Paris Medieval Study Trip 2024
1
a

On Monday 26 February, 36 first year students from our BA (Hons) Carving and BA (Hons) Conservation courses embarked on the annual Paris Medieval Study Trip. Our Conservation students were accompanied by Jim Bloxam (Head of Book Conservation), Sophie Barton (Conservation Tutor) and Sophie Ambelas (Conservation Technician), and our Carving students were joined by Tom Young (Head of Carving) and Ghislain Puget (Senior Stone Carving Tutor).

This study trip, generously supported by the Stuart Heath Charitable Settlement, greatly enriches the learning experience of our first year students by contextualizing their studies and enabling them to engage directly with the art and architecture of Paris.

Day 1

After checking into accommodation, the trip’s activities started straight away. Our Carving students walked to Île Saint-Louis, stopping at Notre Dame on the way, to look at the baroque churches Église de St Louise and Église de Saint Paul. Later in the afternoon, they visited Places des Voges, one of the oldest squares in Paris, and the nearby Hôtel de Sully. The day ended with a trip to see the contemporary art at Palais Tokyo. Meanwhile, our Conservators spent the afternoon at the Louvre, where our BA (Hons) Conservation: Books & Paper students discussed the restoration of The Wedding Feast at Cana by Paolo Veronese.

Photo credit: Sophie Barton

Photo credit: Sophie Barton

Day 2

The first full day in Paris began with our Carving students visiting the Gothic church Église St-Séverin and the medieval church Église Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre. Afterwards, they walked to the Cluny Museum, where our BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone, Wood and Decorative Surfaces students had spent the morning. Meanwhile, our Books & Paper Conservation students visited the Conservation Studio of the Sorbonne School of Art History and Archeology, kindly hosted by conservator Dr Élodie Lévêque.

In the afternoon, our Carvers visited the Pantheon and the 17th century Église Saint-Étienne-du-Mont. The group then headed over to the Parc du Luxembourg, where they saw the Carpeaux Sculpture and the Bartholdi maquette for the Statue of Liberty. Afterwards, they visited the nearby Musée Zadkine, dedicated to the 20th Century sculptor Ossip Zadkine, and the Musée Carnavalet, a museum of the history of the city.

Our Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces Conservation students also visited the Musée Carnavalet, in addition to spending time at the Musée Rodin, the Places des Vosges and the Hôtel de Sully. Our Books & Paper Conservation cohort went to the Bibliothèque nationale de France for the afternoon, where they visited the Manuscripts Conservation Studio with Nathalie Trion, Head of Conservation. The rest of the day was spent at the conservation study and library at the Mazarine Library with conservator Alizée Lacourtiade.

Photo credit: Lottie Ellery, BA (Hons) Carving: Architectural Stone

Photo credit: Lottie Ellery, BA (Hons) Carving: Architectural Stone

Day 3

Our third day in Paris began with a trip to the Musée d’Orsay for our Carving students, whilst our Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces students visited the conservation studios of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, stopping en route at Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle. Our Books & Paper Conservation students headed over to the Palace of Versailles, where they spent the whole day.

In the afternoon, our Carvers visited Musée Rodin to see the work of 19th Century sculptors including Camille Claudel. This was followed by visits to the Musée Bourdelle and Musée Maillol. Our Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces conservators spent the afternoon at the Musée Guimet, followed by a visit to the exhibition ‘From Builders to Restorers’ at the Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine on the construction and restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral.

Photo credit: Sophie Barton

Day 4

The morning started with a visit to the Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine for our Carving students, where they saw architectural casts by Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, before heading over to the Musée de la Marine. Our conservators across both courses spent the morning at Institut National du Patrimoine.

Our Carvers then visited Villa La Roche, designed by 20th Century Architect Le Corbusier, before ending the day at the Louvre. The students admired Lead Stone Carving Tutor Ghislain Puget’s sculptural heritage in the Cour Puget! Meanwhile, our Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces Conservation students visited the Conservation studio at the Musée National d’ Archaeologie, and ended the day at the Musée d’Orsay. Our Books & Paper conservators spent the afternoon at the Sorbonne Conservation Studio with Sylvie Struyve.

Photo Credit: Lottie Ellery, BA (Hons) Carving: Architectural Stone

Friday

For the final morning in Paris, the students had time for independent exploration. There was an optional visit for all students to École Boulle, a college of fine arts, crafts and applied arts, and our Carving students were also given the opportunity to visit Père Lachaise Cemetery and Josef et Fils toolshop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the final two sessions of the Spring Term, our members continued their explorations of glass artwork and printing.

Our 2D members have been enjoying working in our historic print room. Led by Print Tutor Kristina Chan and Print Fellow Benjamin Topping, half of the group worked with Intaglio printmaking, and learned the art of soft ground, hard ground and aquatint. The other half of our group, led by Print Tutor Niamh Clancy and Print Fellow Angela A’Court, were introduced to Screen Printing. Our members created beautiful multi layered prints, with influences ranging from animals to landscapes, to comic books.

Our 3D cohort continued the glass sculptures that they began working on in the Autumn Term. The members completed the casting of their sculptures, before moving on to pouring the works. In the final week of term, they unveiled their finished sculptures! Thank you to our Glass Tutor  Anne Petters and Glass Fellows Roberta De Caro and Mils Bridgewater for running these fantastic sessions in the Glass Studio over the last two terms.

Well done to all of our members and thank you for your hard work!

Nina Bilbey with the Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor of the City of London and the Master of the Masons Company

Last month, in a ceremony at Mansion House, two members of the Art School community received Master Crafts certificates from the Livery Company Skills Council with the City and Guilds of London Institute. The Livery Company prizes recognize outstanding learners and tutors who have been awarded or who have delivered City & Guilds Group qualifications. The awards were presented by the Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Professor Michael Mainelli.

Our congratulations to Nina Bilbey, who was awarded her Master Certificate, acknowledging a career spanning over thirty years including her work as Senior Stone Carving Tutor at the Art School. Nina is one of the country’s most respected carvers: an award-winning sculptor, teacher and mentor, the co-founder of the Abraxas Stone Carving Academy and the co-host of the podcast “The Stone Carving and Lettering Takeaway”. Her work can be seen across many heritage buildings, including the statues of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip on the West Front of Canterbury Cathedral – the first sculptures to depict them as a pair.

Certificate recipients from the Worshipful Company of Masons, Apprentices, Journeymen and Masters with the Master of the Company

The Art School also congratulates alumna Jo Grogan on receiving her Master Wood Carver certificate. Following a career in fashion and jewellery design, Jo graduated last year from the Art School with a First Class BA (Hons) Carving: Woodcarving & Gilding. She has been the recipient of multiple awards, including the Grinling Gibbons 300 Tercentenary Emerging Carvers Award, Student Designer at the 2023 Wood Awards, QEST scholarship, and First Prize in the Worshipful Company of Joiners & Ceilers Wood Carving competition 2023. Jo has received press recognition for her work, including participation in Sky Arts’ The Prince’s Master Crafters in 2022.

Attendees and Prize Winners at the ceremony, held at Mansion House

 

Well done Nina and Jo!

City & Guilds of London Art School are delighted to have received a new grant from the Freelands Foundation which will provide five new bursaries for those wishing to study with us on our Foundation Diploma: Art & Design.

Each of the new Freelands Foundation Bursaries will cover full tuition fees as well as a stipend towards materials.

Dr Lois Rowe, Principal of City & Guilds of London Art School, commented: “Our priority as an Art School is to nurture a more diverse student body and we are delighted to now be supported in this endeavour by the Freelands Foundation. This generous new grant enables the Art School to launch our first dedicated bursaries to fully fund five places for applicants to our Foundation Diploma Art & Design course in 2024/25 who have potential, but not the means to come and study with us, thereby empowering us to grow our community and ultimately to contribute further to the city’s cultural, economic and environmental future.”

City & Guilds of London Art School are most grateful to the Freelands Foundation for their support of the Art School’s mission and approach to teaching and learning. We very much look forward to working with the Freelands Foundation team over the coming academic year to pursue our shared objectives.

Our longstanding Art School wide bursary programme aims to ensure all those with the potential and dedication to be offered a place on our courses are able to take it up, regardless of financial circumstance.

 

NEXT STEPS FOR APPLICANTS:

Please visit our Open Days page to book onto the next Foundation Diploma Art & Design Open Day on Tuesday 16th April.

Upcoming course application dates are as follows:

Late Deadline – Monday 6 May 2024

 

Applications for bursaries are currently open to those who have accepted an offer for 2024/25.

Please visit our Student Funding and Apply pages to find out more about eligibility and making a bursary application or to contact our admissions team.

 

Freelands Foundation believes art is central to a broad and balanced education, and a right for everyone. We are driven by a conviction in the vital role of learning and making to foster creativity, resilience, criticality and problem-solving that empowers and equips us for the future. Our approach combines action research, through academic commissions, workshops, discussions, exhibitions, publications, films, partnerships and a dedicated library; and funding, through grants, awards, fellowships and residencies.

ABOUT US:
City & Guilds of London Art School provides an alternative approach to creative education to 300 students a year studying on Foundation Art & Design and BA and MA courses in Fine Art, Illustration, Conservation and Carving. For 170 years, we have played a vital role in passing on specialist hand skills and inspiring new generations. We believe that art can change the world and that, beyond its material creation, it has the power to change lives and benefit society. Arts education should not be a privilege, but something that anyone can access and use to empower themselves and others.

 

If you work in a secondary school and would like to explore working with us, please contact Camilla Robinson, Widening Participation Coordinator at c.robinson@cityandguildsartschool.ac.uk.

If you would like to discuss supporting the Art School and our students, please contact Hannah Travers, Head of Development and External Relations, at development@cityandguildsartschool.ac.uk.

 

Each year at the mid-point of their course, our MA Fine Art and MA Carving students and Decorative Surfaces Fellow produce an Interim Show at City & Guilds of London Art School for the Art School community of staff and students. Please see below a selection of photos of some of the works on display this year.

Congratulations to our students on a fantastic show, and we look forward to seeing everyone at the MA Show in September.

Keep an eye on our website and socials for updates on our graduate shows this summer!

 

Image Credit: Maxim Burnett

Image Credit: Molly Martin

Image Credit: Eva Merendes

Image Credit: Luc Nonga

Image Credit: Linda Simon

Image Credit: Nell Mitchell

Image Credit: Julia Pomeroy

Image Credit: Tabby Li

Image Credit: Yohan Le Peuch

 

Alongside specialist conservation practice, students in the final year of BA (Hons) Conservation and students studying MA Conservation undertake a conservation research project based on an area of conservation practice they have identified during their practical work.

Students prepare a thesis illustrating their research methodology, experimental data and conclusions. Their research findings are presented at the Conservation Symposium, a public-facing annual event to which professionals and interested parties from the world of Conservation are invited.

 

Conservation Symposium 2024

Tuesday 16 April 10:00 – 17:00

Imperial College London, Read Lecture Theatre, Level 4 of the Sherfield Building, Exhibition Road Campus, London SW7 2AZ

 

PROGRAMME

10:15 – 10:35 | Laura Goodman

An investigation into the Migration of Optical Brightening Agents (OBA) in Paper Substrates

10:35 – 10:55 | Savannah Grieve

An investigation into the Properties of Blended Paraloid™ Resins with Bulking Agents

10:55 – 11:15 | Molly Hobbs

An investigation into the relative adhesive strengths of different starches for paper repairs

Break: 11:15 – 11:40

11:40 – 12:00 | Julieta Herrera

The use of CaLoSil® for the consolidation of plaster casts

12:00 – 12:20 | Masha Ivanelo

Phenolic Yellowing: How it affects ink-jet paper

12:20 – 12:40 | Lola Jackson

A preliminary evaluation of the effectiveness of waxes and acrylic polymers as a barrier layer to reduce the rate of corrosion on bronze samples in a high humidity environment

Lunch: 12:40 – 13:30

13:30 – 13:50 | Yeasuel Jung

A study of the potential use of Abelmoschus Manihot root and Photinia Villosa leaf extracts as natural adhesives in conservation

13:50 – 14:10 | Fiorella Lavado Chiarella

Exploring the viability of Opuntia Ficus Indica (OFI) Mucilage as a consolidant for Reigate Stone

14:10 – 14:30 | Mags Monaghan

Exploring efficacy of accessible deacidification techniques on acidic paper

Break: 14:30 – 14:50

14:50 – 15:10 | Emily Stuart

An investigation into the mechanical properties of common bookbinding and conservation adhesives

15:10 – 15:30 | Ellie Seaward

Understanding the degradation of pigmented and unpigmented beeswax

15:30 – 15:50 | Ally Wingate-Saul

A preliminary investigation into the use of d-limonene as an alternative green solvent to xylene in the context of object conservation

15:50 – 16:10 | Lyz Yingzhen Liu

TBC

 

Our Conservation Symposium 2024 has been organised in association with Imperial College London’s Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication and Science and Engineering Research for Cultural Heritage Network.

 

The annual Venice trip is a highlight in the calendar for our second year BA (Hons) Carving and BA (Hons) Conservation students. We were delighted to return to the city in late November 2023, kindly hosted once again by the Cini Foundation.

The trip’s activities started straight away on arrival into the city. Once we had checked into our rooms, we were given an introduction to the themes of the week before travelling to St Mark’s Square to visit the Basilica. This was followed by an orientation walk around Venice center towards the Dorsoduro and seeing some of the Baroque churches en route.

The second day started early, with the whole group taking a train out of the city to Padua. There, we visited the 13th century Church of the Eremitani, which was badly damaged by aerial bombardment during World War II. We discussed the conservation issues and restoration process, and why the church has deliberately not been restored to a pristine state.

We then split into two groups for the rest of the day. BA (Hons) Carving and BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces students visited the 16th-century Palazzo Bo, before seeing the Padua Baptistry and San Antonio Basilica. Our BA (Hons) Conservation: Books and Paper students visited the Abbazia di Praglia, a Benedictine monastery founded in 1080 with a center for book restoration. After their visits, students had the opportunity to spend the evening in Padua before catching the train back to Venice.

Palazzo Bo

Palazzo Bo

Abbazia di Praglia

On Day 3, we were given a tour of the Cini Foundation and library, where we saw works on paper, a Palladian building and carvings. Late morning, we travelled to St Mark’s Square, where we split into the same groups as the day before. Our Books & Paper Conservation students visited Marciana Library, one of the earliest surviving public libraries in Italy. Meanwhile, the rest of the group studied the artefacts in St Marks Square, considering their material properties and meanings from both a carving and conservation perspective, and learned a little about the history of Venice.

Cini Foundation

Cini Foundation

Cini Foundation

Marciana Library

Marciana Library

After a break for lunch, the carvers went to the Scuola San Rocca and the Santa Maria dei Carmini Church to see the stunning wood carvings, and our Books and Paper Conservation students visited the San Francesco della Vigna library. All students came together at the end of the day with a trip to the Ca’ Rezzonico museum.

The fourth and last full day of the trip began again in St Mark’s Square. BA (Hons) Carving and BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces students visited the Church of San Zaccaria, the Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, the Scuola San Marco and Santa Maria dei Miracoli. Books and Paper Conservation students visited the Armenian Monastery of San Lazzaro, home to one of the oldest printing and publishing houses in Venice, and their archive. After lunch, students were then given an afternoon free to explore the city.

San Lazzaro

San Lazzaro

Our last morning in Venice was spent at the church of San Nicolo dei Mendicoli, followed by a visit to the Frari – the largest church in the city. Our Books and Paper Conservation students had the special opportunity to visit Mario Berta Battiloro, the last artisan gold beater in Venice.

Mario Berta Battiloro

Mario Berta Battiloro – Earrings of 24 ct gold over oyster shells

We then returned to the Cini to collect our bags and say goodbye to our hosts before heading to the airport.

Interested in studying on one of our BA Carving or BA Conservation courses? Find out more at one of our upcoming Open Days.

Applications are now open for 2024/25.

Our congratulations to Natalia Glinoer (BA (Hons) Fine Art graduate, 2016), who has won the Surgeon’s Prize 2024 from the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) for her painting ‘iPad’. Her work is on display at the RBA Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries until 9 March 2024.

This is the second year in a row that Natalia has received an award from the RBA, having won The Michael Harding Prize for her painting ‘In the Artist’s Studio’ last year.

Natalia Glinoer, iPad, Oil on Linen, 24 x 18cm

Natalia is an artist based in Brighton. She studied at City and Guilds of London Art School, 2014-2016 and at the Heatherley school of Fine Art, 2018-2021. In 2017, Natalia won the RBA Rome Scholarship where she travelled to Rome for one month, studying the High Renaissance, Baroque paintings and sculptures that helped inspire her current work. Natalia also won the 2023 Royal Society of British Artist’s Michael Harding Award and The Surgeon’s Prize in 2024. She is predominantly an oil painter and a printmaker. She has and continues to work on private commissions and models for life drawing.

