Tag Archives: Aberystwyth

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 .

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Sector 17 – photography and concept art

SECTOR 17_002

William Winston in Sector 17

I know how William’s feeling here, it’s been a busy few weeks in Aberystwyth, as well as my final show going up I was thrilled to be approached by 2Grand Productions to do some graphic design and photography work for their first ever show, Sector 17. Here’s what happened:

Sector 17 is a musical set in a post apocalyptic Britain of the future, ravaged by war and struggling under a crushing authoritarian regime, headed up my the sinister, (but strangely charismatic) Mac (Matthew Duckett):

Mac played by Mathew Duckett

Mac played by Mathew Duckett

Personally, I think it’s the pipe and smoking jacket that does it.

The story follows William Winston (a nod to Orwell’s 1984 maybe?) (Gareth Tilley) whose research into potential life outside the Sector has made him a target not only for Mac’s authoritarian regime but the elusive underground group The Rebellion.  Headed up by Darcourt (Myles Mccmorrow) and aided by the hot headed Georgia (Harriet Taylor) the rebellion are looking to topple Mac’s rule for good.

William played by Gareth Tilley

William played by Gareth Tilley

Darcourt played by Myles Mcmorrow

Darcourt played by Myles Mcmorrow

Georgia played by Harriet Taylor

Georgia played by Harriet Taylor

Caught between Mac and Darcourt and with time running out, William must ask himself, is this really the life he was searching for?

With elements of George Orwell’s 1984, Terry Gilliam’s BrazilFritz Lang’s Metropolis and Fallout 3, I didn’t know how such dark subject mater would lend itself to a musical. However, with songs ranging from epic Enter Shikari-esque ballads to 50’s rock and roll, the music worked brilliantly.

Here are some photos of my favourite number, in which Georgia has been taken to the dreaded Block B, the inmates an estranged mix between harpies and rag dolls and watched over by sinister harlequin-mask clad guards. The macabre carnival style music, reminiscent of the The Strangler’s was offset perfectly with the choreography of Hannah Lester.

SECTOR 17_081

SECTOR 17_082

For the Posters I decided to go with a Russian Constructivist style, Soviet lettering alongside block shapes and colours. In the launch event poster we wanted to get a sense of the turmoil within Sector 17 without giving too much of the story away. The main poster is my take on Rodchenko’s classic, I felt the idea of the human voice as a means of protest gelled well with the story and its format as a musical.

Teaser poster for the ticket launch event of Sector 17

Teaser poster for the ticket launch event of Sector 17

Sector 17 Poster

Sector 17 Poster

Russian Constructivist poster by Rodchenko
The whole cast was really strong, check them out in the full range of photo’s from the show on the Performance Photography section of my blog:

SECTOR 17_100

Sector 17 was staged at the Arad Goch theatre in Aberystwyth.
Original Concept, Music and Lyrics by Sam Barnes and Jack Gayler
For more music from Sam Barnes, please visit www.soundcloud.com/sambarnes7
Book by Sam Barnes, Hannah McCombie and Jack Gayler
Directed by Adam Lacey

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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.

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Aberystwyth Printmakers Summer show – Sneaky Peek

Some photo’s from the hanging of our summer show at Mid Wales Arts Centre, Caersws.

Aber print show maesmawr 2

Submissions were high, between us we managed to hang 105 prints by over 20 artists in 2 days!

Aber print show maesmawr 3

Some of Stuart Evan’s colourful relief prints in prime position.

Aberystwyth Print Show Maesmawr 4

Gini Wade next to some of lithographs by Paul Croft.

The private view is this Sunday (27th) 3-5pm, it’s a stunning gallery with amazing grounds just 2 minutes form Caersws station, in other words a pretty sweet way to spend a sunday afternoon!

The Exhibition runs til July 1st, Midwales Arts Centre is open 11-4 thrusday-  sunday.

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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…

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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?

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Student International Small Print Show Egypt

I’ve been selected as a featured artist for this snappily-titled student exhibition in Egypt. It’s a 12 month show held in conjunction with the international art conference at El Minia university.

Two of my prints have been included; ‘Alyssa’ and ‘13.01’, both are examples of experimental photo-etching techniques I’ve been exploring.

Alyssa -Photoetching- 2012. Ben Partrige Small International print show

Alyssa – Photo-etching – 2012

13.01- Photo Etching – 2011
Hats off to Wael A.Sabour for making such a huge project a reality, assistant professor at El Minia he’s an interesting artist in his own right.
I am really chuffed to be included in the show, which features 90 students from 17 countries (I think I’m the only one from the UK; representing!) especially as the quality of the work is so high, here are some of my personal faves…
Angela Duclos – Untitled- 4.5×5.5in -collage-based digital print – 2012- Canada
Jill Ho-You -Pressure- 6.25×7.25 – etching & digital -2011- Canada
Capucine Gros -ctrlZ4- 8×12- Monotype -2012 – France
Gregory Cook – Tight Fade -6×9-Photopolymer ,Gravure ,Monoprint ,Intaglio ,Serigraphy -2011- USA
Only a tiny selection of what’s on show, for the rest and photos of the exhibition itself check out the website.
-all image copyright of the artists-
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The Lives of Others

A few photos of my recent show ‘The Lives of Others’ in Treehouse Aberystwyth,  March – April 2012.

Most of the Prints were shown as part of my Graduation show but also I had the chance to include some small work I had not exhibited before.

The Treehouse is a fantastic organic food shop and restaurant in Aberystwyth, they also do a locally sourced fruit and veg boxes and amazing veggie burgers!

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Aberystywth Printmakers’ Summer Exhibition

The poster pretty much says it all, should be a great exhibition a really varied group of artists, hopefully featuring a few students from the school of art as well.

My first exhibition with Aberystwyth Printmakers, I’m submitting three prints old and new, dusting off some of my 3rd year work (again) but also a photo-lithograph completed last week.

7.15 – soft ground etching – 2011

13.01 – Softground Etching – 2011

[Untitled] – Photo-Lithograph – 2012

There will also be a series of printmaking workshop taking place throughout the duration of the exhibition, I will keep you posted with details…

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