More notes from the lectures I went to in Creative Futures.

Day 3 : 7th March

Lecture 1= Professional Development.  Jason Minsky

He is an former student at my uni. He works multidisciplinary. He chooses the most appropriate media for his ideas, he doesn’t stick to one media. He’s been self employed for around 10 years. You have to navigate through life to get where you want to be, it’s not a straight path to your goal. He had 6 years out between graduating and then going on to do his Masters degree. Go out there and find who’s work you love and companies you love. Any publicity you get, collect evidence of it, create a folder of your publications. Do not underestimate the power of publicity. He likes to know who buys his work, he doesn’t like auctions because he doesn’t know who buys his pieces, where they are going to end up. One of the pieces of art of his he showed us was a photo of a glowing Nike symbol on, what he calls, the healthiest tree in that tree farm, if I remember right he said it was meant to represent Nike is good enough for nature? His work has featured in some magazines. His work has appeared in The Sun’s August 2008 edition of “Fabulous” magazine, some celebrity was showing what pieces he had in his home, and Jason’s work was one of them.

Jason is very interested in advertising. He’s made glass work, sculptures, jewellery, photography and furniture.  He not only does do sculptures, but also active art, performance art. He asks when does a signature become an autograph? When you are going for an interview, when they ask for 10 images of your work to look at, don’t send 11, don’t send more than what they ask for. Send the best pieces, even if it’s less than 10. Do what you do, believe in yourself. Another piece of his below is called “Carnegie 3rd Team”, Framed photograph, year 2007. He isvery  interested in sports.

Another piece of his is a guy dressed as a soldier with a shovel, standing next to sandcastle that is surrounded by sandbags to protect it from the tide, but the sea does eventually destroy it, all the while the soldier stood his ground as the waves crashed against his legs. This was done on the border of Scotland, in an area that apparently is the most invaded part of Britain, because England and Scotland kept fighting for it. This was a series of photographs that lined a gallery wall that shows the same spot and the time passing up till the castle got destroyed. And in the gallery was a rebuilt sandcastle surrounded with sandbags to show people what the soldier was guarding. Jason said he thought he could use the same sandbags that were used in the shot, but after they were swept away he realised he couldn’t. The piece is called “An English Mans Home”. He says work out what you can afford to do, can you afford to do free work anymore? You can extend what your view of art is. What is holding you back? When doing your work, go for it, just go for it.

“An English mans home”

Lecture 2= Putting a portfolio together.  Jason Minsky. (again)

He didn’t know what he wanted to do when he graduated from uni, he graduated in 1992. Find people who inspire you, ask to work for them. He painted gallery walls. Things that interest you might not interest others, but have what your passionate about in your portfolio, they can see how you work and what your art aims are. What makes you different? Show what you are like and what makes you, you. He claims not to be a photographer or a sculptor, but he will use them if relevent. He also works in film, and his wife is a graphic designer. In your portfolio, put your work in a order that keeps the person your showing your art to interested. Invest in yourself, present your work professionally. Get publicity. You will get rejected, but still apply to many things, it’s the trying that counts. Who are you showing your work to? He showed us (i wish I had an image) a table he made that was a commission, he had an argument with who he was making the table for, on that shape the top of the table should me. He thought it looked better one way, but the commissioner wanted it differently. He did make it the way the commissioner wanted, but Jason later made another version with the table top shape he wanted for himself. He did an art film, it’s a short film of the football guy on a small football patch that is floating on the sea. It took planning 3 months ahead.He could only film this on a Monday because the local fisherman told him that the Monday would be the only day he could, because all the other days would be stormy, and he was right. Under the guys football shirt was a life jacket, Jason worried that life jacket would show under the shirt. The film is called “Mare Liberum” (Freedom of the Sea).  He did a small advert offering free artwork (which was a badge he was wearing in said advert), out of around 1000 that saw the advert, only 8 turned up at “The Green Room” to get the artwork (badge). Art residency is a good experience and good for your portfolio. News letters are good, it’s advertising for work.

Another piece he showed was of a massive line of paper attached both ends to typewriters that was on desks on moveable platforms, and as each end of the paper was being used, the two people at each end were slowly being pulled closer together.

His website

Lecture 3=  Working with and in art galleries: Oriel Davies (Newtown). Amanda Farr. 

I went to this lecture not only because I was somewhat interested as to how I could get my work in a gallery if I decided I want to do that, and because I was a Newtown College student for 3 years and often visited that gallery, so I went for memories sake really. 😀 It is quite small but the exhibition space is very reasonable, does look rather smaller on the outside then it does on the inside, bit like the Tardis.