Natalia has also exhibited across the UK, notably at the Green and Stone Gallery, The Royal Society of British Artists, The New English Art Club, ING Discerning Eye, The Society of Women Artists at the Mall Galleries and The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

Last Friday we were delighted to be visited by Kelvin Okafor, 2005 alumnus of our Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (pictured above with Acting Course Leader, Joshua Uvieghara).

Kelvin is an internationally renowned and award-winning drawing practitioner and pencil artist, with a community of over 385k followers on Instagram and regular solo exhibitions in the UK.

In his talk, Kelvin shared his career journey, in which he reflected on his year at City & Guilds of London Art School, and how important it had been to him. He discussed his drawing process and his current body of work, ‘Drawing Awareness’.

The purpose of his latest project is to engage and educate the audience by learning through art about people with visible differences. Its narrative is based on acceptance and inclusion whilst promoting positive change in people’s attitudes towards people with skin differences. The theme of acceptance and inclusion is visually captured and documented throughout. Each drawing conveys a story; a non-fiction of truth told by the sitter to steer change. Each sitter has openly shared their personal story of their difference or skin condition and journey so far.

Kelvin most generously donated a limited edition print of his drawing of Bob Dylan and his catalogue from the Albemarle Gallery to the Art School. We are most grateful to Kelvin for the gift and for taking the time to visit us and speak with our students.

 

Hello there! This is Zahra Nawal, an international student hailing from Pakistan who packed her entire life in a suitcase to experience the journey of an art school in one of the most amazing cities in the world, London.

What has this art school been for me in these past three months? Everything.

It was a seamless decision for me to make City & Guilds of London Art School my first choice for a Foundation year. This was primarily because of the reviews by the previous students who I interacted with, but equally importantly because of the facilities and faculties this place offers. From open spaces for students, to a wide range of workshops and an array of exceptional tutors, City & Guilds of London Art School has everything an art enthusiast like me desires.

From the outset of my classes, the entire Foundation Diploma in Art & Design course seems to be strategically designed on how to encourage students to venture into unexplored territories. It began with manipulating an open space, laid back sessions of life drawing and delving in the intricacies of geometry. Throughout the first week, we were shuffled into different groups with different people and introduced to most tutors through these one-day classes. As the term progressed, the classes continued with a fresh mix of student groups. This propelled me to get out of my comfort zone and become familiar with as many new students as possible. Engaging in insightful discussions, and offering and receiving critiques, has been a humbling yet rewarding experience to delve deeper into the realm of art alongside making great connections with people.

The first term provided me with a structured pathway that I could rely on with clear instructions given to me in the form of a brief. These briefs are really the pivotal elements if used appropriately, as they are the core of your projects. Despite the provided guidelines, you are given the opportunity to explore. This is a versatile part of the course that primarily makes you learn how to research and develop ideas. Each project is about a week long, and you get a well-informed overview in terms of Fine Art and Design and, to some extent, Architecture, which can help you evaluate your choices for future career. This term is also a vital time to seek insight about different workshops and get a sense of different materials.

Each week was a whirlwind of activity with projects that kept me totally engaged. Fridays, however, brought a welcome change of pace as they were dedicated to Art History. Divided into two separate groups, each week we concluded our work with a tour to different art galleries to explore different Art History themes and write about it in our essays. Through these visits, we had the opportunity to test into various themes and concepts alongside fellow students, engaging in discussions that encompassed diverse viewpoints during these tours.

Finally, the term concluded with the transposition project that students work on for two days. Furthermore, we have to make sure to upload everything onto the school’s electronic portfolio software. Regular evaluation and feedback helps students to maintain their work and prevent tasks from accumulating towards the end. Additionally, we each get assigned a pastoral tutor, to help us explore various courses and start our research for applications for our next step.

We were thrilled to see three of our Carving alumni featured in the latest edition of House & Garden magazine.

Check out the March edition to read Christabel Chubb’s profile on London Stone Carving, founded in 2018 by Stone Carving alumni Tom Brown and Tom Nicholls, along with Josh Locksmith and Sam Lee. In the article, they discuss their careers since graduating from the Art School, their processes and commitment to the use of traditional stonemasonry techniques, and the variety of commissions and projects they have taken on.

Woodcarving & Gilding alumna Silje Loa’s limewood and limestone sculpture ‘Draped in Wood’ is featured in the ‘Decorate’ section of the magazine, where Ruth Sleightholme looks at interiors featuring trompe-l’oeil.

Images 2-4 below from Silje Loa via Instagram.

 

City & Guilds of London Art School is delighted to be launching a new undergraduate course in Illustration in September 2024.

The Art School has a deep association with illustrative practice dating back to its origins in the 19th century. Artisans at nearby Royal Doulton came to train at the Art School, including two of Doulton’s celebrated designers Hannah and Florence Barlow, whose work can be seen in the V&A Museum. Arthur Rackham, one of the leading figures of the ‘Golden Age of Illustration’, siblings Clemence and Laurence Housman, founders of the Atelier that produced much of the campaigning artwork of the Suffrage Movement, and much-loved children’s author and illustrator Lauren Child, number amongst the prominent illustrators who have passed through the Art School.

About the course

This BA (Hons) Illustration course will challenge students to develop their own visual language in a collaborative and dynamic Art School that is renowned for mark-making practice. Using traditional drawing skills and historic lettering as a foundation for contemporary practice, students will learn to approach illustration as a diverse tool of communication and build their skills by experimenting with new technologies. Throughout the development of practical work, our learners will benefit first hand from the Art School’s clients, designers and curators across the sector and be supported in their professional and contextual understanding of illustration as it relates to industry.

Understanding illustration as a catalyst for accessible communication is a fundamental part of the course ethos and will be tested directly through practice. Taking ‘traditional’ discipline as its starting point, material processes and live projects will be utilised to develop new approaches to illustrative literacy, drawing on the specialist learning and facilities that the Art School is well renowned for. In this way, the course will support the development of a basis of skills and knowledge, informing experimentation, invention and the questioning of orthodoxy.

Over the duration of the course, students will experience a unique creative learning environment and will be supported by their tutors in becoming a pro-active participant in their own learning in preparation for the challenges of further study and/or a range of professional futures. Some elements of the course have a specific focus based on choice of illustration, while group tutorials, workshop time, live projects and other sessions, such as professional practice, are shared more widely across the Art School.

Our focus on material creation is informed by in-depth engagement with the critical contexts of art, design and illustration. Due to our central location, the students will have London’s rich cultural heritage at their feet to educate and inspire them.

Launch event

Please join us online for our Launch event on Tuesday 19 March at 16:00, held in conversation with Art School Principal Dr Lois Rowe, Head of Drawing Tom Merrett, and Tutor Dr Charley Peters.

This interactive session will focus on how Illustration at the Art School will connect with the traditional practices of the school, such as mark-making, lettering and books, but also embed digital practice and professional opportunities essential for a successful career as an Illustrator. A few of the Art School’s trail-blazing alumni will be featured as exemplars of how a grounding in tradition will prepare students to be future illustrators.

Register via Eventbrite >>

Find out more

See full information about our BA (Hons) Illustration on the course page of our website.

We are now accepting applications for 2024/25 study. If you are interested in studying with us, we strongly encourage you to visit us on one of our upcoming Open Days and look forward to meeting you.

If you have any questions, please contact our Admissions Team.

 

Credit: Artwork in header by MA Fine Art alumna Annie Farrer

A mobile X-Ray service recently came to the Art School to support our Third Year BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces students in the analysis of their objects as part of their final year projects.

Read more about Ally, Yingzhen and Julieta’s experience below.

“My third-year wood project is a Baroque style table that has a large, carved and gilded putto as a central column. The body of the putto shows extensive structural damage with several cracks visible on the left side and back of the drapery. The table appeared to be structurally stable and a metal detector confirmed that metal hardware was used in previous repairs, however, the condition and age of these repairs was unknown and needed to be checked as the table must be functional when it leaves the studio. The repairs were not designed to be dismantled, so it would have been too intrusive to do so unless absolutely necessary. In this case, x-ray analysis was the perfect technique to assess the condition of these repairs to inform the treatment proposal.

X-ray images showed that the metal hardware was still intact and providing the necessary support. They also revealed that four different types of nails and screws were used, with the earliest type, a large hand wrought nail, not widely used since the 19th century, alluding to several repairs to the same area over time. Xray images also revealed more detail about the original and later joinery, fills, and the unusual construction of the base which was built to house the putto, confirming the theory that he was repurposed into this table from a different original location.”

Ally Wingate Saul, Third Year BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces

 “In my third year, I embarked on a wood project, a table casket in the Renaissance style. This casket is constructed from wood, embellished with carved alabaster. It boasts a rectangular design, with architectural motifs and structurally stable. Upon opening, it reveals an array of five secret compartments, accessible through vertically sliding panels on both sides.

For a comprehensive assessment of the casket’s condition and to inform the methodology for its hinge conservation phase, I utilized the Amadeo M-DR X-ray imaging system. The resultant imagery detailed the heterogeneous assemblage of nails affixing the hinges to the casket body. This assortment ranged from slender to robust, spiral-textured nails, with one particular nail exhibiting deformation likely attributed to external stress. This irregularity might compromise the hinge’s stability. Furthermore, the variance in nail morphology intimates a blend of original and subsequent additions, ostensibly for enhancing the structural robustness of the hinge attachment.

The radiographic evidence necessitated a re-evaluation of the initial strategy to rectify the bent hinge. The removal of the deeply embedded nails posed a risk of inflicting further damage, potentially jeopardising the secure union of the casket lid and body.”

Yingzhen Liu, Third Year BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces

“A plaster cast of the Medici Venus is one of my third-year projects in the BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces course. The main concern was the structural stability; cracks on the knees and ankles suggested the sculpture might be at risk of collapse. Given that these objects are regularly used by students at the school, ensuring their mobility without causing further damage is of a great importance.

As part of the analysis to assess its condition and inform the treatment proposal, a mobile X-Ray service came to school to capture images of the sculpture. The images revealed that the armature inside the legs is not broken; it initiates at the base and extends to the knees, measuring 30 mm. The angles of inclination could be discerned using the software. Additionally, the dolphin features an armature made from a 2 mm wire, which is weaker than the main body, explaining the semi-detached fin and the missing end tail.”

Julieta Herrera, Third Year BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces

 

Interested in studying on one of our BA (Hons) Conservation or MA Conservation courses?

Find out more by visiting us at one of our upcoming Open Days. Register online.

Applications now open for 2024/25 study.

 

Our National Saturday Club 3D members finished their wonderful carved frames last Saturday. After four weeks of learning woodcarving from BA (Hons) Carving: Woodcarving and Gilding alumnus Tom Buchanan and Graduate Diploma Arts: Carving: Woodcarving & Gilding student Henry Brown, our members have created intricate frames with unique designs. Well done to our 3D cohort!

Our 2D members continued working in the Print Room. Led by Print Tutor Kristina Chan and Print Fellow Benjamin Topping, half of the group learned the art of hard-ground etching, part of which involved working with fire. Influences ranged from landscapes, butterflies to plague doctors.

The other half of our group was led by Screen Print Tutor Niamh Clancy and Print Fellow Angela A’Court. Members worked quickly creating multiple screens, multi-layered screen prints and printing onto fabric, all in one workshop.

 

We were delighted to be joined recently by Artist Julie Hayashi, who ran a demonstration on Nihonga (traditional Japanese Painting) at one of our student Skill Share events.

With a PhD in Japanese Painting (Conservation) from Tokyo University of the Arts, Julie gave a generous presentation on her work in the conservation and the mounting of paintings, the research of painting techniques, the reproduction of cultural property and Nihonga painting. Julie discussed the transformation and styles of Japanese painting, from 8th century to contemporary, and how contemporary Japanese painters use traditional methods and materials of Nihonga. She shared insight on the materials used, such as pigments, paper, ink and dye, and where they can be found. Following the presentation, Julie gave a demonstration on the techniques discussed, which the attendees were given the opportunity to try out.

Students from across all our courses and disciplines were invited to the workshop, and the room was packed out.

Our warmest thanks to Julie for her time and for visiting us.

Last Saturday marked our 2D members’ first experience in our historic Print Room. Divided into two groups, one half of our members were guided by Print Tutor Kristina Chan and Print Fellow Benjamin Topping, and delved into the world of intaglio print.  The other half were led by Screen Print Tutor Niamh Clancy and Print Fellow Angela A’Court, who introduced our students to Screen Printing. The members created beautiful works influenced by a range of themes, from nature to domestic interiors.

Our 3D cohort continued to work on their carved frames. The members’ designs are now down, and they are well and truly immersed in the woodcarving. Our young creatives have swiftly embraced this craft, and the resulting works are looking magical.

Last weekend, our National Saturday Club members continued their work in paper marbling and woodcarving. Our 2D group were led by Decorative Surfaces Fellow Elosie Dethier-Eaton and BA (Hons) Conservation: Books & Paper student Mariia Ivanelo and continued exploring paper marbling techniques. The club member produced stunning examples of Spanish Wave Marbling, Bouquet and Nonpareil.

The 3D group were led by BA (Hons) Carving: Woodcarving and Gilding Alumnus Tom Buchanan and Graduate Diploma Arts: Carving: Woodcarving and Gilding student Henry Brown. The members began to carve the patterns and forms they designed last week, starting with a test carving before carving their frames. The pieces are beginning to emerge and the results are already looking incredible.

This summer, the Commonwealth Heritage Forum and City & Guilds of London Art School are delighted to be offering ‘Introduction to Global Conservation’, a Commonwealth Summer School.

This Summer School will run for two weeks from 22 July – 2 August 2024.

Level: Beginner to Intermediate.

Be inspired by this rare opportunity to learn historic conservation skills in one of the few art schools in Britain still teaching traditional craftsmanship. In the first week, you will learn a range of stonework and masonry skills offered at the City & Guilds of London Art School.

In the second week, you will learn the specific skills that are relevant to the preparation and use of lime mortar, lime render, lime plaster, lime wash and limecrete. During the programme you will have the opportunity to hear a talk on the philosophy of conservation, allowing you to synthesise practical experience with broader cultural understandings. You will be invited to share ideas and exchange approaches from the projects you are currently working on in a discursive environment. This will involve group visits to some of London’s most iconic and important historic buildings, for example to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, to learn how these skills were originally applied and to better understand contemporary approaches to the conservation of existing fabric.

The Commonwealth Heritage Forum will award up to twenty-four full bursaries to include: course fees, including accommodation and lunch meals whilst on campus at City & Guilds; a stipend for sundries and weekday breakfast and dinner meals; return air travel from your home country to London Heathrow airport; travel from London Heathrow airport to the short-term student accommodation in London; and UK visitor visa costs (if applicable).

See full information on eligibility and how to apply here.

Deadline for applications: Monday 8 April 2024

Apply by email: info@chstrainingprogramme.org

On Wednesday 11th October 2023, my fellow graduate Josh and I embarked on a once in a lifetime  opportunity. After three years of hard work, we graduated from the City and Guilds of London Art School, with a BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone, Wood, and Decorative Surfaces. Following this, we were selected to carry out a 10-week stone conservation internship in Venice, held in collaboration with Abbazia di San Giorgio Maggiore – Benedicti Claustra Onlus and funded by the Venice in Peril Fund.

The beautiful Palladian Basilica is located on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, across the lagoon from mainland Venice and our accommodation was situated in the Benedictine monastery next to the church.

The area we were assigned to work on was The Altar of Saint Lucy situated on the North Wall of the Basilica. Following assessment of this space we implemented a programme of cleaning to remove and reduce heavy layers of dirt, dust and surface deposits that had accumulated over many years. Before attending the internship, we took part in the PASMA training course, organised by City and Guilds of London Art School, to equip us with the knowledge that would help us erect and deconstruct a mobile scaffold tower to enable us to reach the high areas. At the end of our internship, the difference that our conservation had made to the area was clear to see, confirming that this collaboration between City and Guilds of London Art School and Abbazia di San Giorgio Maggiore is very worthwhile.

Josh’s experience:

From the moment I received this award I knew it would be the most significant challenge in my career to date. I was very excited to learn about the monastery and the lifestyle in San Giorgio Maggiore Abbey as it seemed such a contrast to my life in London. It was nerve-wracking to think I would be there for 10 weeks with no understanding of the Italian language as well as the adjustment of both working and living with my friend Carla and managing each other’s stress and anxieties of being away from home.

That being said, the experience was wonderful. Everyone we met working at the church was very friendly and super helpful – I truly felt a part of the place within the first month. The lunches with the monks and the staff were a lovely part of the working day, not only for the tremendous food cooked by chef Fiorello but a great place for learning Italian phrases and feeling like part of the family. The work went smoothly thanks to my lovely colleague Carla and support from Carmelo. It was an honour to be a small part in the history of this incredible Palladian church.

