Thirty-one

i. We spent Wednesday morning with artist and curator Dan Howard-Birt provisionally curating our interim display with MA Book Arts students. It was interesting to find links between, and discuss the curation of, a whole load of quite disparate work. Dan guided us through the process and I think the display will look smart. However I can't help feeling that my work doesn't quite look at home - it is the only figurative piece in the show. Does it stand out or not fit in?

ii. I went to visit the Royal College of Art 2018 Show. I thought the printmaking exhibition was impressive (the painting show was underwhelming). A lot of the printmaking work was ambitious and bold especially in its scale and display. I was particularly impressed by the work of Shinyoung Park and Alice Irwin. I aim to be braver and more adventurous with my work heading into my second year and next year's final show.

Shinyoung Park,  You Cannot Know the Mind of Horses,  2018

Shinyoung Park, You Cannot Know the Mind of Horses, 2018

Alice Irwin,  Game of Knowledge

Alice Irwin, Game of Knowledge

iii. It's been a productive week: curating the interim display, planning the next few weeks, reading and sending emails and letters to Chantal Joffe and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye for the research paper etc. I remember Jo telling us at the beginning of the year that during the MA there would be times of inactivity but I can't help getting frustrated with my recent lack of making. Next week I'm heading back to the South West to make drawings in the pub and I can't wait. I'm out of practice and feel disconnected from the work. Bring on the summer!

iv. I also finished my etching course at the Royal Drawing School. I may not have made any resolved or impressive works but I have learned lots of little skills (including multi-plate printing, sugar lift, better ways to use colour and a new way of using chin-collé). I've really enjoyed it and hope that these skills might later appear in my own work or teaching.

v. Although I am excited about making new work, I need to consider the contemporary context of, and my rationale for, my work about the pub. Group scenes automatically suggest a narrative and although it's documentary I'm not making reportage illustrations nor do I have a particular point to make. I've been looking at artworks such as Michael Andrew's Colony Room paintings, Leon Kossoff's monumental swimming pools, Chantal Joffe's fashion week studies as well as younger contemporary painters.

Ben Clarke,  Irish Builder Drinking a Pint of Guinness

Ben Clarke, Irish Builder Drinking a Pint of Guinness

Alice Macdonald,  The George Inn

Alice Macdonald, The George Inn

Dale Lewis,  East Street,  2016

Dale Lewis, East Street, 2016

 
Rebecca Harper,  Tinder Date at The Royal Academy,  2014

Rebecca Harper, Tinder Date at The Royal Academy, 2014