Amanda Farr is the director of that art gallery, the Artistic director oversee everything. Apparently it is an important art gallery in Wales. They look for contemporary at, work from artists from Wales. They put on education programs and exhibitions, providing a platform for Wales based artists. Oriel Davies is an independent public art gallery. They are a registered charity, they are not for profit. They don’t have an art collection of their own. They are a regularly funded organization funded by the Art Council of Wales and from Powys County Council. Oriel Davies gallery was built in 1967. They are governed by a board of trustees. Oriel Davies has 20 staff, most work part time. Additional being the Cafe Staff. (Yes they are a small Cafe and a small shops also). You need good organisation skills to be a curator. Good way to work is in workshops and with schools. Research the gallery and what type of work they are showing follow the guidelines. Oriel Davies has guidelines for artists submitting to the Test Bed gallery space, which is the smallest room to display work.

  <—– Smallest exhibition space.

They ask for your CV, statement of 200-300 words, a proposal of how you’d use the space (I think?) and 6-10 images of your work. They have 5 main exhibitions a year, they range from group shows to one person shows. They also do calls for artist for specific projects, open exhibitions etc. Oriel Davies website.

A piece she showed us was “Clad” by artist Steve Messam . The piece is a house with the outer walls covered in sheep’s wool, copying the pattern of the actual wall under it using the white and black wool. It was apparently quite popular, though the house itself now has burnt down sadly.

Now speaking from personal experience with visiting Oriel Davies gallery, nothing to do with the lecture now. One of the exhibitions I went to in 2007 was of Roland Hicks work, I had seen many other work but I remembered his because I was fascinated at how realistic his paintings were. The paintings were of chewing gum under foot, they looked seriously like photographs, and also realistic paintings of washing up liquid caps with bubbles on them. I remember talking to him and I asked why doesn’t he paint blue chewing gum for his next chewing gum foot piece, he gave me a look and said that blue chewing gum isn’t a traditional chewing gum colour, pink and white are though. I mentioned it would be nice and he pulled a face at me, letting me know on no certain terms was he going to paint blue chewing gum. 😀 Oh well I tried. haha.

Rolands website


Another artist I encounterd at Oriel Davies was Jennifer Collier, my class was doing a workshops with her there, she was teaching us the basics of how she does her art, but she wasn’t telling us all her secrets as to how she does her work, for she doesn’t want anyone else coping her work. She makes dresses and shoes out of teabags and maps and other papery bits and bobs. At the workshop she was showing us the basic of what she does with her teabags, which involved having empty teabags and having small items in them like stamps to display in them, and sealing them up and solidifying them using something or another that I totally forgot about, might have been wax.

Jennifer’s website





Another artists work i remember seeing at the Oriel Davies, but I didn’t get to meet the artist, was the work of Philippa Lawrence. I found it quite unusual and I rather liked it, so that’s why it stuck in my mind, her work is definitely the most rememberable. One piece I most remember was that it appeared that the wall had blood seeping out from under it, I wondered where on earth it was coming from at the time.  Website of some of her work


Lecture 4= Funding for artists. Tracy Simson.

Tracy is the director of a company called Addo.

She worked for Wrexham council. She gave told us basics about funding, what I wrote down makes little sence so I won’t put most of it on here. Her work is in visual Arts. Basic Principals for Funding and Grants: Grants are usually time specific and /or aim specific.  You rarely get the amount of money you ask for, normally people have to be funded by more than one company. Slightly over-estimate the cost, because you’re most likely will get less anyway. Won’t find things that have already started, can’t get refunds. Make another account. Not everything gets funded even if it’s a good application. Some funding won’t fund students, or those who graduated, within 2 years of graduating. Don’t be tempted to fit your work/project to the funding stream (whatever that means). Gather some basic information about your project proposal before contacting the funding body for advice. Be careful, don’t ring them straight away, because it’s most likely the conversation will be recorded. Look them up first, do deep research. Copy your latest CV and images of your previous artistic work, use only brilliant images. Late applications will not be accepted. You will be informed of the short listing decision or you may be asked to give a brief presentation of your project to the decision making group. Any additional conditions of grant will need to be satisfied to allow payments to be made. Project officers may attend your project and provide a feedback report as part of their quality monitoring process. If holding an exhibition, remember to invite the funders to the opening, because they most likely would like to come. What is your exit strategy, what is your plan if you are no longer being funded. Advice is free, use it.  Local library business link (from accounts to tax to business planning). We were told to look up The Directory of Social Change . Funding further study: Career development Loans, Bursaries, Grants charitable foundations, sponsorship. Don’t have to pay back unless it’s a loan.

Websites she mentioned= Bursaries:  (£2,500 to fees and £10,000 maintenance)

(got one more blog on Creative Futures to go, yay!)