Outside of the monastery I enjoyed two weekends with my family and also proposed to my partner on San Giorgio! The pace of life and the fortunate weather we experienced gave us some of the most relaxing days in such a beautiful setting. It will always have a place in my heart. A big thank you to City & Guilds of London Art School for awarding this to me, it has been life changing. Another thank you to Venice in Peril for your support and finally a thank you to everyone on the Island of San Giorgio for making it the most unforgettable experience.

Carla’s experience:

If someone had told me that in 2023, I would be spending 10 weeks living in a Benedictine monastery in Venice, carrying out stone conservation on a Palladian Basilica, I would never have believed them. Now in my early fifties, with a husband and two adult children, I felt it was time to try something different. So, I sent in my application form without thinking too deeply about the fact I would be away from home for so long adopting a mostly solitary lifestyle.

After the initial jubilation when I found out I had been accepted, the enormity of the situation began to dawn on me. Would I crumble after the first week away? Would I gel with the people working in the Abbey? Would my good friendship with Josh remain intact? Well, I’m happy to say that all my fears were unfounded. To say that the 10 weeks spent in Venice were life changing would be an understatement. From the moment we arrived we were made to feel like part of the San Giorgio Maggiore family. From Carmelo our supervisor, to the lovely Paola who took care of our washing, every person that worked at The Abbey was very special. Despite the language barrier we all managed to communicate, and the communal lunches were a highlight of the day. It would not be unknown for the whiskey and limoncello to make an appearance!

I was lucky enough to have visits from friends and family that helped stave off the feelings of homesickness that popped up every so often. The Venice in Peril Fund organized some amazing trips for us whilst we were there, including visits to The Misericordia Conservation Labs and a performance at the church of San Nicolo dei Mendicoli.

Being able to carry out conservation work on such a historic building whilst being in such beautiful surroundings is a memory that will stay with me forever. I’m just glad that I was able to share it with my good friend Josh. Thanks must go to City and Guilds of London Art School and the Abbazia di San Giorgio Maggiore -Benedicti Claustra Onlus for facilitating this amazing experience and of course The Venice in Peril Fund for providing the funding to enable me to take part, and the great support we received from their representative in Venice, Susan Steer.

 

Words and Images by Carla Learoyd and Josh Horsfall.

 

The altar of Santa Lucia following conservation

 

Our National Saturday Club members enjoyed their first session of 2024 last week. Our 2D cohort were joined by Decorative Surfaces Fellow Eloise Dethier-Eaton, assisted by Third Year BA (Hons) Conservation: Books & Paper student Mariia Ivanelo, to explore the world of paper marbling. The members used carrageenan, alum-coated paper and acrylic paint to create swirling patterns, with magical results. Next week we will use these techniques to accomplish even more complex and traditional patterns.

Our 3D cohort were led by BA (Hons) Carving: Woodcarving and Gilding Alumnus Tom Buchanan and Graduate Diploma Arts: Carving: Woodcarving & Gilding student Henry Brown to learn the art of woodcarving. Each member will undertake a project to carve an intricate frame of their own design, using inspiration ranging from historical carving techniques, to nature, to video games and book covers. They began by drawing their designs on paper to map out their plans, before moving onto transferring them to wood. We are excited to see what they do next!

A new Umbrella Fund for the Conservation Department at City & Guilds of London Art School has recently been established, with the aim to raise financial support for our specialist provision. These funds will contribute to sustaining the widely recognised excellence of our Conservation Department, and allow us to build further on its national and international reach.

At a time when many of the UK’s conservation courses have now closed or are threatened with closure, we are one of the few institutions still offering conservation courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level. This is made possible due to our small scale and independence. However, as an independent, specialist and not-for-profit organisation, we are ineligible for public subsidy. This means that our teaching is delivered without public sector support or any other form of core funding, and is reliant on tuition fee income and private donations.

The curriculum learning on our BA (Hons) Conservation and MA Conservation courses is densely packed, with intensive one to one tuition, as well as significant use of materials and specialist equipment. Therefore, it is not feasible to teach more than 50 students (8 on each pathway, per year of study) at any one time. This makes the per student cost relatively high at any time, but particularly now given the current significant increase in energy and material costs.

In order to support our Conservation Department in continuing its vitally important work, we have set up this new fund to actively seek support from the industry, professionals and all those who are interested in the teaching of Conservation.

Please see full information on how you can support the Conservation Umbrella Fund here.

With thanks to those who have already become supporters of the Conservation Umbrella Fund:

Shepherds Bookbinders LtdMuseum Conservation Services Ltd
Dr Timothy Schroder

If you would like to discuss any other forms of support, please contact Hannah Travers, Head of Development & External Relations: h.travers@cityandguildsartschool.ac.uk or 020 7091 1689

The first term of BA (Hons) Carving: Architectural Stone is all about introducing new students to a range of skills that you will build on in the next term and years to come. The curriculum includes drawing, clay modelling, art history and stone carving which are staggered and mixed over the timetabled weeks so we are always doing something new. For example, one week will consist of clay modelling with one tutor for the first two days then switch to two days of letter carving with another tutor and the week after might change to two days of modelling and the two days of drawing. We always have two art history lectures on Friday, the final in the form of a walking tour somewhere in London to discuss a specific type of architecture and ending at a pub for a well-deserved drink.

Teaching is between 9:30-4:30 every day so the perfect time for me is to arrive at 9am, which allows me to set up and enjoy a coffee before jumping into the day. As we can’t take our work home with us, it is usually better to stay a little longer than the teaching hours. On Tuesdays, I will stay for life drawing which finishes at 8pm. These days are excellent for improving drawing, as we get the benefit of even more one-on-one teaching from the Tutors. The biggest challenge can be the workload. We are so lucky to have constant access to teachers and resources, but this means the days can be long and require sustained attention. I would say you should expect your quality of sleep to improve instantly because you’ll be wiped out each day for the first few weeks. Fear not, your tolerance builds up quickly, but it can sometimes be a shock if you’re unprepared.

Outside of teaching, there are plenty of opportunities to expand your experience at the school. As the Art School is in London, we get the benefit of extracurricular activities all the time. Exhibitions, lectures and museum visits are always happening, so it helps to ask the tutors if they have any recommendations.

As for your experience with other students at the school, you can expect to meet a close group of fascinating people. Many of them have already had time and experience in a separate field before attending the school, so you should bring helpful insights and the maturity to try hard and be accepting of new challenges. My year is a particularly big cohort, and has people from various life experiences and skillsets. There are stonemasons, art students, history students, and people from established careers in psychology and the civil service. No one student has the same experience, and will often have strengths in one particular area. This means that each person has the chance to feel confident whilst also feeling challenged and motivated to progress in areas that are out of their comfort zone. We swap ideas and help each other to improve our carving and academic skills. I had almost no experience carving before the course, so the stonemasons will give me tips and encouragement on basic skills to help me in the carving lessons and I try to give back in our art history lectures and portfolio note-taking.

The carving studio is open plan, so we mingle with different year groups of woodcarving and stone carving throughout the day. This is particularly good for first years, as we can see both the second and third-year stone carvers working on their projects. These are typically longer and more intricate than anything we produce as first year students. We are lucky as they are often keen to discuss their work, answer any questions and give encouraging stories about their experience as first years. It’s a great opportunity to keep yourself motivated to improve and excited to reach the next year of the course. First-year woodcarvers and stone carvers attend classes in drawing and clay modelling together and the conservationists join us for our art history lectures on Fridays. The carvers are tasked with organising the Christmas party at the end of term which includes deciding on a theme, making decorations and organising music. My favourite social event happens every other Thursday where all the carvers from each year group are invited to a communal lunch, the Head of Department bakes a mountain of different types of bread, and we bring food for everyone to share.

Words and Photography by Charlotte Ellery, First Year BA (Hons) Carving: Architectural Stone

My course, BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces, started on the 25th of September 2023. Usually, the first week of a new term is considered easier than the rest, as a week to get to know the school and the other students, and try to maintain conversations without giving anyone an awkward impression of oneself. The thought of a first week in an entirely new environment fuelled my anxiety. But luckily, City & Guilds of London Art School does not have a chilled first week!

After having just arrived, we were introduced to Stone Lettering by Tom Young, Head of Carving. My natural reaction was of brief relief mixed with excitement, and then followed by a new rush of anxiety. I had never held a chisel in my hand, or even spelt the word (I’m Austrian), and I had never carved a letter into stone before.

Throughout this course, and thanks to the kind and very patient support of Tom, my lettering improved daily, even experiencing small moments of proudness! It did not give me time for social anxiety, but rather reassured my curiosity in craftswomanship and the course ahead, and allowed us new students to bond through our shared emotional ups and downs of learning Lettering.

Our first-year class of Stone, Wood and Decorative Surfaces Conservation contains nine people, all of different ages and backgrounds. In an interesting way, this mixture of characters allows oneself to be an individual in a group. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, but, rather than competing, our approach has been to ask each other for help or share ways to improve our work together. Although different in certain aspects, what we have in common as students is an interest in conservation and the willingness to learn and to become better in a nourishing environment.

And this was only the first few days! In the last few weeks, I have undertaken courses in plaster casting and moulding, technical drawing, joinery, history of decorative styles and architecture, observational drawing and conservation science, as well as an introduction to conservation.

What I have enjoyed so far about my first year at City & Guilds of London Art School is that we are taught to approach Conservation in a very sensible way. Because you are interested in conserving or restoring an object, it is important for you to be aware of how something is made and how to handle different objects in regard of their material, heritage, etc. As a student with little knowledge about conservation, it has been very helpful to get to know wood and stone as working materials in the first place, and then later as materials to conserve. Understanding them as their own entity, and getting familiar with their possibilities and also their boundaries, will come in handy as soon as you are confronted with an actual finished object, which is placed in your capable hands to conserve.

In conclusion, the course has taken a blended approach, focusing equally on theoretical aspects such as art history, ethics and conservation as well as incredible hands-on craft focused skills that build you up from any level of knowledge.

Words and photography by Magdalena Wohlgennant, First Year BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces

First-year BA (Hons) Fine Art student Rebecca Armstrong shares her experiences from her current first term studying at City & Guilds of London Art School. Interviewed by fellow student Frances Leung, Rebecca discusses the projects, teaching style, and community at the Art School.

Rebecca’s first day involved gallery visits with tutors to the Tate Britain and National Gallery. Their introductory project focused on the body, and students were tasked with observing fragments or expressions that caught their eye quickly. “It was fascinating to look at art in that way for the first time,” Armstrong noted.

The first major project delved deeper into observational drawing and life drawing of the nude figure. Unlike traditional life drawing classes, students were given different challenges and rules to make the intimidating subject more accessible and interesting. Rebecca created body books combining 2D images and 3D sculptures in various workshops around the school.

As a mature student, Rebecca appreciated the intimate class size of 23 students, allowing more time to get to know her peers. The course includes students fresh from the Foundation course, those with work experience, and others without formal art training.

Teaching involves observational drawing, technical workshops, and utilising the school’s facilities like the metal workshop. Rebecca praised the tutors, all working artists, for bringing real-world experience into their teaching. Daily classes run from 10-5pm with tutors, and students can access studios independently outside of class hours.

Overall, Rebecca said students can expect a full-on first term immersed in intensive study alongside the same cohort. “It’s knackering but exciting,” she noted, happy to be learning at a prestigious art school with supportive tutors. For those considering BA (Hons) Fine Art, her experience highlights the immersive teaching style and opportunities to develop skills through diverse projects focusing on the human body.

Featuring Artist Rebecca Armstrong, First Year BA (Hons) Fine Art

Words and photography by Frances Leung, Third Year BA (Hons) Fine Art

Before the Festive break, artist Gabriella Boyd visited our BA Fine Art and MA Fine Art students to share an artist talk and meet with the students for tutorials.

In her talk, Gabriella shared her approach to painting, discussing her latest body of work in relation to particular works and exhibitions from the last six years. Throughout the talk, she referenced the writing of Agnes Martin, the formally differing ways artists have used form to speak to the theme of intimacy, and the attempts to translate sensory experience into words in the context of the medical world.

Boyd‘s paintings act as containers of both architectural and narrative space whose boundaries inevitably overlap with one another, expressing multiple thoughts or ideas as experienced in the mind, developing or mutating over time.

Thank you to Gabriella for visiting us!

Applications are now open for our BA Fine Art and MA Fine Art 2024/25 courses.

Join us for one of our upcoming Open Days, and visit our Apply Page for full information on how to submit your application.

Header Image: Foal, 2023

  Heart, 2023

Birch, 2023

Exit (iv), 2023

 

We are delighted to announce the winner of our ‘Protect the Arts’ fundraiser raffle for the Principal’s Fund at City & Guilds of London Art School, in collaboration with Fine Art alumna Hannah Hill (aka @hanecdote).Congratulations to Kathleen Soriano, the recipient drawn as the winner of textile artwork ‘Protect the Arts’ by Hannah Hill.

‘Protect the arts’, 54cm x 58cm (approx.), Calico, digitally printed felt, brown wool felt, embroidery thread and glass beads with a wood dowel.Thank you to all those who took part and donated to help us raise £250 towards the Principal’s Fund. This fund enhances our core provision and creates increased opportunities for students, which helps to ensure that the most promising individuals can thrive on our courses.Our deepest thanks to Hannah for her generosity in creating this beautiful textile artwork especially for this fundraising campaign.If you would like to find out more about how you can support the Art School, please visit the Support Us page of our website.

This week marked the end of the first term of the National Saturday Club at City and Guilds of London Art School.

Our 3D cohort, taught by Glass Tutor Anne Petters and Artist Glass Fellow 2023/24 Mils Bridgewater, began working with glass and clay. The works were inspired by the Blaschka sculptures the students saw last week. Using their photographs and drawings, the students created amazing 3D sculptures.

Our 2D members, taught by  Graduate Diploma Arts: Carving: Woodcarving & Gilding student Henry Brown and student assistants Mississippi Renvoize (BA (Hons) Carving: Woodcarving & Gilding) and Joshua Von Uexkall (MA Fine Art), finished their Verre églomisé works. Each member delicately etched in a design of their choosing before sealing the work with spray paint.

Thank you to all our members for their hard work this term, see you in the new year!

Do you know a 13-16 year old who would be interested in joining our National Saturday Club?

3 x spaces have become available in our 2D Heritage Craft Skills & Making Club.

Over the year, our 2D members will be enjoying:

Medieval Illumination Self Portraiture
Gilding (Verre Eglomise)
Book Binding
Marbling
Print Making
2D glasswork
Trips to trade workshops
Guest workshops from QEST scholars

Applications can be made via the National Saturday Club website or email Hope, our Widening Participation Assistant, at h.turnbull@cityandguildsartschool.ac.uk.

 

 

As an introduction to Sculpture, our Foundation students recently completed a ‘Cardboard Orchestra’ project – check out the amazing outcomes!

First established last year, this is a two-day project with the aim of introducing inventive means of fabrication out of cardboard, a sculpture inspired by the shape, form and musicality of a musical instrument of the students choice.

The results are truly artfully imaginative, and show extraordinary and playful possibilities of the use of cardboard, string and glue.

Interested in studying on our Foundation Diploma in Art & Design?

Find out more about the course and the Art School at one of our upcoming Open Days.

Applications are now open for 2024/25 study.

 

This week, the 3D cohort of our National Saturday Club visited the Natural History Museum. We were kindly hosted by the amazing Miranda Lowe CBE, Principal Curator of Crustacea and Cnidaria Collections. Miranda guided us to the wonderful Treasures Gallery at the Museum and gave us a talk on the amazing Blaschka works in her care.

We learnt about the history of these special objects, how they were made, and the work Miranda does at the museum to care for them. Our NSC 3D members took photos and sketched from the Blaschka pieces and will use these as references as they work with our wonderful glass department to create 3D glass sculptures.

Our 2D members, taught by Graduate Diploma Arts: Carving: Woodcarving & Gilding student Henry Brown and student assistants Mississippi Renvoize (BA (Hons) Carving: Woodcarving & Gilding) and Joshua Von Uexkall (MA Fine Art) began working on their Verre églomisé artworks.

Verre églomisé is a decorative technique of gilding 24 carat gold to the back of a glass surface and then etching on the gilded side to create a design. The members began with demonstrations from Henry, who showed methods of degreasing the glass and using gelatine to adhere the gold to the glass surface.

Next week, our 2D members will be able to etch into the gold to create animal designs.

Do you know a 13-16 year old who would be interested in joining our National Saturday Club?

3 x spaces have become available in our 2D Heritage Craft Skills & Making Club.

