The critical base here is a concern for the particular forms of creativity and engagement associated with, and specific to, materials and processes. It is set against the background of the availability of new technologies and methods, and also of a critical and historical understanding of traditions and orthodoxies within disciplines.
Questions about material and process act as departure points for research relating to content, intention and form; the relationship of practice to 'tradition', 'craft' and the notion of discreet 'disciplines'; issues of collaboration with other artists or with technical specialists/manufacturers and reliance on the expertise of others; the impact of new knowledge and technologies on practice and the relationship of theory and history to practice. For further information about the projects listed below see Recent Projects
Recent projects include Michael Brick's collaboration with the Cambridge Print Workshop focusing on the apparently paradoxical concept of an editioned monoprint - each print slightly different from its predecessor. The project resulted in a new kind of printed surface, constituting an important refinement in printmaking process. The concept was a response to ideas promulgated by the poet Fernando Pessoa privileging the uniqueness of objects over any overriding meta-theory of relationships between objects in the world. For more images on these works see: http://www.theprintstudio.co.uk
Parallels between process and intention are also explored by Chris Jones who gathers material from demolition sites in Japan to explore ideas about the process of erasure.
For Alan Turnbull, the theme Poet in Exile is a central concern, particularly in relation to the Russian writers Nabokov (fled Russia 1915), Mandelstam (died in a transit camp, Vladivostok 1938) and Tsvetaeva (committed suicide, Moscow 1941). This interest informs a collaborative project with the School of English, Poetry, Translation & the Creative Mind. His digital work Postcards from Finnegans Wake develops visual images from another exiled writer, whilst his on-line exhibition Virtual Nabokov, is a collaboration with Jeff Edwards of Pennsylvania State University.
Uta Kogelsberger’s photographic essays compare the architecture of defence and ‘paradise'. Her project Dark Light ( large photographic works) uses long exposures and theatrical effects to raise questions about the subjective nature of perception.
In ceramic sculpture, we are delighted to have made three new appointments this year, funded from the Norma Lipman Bequest for Ceramic Sculpture: Gabrielle Wambaugh, Katie Cuddon and Jayne Wallace. Cath Keay is carrying out doctoral research in this area. Both Brigitte Jurack and Andrew Burton also work with clay.
Integrating porcelain with digital media, and working in Culture Lab, Jayne Wallace creates jewellery objects which explore the potential for art to address problems her science-based colleagues have grappled with in establishing emotionally rich interactions between people and digital objects.
Other important collaborative research carried out with scientists includes projects that contribute to environmental debates. Brigitte Jurack explores how data relating to fluvial landscapes can bevisualised as sculpture.
Lise Autogena locates the world’s ‘bluest sky’ and 'represents' it in the gallery. Such projects deploy processes ranging from data-streaming, multi-screen multi-format projections, stereo-lithographic rendering to hand-modelling. In each of these projects the scientific community publicly noted the significance of the collaboration.
Projects exploring collaboration through social engagement include Vee Pollock, Richard Talbot, Wolfgang Weileder and Andrew Burton engaging participants ranging from community groups in Glasgow, trainee bricklayers, wartime aircrew to bamboo breakers in India, contributing to discourses on the nature of authorship, the perception of public spaces and relationships between art, craft and architecture.
Andrew Burton’s work with artisans in India probed the boundaries of craft and sculpture and explored whether there is the potential for new creativity as traditional craft processes are challenged within india’s new socioeconomic situation.
Richard Talbot’s studio and historical investigations into drawing systems propose new relationships between nature, content and space through speculative drawings.