Simona Del’Agli came to speak to us about the range of services artquest provides. She was direct and professional and outlined some basic professional truths to help us navigate the world beyond art college. It was like a toolkit for what feels like the rest of my life as a practicing artist.

Some of the key points I noted down:

  • email: use professional one eg
  • networks: eg Axis, Re-title
  • portfolio: keep up to date with business cards and headed paper
  • keep a database of contacts
  • email out a newsletter for your own shows
  • post on a-n blog listing
  • tweet @artquestlondon, #artops and #artistsworth
  • comment book: ‘if you would like more info….’ but you are not allowed to email any old address that comes into your inbox
  • MA show: plan a follow up
  • Contracts: WHO does WHAT, WHEN, for HOW MUCH. If you not offered one , ask or make one. Discuss before signing- if it doesn’t seem fair, don’t sign.
  • Delivery note: examples available on art quest. Also legal advice.
  • copyright- maker owns it for life +70yrs
    ‘there is no copyright claim on the idea, only in the artists original expression of it’ – Henry Lydiat.
  • EARNING MONEY IS NOT SINFUL. Day jobs, selling work, spin-offs, commissions, awards, grants, license, IP, etc
  • Join DACS
  • Funding: Elephant Trust, Welcome Trust, Grants for the Arts, Grantstar, Fenton Arts Trust
  • Open Calls worth paying the fee for: Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Open West, Jerwood, Exter Phoenix Open, Oryel Open, Matt Roberts, Deptford X, BP Portrait, RA Summer exhib, etc
  • Residencies: V&A, Wysing Arts Center, Culture Lab, Isis, Love Park, Florence Trust, AA2A, Artsquest, etc

My Mid-point Review

Pathway: MA Fine Art

Name: Cadi Froehlich Date: June 2012

Copper Sheet, 3 x 1 m, 2012

‘All media are extensions of some human faculty – psychic or physical; the wheel is an extension of the foot; the book is an extension of the eye; clothing, an extension of the skin; electric circuitry an extension of the central nervous system.’

  • M. McLuhan, The Medium is the Massage

My work is materials-led, focusing on what they get up to with and without us, examining the ways in which objects, materials and people interact and communicate. In using reclaimed materials I explore their ongoing role in society and the environment. By manipulating materials and observing these processes the making becomes an integral part of the work.

Peer group comments from, and reflections on, the Mid Point Review session:

Crit Notes/peer group comments:

Copper still has the label on. Playing with material qualities of the copper but not with aesthetics. Less reverent than André. It could cover room wall to wall on floor…..

Thoughtful, we can see how it describes the space it’s in, clear about its own materiality.

Inside of curve is mark free.

Intriguing object showing lots of signs of usage but as what?

Valuable materials, particular properties e.g. conductivity.

The proportions are like a building material.

No one has touched it during the crit, despite the finger marks on it.

Reminiscent of etching. Denise Hawrysio makes prints of whole house, walls, floor, etc.

The positioning of the work creates a wave which softens a hard material.

The work is in a raw state.

McLuhan link in statement references circuitry and what you can find in electronic devises. Has the artist put it into the space to get us to communicate by speculating about it.

It’s might be beautiful as a polished surface- any marks on it could represent a diary, a passing of time.

Is this presenting human process, does it stand for that, as it has a warm human presence. Is it referencing the sublime? Attempting to be a beautiful object?

The material is supporting itself, defining the floor space. It has traditional sculptural qualities. Setting it up could have been a performance piece.

Where it is positioned is non-conformists- blocking the walkway- will H&S require it to be rolled up again?

There are invisible protocols it is investigating e.g. value of a sculptural object and the material it is made of. Often at college we are presented with art objects made of non-valuable materials.

Copper was the first ever metal to be processed by  humans – this is an element of the work which the artist had no agency in.

It is a commodity with a commodity value.

This sheet has potential in it – something could go on to be done with it- is this similar to a raw block of marble? (note different connotations)

Are we being asked to think about commodification and art practice?

The artist hasn’t agonised over it – is it a found object? Duchamp?

Serra; “Roll” get practical and make your own sculpture really fast

Martin Creed: this is a pretty minimal gesture.

This shows the hand of the artist much less than previous work, we are being asked to do the work, hunt for clues

Stripping materials back to their basics provokes thought.

Robert Morris; playground of minimal objects in Tate Turbine Hall

Gabriel Kuri; sheets of Lino which looked like porcelain when juxtaposed with other materials – what would happen if this was put somewhere else with something else?

What might be the artists’ purpose? Collecting marks? A barrier? Investigating how far to intervene with materials?

It has formal qualities, like a precious object, but we just don’t know.

Electrify it and make it really dangerous? (Ref; charging pads – what are they made of?)

Is it enough?

Almost frustrating. What if cut to fit site specifically therefore working through measurement. If it got polished up it would reflect light and people, like a stream running through it. Or degrease it, scratch it and print with it.

Any connection to water? Richard Wilson; 20:50

My summary

I was delighted with the impressions people got from looking at my work and hearing my short statement. Having Louisa Minkin there was great, as she has not seen any of my previous work, so the impression the work made on her was really useful. I am glad that the human and elemental considerations of the material came out, and I feel almost proud of the work for communicating so much on its own. All the suggestions for techniques or applications which could be used on the material were interesting in as much as they highlighted for me what my work is not about: reproduction, or manipulation of space.

I feel very strongly that the material is my investigation; its properties and the uses we put it to. This needs to be investigated fully before I can move on to employ it to articulate 3rd party concerns.

Looking at the artistic references quoted during the crit has been brilliant- how can I not have been aware of Andres’ Copper Galaxy before now?! Collectively, they also provide me a view of a visual terrain in which people see my work, and it seems to be along the right paths.

I am going to continue to focus my investigation on copper and humankind, which at the moment feels like a lifetime’s work. Would this be narrowing myself too much? What better material sums up our wants and needs, materially, physically and emotionally?

Regarding the rest of the course, I feel a bit worried about managing my time. I apologise for this report being late.

Song Dong at the Barbican

The curve gallery at the Barbican was choc full of stuff. The piles of stuff, stuff laid out and stuff in piled boxes all looked rather grubby set against the white space. 30 years of his mothers hoarding. Installed each time the work is shown by the artist and his sister, sometimes his mum too, this stuff is really personal. Yet for me the biggest surprise was at how shockingly familiar so much of it was.

I’m not an expert hoarder myself, but a close relative is. I helped my parents clear out my childhood home a couple of years ago and confronted lots of ancient memories then. Half my family come from Eastern Germany, and there are certainly plenty of outbuildings there filled with the accumulation of the past generation. Are these reasons for so much of the content of Dongs work being familiar to me?
I am even more shocked at the more likely explanation. Globalisation. Made in China. Production outsourced now for most of my lifetime to where labour is cheapest.
These ubiquitous consumables sweep away cultural signifiers. We all have some of the same crappola in our homes. We all wore similar baby clothes and rode similar rollerskates.
Whether the fear of shortages or the nostalgia the objects embody, the quantities on display here actually seemed not excessive to my western eyes. This amount is probably contained in the average British home. Even if that is only 5% of the global population, then multiplying this collection by 1 billion really is the most shocking thought of all.