Over the year, our 2D members will be enjoying:

Medieval Illumination Self Portraiture
Gilding (Verre Eglomise)
Book Binding
Marbling
Print Making
2D glasswork
Trips to trade workshops
Guest workshops from QEST scholars

Applications can be made via the National Saturday Club website or email Hope, our Widening Participation Assistant, at h.turnbull@cityandguildsartschool.ac.uk.

We are delighted to share that BA (Hons) Fine Art alumnus Kofi Perry was announced last month as one of the winners of the Ingram Prize 2023 for his work ‘A Young Initiate’.

A Young Initiate, oil on canvas, 30 x 20.5 cm

The Ingram Prize is “an annual purchase prize open to visual artists who are within five years of graduation from a UK-based art school. Now in its eighth year, this leading prize for contemporary artists was established by The Ingram Collection to celebrate and support artists at the beginning of their professional career.”

Our warmest congratulations to Kofi, and to three of our Fine Art alumni who were also shortlisted for this year’s prize: Erin Holly, Lucienne O’Mara and Suzanne Clements.

Find out more about our BA Fine Art and MA Fine Art courses at one of our upcoming Open Days.

Applications are now open for 2024/25 study.

Photo credit: Phil Adams and The Ingram Collection

Congratulations to BA (Hons) Carving: Woodcarving and Gilding alumna Jo Grogan, who won the Student Design Category at the Wood Awards 2023 with her work and final year project ‘Rocaille Morphosis’.

The Wood Awards celebrates excellence and innovation in wood craftmanship and design across furniture, product and buildings. Eight buildings and three furniture projects were announced as the winners in their respective categories, with Jo winning the Student Designer Award in the ‘Furniture and Product’ category.

Well done Jo!

Find out more about studying on our BA Carving and MA Carving courses at one of our upcoming Open Days.

Applications are now open for 2024/25 study.

 

 

On Wednesday 29 November we were delighted to be joined by friends and supporters for the Conservation Winter Party 2023.

Last hosted in 2019, the night was a wonderful celebration of our Conservation Department and the work of our students on our undergraduate and postgraduate Conservation courses: BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone Wood & Decorative Surfaces, BA (Hons) Conservation: Books and Paper and MA Conservation.

The evening opened with addresses from the Art School Principal, Dr. Lois Rowe, the Head of Conservation, Dr. Marina Sokhan and the Chair to the Board of Trustees, Jamie Bill. They shared the ranging successes of the department, from its global impact by training new generations of conservators, to its dedication to passing on endangered skills such as japanning and illuminations.

Third Year BA Conservation and MA Conservation students hosted a showcase of their work in the Conservation studios, and discussed their final year projects with our guests. We can’t wait to see the finished results of their work at the end of year Degree Shows.

Thank you to all those who joined us and to our Conservation students for all your hard work.

This week, our National Saturday Club members visited Central Saint Martins to share their ‘self-portrait’ projects. This was a great chance to meet club members from across the country and admire the work they had been making for the last few weeks.

As well as viewing the amazing artworks, our members had the opportunity to listen to speeches by co-founders of the National Saturday Club, Sir John and Lady Frances Sorrel.

The day ended with an incredible visit to Makerversity at Somerset House where we were kindly given a guided tour of the facilities.

Do you know a 13-16 year old who would be interested in joining our National Saturday Club?

3 x spaces have become available in our 2D Heritage Craft Skills & Making Club.

Over the year, our 2D members will be enjoying:

Medieval Illumination Self Portraiture
Gilding (Verre Eglomise)
Book Binding
Marbling
Print Making
2D glasswork
Trips to trade workshops
Guest workshops from QEST scholars

Applications can be made via the National Saturday Club website or email Hope, our Widening Participation Assistant, at h.turnbull@cityandguildsartschool.ac.uk.

London-based artist Elsa Rouy visited the Art School last week to speak to our BA (Hons) Fine Art and MA Fine Art students.

Elsa creates images of intense psychological depth, and describes her work as “a visual portrayal of abstruse emotions.” Through painting, Elsa attempts to get to the heart of her own personal experience.

Elsa met with students for tutorials, and gave an artist talk where she discussed her themes, technique and inspirations. She spoke about her love of paint as a medium, and how she has been inspired by filmmakers and writers, as well as artists. Elsa encouraged the students to experience moments of uncertainty, and to push through fear in their practice.

Our thanks to Elsa for your visit and time.

Applications are now open for our BA and MA Fine Art 2024/25 courses.

Join us for one of our upcoming Open Days, and visit our Apply page for full information on how to submit your application.

This week, our National Saturday Club members completed their Self Portraits.

Tutor Tom Merrett and BA (Hons) Fine Art student Louis Power assisted our 3D members with the final step of their project. They cast their plastilin busts by pressing the areas of their sculptures into clay to create moulds, then filling this with plaster.

Our 2D members, taught by tutor Sarah Davis and assisted by Graduate Diploma Arts: Carving: Woodcarving & Gilding student Henry Brown, completed the finishing touches to their medieval illuminations, adding highlights, shadows and outlines to create captivating paintings.

Congratulations to our students for the completion of their first projects!

Next week, will be taking part in the National Saturday Club’s annual London visit. We will be visiting Central Saint Martins to view the works created by other National Saturday Club members, followed by a cultural visit to Somerset House.

Charlotte Jones, MA Conservation, worked earlier this year on the cleaning and restoration of the 19th century reredos at St. Pancras Old Church by the esteemed decorative artist Charles Edgar Buckeridge. The reredos is a triptych made from carved oak, with gilded and painted panels in a stylistic homage to 15th century religious art. The work was undertaken as part of a wider restoration project of the St. Pancras Old Church, including repainting, reviving flooring and the restoration of monuments and decorative works.

Charlotte’s work started with cleaning the piece. After trials were carried out to determine the method of cleaning, dust was removed with a thorough brush vacuum, followed by aqueous cleaning with TAC (an inorganic salt) solution, and de-ionised water for the timber. During this process, evidence of previous cleaning attempts during the reredos’ history became apparent with visible damage underneath the build-up of surface dirt.

Charlotte addressed the damage to the paint on some of the figures and gilding on the panels with infilling and in-painting over a barrier layer of resin. A new surface coating was also required on the painted figures to saturate the colour and stabilise the paint surface. Acrylic putty was used to infill surface losses, which were in-painted using Golden fluid acrylic colours. Under UV light, this makes the restored material distinguishable from the original oil paint. The most significant losses on the gilded panels were also re-touched using gold leaf and an acrylic size.

Charlotte commented to New Direction magazine: “This project was an absolute honour and so enjoyable. It’s always rewarding to uncover these pieces and see them come back to life”.

 

Find out more about our MA Conservation Course at one of our upcoming Open Days.

Applications now open for 2024/25 study.

In collaboration with Fine Art alumna Hannah Hill, we are excited to launch a Fundraising Raffle for the Principal’s Fund at City & Guilds of London Art School. Entrants will have the opportunity to win a brilliant new artwork by Hannah, created especially for this campaign.

Hannah, known across socials as @hanecdote, was inspired by the Art School’s fundraising appeal during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Wanting to give back to the Art School, she designed ‘Protect the Arts’, a beautiful textile work which brings together the Art School’s specialisms and is a call to protect the arts and creative industries. This was made with the generous objective of raffling the artwork to raise money for the areas of most need within the Art School.

‘Protect the arts’, 54cm x 58cm (approx.), Calico, digitally printed felt, brown wool felt, embroidery thread and glass beads with a wood dowel.

The funds raised from this raffle will go directly to the Principal’s Fund, which enhances our core provision and creates increased opportunities for students. This helps to ensure that the most promising individuals can thrive on our courses.

The Principal’s Fund is vital for enabling the Art School to stay true to its mission. Remaining an independent charity means that, unlike larger universities, we receive no direct revenue funding from government. Gifts to the Principal’s Fund are directed towards the areas of greatest need, including student support, meeting increased running costs and new initiatives. By taking part in this raffle, your support will have a tangible impact, enabling us to uphold our commitment to our cause, and develop for the future. If you are interested in other ways of supporting the Art School, please visit the Support Us page of our website.

Our deepest thanks to Hannah for her work and generosity, and to all those who take part.

How to Enter

Visit the campaign website or use the link below to purchase your raffle ticket(s) with a £5 donation per entry.

100% of proceeds will support City & Guilds of London Art School in its charitable mission.

Raffle closes: Monday 18th December 2023
Winner announced: Tuesday 19th December 2023

Charity Registration no. 1144708

Terms and Conditions

Winner will be selected using a random generator and announced online. The winner will also be contacted directly by email. Shipping within mainland UK included. Arrangements for International Shipping, if required, to be made by the winner.

By entering, you confirm that you are at least 18 years of age, based in the UK and agree to Instagram’s terms of use, and release Instagram of any responsibility.

As per Instagram’s rules, this promotion is not sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram in any way.

CGLAS are registered with Lambeth Council to run small lotteries.

This week, our National Saturday Club Members continued to refine their Self-Portraiture project.

Our 2D members, taught by tutor Sarah Davis and assisted by Graduate Diploma Arts: Carving: Woodcarving & Gilding student Henry Brown, began to paint their medieval illuminations. Using size 00 brushes, members used gouache paint to begin the base layer of their images. Next week, they will add final touches such as highlights, shadows and outlines.

Our 3D members, taught by tutor Tom Merrett and assisted by BA (Hons) Fine Art student Louis Power, used plastilin to sculpt a bust of themselves. The members created brilliant self-portraits, which next week will be cast using the clay and plaster.

The works are looking amazing, and we are very excited to see the finished results next week.

Thank you to our members for working so diligently and putting so much care into their work.

Congratulations to Tom Ball, our de Laszlo Lead Woodcarving Tutor, who has won the Heritage Crafts Woodworker of the Year Award 2023.

The £2,000 prize and trophy, sponsored by Axminster Tools, was awarded at a presentation at St George’s College, Windsor Castle, on Wednesday 15 November.

The award, now in its second year, “celebrates a heritage craftsperson who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of woodworking over the past year. It recognizes a contribution that is far beyond the ordinary, based on a proven dedication to a particular woodworking skill.” Heritage Crafts

Tom has taught on our BA (Hons) Carving: Woodcarving and Gilding and MA Carving courses since 2020, and was appointed Lead Woodcarving Tutor in 2022.

After studying Woodcarving & Gilding at the Art School from 2005-2008, Tom has worked extensively within the field of carving and restoration. His projects include the restoration of Grinling Gibbons’ carving at Trinity College Chapel Oxford, and carving and gilding the main canopy columns for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee. In 2021, he was awarded the Master Carver Certificate by the Worshipful Company of Joiners and Ceilers.

We could not be more delighted for Tom on receiving this incredibly well-deserved achievement.

Photo credit: Stefan Jakubowski, Heritage Crafts

We are pleased to introduce Rick De La Espriella, First Year BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces, as the newest recipient of the BASET and City & Guilds of London Art School Endeavour Award.

This award from BASET (The Britain-Australia Society Education Trust) and City & Guilds of London Art School offers financial support to a talented and deserving person with a passion for conservation. The funding is open to an Australian national to study on one the Art School’s three-year undergraduate conservation programmes.

Rick is now a few weeks into his first term at City & Guilds of London Art School. We visited him for a chat in the Conservation studios and asked a few questions about his experience so far.

How is the course going so far?

It’s great! It’s super exciting, it’s the first thing that I’ve ever done where I’m interested in every single aspect of it. There’s not a single subject that I dread or that I don’t like. There are things which are challenging, but the tutors are just so helpful and friendly. It’s not intimidating at all, which is really nice. I’m really enjoying it – I’m just getting adjusted to the weather!

How did you find out about the course?

In the past, I have worked in instrument making and as an electrical technician in Germany and Australia, so I’ve worked with my hands quite a lot. I spoke to an English bookmaker who lives in Germany, and he told me about the Conservation courses in England. I started looking into it, and I found this specific one. It really interested me, as it has small classes and is very hands-on. It was important to me to not get lost in book work and theory, and to still be really tangibly connected to the work that I was doing. I then decided to go for it.

What does it mean to have the support from BASET?

It is a massive help and relief. The opportunity with BASET has given me the ability to really focus on my studies, and make sure that that’s the priority. And it’s exciting to know that you’re connected with a group of people who are connected to the place that you’re from. It feels like a privilege.

You are learning joinery at the moment, what’s coming up next?

We are doing drawing for the next few weeks, which will cover figuration and drapery. We also have science, architecture – there are a lot of projects coming up and the amount we cover is really cool. We have cross-over classes with BA (Hons) Conservation: Books and Paper and BA (Hons) Carving. There are a lot of different avenues, it’s very exciting.

Keep an eye on our Conservation blog for updates on Rick’s work.

To find out more about our BA (Hons) Conservation and MA Conservation courses, visit us at one of our upcoming Open Days for 2024/25 study.

BASET (The Britain Australia Society Education Trust) is a UK based charity which runs a range of educational awards to enable talented young people from Britain and Australia to study abroad, furthering their education and career skills. For more information about BASET (registered charity no. 803505) please visit the charity’s website.

Wishing a warm welcome to our 2023/24 City & Guilds of London Art School National Saturday Club members as they dive into heritage crafts and begin their creative journey!

Saturday 11 November marked the first week of this year’s club, which has opened with our young creatives exploring self-portraiture. Each member will create an artwork that will be displayed at Central Saint Martins as part of the National Saturday Club’s London visit.

Guided by tutor Tom Merrett, our 3D members started laying the groundwork for their wax bust carvings. They began by studying their faces using mirrors to draw a self-portrait, which they drew in hand-crafted notebooks made at the beginning of the class. After this, the members moved on to creating the armatures for their sculptures.

Our 2D members, taught by tutor Sarah Davis, began their mediaeval illuminations. Taking inspiration from their identity, the students created miniature drawings not limited to portraits, favourite animals, flowers and roman letters. The group then moved on to gilding. Using miniatum ink and real gold, they used the heat of their breath to create glittering and delicate images.

Thank you to our members for working so hard this first class, the work is looking incredible already. For the next few weeks, they will be working on their self-portraits with Tom and Sarah. We can’t wait to see the finished work!

Additional spaces available

We have just had two spaces become available in our ‘2D Heritage Craft Skills and Making’ National Saturday Club. If you know a young person (13-16) wishing to develop their creativity and explore a range of different media, please share this opportunity and invite them to submit their application.

To apply, please visit the National Saturday Club website, or email Hope Turnbull, our Widening Participation Assistant, at h.turnbull@cityandguildsartschool.ac.uk.

Jonathan Wright, recent MA Conservation graduate and 2020 QEST Garfield Weston Foundation Scholar, has been announced as the newest Trustee of QEST.

Jonathan is a master globemaker, with over ten years of experience working in globe production since starting an apprenticeship in 2012. He graduated from the MA in Conservation in September 2023, and has opened his own studio, J. Wright Globemaker, offering specialist conservation and restoration services alongside creating bespoke globes.

“I’m incredibly proud to join the QEST board. As an alumnus, it’s a real privilege to now play a role in supporting other makers. It’s not just about supporting individuals but nurturing the legacy and culture of craft. This will be my first experience working as a trustee, so there’s a lot to learn, but I’m keen to bring my lived experience of apprentice to master globemaker to the table.”

Read more about Jonathan’s appointment on the QEST website here.

Congratulations Jonathan!

Photo credit: QEST

We are pleased to announce the winner of the City & Guilds of London Art School prize at Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair 2023.

Screen Print Tutor Niamh Clancy chose the recipient of the award, which this year goes to Laetitia Hallen for her work ‘Cow, 2022’. Well done Laetitia!

Our congratulations also go to our Head of Fine Art, Robin Mason, who won the 2023 Jill Bullen Memorial Award, and to all of our staff and alumni who had work shown at this year’s fair. Thank you to the Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair organisers, alumnus Jack Bullen and Lizzie Glendinning, for another fantastic year.

CGLAS X WCPF PRIZE

The City & Guilds of London Art School Prize at Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair is awarded each year to a recipient external to the Art School network, and selected by a member of our Print Room team. The winner receives three days access to our Print Room, where they can explore and develop their printing skills alongside our tutors, fellows and students.

HISTORIC PRINT ROOM

Established in the late 19th century, the Art School’s historic Print Room offers a facility for printmaking open to every student across all our courses: Foundation Art & Design, BA and MA Fine ArtConservation and Carving

Professor Norman Ackroyd CBE RA ARCA was instrumental in re-establishing the Print & Engraving Room as a thriving centre for teaching and practice in the 1990s. We focus on the traditional intaglio processes which is taught by our Printmaking Tutors and Fellows, who are all practising artists working with etching. Students have the opportunity to achieve an understanding and gain the confidence to make the process their own through hands-on experience.

