Tag Archives: Aberystwyth University

Mythscapes in the Watery Realm – Wales-Australia print exchange

Mythscapes invitation

Earlier this year I had some work featured in an international collaborative exhibition between Aberystwyth Printmakers and Brisbane Printmakers in Australia. Organised by Judy Macklin the exhibition, ‘Mythscapes in the Watery Realm’, aimed to ‘explore the significance of river histories, particularly the legacy of catastrophic flood events, for communities. This highlights the often fickle relationship they have with the watery realm that can either sustain or destroy lifeways’ (QCA). It was shown at Aberystywyth University School of Art and the Project Gallery at Brisbane College of Art.

At the time I was asked to make the work I was mainly working digitally with archival film, so it was a good opportunity to reconnect with the physicality of printmaking as well as working within a conceptual framework. It was not long after Aberystwyth seafront had been damaged by severe storms and and flooding. I became interested in peoples’ reaction to the event and in particular, their desire to document it.

The storms and their aftermath seemed to take on a double life, there was your own physical experience of them, the weather and the damage but then there was their growing digital footprint. On social media people were sharing their photos and videos, organisations were sharing information and graphs of the areas where the worst flooding was expected. Your email inbox was full of updates from the university about which student residencies were being evacuated they were even producing and sharing YouTube videos on the measures they were taking to keep their students safe. As images and videos were shared and picked up by news sites it became a feedback loop where you were exposed to the same images again and again.

One story that did catch my attention was a piece showing archival footage of similar storms in the 1930’s, the funny thing was Aberystwyth didn’t look that different. This got me thinking about how the differences and similarities between the experiences of those witnessing the storms back then and ours today. I decided to explore this by combine archival photographs of the storms in the 1930’s with contemporary responses to the 2014 storms sourced from social media.

Below are the 3 prints I showed in the exhibition with my artist statement:

Ben Partridge

My practice explores our complex and often contradictory relationship with technology. I find printmaking, particularly its alliance with both obsolescent and emerging technologies, the perfect vehicle to explore the role of technology in both Utopian and Dystopian views of past, present and future. I am especially interested in examining the role of cultural concepts such as obsolescence and the rhetoric of progress play in our increasingly fragile relationship with the environment.

Following the large scale flooding to the seafront in Aberystwyth and accompanying media coverage caused by storms in early 2014, this body of work explores how our perception of an event is inevitably warped by the lens through which we experience it.

Increasingly the plight of communities affected by flooding and environmental change is experienced in a digital space. The physical event often echoed by a second, digital, flood of information, as articles, images, opinions and hyperbole are distributed, shared and retweeted globally. Do these insights, popping up on newsfeeds between adverts and cat photos, make us more environmentally conscientious global citizens, or, do they desensitise us, forming just another part of the accumulated visual detritus of the internet

Combining nineteenth and twentieth century archival images of Aberystwyth with contemporary responses to the storms sourced from social media this work aims to highlight to tenuous link between image and meaning and how this can be warped through appropriation and decontextualisation.

I was really thrilled to be featured alongside so many talented printmakers in a international exhibition and it is well worth looking at the other artists’ work in the Catalogue.

More images of the show can be found on Aberystwyth Printmakers’ Website .

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , ,

Print Books

Here are three printed books that I have submitted to Print International 2013. The material was drawn from a range of sources, found photographs, old films and a bit of Super 8 footage thrown in for good measure.

Ceasar's awakening

‘Ceasar’s awakening’ is a 2 sided 4 colour screenprint concertina book. One one side it shows the iconic moment from the film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920) in which Caesar, a somnambulist, is awakened to the amazement of the crowd. This is offset by footage of WWI soldiers going ‘over the top’ on the reverse. While both are considered iconic imagery I believe they share more than this; an almost symbiotic relationship intertwined by the various histories of photography and film.

Incoming

‘Incoming’ is a screenprint flickbook, recreating footage of a WWI pilot running from a diving aeroplane.

Bildungsroman

Bildungsroman‘ is a concertina book with monoprint and photocopy transfer. The photograph of the cheeky chapy on the cover came from a glass plate negative I bought in a Berlin market. The drawing inside grows on each page like the frames of an animation. Bildungsroman is a German term for a coming of age novel in which the protagonist undergoes the psychological growth associated with the transition between adolescence and adulthood.

Our obsession with creating the illusion of movement far pre-dates film itself, film merely facilitated it in the way that zoetropes, flickbooks and shadow puppets have done and digital methods like cinemagraphs do now. Presenting imagery derived from film in a book is a way of placing it back into a sequential viewing mode, maintain this illusion, however, with the power to govern the pace of the imagery and even stop the flow now in the viewers hands.

