Shapes of an Art School is a workshop which was devised and led by MLitt Curatorial Practice (Contemporary Art) student Emma Campbell. Emma has been undertaking a work placement with GSA Exhibitions where she has been exploring ways in which exhibitions can engage with audiences in fresh and interesting ways, particularly through events and workshops.
The workshop which was designed as a response to Grizedale Arts’ exhibition The Politics of Craft: After Ford 151. In addition to exploring the historical and contemporary notions of craft, Grizedale Arts presented an exhibition which explored the idea of activating objects within the gallery space. The inclusion of the Grizedale Honest Shop at GSA encouraged the participation of the local art school community who were asked to contribute handmade, functional objects to sell in aid of Dementia Dogs. This invitation became the premise for Shapes of an Art School, inspiring me to invite people to create objects for a purpose in an interesting and fresh environment.
The first workshop participants had the opportunity to experiment with texture, scale and function to create a series of small clay objects. A variety of techniques were demonstrated, teaching attendants how to fabricate and decorate clay through markings and the exploration of repetition. Laser-cut stencils, inspired by visuals from throughout The Glasgow School of Art, were designed specifically for the project. The clay objects produced in the first workshop acted as a canvas for the participants on the second workshop who decorated and painted them, ready for selling in Grizedale. A palette of ochre, brown and turquoise was used to create unique and functional objects. Sophia Platts-Palmer used an object as a canvas for one of her abstract illustrations (featured) while others opted for pattern based decoration.
The workshop provided a chance for participants to learn new skills in an inspiring and unusual working environment. By using the gallery as the location for the workshop, participants were excited to respond directly to the themes of the exhibition, including functionality and collaboration. In addition, it allowed visitors to the space a chance to witness activities which would normally be confined to studios and so became an interesting platform for discussion about the art school community.
See Emma’s jewellery work online here.
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