WOOLWICH CONTEMPORARY PRINT FAIR

Founded in 2016 by Fine Art alumnus Jack Bullen, the Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair has grown to become the UK’s largest contemporary Print Fair. It features work from emerging artists alongside well-established names, providing an important platform for up and coming printmakers. Many of our Art School alumni, Tutors and Fellows have been selected to exhibit at WCPF over the years, including Robin Mason, Blaze Cyan, Irene Burkhard, Polly Bennett, Kristina Chan, Catherine Greenwood, Laura Clarke, Geraldine van Hemstra, Jemma Gunning and Rachel Goodison.

 

 

We are thrilled to share that four of our Fine Art alumni have been selected as Finalists for the Ingram Prize 2023.

Suzanne Clements, MA Fine Art 2022
Erin Holly, MA Fine Art 2020
Lucienne O’Mara, MA Fine Art 2019
Kofi Perry, BA Fine Art 2022

The Ingram Prize is a yearly prize open to visual artists who graduated in the last five years from a UK-based art school. Now in its 8th year, the Ingram Prize was established to celebrate and support artists at the beginning of their professional careers.

The Prizes and Opportunities for 2023, as outlined on the Ingram Prize website, are:

‘Three winning works will receive the Ingram Prize and will be acquired for The Ingram Collection.

A further work, selected by Chris Ingram, will receive the Founder’s Choice Award and will be acquired for The Ingram Collection.

One of the three Ingram Prize winners will be offered a solo exhibition in 2024 at the Art Fund Prize-winning gallery and museum, the Lightbox.

One finalist will be offered a solo exhibition in Autumn 2024 at TM Lighting’s London gallery space, to be curated by Jo Baring, Director of The Ingram Collection.

All finalists will be offered the opportunity to apply for an artist residency project in 2024, given in partnership with Hestercombe Gallery, Somerset.’

The 2023 Prizewinners will be announced on Wednesday 22 November, and we look forward to seeing the work of our alumni amongst the shortlisted artists in a group show at the Pavilion Gallery, Cromwell Place, running from 22-26 November.

Congratulations and good luck to Suzanne, Erin, Lucienne and Kofi!

If you are interested in studying BA Fine Art or MA Fine Art at City & Guilds of London Art School, please visit us on one of our upcoming Open Days for 2024/25 study.

Congratulations to our de Laszlo Lead Woodcarving Tutor Tom Ball, who has been announced as a finalist for the Heritage Crafts Woodworker of the Year Award.

The award ‘celebrates a heritage craftsperson who has made an outstanding contribution to woodworking over the past year. It recognises a contribution that is far beyond the ordinary, based on a proven dedication to a particular woodworking skill.’

The Art School nominated Tom in recognition of his expert skills as a Woodcarver, his dedication to ensuring those skills are passed on through his teaching on the Art School’s carving courses and the prestigious professional projects he has worked on.

Originally training as a technical illustrator and model maker, Tom moved his focus to working in wood and studied Woodcarving & Gilding at City & Guilds of London Art School between 2005 – 2008.

Since this time, Tom has worked extensively within the field of carving and restoration, working for many of the country’s top conservation companies. This has provided Tom with a great opportunity to develop an understanding and a sensitivity for working within many period styles, as well as building a high level of competence for working with valuable and often fragile historic objects. Recent projects include the removal, repair and re-gilding of the entire carved ceiling at Lincoln College Chapel Oxford, restoration of Grinling Gibbons carving at Trinity College Chapel Oxford and carving and gilding the main canopy columns for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

In 2021 Tom was awarded the Master Carver Certificate by the Worshipful Company Of Joiners and Ceilers.

The award winners will be announced at a prestigious Winner’s Reception at the Vicar’s Hall, Windsor Castle, in November.

Wishing Tom the best of luck!

The Sir Denis Mahon Foundation has supported a grant at City & Guilds of London Art School since 2020, created to honour the memory of Sir Denis Mahon, renowned collector and historian of Italian art, and to continue his legacy and lifelong interests in fine art, carving and conservation.

Intended to encourage and support students at the Art School to realise ambitious sculptural projects, the £5,000 grant has been open to submissions from second year BA Conservation, Carving and Fine Art students working with sculpture for use in their final year. In this fourth allocation, the Grant has been awarded to two outstanding candidates, who will share the £5,000 grant. The Art School is most grateful to the Sir Denis Mahon Foundation for their valued support.

Leigh-ann Cousins – Third year, BA Fine Art

“For my final project I plan to travel around UK to various natural locations, documenting, recording and collecting materials relating to the natural world to further my research into sacred geometry and the relationship between humans and nature.

While traveling I will be examining the properties of new fauna, flora and wildlife as well as collecting materials for the final project. In addition, I will create site specific works with these materials to be documented in situ and leading to them being adapted to work within an inside space. This will involve building circuits, applying code, management, and the pressing and cleaning of organic materials alongside the construction of box frames.

The work I create with nature develops throughout the experimentation with materials, therefore I do not have a prescribed design for the whole final project outcome. However, overall, I am planning to have a series of boxes that balance the human material and natural, each will have their own mechanic element consisting of either lights, movements or sound recordings. Currently my broad plan is that one work will be constructed from sea glass in a round box that will replicate water ripple through the glass either by using motors or lights alongside code. Another is to create a box out of leaves then to have lights inside casting a silhouette of objects onto the leaves.

This support will allow me to take the research trips I need to and allow me to purchase materials to realise the final art works.

As a collector Sir Denis Mahon had a longstanding interest in the materiality of objects, and their conservation. I feel that my works have evolved from the traditional genre of landscape, merging with contemporary possibilities of electronic kinetic elements, bringing together questions and challenges relating to the ephemeral aspects of materials from nature, and the romantic tradition of landscape and sculpture, that I hope Sir Denis would have approved of.”

Alexander Wheeldon – Third year, BA Carving: Architectural Stone

“Although it was initially the students’ drawings which attracted me to City & Guilds of London Art School, it was seeing that these students were learning the traditional, practical skills, which I didn’t even know still existed, that cemented my desire to apply to the Art School. I have a strong interest in learning traditional crafts the proper way, taking what was established in the past and building on it for new generations.

In my third and final year I intend to make two sculptures: One is a relief is based on an etching by Michel Dorigny, ‘The Dream of Saint Joseph’ that includes two figures in drapery and one a copy in the round of the classical bust known as ‘Clytie’ that sits in the British Museum collection. The Art School has a cast of this object that I can work from using a pointing machine. I chose these two particular subjects as I have an interest in both drapery and the figure, both subjects I have explored in my drawing and tattooing prior to joining the Art School. Having the opportunity to carve such objects and not just produce them in a drawing is an amazing opportunity I don’t want to let pass me by. I intend to focus entirely on refining my carving technique and I look forward to making the best possible use of the expertise of my tutors in cutting and carving limestone during my last year.

I hope to gain a strong understanding of the figure and drapery, as well as a thorough foundation in limestone-cutting techniques that will serve me well in a career in carving after I leave the course.

The Sir Denis Mahon Project Grant will allow me to use the highest quality stone for each piece, which will make a huge difference in the standard of the carving. Both these pieces have fine detail, and so require a hard stone with a fine grain that will hold its shape when working these small sections.

I believe as a collector of Italian baroque paintings, Sir Denis Mahon may have had an appreciation for the kind of imagery I will be using in my final year. While not made by Italian artists, both works lean heavily on the same classical foundations as those Italians.”

The Sir Denis Mahon Sculptural Project Grant is one of over 40 grants and awards available to students at the Art School.

The Art School itself provides some of the grants but many are funded by a number of organisations and individuals who value our commitment to championing specialist subjects, providing high levels of tutor contact time (about twice that of other London-based arts university courses) and continuing to deliver high standards of excellence. Over 40% of our undergraduate and postgraduate students usually benefit from one of our grants in an average year, which can be used to part-fund tuition fees or particular work projects.

If you would like to find out more about how you can support the Art School and its students, please click here or contact our Development Team on development@cityandguildsartschool.ac.uk.

Ally and Savannah with the Tsurumi University Cultural Heritage students outside Tokyo National Museum

Third year BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces students Ally Wingate-Saul and Savannah Grieve took part in an Urushi Internship over their summer break at Tsurumi University in Yokohama, Japan. The internship provided accommodation in Tsurumi for 21 days and teaching over a two-week period. They were taught under the guidance of Professor Yajima by Takumi Matsumoto, a PhD student in cultural heritage.

The focus of the internship was an introduction to urushi, or Japanese Lacquer, a traditional Japanese craft which has a rich history and has long been a highly prized material. It is versatile and highly durable, thus produced a distinctive art form which is widespread in Japan.

“We were greeted at Haneda Airport by Takumi Matusmoto who kindly took the time to make sure we could safely find the guest house in Tsurumi. To show even further hospitality we were greeted the following morning, outside our accommodation, by students Izumi and Arata, who showed us the route to Tsurumi University.”

Takumi Matsumoto taught the history and harvesting of urushi, traditional maki-e techniques (using gold powder) and mother of pearl decorative techniques. Other teaching was undertaken by students and professors at Tsurumi University who took Ally and Savannah on various guided museum visits to see many treasured lacquered objects. They also joined 3rd year students’ classes to learn traditional Japanese methods of handling and packaging for heritage objects, traditional methods for hanging Japanese scrolls and display techniques for ceramic objects which reduce the risk of damage during earthquakes.

Urushi Tools

Ally and Savannah working in the urushi studio

During the internship they each produced maki-e designs on a black urushi plate and a mother of pearl decorative pendant. This taught them an insight into the intense and lengthy processes involved in producing even small, simple objects using urushi. Which in turn, developed a deep appreciation of the craft.

Here, they reflect on and describe the processes used to create the maki-e designs on the black urushi plates;

“We chose from traditional Japanese maki-e design books and sketched out our designs. This was transferred onto the black urushi plates using red urushi, so that the design was distinguishable. The lacquer was covered in a very fine gold powder to illuminate the design which was then cured in a bespoke cabinet which provided the necessary 75% relative humidity and 25oC.

The following day the design was repeated in red urushi with a thicker line and very fine pure gold powder was sprinkled over the top ensuring all areas of red were saturated with gold. The thickness of the lacquer made this a challenging process – having this experience of using the material prior to museum visits left us both in awe of what can be produced using the same materials we were.

Transparent urushi and tools

Pure gold powder and tools

Once cured, the now gold design was covered with a thin layer of transparent urushi mixed with oil and Kamphor to reduce the viscosity and blotted with tissue paper to ensure any excess was removed, and then cured again. This was subsequently polished using very fine abrasives and burnished using a specialist tool – made from a seabream tooth, creating a vibrant gold surface.”

Ally working in the urushi studio

Ally (right) and Savannah’s (left) finished urushi maki-e plates

For their mother of pearl pendants, the base had been prepared by Takumi using black urushi. The mother of pearl was soaked in water to create a less brittle material. The pieces were cut using a scalpel and placed onto the surface of the pendant on top of a layer of transparent urushi, which was then cured. The top of this was covered with another layer of transparent urushi and after curing again, this was polished using abrasives to reveal the mother of pearl designs.

Ally (left) and Savannah’s (right) mother of pearl pendants

“The internship was completely inspiring. The excitement of learning such a treasured craft quickly led us to local specialist urushi craft shops in the hopes to have what we need to continue to practise these skills after returning to London. We both hope to one day come across such objects in our careers and put these wonderful skills and traditions into practice. We would like to say a huge thank the students and professors at Tsurumi university, they gave us an incredible experience made us feel so welcome in the process.”

In the urushi studio at Tsurumi university

Ice-cream in the park!

 

Images and words by Ally Wingate-Saul and Savannah Grieve

 

 

Screen printing masterclass with Rosanna Bishop, image credit: Thea Baddiley

We are delighted to announce that applications for the 2023/24 National Saturday Club at City & Guilds of London Art School are now open.

The National Saturday Club gives 13–16-year-olds across the country the opportunity to study subjects they love at their local university, college or cultural institution, for free.

Last year’s inaugural Saturday Club at the Art School was a huge success. Our 2022/23 members learned a range of heritage craft skills, from gilding to woodcarving, and showed their work in the end of year Summer Show at Somerset House. Take a look at what they learned over the year on our Saturday Club blog.

Our 2022/23 National Saturday Club Members at their end of course party

This year, our National Saturday Club will have two strands, with members choosing to explore either 2D or 3D Heritage Craft skills and making. Check out what will be covered in each strand below.

2D Heritage Craft Skills & Making
– Medieval Illumination Self Portrait
– Gilding (Verre Eglomise)
– Book Binding
– Marbling
– Print Making
– 2D Glasswork
– Trips to trade workshops
– Guest workshops from QEST scholars

3D Heritage Craft Skills & Making
– Sculptural Self Portait
– Woodcarving
– Stone Carving
– 3D Glasswork
– Trips to trade workshops
– Guest Workshops from QEST scholars

Both streams of the course will be taught by expert tutors who deliver BA and MA programmes at the Art School, with a range of trips and guest tutors throughout the year. Members will also be supported by a team of current Art School students who they will be able to chat to about what it takes to become an artist today.

Screen printing masterclass with Rosanna Bishop, image credit: Thea Baddiley

Please visit the National Saturday Club page on our website for full information on this year’s club. Applications will need to be submitted via the National Saturday Club website.

We invite you to share this opportunity with any young people looking for the chance to develop their creativity and explore the world of craft and craftsmanship.

If you have any questions, please contact Camilla at c.robinson@cityandguildsartschool.ac.uk.

We are most grateful to those donors whose generous support has made this project possible:
City & Guilds Foundation , Fishmongers’ Company

This week, we celebrated the hard work and achievements of our graduating MA Students in Fine Art, Conservation and Art & Material Histories at their end of year ceremony and prize giving.

The evening opened with a welcome from the Chair of the Board of Trustees, Jamie Bill, who commended the graduands and the impressive display of work in their MA Show, which has been running from 2-9 September. Special thanks were given to colleagues and the wider Art School Faculty for their work ‘to create an environment where great talent, as we see today, can be nurtured’.

Jamie Bill, Chair of the Board of Trustees

Graduands from each of the courses spoke on behalf of their cohorts, with Valentino Vannini representing MA Fine Art, and Agata Nowak, Sarah Cleary and Emily Jieun Kim (Leverhulme Arts Scholar) representing MA Art & Material Histories. Each of their addresses acknowledged their fellow students and tutors for their guidance and support over their time at the Art School.

Valentino Vannini, MA Fine Art

(L-R) Emily Jieun Kim (Leverhulme Arts Scholar), Sarah Cleary and Agata Nowak, MA Art & Material Histories

“We were constantly challenged in an environment where care was modelled every day. Everyone in the school made time to give us a moment of their day to support us, and everyone has shown genuine interest in what we’re learning… The course has resulted in amazing alchemy which has left me with some life-long friends. To refer to them as my colleagues, professionally speaking, they are masters in their disciplines, and incredible guides to everyone else too. They have made this course so very memorable.” Valentino Vannini, MA Fine Art

The students handed over to the Heads of Department to give their addresses and present the graduands with their certificates and awards. Tom Groves, Head of Art Histories, praised the MA Art & Material Histories 2023 cohort for producing ‘some of the most conceptually exciting and materially-rich work [he had] ever seen’. Robin Mason, Head of Fine Art, reflected on the initial meeting that took place 25 years ago to discuss the delivery of an MA course at the Art School, and how proud those who had been present would be of this year’s graduands.

We were delighted to then be joined by Lady Bridgeman, Managing Director and founder of the Artists’ Collecting Society, to present the ACS City & Guilds of London Art School Studio Prize. This year, the prize was awarded to Alice MacDonald, MA Fine Art. This award provides funding for the winning recipient to secure studio space in London for one year, supporting their transition into their career as a professional artist.

Lady Bridgeman, Artists’ Collecting Society

The ceremony was closed by the Art School Principal, Dr Lois Rowe, who thanked all those who have supported our students; from friends and family, to the Art School’s trustees and donors, and their tutors. Lois ended her closing remarks by saying, ‘it has been a privilege to witness the success of this year group, and I have no doubt these talented graduates will achieve great things’.

Dr Lois Rowe, Principal

We wish our graduating MA students the very best of luck, and congratulate them once again on an exceptional end of year show. Please take a look at our Images Gallery  to see  a range of the work on display, alongside photos from the End of Year Ceremony.