The way in which we can disseminate imagery digitally is uber convenient but it risks divorcing us from some qualities of work, it’s that tactile and intimate quality that books have in shed-loads. After seeing some great examples (by the likes of We Make Books and others) when we (me, Elysia, Corinthia and Chole) were skiving off from our stall at the alternative press fair over the summer I was keen to make my own. It was a workshop with printmaker Wuon Gean Ho that gave me the confidence to try.

Bookmaking workshop with Wuon Gean Ho at Aberystwyth Universty School of Art

Bookmaking workshop with Wuon Gean Ho at Aberystwyth Universty School of Art

Currently exhibiting with us at the School of Art, Aberystwyth her exhibition Beyond the Moon is a enticing and eclectic mix of prints, animations and artist books, not to mention a spectacular sound installation by Andrew Mcpherson that I hope to cover in more depth in a later post. If you can’t get to Aberystwyth before it comes down on Friday you can see some photos and a video of the exhibition on her blog, as well as some pictures of us hanging it, seriously, you need to see the size of some of these prints! Incidentally, one of my first posts on here was in response to Wuon Gean’s work, little did I know in a years time I’d be helping her hang a pretty amazing exhibition!

Hanging Beyond the Moon

Hanging Beyond the Moon

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Performance Photography

A little while ago I was asked to collaborate with a number of MA Performance Studies students on their final projects. It was great to be part of the culmination of their hard work and really made me consider my own position going into my final year with exhibitions on the horizon. Each was stunning, engage and unique, here are some of the results.

 De Keersmaeker’s Apprentice: FootstepsRuth Hayward

photograph of Ruth Hayward's performance 'Footsteps' by Ben Partridge
Alongside the photos Ruth and I created a stopmotion animation that formed part of her performance, which I’ll try to upload soon.

EditedSean Payne

KleinLeapIntoVoid

Taking Yves Klein iconic photograph of the same name (above) as it’s starting point, Leap into the Void sought to explore the way documentation can be exploited to instill a narrative with a sense of authenticity. The shoot was an eventful one, culminating in a telling off from the head of campus security (who just so happened to be an ex-paratrooper).

Photograph of Sean Payne's Performance 'Leap into a Void' by Ben Partridge

The performance began with the audience being brought outside to watch the Sean and I recreate the photograph. This involved taking two photographs  from exactly the same spot (see below), the first with Sean jumping onto a crash mat and the second with the crash mat removed, the images were then combined on photoshop. Incidentally, Klein didn’t use a crash mat when creating his image but had a group of (trusted!) judo friends to catch him.

Photograph of Sean Payne's Performance 'Leap into a Void' by Ben Partridge

Photograph of Sean Payne's Performance 'Leap into a Void' by Ben Partridge

Long OddsHannah Lester

Long Odds was a performance almost completely dictated by chance, the lighting, music, actions and duration was all decided upon by the roll of a die, flip of a coin or an audience member at random. This performance really took me out of my comfort zone, not from a photography point of view but because Hannah also asked me to play guitar in it, something I had never done in front of an audience before!

Photograph of Hannah Lester's Performance 'Long Odds' by Ben Partridge
While I didn’t work with them on this occasion, two other performances that really blew me away were Christina Scarillo’s (below) and Chris Stacey’s ‘Eternal soundtrack of the spotless mind’.

photograph of Cristina Sciarrillo - Ben Partridge

More images in the gallery below and on my Performance Photography page, Copyright Ben Partridge 2012
ex. Yves Klein ‘leap into a Void’, duh.

Tagged , , , , ,

Aberystywth Paper Press Print – Collaborative Portfolio

Earlier in the year I was really chuffed to be asked to contribute to a collaborative portfolio project organized by our head of printmaking Paul Croft. Over a year in the making, this mammoth undertaking has seen Paul coordinate 30 printmakers, ranging from staff, students and professional visiting artists all with a connection to Aberystwyth University School of Art. Each contributor submits an edition of 35 prints; 30 of the resulting portfolios go back to the artists and the remaining  5 to to various collections around the country.

The portfolio really demonstrates the variety and versatility of modern printmaking; techniques range from traditional intaglio, relief and lithography to digital and photographic process. Some of the most exciting printmakers working in Britain have contributed work including Wuon-Gean Ho, Marcelle Hanselaar, Anne Desmet and Edwina Ellis the entire portfolio will be exhibited in March as part of Impress 2013 a biennial printmaking festival held in Stroud and while I’m thrilled to be involved having my work exhibited alongside theirs is a nervous prospect!

