyncratic manner.

Your journey begins now.


Willow Lloyd,
w.lloyd1992@gmail.com

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Next Drone Ensemble performance - UnEARTH at Alphabetti Theatre on Friday 29th July, 7-11pm

The Drone Ensemble are delighted to have been invited by (The Occasion Collective - TOC) to perform at UnEARTH, an evening of experimental and electronic music at Alphabetti Theatre on Friday 29th July.



"UnEarth will showcase some of Newcastle's most interesting experimental and electronic musicians. From artists pushing the boundaries of live coding, improvisation and a number of creators building their own instruments, UnEarth is sure to be a highlight of the summer. Expect to experience the power of the acoustic drone and get your grove on to some seriously dancey vibes."



For more information please visit

https://www.facebook.com/events/1256973927675640/

We are not yet sure what the setup will be, nor the duration of our set, but as we will have a limited number of drone performers (folk are on holiday) we are thinking of keeping it relatively simple, with a much smaller range of instruments. We met up to prepare the instruments and have a rehearsal. It was sounding great!










Sunday, 17 July 2016

Page designs for forthcoming publication

I'm really enjoying working with Unstapled press to develop the page designs for my forthcoming publication. My intention is for the text to remain the most important part of the publication but for the layout of the text to work with the content of the text. I am using colour and patterns to make the publication more visually appealing and interesting.



Friday, 15 July 2016

The Drone Ensemble at BALTIC - The Playground Project: Children'sPreview

Yesterday the Drone Ensemble participated in The Playground Project: Children's Preview at BALTIC.

The exhibition is really vibrant and exciting, featuring a range of works that embrace, encourage and depend upon interaction. The Lozziwurm, a giant orange snake-like tube with cut out windows, dominates the space. Children (and adults) crawl through it, slide down it and climb on it, much to the enjoyment of the gallery staff. This is an exhibition for those who love to play.




There are drawing machines, swings, a giant sandpit, a craft area, a continually growing and changing sculpture, voice performances and The Drone Ensemble were performing and demonstrating a selection of our instruments.



We had an overwhelmingly positive reception. Kids and adults were full of enthusiasm for what we were doing and it was great to see young and old take pleasure from playing with what we had brought. Children were mesmerised by the quirky sounds that they could control, and parents saw a different side to their children as they were so fully engaged in the instruments that they were no longer apprehensive about leaving their parents side. Children had a new found confidence.



There are loads of events happening throughout the duration of the exhibition so it's well worth checking out the BALTIC website to find out more:

http://balticmill.com/whats-on/the-playground-project

The press have also been very positive about the exhibition. Read some reviews here:

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/whats-on/art-kids-cant-touch-no-11616999

http://www.sprogonthetyne.com/blog/2016/7/14/playground-project-the-baltic


http://www.thecrackmagazine.com/view-editorial/3638

The Playground Project is realised in cooperation with Kunsthalle Zürich Including work by Marjory Allen (Lady Allen of Hurtwood), Joseph Brown, Riccardo Dalisi, Richard Dattner, Aldo van Eyck, M. Paul Friedberg, Michael Grossert, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, Alfred Ledermann, Yvan Pestalozzi, Group Ludic, Egon Møller-Nielsen, Palle Nielsen, Isamu Noguchi, Sreejata Roy, Niki de Saint Phalle, Josef Schagerl, Mitsuru (Man) Senda, Carl Theodor Sørensen, Alfred Trachsel and more."



TRIGGER audio now available online - vimeo, soundcloud and YouTube

Good news for those who are unable to visit Kielder Water and Forest Park to experience TRIGGER, an audio installation by Pipi Lovell-Smith and me.

The TRIGGER audio is now available to listen to online.

You wouldn't get the full experience because you would miss out on the spectacular scenery that is Kielder Water and Forest Park. But at least you could imagine it!

Even if you are able to get to Kielder, it may be worth downloading the audio incase the weather is bad and there has not been enough solar energy to charge the speaker. If that is the unfortunate situation, at least you could listen to it if you had downloaded it.

It is available on soundcloud, YouTube and Vimeo at the following addresses:

https://soundcloud.com/heleninglasgow/trigger-an-audio-installation-at-kielder-water-and-forest-park

https://youtu.be/oV9bAgwORg8

https://vimeo.com/174118618

We hope you enjoy it. Let us know what you think.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

The dreaded error message

Technology has not been playing game of late. A few weeks ago my external harddrive broke. Kaputt! No way of retrieving the data unless I had a spare £400 kicking around to give to a company who could not guarantee they could retrieve anything. Needless to say, I don't have a spare £400!

The name of my external hard drive was MFA2 Brain. The name says it all. It was full of all the work I have done in the past year. Photos, audio, video files, documents, you get the gist.

I have spent the past 2 weeks re-filming and re-editing all the videos, audio and animations. In preparation for my crit on Tuesday, I was finishing synching the photos with the sound in the last of the animations when I was repeatedly bombarded with the following message:



After many attempts, and frequent error messages, I managed to finish the editing and quickly exported the file ready to show at the crit. What a relief!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

A delightful announcement

I am utterly delighted to announce that I have been awarded a Graduate Studio Membership at The NewBridge Project.



"The NewBridge Project has always been committed to supporting recent graduates and early career artists; set up 6 years ago by two Newcastle University Fine Art graduates to create affordable workspace, develop artistic talent, provide professional development and exhibition opportunities and create a supportive network of visual artists."

As a Graduate Studio Member of The NewBridge Project I will have a free studio space for 6 months.