2023 Graduate Prizes and Awards

The Tony Carter Award: Camilla Dilshat, MA Fine Art

The ACS City & Guilds of London Art School Studio Prize: Alice MacDonald, MA Fine Art

City & Guilds of London Art School Prize for Outstanding Critical Engagement: Amelia Bowles, MA Fine Art

City & Guilds of London Art School Prize for Outstanding MA Fine Art Exhibition: Damaris Athene, MA Fine Art

The Standpoint Artist’s Residency: Valentino Vannini, MA Fine Art

The Worshipful Company of Painter Stainers’ Decorative Surfaces Fellowship: Eloise Dethier-Eaton, MA Fine Art

City & Guilds of London Art School Prize for Outstanding Work in Print: Benjamin Topping, MA Fine Art

The Printmaking Prize for Technical Excellence: Sally Weatherill, MA Fine Art

The Skinners’ Company Stephen Gooden Prize for Engraving: Alice MacDonald, MA Fine Art

Alice MacDonald, MA Fine Art, winner of the ACS City & Guilds of London Art School Studio Prize and the Skinners’ Company Stephen Gooden Prize for Engraving

Eloise Dethier-Eaton, MA Fine Art, winner of the Worshipful Company of Painter Stainers’ Decorative Surfaces Fellowship

Camilla Dilshat, MA Fine Art, winner of the Tony Carter Award

Damaris Athene, MA Fine Art (Leverhulme Arts Scholar), winner of the City & Guilds of London Art School Prize for Outstanding MA Fine Art Exhibition

Amelia Bowles, MA Fine Art (Leverhulme Arts Scholar), winner of the City & Guilds of London Art School Prize for Outstanding Critical Engagement

Ben Topping, MA Fine Art, winner of the City & Guilds of London Art School Prize for Outstanding Work in Print

Sally Weatherill, MA Fine Art, winner of the Printmaking Prize for Technical Excellence

Valentino Vannini, MA Fine Art, winner of the Standpoint Artist’s Residency

You are warmly invited to our MA Show 2023, taking place from Saturday 2 September – Saturday 9 September 2023.

The show is a celebration of the outstanding work of our postgraduate Fine Art, Art & Material Histories and Conservation (presenting research) students, as well as current work from our Co-Chairs of Students and Fellows.

Please see full information on our public opening times, location and accessibility on our event page.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Art School!

Join our mailing list to receive updates and invitations for our Graduate Shows and events.

The Art School is delighted to announce the winners of our 2023 awards and prizes for continuing students.

Our student prizes recognise excellence and achievement shown throughout the academic year, along with a number of awards for outstanding competition entries. As always, we have been extremely impressed with our students’ work and the high standard of competition entries. We would like to commend all students for their continued hard work and dedication.

Congratulations to our 2023 prize winners!

 

2023 PRIZE WINNERS

Artists Collecting Society Undergraduate Prize: Maria Andrievskaya (BA (Hons) Fine Art, Year 2)

City & Guilds of London Art School Gilding and Decorative Surfaces Prize for a Conservation student: Thomas Yeung (BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone, Wood and Decorative Surfaces, Year 1)

Fishmongers’ Company Menu Cover Design Prize: Elizabeth Allen (BA (Hons) Carving: Woodcarving and Gilding, Year 1)

Painter-Stainers Scholarship Prize: Louis Petit (BA (Hons) Fine Art, Year 1)

The Honourable Society of Knights of the Round Table Award: Alex Wheeldon (BA (Hons) Carving: Stone Carving, Year 2) and Savannah Grieve (BA (Hons) Conservation, Year 2)

 

TRAVEL PRIZES

Brinsley Ford Travel Award: Henry Brown (BA (Hons) Carving: Woodcarving and Gilding, Year 2)

David Ballardie Memorial Travel Award: Zoe Klink (BA (Hons) Fine Art, Year 2)

Fishmongers’ Company Beckwith Travel and Scholarship Prize: Kate Appleby (BA (Hons) Fine Art, Year 2)

Skinners’ Company Philip Connard Travel Prize: Issy Eberlin (BA (Hons) Fine Art, Year 2)

 

DRAWING PRIZES

Surveyors’ Club Prize: Alex Wheeldon (BA (Hons) Carving: Stone Carving, Year 2)

 

We would also like to congratulate all our 2023 graduating student prize winners, who received their awards during their graduation ceremony on 23 June 2023.

We were delighted to take part in Southwark Cathedral’s Mudlarking and Heritage Craft Day on Saturday 29 July.

Over 2000 people came through the event, which celebrated the crafts used to build London. Attendees had the opportunity to get hands on with traditional skills, many of which were shown by Art School staff, students and alumni.

Visitors enjoyed demonstrations by Gilding Tutor Rian Kanduth, Kate Holmes (Stone Carving), Rob Postle (Lettering), Charlotte Jones (Gilding), Neville Richter (Woodcarving), Joshua Von Uexkull (Woodcarving), Julieta Herrera (Conservation) and Fiorella Lavado Chiarella (Conservation).

Thank you to everyone who stopped by!

Our National Saturday Club members, with friends, family and tutors, recently came together to celebrate the end of our first National Saturday Club, and what an amazing first year it’s been!

We have explored vérré eglomise, etching, chine collé, screen printing, wood carving and painting, working in gold, clay, ink, wood, pen and paint. We have also visited amazing creative spaces, from a trip to the V&A with the NSC, to visiting Fishmonger’s Hall and Two Temple Place with the Art School community.

Our members have created their own coat of arms, re-imaging this Heritage object through the lens of their own identities. The outcomes are nothing short of outstanding, and the commitment and hard work from our members has been inspiring to the whole National Saturday Club team at the Art School.

We were delighted to see our members’ work on display at the National Saturday Club Summer Show, which took place at Somerset House from 15-18 July. It was inspiring to see their pieces alongside the work of 1500 NSC members from across the country. If you weren’t able to see the exhibition, do check out our members’ work in the online showcase here.

We are so proud of our NSC x CGLAS 2022/2023 Alumni – congratulations!

Next academic year, we will be running two National Saturday Clubs at City & Guilds of London Art School.

2D Heritage Craft Skills and Making (12x spaces)

3D Heritage Craft Skills and Making (8x spaces)

If you are a young person interested in developing a career as an artist and maker (or you know a young person like this), check out the sign-up page on the NSC website to apply for one of our 2023/24 clubs.

Gilding Tutor and Art School alumna Rian Kanduth has been named as a finalist in the 2023 Heritage Crafts Awards in the category ‘Heritage Crafts/Marsh Trainer of the Year’.

The Art School nominated Rian in recognition of her expert teaching of gilding and lacquer techniques at the Art School, many of which are endangered. With over 25 years of experience, Rian works with more than eighteen techniques, such as water gilding, gesso, punchwork, oil gilding, verré eglomisé, japanning, penwork, coromandel, gesso cutting, sgraffito, pastiglia, patina, and more.

The award winners will be announced at a prestigious Winner’s Reception at the Vicar’s Hall, Windsor Castle, in November.

Wishing Rian the very best of luck!

On Friday 23rd June, Art School staff and students, along with friends and families, came together to celebrate the graduating classes of 2023 across our BA Fine Art, Carving and Conservation courses.

The evening commenced with the Degree Show Ceremony and Prize Giving, opened by Art School Principal Dr Lois Rowe, followed by a welcome from the Chair of the Board of Trustees, Jamie Bill.

“We are here to this evening to celebrate you. We are here to celebrate the incredible variety, energy and brilliance that you have demonstrated during your time with us and to acknowledge the incredible community of parents, carers, partners, tutors and technicians that have supported you along the way.” Dr Lois Rowe, Art School Principal

 “For over 170 years the school has played a vital role in passing on specialist skills and inspiring new generations of artists to create new work, and to restore and conserve the precious built and cultural heritage of the past. As graduands, you are part of this important legacy. We know that you will be great ambassadors for the school.” Jamie Bill, Chair of Trustees

Art School Trustee Tabish Khan was then invited to address our graduating students, and offered two pieces of guidance: to keep the creative fire burning and be persistent, and to support and look out for each other. “You are doing something that you passionately believe in. It’s that creative spark that you’ve nurtured, and that you’ve invested in yourself. By doing this degree successfully, you are saying that you are following that dream.”

Tabish presented the Board of Trustees Prize, which was awarded to Maurice Mutua.

Trustee Tabish Khan presenting the Board of Trustees prize to BA (Hons) Fine Art Graduand Maurice Mutua

We were delighted to be joined by MA Fine Art Alumnus, Hugo Wilson, who returned to speak at the graduating ceremony. Hugo commended the students on the quality of their work, mentioning that “it’s not often that I come away from a show feeling really buoyed up and wanting to make, so thank you for doing that”. He spoke passionately about his time at the Art School and his twenty-year career as an artist, and imparted advice on resilience and the importance of self-reflection.

“Being an artist is a really strange life. You walk into blank rooms and blank spaces, and create something from nothing. You set up your own parameters, and often you are the last person who should be doing this. But it’s a privilege and it’s a responsibility. And to those who are doing conservation and restoration, the artists personally thank you in advance for looking after us” Hugo Wilson, MA Fine Art Alumnus

Hugo handed over to the Heads of Department, Robin Mason (Fine Art), Dr Marina Sokhan (Conservation) and Heather Newton (Carving), to present the certificates and prizes to the graduating students. This year was an especially momentous celebration for the Conservation department, as it marked the graduation of our first cohort of Books and Paper Conservation students. It was also a significant occasion for the Carving department, who will bid farewell to the current Head of Carving, Heather Newton, at the end of this academic year.

Heather Newton, Head of Carving, and the Carving Tutors

Adrian Munns joined us on behalf of the Mason’s Livery Company to present the Masons’ Company Prizes. The Masons’ Company Prize for Studentship and Commitment was awarded to Oliver Snelling, and the Masons’ Company Prize for Outstanding Work by a Graduating Student was awarded to Chris Nayler.

Adrian Munns presenting Chris Nayler with the Masons’ Company Prize for Outstanding Work by a Graduating Student

Oliver Snelling, Winner of the Masons’ Company Prize for Studentship and Commitment

Adrian handed over to Joe Parker, Master of the Joiners and Ceilers Company, to present the Joiners and Ceilers’ Prize. This year, the prize was awarded to Jo Grogan.

Joe Parker presenting Jo Grogan with the Joiners and Ceilers’ Prize

Please see a full list of the prizes at the end of the article.

The ceremony ended with heartfelt addresses from graduands from each course on behalf of their classmates. Each speaker thanked their fellow students, the staff and the team at Art School. This year’s graduands addresses were delivered by Jo Grogan, BA Hons Carving: Woodcarving and Gilding, Emma Sheridan, BA Hons Carving: Architectural Stone, Savannah du Quercy, BA Hons Fine Art, Rodrick Reid Scanche, BA Hons Fine Art, Ana Sofia Drinovan, BA Hons Conservation Books and Paper and Carla Learoyd, BA Hons Conservation Stone Wood and Decorative Surfaces.

“What a privilege it has been to learn alongside this bunch of mega-talented humans. I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all made some friends for life. Our training here is unlike anything else, there’s a special kind of magic that permeates the carving department here at City & Guilds of London Art School.” Jo Grogan, BA Hons Carving: Woodcarving and Gilding

“Sculpture may be almost anything: a monument, a statue, an old coin, a bas-relief, a portrait bust, a lifelong struggle against heavy odds. It is a parable in three dimensions, a symbol of a spiritual experience, and a means of conveying truth by concentrating its essence into visible form.” (Sculpture Inside and Out, Marvina Hoffman), Emma Sheridan, BA Hons Carving: Architectural Stone

“Today, we not only celebrate the completion of our studies, but also the culmination of countless hours spent in the pursuit of art. We have stood side by side supporting and inspiring one another, through our triumphs and tribulations alike. We began this degree in the midst of very uncertain times, but despite the challenges, we are now stronger and more resilient, and we have all produced a body of work that we ought to be proud of.” Savannah du Quercy and Rodrick Reid Schanche, BA Fine Art

“We have had some incredible tutors, without whom we could not have built our ship, and under their guidance we all learned to navigate new waters, under storms and stress perhaps, but with new skills and the strong hearts required for us to keep on together. A little bit of camaraderie took us a long way.” Ana Sofia Drinovan, BA Hons Conservation Books and Paper

“The world of stone and wood and its beauty is fascinating, and to be able to work in some of the most historic buildings, and handle some of the most historically significant objects, is a world we will now be able to enter.” Carla Learoyd, BA Hons Conservation Stone Wood and Decorative Surfaces.

 

 

We wish our graduating students the very best of luck and we look forward to hearing about their future projects and endeavours!

 

2023 GRADUATE PRIZES AND AWARDS

 

ART SCHOOL PRIZES

Honourable Society of Knights of the Round Table Award: Max Reynolds, BA (Hons) Carving, Woodcarving and Gilding

City & Guilds of London Art School The Board of Trustees Prize: Maurice Mutua, BA (Hons) Fine Art

 

PRINTMAKING PRIZES

Norman Ackroyd Etching Prize: Irene Burkhardt, BA (Hons) Fine Art

 

DRAWING PRIZES

The Taylor Pearce Drawing Prize: Jo Grogan, BA (Hons) Carving, Woodcarving and Gilding

The Sir Roger de Grey Drawing Prize: Eddie Rowe, BA (Hons) Fine Art

 

CONSERVATION PRIZES

City & Guilds of London Art School Research Project Prize (Books and Paper): Emily Mullin BA (Hons) Conservation: Books and Paper

City & Guilds of London Art School Prize Practical Conservation Project Prize (Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces): Joshua Horsfall, BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces

City & Guilds of London Art School Prize Practical Conservation Project Prize: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces: Carla Learoyd BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces

City & Guilds of London Art School Prize Practical Conservation Project Prize: Books and Paper: Emily Mullin BA (Hons) Conservation: Books and Paper

Venice in Peril Residency: Joshua Horsfall and Carla Learoyd BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces

 

CARVING PRIZES

De Laszlo Stone Carving Prize for Outstanding Work: Emma Sheridan, BA (Hons) Carving: Architectural Stone

De Laszlo Woodcarving Prize for Outstanding Work: Max Reynolds and Jo Grogan, BA (Hons) Carving, Woodcarving and Gilding

Joiner & Ceilers’ Prize: Jo Grogan, BA (Hons) Carving, Woodcarving and Gilding

Masons’ Company Prize for Outstanding Work by a Graduating Student: Chris Nayler, BA (Hons) Carving: Stone Carving

Masons’ Company Prize for Studentship and Commitment: Oliver Snelling, BA (Hons) Carving: Stone Carving

Gilding and Decorative Surfaces Prize for a Carving student: Jo Grogan, BA (Hons) Carving, Woodcarving and Gilding

City & Guilds of London Art School Lettering Prize: Oliver Snelling, BA (Hons) Carving: Stone Carving

 

FINE ART PRIZES

Anthony Caro Sculpture Prize: Sophie Lloyd, BA (Hons) Fine Art

Baton Fine Art Prize: Sophie Lloyd, BA (Hons) Fine Art

Chadwyck-Healey Prize for Painting: Seraphina Mutscheller, BA (Hons) Fine Art

 

ART HISTORIES PRIZES

Brian Till Art Histories Thesis Prize (Carving): Rasha Obaid, BA (Hons) Carving, Woodcarving and Gilding

Brian Till Art Histories Thesis Prize (Fine Art): Seraphina Mutscheller

We are delighted to share that BA (Hons) Fine Art Graduate Sophie Lloyd has been chosen as the first recipient of the Anthony Caro Sculpture Prize. The award was gifted to the Art School earlier this year as one of two initiatives to support Fine Art students with a practice focused on sculpture.

Sophie’s art practice employs sugar, fondant icing and lead to create stained-glass characters, and is an exploration of consumerism, gluttony and entertainment. ‘The Live Show’, displayed at the Degree Show from 24-30 June, brings together 22 individual, fairground-like caricatures, displayed along with silicone javelins.

Paul Moorhouse, Chief Executive of the Anthony Caro Centre 2020-2023, commended Sophie and her fellow students:

“We were impressed by the standard of the students’ work. The school’s ethos of involvement with materials – both as a starting point and as essential to the creative process – was, we felt, entirely sympathetic to the work of Anthony Caro, whose achievements as a sculptor so deepened a wider understanding of what art is, and, more importantly, can be. That legacy, we believe, is in safe hands at City and Guilds of London Art School.

Among so much talent, Sophie’s work stood out because of her entirely distinctive engagement with materials. Her use of coloured fondant sugar and metal is surprising, witty and expressive: highly original, yet steeped in traditional practice. We particularly liked her combination of caricature, fairground imagery and references to leaded glass. We also admired her ability to infuse apparently light-hearted imagery with more profound implications, not least the way that change in her work’s appearance so effectively evokes the passage of time.”

Congratulations Sophie!

Sixth Form students and young artists Savannah and Temi joined us for a week of work experience at the Art School. Find out more about what they learned, saw and experienced below, and take a look at the photos they captured throughout the week!

Savannah’s Work Experience

I have been doing one week of work experience at City and Guilds of London Art School, and I have loved it. Being so interested in the art world, and desperate to learn about the roles within it, this work placement has been the very best for me. I’ve been lucky enough to explore the various different departments and spaces that make up the school. For example, I was able to work with a woodcarving technician named Ana on the first day, as well as various other printmakers, and see their work in action. There has also been the chance for me to work behind reception and learn about the behind the scenes.