Here is a small selection of some of the prints from the portfolio, more information and images of all the prints in the portfolio can be found on Paul’s website.

All images copywrite of the Artists, thanks to Paul for his time and effort in bring such a huge project together.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Straight 8 2012

What seems like a very long time ago now I spent some seriously long nights in the School of Art shooting a short Super 8 film for Straight 8 2012. Just found out it’s going to be featured in the soho short film festival at ICA.

It’s being shown at the 6.30 screening at the Straight 8 event on the 18th, details can be found here

Super 8 short film still

Straight 8 is a film competition that requires you to shoot a single reel of Super 8 film with no retakes or post production editing, you submit the film undeveloped (and unseen!) for judging. Its such a ridiculously restrictive way to try make a film it borders on genius; the resulting films have a rough around the edges feel that emphasizes the raw creativity behind them.

My film ‘Where’s Ruth?’ incorporates stop motion and live action and is shot in Aberystwyth School of Art. I work there during the day so as a result I do most of my own work at night. I think the long winter nights spent in such a amazing looking (and kinda creepy!) building took there toll and the film explores what happens when it closes for the night.

Super 8 short film still

As I haven’t even seen the film yet I can’t post a link but here’s some very early test footage of me getting to grips with stop motion.

—-

Massive thanks to Ruth Hayward for staying til stupid o’clock every night after a full days MA rehearsals, Rowena Jordan for easel moving, pictures taking and general moral support and finally Ian Nicolson for being willing to take his clothes off for free with a hours notice, that’s right nudity, now you want to see it!

(images C of Rowena Jordan, p.s. amazing Illustrator, check her out!)

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Print Swap

So the grad show has been and gone and I’ve got that worrying feeling in the pit of my stomach that means I’ve got to try plan the next 3 months of my life, luckily, this isn’t one of those blogs so instead of moaning, here’s some prints…

Just taken part in a print-swap with some of the 3rd years, for some reason having to trek a stack of your own work home after uni seems like a massive chore, however having a nice stash of other peoples doesn’t seem so bad!

Here they are with links to the artists (not students anymore!).

Sam Cuddy - 'Cosmopolis'

Sam Cuddy – ‘Cosmopolis’ – Etching

Corinthia Ward - 'Kiss'

Corinthia Ward – ‘Kiss’ – Screen Print

Elysia Wormesely - [untitled]

Elysia Womersley – [untitled] – Dry Point

Spencer Beale - [untitled]

Spencer Beale – [untitled] – Etching

Corrina Williams - Liam IICorrina Williams - Liam III

Corrina Williams – ‘Liam II’, ‘Liam IV’ – Etching

Hollie Smith - [untitled]

Hollie Smith – [untitled] – etching with aquatint

Leah Adams

Leah Adams – [untitled] – colograph

Jenny Wright - untitled

Jenny Wright – [untitled] – drypoint

All images copyright of the artists, You know the drill.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Sneaky peek – 3rd year and Postgraduate exhibtion

SOA Aberystwyth Grad show 2012 poster

Here are a few photos I managed to take while hanging our degree show and Postgraduate exhibition (a great idea I totally pinched with permission off printmaker Corinthia Ward). It’s just a sneaky peek at some of the work that will be on show.

The private view is this Saturday (19th) 3 -6 (see poster for deatails), it promises to be a really varied and exciting exhibition, boasting painting, photography, printmaking, illustration, installation and a giant floating paper castle…

SOA Aberystwyth Grad show 2012

Mystery Sculpture!

SOA Aberystwyth Grad show 2012

Admiring Amy’s triple triptychs

SOA Aberystwyth Grad show 2012

Corrina Williams trying to look busy, next to a (upside down) painting by Polina Kalentsits.

SOA Aberystwyth Grad show 2012

Photographer Laura Nichols, hopefully not stepping on anything too important.

SOA Aberystwyth Grad show 2012 III

Jenny Wright’s, one of the big ones!

And finally what happens when you leave your camera unattended around 3rd years…

Tagged , , , ,

Stop Motion Workshop

Here are two videos of a stop motion workshop for undergraduates I held on Monday. It was seriously fun to do, which was mainly down to the awesome group of  students that came along, so muchos thanks to them!

The videos are a combination of a time lapse I set up to record the whole session followed by the animation the students created. It was really interesting to see the different ways they approached the exercise and how their different drawing styles combine to make a really eclectic animation. Also made me realize that my mum was right, I really need to stop slouching!

Both videos are identical except for the soundtracks, can’t decide which one I like best…

Cheesy funk?

or chilled out folk?

Any Ideas?

Tagged , , , , , , ,
Advertisements