There are also a number of other benefits such as:

– Free access to Practice Makes Practice events

– Members only opportunities, such as residencies, exhibitions, exchanges and field trips

– Opportunities to input and shape the Practice Makes Practice programme

– An artist profile page on the NewBridge Studios website

– Access to the co-workspace in NewBridge Studios

– Access to the woodwork shop and darkroom in NewBridge Studios




As part of the graduate programme, I will have one-to-one meetings with an artist mentor on a monthly basis to offer guidance and advice, with the option of a group discussion afterwards. Workshops are also part of the programme which is something all members will shape together.





I'm looking forward to settling into my new studio and mixing more with the wonderful community that is The NewBridge Project!













Saturday, 9 July 2016

Reviewing design ideas with Unstapled Press

I've been brainstorming some ideas for designs for pages in my publication. I am wanting to use risograph printing, and although I do not want to illustrate the texts, I do want the book to be visual and for the images/design to work with the text. I've been thinking of the tone of the texts, the references to spatial layouts that are often included in the texts, and the list-like order and regularity that many of the texts take.

Here are a few of my initial ideas that I discussed with Unstapled Press when we met earlier today.

















Thursday, 7 July 2016

Testing projecting the spinning video

Having done a bit of editing to the newly filmed footage of me spinning, I wanted to test it out in the studio and assess the light levels, the size of the image and get a sense of where to position the work in the room.

Over the past week Irene and I have been helping each other experiment with the green screen; both in terms of recording the footage and then learning how to edit the footage. Irene needed to increase the size of the green screen, so she bought a new one. This new screen comes with a specialist stand. I was immediately drawn to the stand, and think it could be very useful to enable me to try out projecting onto different materials at different heights.


Initially I set up the projection onto a large piece of table cloth. The material was far too transparent and the surface was not good for the projected image. Although I got the size of the character spinning to be the same size as me, the image looked small because the tablecloth was too narrow. It looked insignificant in comparison to the huge length of green material behind.


I then tried projecting the footage onto a white screen in the centre of the room. I used Irene's stand to hold the material. I think this works well. The screen has a presence and the scale works well in the room. I also like the way that the screen blocks part of the room so that you cannot see everything from the door. This prompts people to enter the room as opposed to staying by the door.

As I want a life sized projection on both sides of the screen, I need the projectors to be as far away from the screen as possible. I have therefore positioned the projectors facing each other in two diagonal corners. Set up in this way, it is possible to project my image life size.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The Drone Ensemble prepare for our adventure to the BALTIC


The Drone Ensemble are delighted to announce that we will be participating in the forthcoming exhibition at BALTIC, The Playground Project.

"Until the 1980s – and in rare cases until today – playgrounds were places for social experiments, risky projects, and spectacular sculptures. Architects, urban planners, artists, parents, and children were invited to leave their comfort zone and to venture something new.


A focal point for ideas about education and childhood, about urban planning and public space, about architecture and art, about creativity and control, the playground has repeatedly resisted institutional and ideological appropriation and grown in its own, sometimes anarchic, ways.

The Playground Project will bring back many exemplary, but now often forgotten playground initiatives, pioneering acts and adventures with a playground in which children (and inner children) can run, hide, climb and imagine. The exhibition includes Marjory Allen (Lady Allen of Hurtwood), Joseph Brown, Riccardo Dalisi, Richard Dattner, Aldo van Eyck, M. Paul Friedberg, Michael Grossert, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, Alfred Ledermann, Yvan Pestalozzi, Group Ludic, Egon Møller-Nielsen, Niki de Saint Phalle, Mitsuru Senda, Colin Ward and others.

The Playground Project is realised in cooperation with Kunsthalle Zürich"

For more information please visit

The Drone Ensemble will be at the Children's Preview on Thursday 14th July. There will be the opportunity to see a range of the handmade instruments being played, and then have a go at playing the instruments yourself!



In preparation, we reviewed our current range of instruments and decided which instruments we will take to BALTIC. Unfortunately, due to certain restrictions, we won't be able to take everything, but we have an impressive range to play with.

Joe showed us a new instrument that he is working on. He also showed us his current store of pipes. It is rather impressive! Watch this space for more instruments involving pipes.





Welcome to my studio (currently a film set!)

Over the past week I have been experimenting with filming in front of a green screen and a black background. This has been in order to be able to project my image against a surface so that it appears as if my image is in the space itself.



It has taken a lot of testing with different lighting conditions, camera settings, materials, and the continual adjusting of the distance between the figure and the background. Thank goodness that the room is big!

At the weekend I managed to shoot some good footage in decent lighting conditions, so now I am ready to commence with editing the animation. 

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Graham Dolphin at NGCA


"Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art (NGCA) present[s] a major survey of works by Graham Dolphin. Encompassing drawing, sculpture, sound and video the exhibition include[s] works drawn from private collections alongside new pieces created specifically for the NGCA. Over the last 15 years Dolphin has developed an extensive body of work exploring issues of fandom and idolatry, often with a meticulous and highly crafted approach to making. A graffiti-strewn door, lyrics carved into a vinyl record, a heavily worn bench carved with messages to a recently departed rock star, Dolphin offers sacred sites for a secular age."


"While Dolphin's sculptures often have the look of something found, they are laboriously constructed using materials such as plaster, tip-ex, biro, felt-tips and graphite pencil. The artist harnesses readily available and cheap materials found in hobby stores and office stationary cupboards. Dolphin elides the materials of the workplace and the home, focusing our attention on issues of labour and time. In new works such as '660 Hits' (2016) Dolphin smashes up an electric guitar, filming the process and then painstakingly re-assembling it."