However, one of the most interesting tasks I was given was the role of helping sort through the archives of the Art School’s past degree shows. In the library, along with the Art School Librarian Harriet and my work experience partner Temi, we boxed up postcards and photos from when the school first opened. The Art School has a tradition of keeping business cards and postcards used by the art students during their exhibitions, in order to keep a list of every artist that attended the school. These postcards dated back until the year 2000!

As well as having the opportunity to explore the degree show, showcasing graduating BA students’ artwork, I was also able to meet two artists whose work was being exhibited. One of the artists had actually made a piece created from sugar arranged on a long table between two rooms (pictured below). It was inspiring to see how all these artists actually work when we took a tour through some of their working studios!

The Degree Show was made from a curation of Stone Carving, Woodcarving, Fine Art and Conservation. The collection was truly inspiring. Alongside this, the Degree Show was really important for exposing us to other art methods that I for one had never even really heard about. For example, Japanning, which is a ‘type of finish that originated as a European imitation of East Asian lacquerwork during the 17th century’. I had never seen or heard of this technique before until the show and that is why I think the show was so successful; because it showcased art that you don’t see in the everyday or that can sometimes go unnoticed.

All in all, the work experience here has been incredible. I’ve learned about the different jobs that many people take on here that might not be specifically creating art, but without them, the school would not be able to run. For instance, without Hannah and Bridget, who look after Development, there would be nobody to manage the grants for the school, which is a charity. Without Sarm at the reception, everybody would seem to be very lost, as I first was when I came! As well as Harriet in the library who provides a very calm oasis for students to work and learn alongside their course. Of course, there are so many more people who work here and who have shown me the intricate workings of this community and who, at the end of the day, are the reason for the success of the school.

Temi’s Work Experience

With my experience at City and Guilds of London Art School being my first ever work experience, it has been extremely helpful in opening my eyes to more than just the creative side of art. I am now familiar with the monetary side of art and even the management side of art. I have managed to construct a relationship with both MA and BA students at the Art School, talking with them about different styles of art and their impact on humans and the environment.

First, I visited the wood workshop, where I met Ana, the Woodwork Tutor. She described her role as someone who helps the students review and perfect their ideas, whilst still making them their own. Anna was once a student at the Art School and she really enjoyed it, as she was able to explore her love for art. From her, I have learnt that you can always find a job where you get to do what you love and enjoy. Then I met Bridget, who was all about the Development and Marketing side of the Art School and how they support the development of the Art School as a charity. One thing I really like about City and Guilds of London Art School is that it is very supportive of individualism in art whilst  creating a haven for students to secure art materials and help from professionals. The Degree Show presents the amazing works of their students in a gallery-like display and gives the opportunity for students to sell their works, preparing them for the professional life of an artist.

Enjoyably, I experienced the role of an art librarian, being supervised by Harriet. She talked about her responsibilities such as maintaining the wellbeing of books in the library and making sure they are properly arranged. Some are placed in alphabetical order, like the books that are about artists, and some books are kept out of reach due to their delicate nature, such as the almost-weightless Japanese book (pictured above). Harriet gave me the role of organizing files and information from past Degree Shows, so they could be easily accessed. Working with Harriet has helped me understand that, by working in an art organisation, one could still find a contented job in the industry without directly being involved with art.

I met a 2nd Year BA Fine Art student, Orla, an amazing artist. She took me on a tour all around the Art School, showing all of the stunning works of the other students. We shared our opinions about the uniqueness of each work and it’s effects on us. As an artist, it was really uplifting to talk about art with another artist. We talked about the difference between MA and BA degrees and the importance of a Foundation Course. I got to meet some of the students whose works I’d seen, like Seraphina Mutscehller and Em Smith. They were very communicative, which is a skill I think is crucial to have as an artist, in order to talk about your work and secure opportunities for your artistic future. Perhaps they have acquired this skill as a result of the artistic independence the Art School allows them. Orla then took us to the Print Room, where we met a couple of professional printmakers, and they talked about how the printmaking machines are used and what type of effects they create based on how they are used. Learning about the printmaking techniques helped me understand the concepts and processes of certain artworks I had seen earlier.

Briefly, I was also given the privilege to work at the front desk during the 2023 Degree Show, welcoming guests into the Art School to view the works of the art students, directing them to the different parts of the building and handing out maps. I was also able to work with current students during this process. The Degree Show really showed me that I might want to be involved in this organisation for a long time.

Doing work experience at City and Guilds of London Art School has helped me develop skills that are important in the professional world, such as communication skills, teamwork, punctuality, listening skills and people skills.

 

 

Thank you for joining us, Savannah and Temi!

City & Guilds of London Art School is delighted to have appointed Tom Young as the new Head of Carving.

Tom has over 20 years extensive experience as a lettering designer and carver, and has run his own business alongside developing his teaching practice. Having taught Lettering at the Art School since 2006, Tom has held the position of Senior Lettering tutor since 2014. Professionally, he has worked with organisations such as the Fishmongers Livery Company, the Olympic Park, Old Royal Navy College Greenwich, Eton College and many others.

The Art School is also pleased to share that Ghislain Puget will be taking over from Nina Bilbey as Lead Stone Carving Tutor while Nina takes a leave of absence. Ghislain has been working in the Carving department since 2007. He is a highly experienced teacher and professionally qualified stone carving Tutor who is passionate about carving, sculpture and architecture.

Our deepest congratulations to Tom and Ghislain as they move into these key roles within our Art School from the beginning of the 2023/24 academic year.

The Art School would like to thank Heather Newton for leading the Carving department from 2020-2023, and wish her the very best in her future projects and endeavours.

BA (Hons) Carving: Architectural Stone Carving Alumnus Steffan Lomax has completed a commission for the Worshipful Company of Masons to donate as a prize to the Sherriff’s Ball auction, helping raise funds for the Lord Mayors Appeal. This marks the seventh occasion that a work by a City & Guilds of London Art School Carving student has been donated by the Masons Company Charitable Trust. Each year, the winning stone carving student at the Art School’s London Craft Week Carving competition is offered the commission by the Company.

Made from Portland stone, the carving is based on a memorial from St Paul’s Cathedral which commemorates its destruction and subsequent rebirth after the Great Fire of London. The design portrays a phoenix rising from flames and smoke along with the Latin inscription ‘Resurgam’, translating to ‘I shall rise again’. Steffan chose the material as the stone from which the new cathedral was built.

The carving is inspired by the Wren 300 celebrations, taking place this year to mark the 300th anniversary of the death of Sir Christopher Wren. It will be auctioned at the Sheriff’s Ball on Friday 22nd September.

Ana Kazaroff, MA Fine Art Alumna, Wood Workshop Technician and Fine Art Partnerships Co-ordinator, has been awarded a Develop Your Creative Practice grant from Arts Council England. The fund is highly competitive, and supports individual cultural or creative practitioners to take a period of time to focus on their development.

“This Summer I am excited to be able to pursue a period of research and development with support from the Arts Council England as I’ve been awarded a Develop Your Creative Practice grant. This is a great opportunity to develop my practice by experimenting with different materials, working with new collaborators, travel abroad to take part in artists’ residencies, as well as build new networks for future projects and presentation of work.

I make installations with sculptures made of wood, polystyrene and plaster painted to look like different surfaces. I draw connections between everyday materials, such as processed meats and stone. Painting faux finishes is a way of questioning the hierarchy between materials and objects. I am interested in faking materials as a way of faking status. I use the fake in my work in relation to stereotypes and authenticity, reflecting on my experience as a Latinx immigrant.

Studio time will allow me to learn how to use an airbrush and develop new techniques in painting faux surfaces. I will also use ceramics and test glazes to create rich organic textures. I will be experimenting with creating backdrops and props, and photographing artworks within these bespoke sets to create new digital collages in collaboration with photographer Maria Alejandra Huicho. A second collaboration includes writer Camila Charask, with whom I will create pieces from playing with words, images and mistranslations. This award will give me time and the means to develop my work in new and unexpected ways.”

Keep an eye on our website later in the summer for an update on Ana’s project, and find out more about Ana’s work via her website.

You are invited to our Degree Show 2023, taking place from Saturday 24 June – Friday 30 June 2023.

The show is a celebration of the outstanding work of our 2023 graduates from our undergraduate Fine Art, Conservation and Carving courses.

Please see full information on our public opening times, location and accessibility on our event page.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Art School!

Join our mailing list to receive updates and invitations for our Graduate Shows and events.

 

Over Friday 12 and Saturday 13 May, the Art School opened its doors for our biggest London Craft Week event to date. Across the two days, visitors joined us to celebrate specialist craft skills by taking part in our programme of activities, and it was fantastic to see so many people.

The event kicked off with the start of the Annual Carving Competition 2023, a highly anticipated event in our London Craft Week programme. Running across the two days, Woodcarving and Stone carving students were given twelve hours to complete an original work, using only hand tools. This year, the competition was themed on Sir Christopher Wren, in honour of the tercentenary of his death and contributing to the programme of Wren 300.

The 2023 Carving Competition

We were delighted to welcome back alumni Marcia Bennett Male (1997) and Will Davies (2009) as our judges for this year’s competition. During the prize-giving, they both commended the standard of the competitors’ work, the level of execution and the attention to detail. Well done to all those who took part, and a huge congratulations to our winners:

2023 Carving Competition Winners (L-R) Finn Conlon, Natalie Gee, Judith Letchford, Chris Nayler, Henry Brown, Max Reynolds, Jack Fonseca-Burtt

(L-R) Art School Principal Dr. Lois Rowe, Senior Woodcarving Tutor Tom Ball, Alumni and Carving Competition Judges Will Davies and Marcia Bennett Male

Alongside placing their vote for the People’s Choice award, visitors were also invited to have a go at stone carving. We had a number of stone carvers in the making stopping by!

Have a go at Stone Carving

Over the two days, Conservation students ran a series of demonstrations and interactive activities, including paper marbling, gilding, japanning and paper restoration. The students were joined by Tutor Sarah Davis, who demonstrated Medieval Painting and Manuscript Illumination, and Decorative Surfaces Fellow Simon Bejer, who demonstrated the painting techniques of Trompe-l’œil.

Paper Marbling Demonstration

In the Art School’s historic print room, visitors had the opportunity to take part in printmaking workshops with Print Fellow Wai Wong. Wai ran a series of hands-on workshops on the traditional process of Intaglio printing, where participants were taught how to create beautiful debossed prints using a variety of materials to create texture but without using ink.

Printmaking Workshop with Wai Wong

A number of exhibitions were on display throughout the Art School over the weekend. Visitors were greeted in the atrium by an exhibition of alumni work by the Lettering Arts Trust, showing the skills of those who have honed their craft via their journeyman training schemes. Our National Saturday Club members, who have been learning heritage craft skills at the Art School every Saturday this academic year, had a range of their work on display, from carved heraldic shields to examples of verre églomisé. In our Drawing Studio, visitors enjoyed an exhibition of entries for the Art School’s Taylor Pearce Drawing Prize. This is open to students on our Carving and Conservation degree programmes, and included sketches, studies and more sustained drawings.

Lettering Arts Trust Exhibition

Local artisan beer company, Fabal Lager, held a free Talk & Tasting in the Art School café, where visitors learned about their locally-sourced ingredients, commitment to sustainability and championing of craftsmanship.

Thank you to our sponsors, The Masons’ Company Craft Fund, The Carpenters’ Company, Dick Onians and Fabal Lager, and thank you to everyone who visited and took part. We hope to see you all at our upcoming Degree Show and at next year’s London Craft Week.

Beer Tasting with Fabal Lager

BA (Hons) Fine Art students Sophie Lloyd and Savannah du Quercy have been featured in this year’s a-n Degree Shows Guide.

Established in 1998, it is the 25th anniversary edition of the Degree Shows Guide.

“While higher education in the UK has been transformed, the degree show remains integral to the final-year experience. It is a vital, energising, unmissable and deeply visceral moment of new and inspiring creativity.” Julie Lomax, CEO of a-n

Students are selected for the guide by open call. We are delighted that two of our graduates are amongst the 31 artists featured this year and that Sophie was one of 12 artists selected for interview.

Check out the features and the interview in the guide here.

Page 11 – Sophie Lloyd, Twin Gullets, 2023

Page 15 – Savannah du Quercy, Uprooted I, II, 2022

Page 36 – Interview with Sophie Lloyd

Interested in studying BA Fine Art with us?

We still have a few places available for study in 2023/24.

Visit our Apply page to find out more.

Last week, Heritage Crafts released the 2023 update of their Red List of Endangered Crafts. First published in 2017, the Red List is an important call to action that provides evidence and understanding of where change is needed, alongside celebrating specialist craft skills.

The latest research has identified an increased number of endangered craft skills in the UK, with 17 new additions to the list.

“The effect of the energy crisis, inflation, COVID-19 and Brexit have been tough on everyone, not least the craftspeople who possess our most fundamental craft skills. We know that heritage craft skills operate like an ecosystem; if we lose one part it can have devastating consequences on other parts of the system. If we allow endangered crafts to disappear then we seriously diminish the opportunities for future generations to create their own sustainable and fulfilling livelihoods and deal with the challenges of the future.” Mary Lewis, Endangered Crafts Manager at Heritage Crafts

259 crafts were assessed for the 2023 edition of the Red List, to determine the practices at most risk of extinction. Out of these crafts:

– 146 were included on the Red List
– 62 were classified as critically endangered
– 84 were classified as endangered
– 112 were classified as currently viable

Critically endangered: “Crafts classified as ‘critically endangered’ are those at serious risk of no longer being practised in the UK. They may include crafts with a shrinking base of craftspeople, crafts with limited training opportunities, crafts with low financial viability, or crafts where there is no mechanism to pass on the skills and knowledge.”

Endangered: “Crafts classified as ‘endangered’ are those which currently have sufficient craftspeople to transmit the craft skills to the next generation, but for which there are serious concerns about their ongoing viability. This may include crafts with a shrinking market share, an ageing demographic or crafts with a declining number of practitioners.”

Currently viable: “Crafts classified as ‘currently viable’ are those which are in a healthy state and have sufficient craftspeople to transmit the craft skills to the next generation. They may include crafts with a large market share, widely popular crafts, or crafts with a strong local presence. NB. A classification of ‘currently viable’ does not mean that the craft is risk-free or without issues affecting its future sustainability/viability”

 

At the Art School, we are dedicated to passing on specialist craft skills to new generations of artists and makers through our undergraduate, postgraduate, foundation and short course programmes. We are proud to be a training provider / support organisation for the following craft skills featured on this year’s Red List:

Endangered
Composition Picture Frame Making (new for 2023)
Graining and Marbling (new for 2023)
Lacquerwork – Japanning, Coromandel and other lacquerwork (new for 2023)
Pigment Making (new for 2023)
Illumination
Paper Marbling

Viable
Stone carving
Woodcarving
Letter cutting
Gilding 
Screen printing (new for 2023)
Bookbinding
Calligraphy

View the full Red List of Endangered Crafts 2023, produced by Heritage Crafts with the support of the Pilgrim Trust.

The Britain-Australia Society Education Trust (BASET) and City & Guilds of London Art School have come together to offer financial support to a talented and deserving person with a passion for conservation. This funding is open to an Australian national to study on the Art School’s three-year BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces or BA (Hons) Conservation: Books & Paper courses, enrolling in Autumn 2023 or Autumn 2024.

The successful applicant will demonstrate a willingness to commit to an intensive course that is carefully structured to enable development of the knowledge and skills needed to undertake a professional career in the conservation and heritage industry. We aim to select a student to study and train in London in order to increase those skills and share knowledge and ideas. Ultimately, they will take those skills home to continue their work, while building valuable links between our two countries.

“Joint funding from BASET and City & Guilds of London Art School has provided an opportunity for me to retrain for a career in conservation. As a result, I will return home to Australia equipped with the specialist knowledge, skills and experience to forge a successful career.” Previous Endeavour Award recipient Katie Smith (Graduated 2020)

Read more from Katie, who has secured a top conservation position since returning to Australia here.

BASET (The Britain Australia Society Education Trust) is a UK based charity which runs a range of educational awards to enable talented young people from Britain and Australia to study abroad, furthering their education and career skills. For more information about BASET (registered charity no. 803505) please visit the charity’s website.

Value: £10,000 per year towards full time International student tuition fees of £18,500 per year of study.
Duration: Three years
Application: Australian nationals offered a place on one of the Art School’s BA (Hons) Conservation courses are invited to apply for this award.
Details: The award is for three years of study, and will be paid directly towards tuition fees. The applicant recognises that some additional funding from personal sources will be required and that transport, visa and living costs are the responsibility of the applicant. The successful applicant must provide regular updates and will produce annual end of academic year reports. On the completion of their course, award recipients will be invited to join BASET’s alumni community.

