LIFE BOAT is a residency and career opportunity for 2013 BA Fine Art Graduates (working in any medium) from University of the Arts London. Four graduates have been selected to share an ACAVA studio space for a year (funded by ArtsTemps) and given access to a tailored career development programme
Liam Magee has recently graduated from his BA in Photography at Camberwell College of Arts. His practice is multi-faceted; while being informed by and using a mainly photographic practice, due to the studio based element of his program of study, it has meant his fine art practice has branched out into a number of mediums which aim to represent performative gestures which have taken place.
His current practice explores the economy and flux like nature of the object combined with the temporal nature of the photographic medium. Through exploiting sale and return policies his work confronts the commodities we use and overlook as ‘aura-less’ objects. Photography, film, sculpture and installation is used to re-invigorate and re-animate these objects. This intends to open discussion of the place these objects hold in our lives. The work often results in ephemeral works. This is then reliant on photography for ‘documentation’, or the exhibition space is used as a ‘frame’ both physically and theoretically.
During her time on the BA Drawing Course at Camberwell College Brigitte Mierau mainly explored storytelling in textile and stitch. Her starting points were small, insignificant sketches or scribbled notes, to-do lists or graffiti, which she translated – complete with all their mistakes – into large laboriously stitched pieces. Their stories capture intimate, autobiographical, yet also universal and common snapshots.
Her time on the LIFE BOAT residency is running alongside an artist project at the SHM Foundation. The Foundation is interested in conflict resolution and is supporting her to develop an artist game based on social inequality/division and how to create empathy.
Rebecca Moss stages interactions between devised 'human' systems and coastal environments, distilling romantic cliches for emotional and political potential. These poetic situations manifest across diverse forms of media, from film to drawing, and are suggestive of a King Canute-like wish to control the uncontrollable: imposed human time against tidal rhythms. In June 2013, she completed her BA at Camberwell College of Arts, where shortly after she received a Judges' Discretionary Award for the Woon Art Prize (BALTIC and Northumbria University). She then went on to receive a Leverhulme Scholarship to undertake a summer residency at Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge on the theme of 'Hidden Systems and Structures'. Her work often stems from her personal experiences of growing up in Essex next to the River Crouch. She now lives and works in London.
Joe Twinn is a graduate from Central Saint Martins. His use of medium varies but is mainly concerned with film, installation and painting. Typically seen are low budget films utilising D.I.Y special effects and large scale collage paintings. Twinn’s work is abject yet humorous and explores themes of tragedy and trauma using the artistic process to undermine it. Joe has also been involved in a number of educational programs, he has worked at and with CSM, Lambeth College, Cubitt Gallery, has also founded and co-organised a series of workshops at Pushkin House in partnership with local colleges and has most recently taught at Las Encinas in Seville, Andalucia.
LIFE BOAT 2012
LIFE BOAT 2012 was awarded to Henk Gieskens, Isabelle Gressel, Conall McAteer and Michael McManus. During the course of the residency you will be able to find out about their experiences starting their careers in a series of articles and interviews.
You can read Henk Gieskens first contribution about how he balances his time against the financial demands of working as an artist in his article Money=Time. In an interview with Artquest, Conall McAteer talks through different strands of his practice and how they relate. To help sustain his practice, painter Michael McManus works as an artist's assistant. In this article he shares valuable experience on how he found employment and how it has helped his own work. Isabelle Gressel talks about how her working rythm changed after college in her article.
Conall McAteer's practice is formally diverse, often engaging in site-based work outside of the gallery space and ranging through sculpture, publication, installation and intervention. Much of his work is inherently collaborative, reflected in its display, the comment it makes or its interactivity, engaging an audience with a new take on familiar and less-well considered aspects of everyday experience and culture. His degree show work Crate has been shortlisted for the Lowe and Partners NOVA Art Prize. He is currently working on a commission for an intervention and publication project for Thames View Estate in Barking and Dagenham entitled QandA. McAteer was also awarded the Clyde and Co Blank Canvas Commission for 2012. Open to all graduating BA Fine Art students across University of the Arts London, his proposal for Not For Love Nor Money was commissioned and installed in August 2012.
Henk Gieskens recently finished his BA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins. Dutch by birth, Gieskens has lived in the UK since 2012, and has exhibited work in London and Rotterdam. His painting, concerned with social grids, explores the boundaries between painting and sculpture to investigate materiality, form, colour, and composition: the paintings are an investigation into materials and process. For two years, Gieskens experimented with resin and wax to develop his own oil paint, which is poured in several layers onto steel, aluminum and glass surfaces, left to dry and then allowed to peel. The highly controlled process of creating paint contradicts the unmanageable process of allowing gravity to dictate its form. Grids are brushed into the steel surface, creating a physical contrast between skins of paint, surface and geometric compositions that originates in architectural spaces. The 'drape' of paint is a stark juxtaposition against the precise matrix of squares that mimic the grids that make up architecture and city streets.
Due to her project-based collaborative practice Isabelle Gressel works in a variety of media including performance, video, photography and installation. In her projects, she aims to create a context parallel to everyday life in which our day to day interactions are explored through experimentation and humour. Working with strategies like tactility and narrative, the viewer/participator is able to become engaged with the work, aiming to shift perceptions of themselves, others and their environment. Gressel has shown work in London and Sweden, graduating from Central St Martins and Chelsea with a BA in Fine Art in June 2012. A French/Austrian national, Gressel lives and work in London.
Michael McManus lives and works in London. He creates paintings that explore the landscape as a stage, a space that displays traces of abandonment and can be seen to possess a consciousness. In constructing his images, McManus combines gestural marks and glazes with meticulously layered forms. In 2008 he completed a Foundation Course at Byam Shaw before his BA in Fine Art Painting at Wimbledon College of Art. During this period he exhibited in a number of group shows, most notably Seven Acres and 10 out of 10. In 2011 McManus was awarded the Prunella Clough Painting prize and has been shortlisted for commercial projects.