Rite of Passage…

Friday 19th July 2013 dawned in very much the same way the preceding days had…extremely hot!! The heat though, wasn’t my biggest concern, falling flat on my face before the great and the good at my Graduation Ceremony most definitely was. The saving grace was that we didn’t have to wear mortarboards!  I am pleased to report however, that the ceremony passed off without a hitch – we all appeared to keep our nerves, walk across the stage, shake hands and even smile –  without tripping!! It was lovely to meet up again with some of my cohort and partake in the general congratulatory atmosphere – and to get my hands on that bit of paper that I had worked so hard for over the past three years! It was only when I looked at the certificate that it really sank in just what I had achieved and I finally allowed myself to feel just a tiny bit proud – I hope my parents who came along, as well as Peter, felt the same way!DSC_1079

A huge CONGRATULATIONS to the 2013 graduates and every success in all your future endeavours!!!

I have a feeling that the hard work is only just beginning…

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Partially Disconnected…

Quick update on the Wirksworth Festival!  Despite receiving an e-mail confirming that ‘Connecting Threads’ had been selected as one of the pieces for the Graduate Exhibition at this year’s festival, I find myself in the regrettable position of having to decline the opportunity!!!  Having a prior engagement during the first week of the festival was problematical but the real stumbling block was the installation and securing of the work itself. After discussions with my Creative Mentor (who very kindly said she thought my work was fantastic, having seen it for herself at the Degree Show) we decided that it would just not be feasible time wise or installing wise…

It is a real disappointment as this would have been another opportunity for me to promote the work and to network.  I still might pop up for the final week of the festival just to get a taste of what I will be missing – there looks lots to see and do according to the Wirksworth Festival web-site.  If you get a chance go and have a look..

Wirksworth Festival 2013

Site-specific Inspirations..

Taking a break from wrestling with forms, working out budgets, looking for opportunities etc I came across the work of Andy Cao, Xavier Perrot and the team at Cao Perrot Studios. Not only do the installations look beautiful, possessing an ephemeral quality, I like the site-specific nature of them. I like their choice of materials, the way the light reflects from the crystals and the way the cast shadows add another element to the work.  This piece in Beauvois, France particularly caught my eye.  It is called ‘Red Bowl’ Cao Perrot Red Bowland deals with man’s purification and the shift from sacred to secular. I like the way visitors had to cross the pond echoing that transition.  Cao Perrot Studios White Dome‘White Dome’, a cupola of swarovski crystals creates a rain of light, symbol of the soul’s purification and ascension.

Cao Perrot Studios White Dome DetailTheir web-site is well worth a visit. I also like the look of the Pollen Garden 1 & 2 and Bai Yun (White Cloud)!Bai Yun White CloudOn a more mundane note, I have now officially subscribed to the a-n.co.uk web-site and can now take advantage of their Artists Public Liability Insurance which I need for Cromford and the Charnwood Museum exhibitions – does this make me an artist now??

Confirming Connections…

Travelling along the M1 last Friday afternoon, the traffic was awful and as the weather was warming up, it didn’t make for a pleasant journey…not that is, until we hit the Derbyshire Dales. Covered in a lush patchwork of various shades of green, the Dales were at their magnificent best and the stone built cottages with their colourful hanging baskets and gardens just added to the beauty of the area. The sun was beating down when we arrived at Cromford Mill for my meeting with the events organiser.  Even though it was a Friday afternoon, there was still a number of people enjoying the sunshine, eating the obligatory ice-creams and soaking up the atmosphere and history of the place.

I had arranged the meeting mainly so that I could have another look inside the First Mill, take some measurements/photos and finalise some details. Although the interior resembles a building site, DSC_0948(there is an archaeological dig taking place at one end and the inevitable ongoing conservation work) I still got that buzz of excitement (and terror, I have to admit) that my work was going to be on show in such a fantastic space! Whilst my very supportive husband duly took the said measurements etc. I clarified a few details with the organiser – not least of which were confirming dates and times for the ‘Meet The Artist’ sessions. All in all it was worth the journey up there – although we had a cup of tea, not an ice-cream! Now just have to organise things and complete funding application…

Artistic Labours

Youdhi SwayambhuWhilst trying to sort out the ‘study’ i.e. throwing out old (and when I say old I mean from my 1st and 2nd years at uni) papers along with old info from uni and deleting bits and pieces from the computer, I couldn’t help but have a nosy on a favourite website of mine – mymodernmet – it has some fabulous images of artworks and other inspirational subjects from across the globe. One of my recent favourites is this work by Nepalese artist Youdhi called Swayambhu.  I thought Connecting Threads was laborious to install but this looks on a whole other level – consisting as it does of 9 miles of hand-twisted newspaper rope! The fact that it looks like balls of yarn is what drew me to the piece in the first place as well as the juxtaposition of the ‘yarn’ made out of paper placed in amongst the trees –  well worth a look. Oh well, back to sorting out…

Celebrated Connections…

It was with some trepidation that I logged on to find out my final results. Because I wasn’t expecting them to be posted I didn’t do my usual trick of squinting at the screen; I just pressed the button with my eyes wide open and…there they were!  I am still finding it hard to take in but …I came out with a First!! You have to remember, this is the person who, on receiving her mark for the very first semester back in Part A, cried because they were so terrible – there is a lesson there somewhere about not giving up…I still keep having to read the feedback forms to confirm I didn’t just dream it all up!

I am the first to point out though, that I couldn’t have done it without the advice and encouragement of the technical and academic staff – and my extremely supportive husband!

Wirksworth Festival have also confirmed that they would like me to show my installation in the Graduate Exhibition in September – again, amazing! Have also sent off images, a short and long description of the installation, plus a short bio, to Cromford ready for all the promo material for the Discovery Days Festival in October! Going up to First Mill again on Friday to take some measurements and finalise some more details ready for the installation of Connecting Threads. Don’t laugh, but they would like me to do a couple of Meet the Artist sessions???!!

Am wrestling, yet again, with an application form for Arts Council funding – even rang their help-line yesterday for advice – Gavin was very helpful! However, just because you have finished uni don’t think that means the end of composing statements about what you are doing and why…

Anyway, I would just like to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone who has been successful with their Finals and wish them the best for the future. See you at the Graduation Ceremony!!Popping champagne corks