Tuesday, 5 August 2014

working in schools - the effect after I have gone.....

I love working in schools, especially with older pupils. I get to teach techniques of paper cutting along with a whole load of other things as well - ways of thinking, being creative with cut paper and how to generate ideas for a whole range of sources. Often teachers tell me that the students have really flown with their work after I have gone, and that's just a wonderful feeling.

The one day workshops aren't something that just happens and then stops - the influence of the day spreads on.

Sometimes too I get contacted by students I have worked with too. Ethan is a pupil at a school. I very much enjoyed working with him and the others on the one day course I ran at the school, anmd was so impressed with what he made on the day. he has gone onto develop some gorgeous pieces of work and he has very kindly given me permission to feature them on this blog. I feel very lucky to be able to show you.

Have a look at his pieces below -  I think they are fantastic! and have a read of Ethan's own words......

My name is Ethan, I'm 17, and I attend Stratton Upper School as a year 12 student. I study Art Graphics, Fashion Textiles, English Literature and Psychology. I intend to pursue a career in fashion design.

The Art Department at my school run a Creative Arts Weekend annually, and Vanessa came to do a papercutting workshop with us. I had never used the technique before, but it has greatly influenced me know my coursework and exam work for my Art Graphics AS. I have used paper cutting in my portrait work, as well as my exam piece.

I like the black line technique to create clear text and bold illustrative lines. I also like the application of coloured paper panels to the black frame, it really brings the black papercut to life. My exam piece is a series of papercut stained glass windows, each with a different framework and figure depiction. I have made one already for my AS exam.

©Ethan Kaiser

©Ethan Kaiser

©Ethan Kaiser

©Ethan Kaiser

©Ethan Kaiser

©Ethan Kaiser

Monday, 4 August 2014

Sticky vinyl comes to Galliard School in Enfield!

At the beginning of July I had a wonderful afternoon and early evening at Galliard School in Enfield. I was there to deliver two types of workshops - one for Gifted and talented children picked from every year 3 - 6, and then a second workshop that was a drop in session for parents and children to come and make art and learnt together. Both were using sticky backed plastic. The first one was for the children to make a townscape. They had been working on the themes of European cities, so I thought to make an imagines townscape based on what they had looked at and seen would be ideal. The workshop was part of a whole school art event where all walls and display areas were filled with art made across the school. Its a big school and so utterly wonderful to see so much good and broad ranging art.

 I prepped up covered MDF boards in simple areas of coloured vinyl to vaguely depict sky, water, town, park etc. The children then had the freedom to cut the shapes they wanted to directly from the sticky vinyl. I didn't direct them much at all. There was a distinct gender bias - the boys naturally worked together and produced images of rockets and robots and things with wings! whilst the girls made images like butterflies, ladybirds and birds. All the children got absorbed into what they were making and found cutting the plastic very easy as they had had stickers from an early age. I loved the results!

Here is what they produced for sessions. The feedback was that the students loved doing it, were wholly engaged and the staff were very pleased with the results, especially with the engagement of everyone and that the murals can be used outside, so had long term effect too.

It was a fab day and wonderful children and school.

Another exciting bit of news! - another solo show in 2015!

And I have another exciting bit of news too - another solo show in 2015. I will be exhibiting in the Long Gallery at Alfred East Art Gallery at Kettering Museum. The exhibition will run from the end of August until the end of September and will focussed wholly on works based on nature and the English countryside. I will be making pieces inspired by the surrounding countryside of Kettering and the Midlands, along with pieces based on the land that's just on my door step.

Kettering Museum and Art Gallery has a wonderful collection. I went in 2012 by chance and was so taken with the show that was on. It was a tucked away little gem. I am very pleased to have the chance to exhibit there and make pieces based on the land a bit further from home.

So 2015 looks to be a busy and very exciting year!

VERY exciting news - solo exhibition 2015

I have some very exciting news 
.....well actually two bits of exciting news!

  I will be having a solo exhibition at Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum in 2015, running from mid February until early July. It's so exciting. To be exhibiting pieces in the town I grew up in and to be able to make pieces all about the place and the Wiltshire country childhood I had, is a real privileged. I will be making pieces that feature key buildings in the town, places like the Cathedral and the Poultry Cross, as well as views across the market square and down Ox Row, all places that are so familiar to me, they are full of memories as a child and as an adolescent. I will also be making pieces based on the Wiltshire countryside, the rolling fields of the plain and simple places that have a great deal of meaning for me, the church where my mother is buried and fathers ashes are scattered. These three pieces below give you a small glimpse at the type of work  will be making. Its liberating to think the work that is essentially me will be on show.  

Friday, 1 August 2014

Greeting August - amazing light!

I took these pics yesterday morning, so strictly not on the first day of August! but anyhow, the light was so gorgeous and fresh and the start of the day, I couldn't resist posting them! I absolutely love the crispness of the shadows. We had grapes from these vines last year, so clearly a great wall for them. I think I will have to do a drawing from them, those lines and shapes are too good to let go!

Cambridge Edition magazine - another front cover featuring my work!

The magazine Cambridge Edition have featured my work again - this time on the front cover of August's magazine! I am so pleased to see it. I love the thought of my work reaching a wide audience, and its fab to see one of the more wordy ones featured. You can read an on-line version of the magazine if you click HERE.