For more details, please visit our Conservation page. Alternatively, to discuss an application and your interest in the award, please contact admissions@cityandguildsartschool.ac.uk.

Geoplexus, 2022, acrylic and oil on canvas, 200 x 180 cm

 

Last week, we were privileged to be visited by London-based painter Vivien Zhang.

Vivien generously delivered a lecture to our MA Fine Art and third year BA (Hons) Fine Art students on her research and painting process, as well as curatorial notes on her recent shows in Beijing (Long March Space), London (Pilar Corrias), Shanghai (TANK) and Dubai (Lawrie Shabibi).

Thank you, Vivien!

 

Geogrid 2, 2022, acrylic and oil on canvas, 200 x 180 cm

Tuesday Riddell, Decorative Surfaces Fellow and BA (Hons) Fine Art graduate, has been featured in the latest edition of Crafts magazine.

Interviewed by Isabella Smith, Tuesday shares her inspirations and the detailed stages of japanning, using processes that date back to the 17th century.

‘Riddell discovered the technique in 2018 during a Painter Stainers’ Decorative Fellowship at City & Guilds of London Art School, which she signed up to after completing a bachelor’s degree in fine art painting… “Japanning is endangered: it’s not taught much, except on a few conservation courses. The fellowship brings life into techniques that aren’t really used anymore”’.

Check out the full interview in Issue 296 of Crafts magazine.

This summer, Tuesday will be showing 20 works at her solo exhibition, including her largest work to date. Visit ‘In Shadows’ at Messums London, from 14 July – 13 August.

 

Final year BA Conservation: Books & Paper student Rhys Briggs is working on a poster issued early during the Second World War by the Ministry of Health. The poster appeals to mothers of evacuated children to keep them safe and not bring them back to cities for fear of a more significant bombing campaign to come.

There were two versions of this poster made. The first bore the message ‘Leave your children where they are’, which was later changed to ‘Leave your children in the safer areas’. Initial assessment of this copy revealed that the revised message had simply been adhered over the top of the original.

In addition to removing the poster from its unsuitable lining and plywood backing, Rhys has been working to detach the printing revision so that both parts can be displayed alongside one another. In doing so, the history of the object, why it was made and why it was changed, can be told in its entirety.

Rhys’ projects will be on display at the Degree Show in June alongside his peers, the first graduates from our BA Conservation: Books & Paper course since it launched in 2020.

Visit the Degree Show between 24-30 June, more information here.

 

This week our National Saturday Club members had the privilege of having QEST scholar and print maker Rosanna Bishop on site to run a masterclass on screen printing.

Our members carried through the motif of a shield and worked collaboratively to make designs for a tote bag. They were inspired by Rosanna’s illustrative aesthetic, and drew inspiration from her incredibly detailed flora and fauna.

Thank you Rosanna, QEST and National Saturday Club for an amazing session!

Interested in applying for our 2023/24 Saturday Club? To find out more about the Club and how to apply, sign up to our Club mailing list.

Photo credits: Thea Baddiley

Judith Letchford, second from left. Photo credit: Clunie Fretton (Instagram)

Judith Letchford (GradDip Arts: Carving) won first place and Jo Grogan (BA Hons: Woodcarving and Gilding) won second place at the Worshipful Company of Joiners & Ceilers’ Company annual woodcarving competition, which took place on Saturday 22 April.

The competition is open to participants who have recently or nearly completed their training in joinery and woodcarving.

Competitors are required to finish a set piece of work within nine hours which demonstrates “an ability to carry out woodcarving commissions to good commercial standards, with emphasis on the interpretation of drawings, drawing out of work and the skilled use of hand tools”.

Jo Grogan, photo credit: The Worshipful Company of Joiners & Ceilers’ Company (Instagram)

 

Congratulations Judith and Jo!

Find out more about studying Carving at the Art School here.

Two Art School students have had their work accepted for the 30th anniversary exhibition of the British Art Medal Society Student Medal Project.

“[The Student Medal Project] was conceived by the British Art Medal Society as a means of re-introducing the art of the modern medal into art colleges within Great Britain – through bronze casting – and it has grown to include a considerable number of UK institutions and one invited foreign academy each year, this year from Pforzheim University, making it an international project. In 2023, 21 UK Colleges took part, with students creating a total of 165 cast medals: a new generation of medal makers.”          Marcy Leavitt Bourne, Director, Student Medal Project

First year student Kate Holmes (BA (Hons) Carving: Architectural Stone) and second year student Henry Brown (BA (Hons) Carving: Woodcarving and Gilding) had their medals exhibited in the show.

Henry Brown, Medal to the Earth
‘This medal is a study into our relationship with the earth. The coolness of bronze echoes the harsh coolness of industry that tears up the natural world in search of precious materials and ores. The colour red indicates the heat of the world. As the medal sits in your hand it begins to warm, much like the world, as global temperatures are on the rise. How long before the natural world is overtaken by out industrial needs and drives.’

Kate Holmes, Cognizance
‘I’m not sure I’ve ever felt free as an individual, always a faceless part of a squad, having entered the arm at a young age, a cog in a machine. This year I enrolled at City & Guilds of London Art School and for the first time feel like the scales have been tipped: encouraged to claim my agency, to find true autonomy, to think critically and creatively. This medal represents expanding beyond the “machine”. I want the unbinding of the zip on my medal to give way to the unknown underneath. It represents a literal and figurative cleaving, a severing along the grain to welcome in a previously unknown multivalence of options. Ultimately, the piece symbolises opening up to new ideas, reclaiming my own sovereignty.’

Find out more in the exhibition catalogue, where you can find the Art School featured on Page 32.

The exhibition is open at Central Saint Martins in Granary Square until Tuesday 9th May.

The Anthony Caro Centre Copyright: The Anthony Caro Centre, 2023

We are delighted to announce a new gift from the Anthony Caro Centre that will support two new initiatives to support students.

The Anthony Caro Sculpture Prize will be awarded this summer to a graduating third year BA Fine Art student, with a degree show presentation focussed on sculpture.

The Anthony Caro Sculpture Bursary will be allocated towards tuition fees for a MA Fine student with a practice focussed on sculpture, beginning academic year 2023/24.

The Anthony Caro Centre Copyright: Photo by Shigeo Anzai @ The Anthony Caro Centre

Sir Anthony Caro OM CBE (1924 – 2013) played a pivotal role in the development of twentieth century sculpture and we are honoured that his legacy will be remembered at the Art School through this support of the next generation of sculptors. Our thanks to the Anthony Caro Centre.

“The Anthony Caro Centre is dedicated to preserving and promoting Caro’s artistic legacy. Based at the site of his former studio in Camden, north London, the Centre is responsible for exhibiting, storing, conserving and lending the outstanding works in its collection; it also houses the artist’s archive and library. As such, it forms the main platform for the study and appreciation of Caro’s achievements.”
Paul Moorhouse, Chief Executive, The Anthony Caro Centre

Our bursary programme aims to ensure all those with the potential and dedication to be offered a place on our courses are able to take it up, regardless of financial circumstance.

Please visit our Student Funding and Apply pages to find out more about making a bursary application or to contact our admissions team.

Final course application deadlines for 2023/24:

MA Fine Art: Monday 1 May

BA Fine Art: Monday 8 May

This week at The National Saturday Club, the two groups swapped over. One group began to learn a different method of wood carving with Sarah, and the other dove into calligraphy with Rosella.

As always, the work is incredible and we couldn’t be prouder to see the exceptional talent of our members shine through.

Visit Us

If you want to check out what we have been up to, come and visit the Art School on Friday 12 – Saturday 13 May. Over the two days, we will be hosting a programme of activities for London Craft Week, including an exhibition of our National Saturday Club members’ work. Come along to check out their amazing artworks and see what they have learned over the year.

Register to join next year’s cohort

There are now just 9 more weeks until this programme is finished.

Do you know a young creative who would love to participate in a course like this? Keep your eyes peeled on our website for updates of not one, but TWO courses that will be taking place next year.

Sign up to our mailing list for updates.

 

Jenkin Portrait, photo credit – Alien

 

Artist and film-maker Jenkin van Zyl visited the Art School this week to speak to our BA Fine Art and MA Fine Art students.

Jenkin presented two generous talks on his practice, sharing with the students with his conceptual insight, research notes, technical details and behind-the-scenes access to his incredible film installations.

A big thank you to Jenkin for your visit and time.

Applying to study Fine Art with us? Our last application cycle deadlines are coming up soon.

MA Fine Art: Monday 1 May

BA Fine Art: Monday 8 May

Visit our Apply page for more information and to submit your application.

 

Surrender, Film Still (2023)

Welcome to the Palace of Wasted Footsteps (2023)

Machines of Love, Film Still (2021)

Loon (2019)

You are invited to our Foundation Show 2023, taking place from Wednesday 17 May – Saturday 20 May 2023.

The show is a celebration of the outstanding work of our 2023 graduates studying Foundation Diploma in Art & Design. During this year of exploration, students interrogate and extend their art practice and create an impressive body of work, displayed in this end of year show.

Please see full information on our public opening times, location and accessibility on our event page.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Art School!

Join our mailing list to receive updates and invitations for our Graduate Shows and events.

This week, BA (Hons) Conservation: Books and Paper and MA Conservation: Books and Paper students visited Christie’s for a private view of a display of maps and atlases from the Sunderland Collection. Art School Trustee, Helen Sunderland-Cohen, kindly invited us for an early view of the display, taking place at Christie’s over this week by appointment.

Twelve maps and twelve atlases were on display out of the total collection of around 120 objects, ranging from the 13th to the 19th century.

Helen guided the students through the works, discussing their materials, uses and contexts. Students were then given time to get a closer look and engage with the maps and atlases, and admire the extraordinary examples of craftsmanship, artistry, and knowledge.

Thank you to Helen and Christie’s for hosting us and providing an inspirational afternoon for our students. Find out more about the Sunderland Collection and explore the incredible range of maps, globes, and atlases by visiting their website.

Interested in studying Books & Paper Conservation with us?

We are still accepting applications for 2023/24.

Join us at our next In-Person Open Day, taking place on Thursday 27 April.

We were thrilled to see third year BA (Hons) Carving: Woodcarving and Gilding student, Jo Grogan, featured in the latest edition of Country Life magazine.

Photographed in her workshop at the Art School by Mike Garrard, the caption reads:

“Jo is studying for a degree in historical wood carving and gilding at City & Guilds of London Art School and is a support teacher for the National Saturday Club, a charity that provides workshop opportunities for teenagers. Last year, she was one of 25 craftspeople to be awarded funding from the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust. Jo is engaged to Stuart Whitton and is the daughter of Ron and Joan Grogan of Liverpool.”

Jo is in the process of completing her final year project, Rocialle Morphosis, an ornate carved frame.

Fascinated by the intersection of nature and historical ornament Rocialle Morphosis is an exploration of both the past and present. Inspired by historical rococo ornament with amplified marine references, the piece is a celebration of both nature and craftsmanship.

Find out more about Jo’s work on her Instagram page.

Image credit: Country Life Magazine, Vol CCXX No 13, March 29 2023.

First Year BA (Hons) Conservation: Books and Paper students have been learning printmaking as part of their heritage craft modules.

Over a period of two weeks, the students have learned a variety of printing techniques including etching and screen printing, taught by our lead Tutor and Head of Printmaking, Jason Hicklin.

In the photos, our students are learning the sugar lift etching process. Sugar lift is a saturated sugar solution that is painted onto a metal plate. Dilute nitric acid is used to etch the zinc plates, which are later inked up by hand and printed onto paper using a cast iron etching press.

Interested in studying with us?

Applications are still open for 2023/24. Find out more about our BA Conservation courses at one of our upcoming Open Days.

Two of our carving alumni won bronze medals in their respective categories at the Goldsmiths Craft & Design Council Awards, which took place earlier this month at the Goldsmiths’ Hall in London.

Diploma in Ornamental Woodcarving & Gilding Graduate (2018) and Woodcarving Tutor Sarah Davis won a bronze award in the senior 3D Modellers Category.

Bone Bed, Sarah Davis

“The artwork I entered is a wax model for an art medal titled ‘Bone Bed’. The design references the earliest fossilised dinosaur embryo ever found. The model is small and nestles comfortably in the palm of your hand. The next step is to have this wax model cast in bronze.

Art medals are typically double sided. They are objects for the hand to be turned and played with. Their narrative, however abstract or simple is revealed in the act of turning. Since September 2022 I have been taking part in The British Art medal societies New medallist scheme. The scheme is a year long developmental programme intended to provide a framework by which artists based in Great Britain and Northern Ireland can develop their interest in the medal as a vehicle of artistic expression. Its aim is to deepen and broaden the selected artist’s knowledge of the medal and to expand their awareness of the medium’s possibilities.”

BA (Hons) Architectural Stone Carving Graduate (2019) Sue Aperghis entered the 2D Art medal design section and also won bronze in the senior category.

Reflect on Profits, Sue Aperghis

“In briefing for this year, we were invited to consider the critical value of water in the world, and the myriad ways in which water can be depicted on the two sides of an art medal, to create a coherent narrative about a material upon which all life depends.

My investigation into the theme of water was to question the thirst our cities have for profits and the relationship it is having on the landscape and our civilisation which can be argued is on the edge of collapse.”

You can re-watch the Awards Ceremony via the link below, with the 2D Medal Design Category shown from 14:40 and 3D Modellers Category from 32:20.

Natalia Glinoer (BA Fine Art graduate, 2016) has won The Michael Harding Award from the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) for her painting, ‘In the Artist’s Studio’. The work was selected for the RBA 200th Anniversary Exhibition at Mall Galleries, showcasing both emerging artists and established member artists.

“The painting depicts a friend from Brighton in her roommate’s studio. I was interested in creating a warm ambience and inviting atmosphere. I was aiming for intensity in her gaze, whilst gently holding her face in her hands. My work is often spontaneous and I paint in a very instinctive way. I love painting in oils because of the transparency and almost glowing quality the paint can give.”

“My work reflects my immediate environment and the relationships I have to people. I strive to create a permanent feeling and build layers of time looking into a distilled image. I paint both from life and with photography as an aid, but don’t rely on it as I find it not a true representation of my personal reality. I work intently from observation and the atmosphere I feel when I paint. Time and memory are constant themes in my paintings. I’m interested in painterly realism, a sense of capturing a living and breathing person in paint. My themes are relationships, vulnerability, nakedness, my struggles with loneliness, isolation and anxiety. I paint people as a way to communicate those feelings. I paint friends and family and people I’ve not seen in a while. I’m interested in the distance of these relationships and my memory of these people I paint over time. My work is very intuitive and I deal with a lot of intense emotions which is part of my process. I’m heavily influenced by the highly emotionally charged portraits by Kathe Kollwitz, Andrew Wyeth, Victor Wang’s contemporary use of paint and Michelangelo’s sculptures as well as the natural world.”

Natalia Glinoer is an artist based in Brighton. She studied at City and Guilds of London Art School, 2014-2016 and at The Heatherley School of Fine Art, 2018-2021. In 2017, Natalia won the RBA Rome Scholarship where she travelled to Rome for one month, studying the high renaissance, baroque paintings and sculptures that helped inspire her current work. She has and continues to work on private commissions.

Natalia has exhibited across the UK, notably at the Green and Stone Gallery, The Royal Society of British Artists, New English Art Club, ING Discerning Eye and The Society of Women Artists at the Mall Galleries.

Instagram: @natalia_glinoer_artist

 

The last couple of weeks have seen our National Saturday Club members develop their carving practice.

They have been working independently to execute their designs around their identity-themed heraldic shields, with the help of our wonderful tutors and student assistants.

After the Easter Holidays our two groups will swap over and complete their shields.

Watch this space – we’re developing more places for next year!

If you are interested in joining, or know a young person aged 13-16 who would like to get involved in next year’s National Saturday Club, check out our blog and register your interest through joining our mailing list.

 

We are delighted to have received new grant support which will expand the Art School’s existing bursary programme and work with young people. Thanks to this generous gift, we have established ‘The Bloomfield Bursaries’ and launched a new widening participation project, ‘Tutors into Schools’.

The Bloomfield Bursaries will offer a BA Fine Art student and an MA Fine Art student funding for full home fees, plus a stipend towards living costs and materials. Applications for this support are open for 2023/24.

Our bursary programme aims to ensure all those with the potential and dedication to be offered a place on our courses are able to take it up, regardless of financial circumstance.

Please visit our Student Funding and Apply pages to find out more about making a bursary application or to contact our admissions team.

Final course application deadlines for 2023/24:

MA Fine Art: Monday 1 May

BA Fine Art: Monday 8 May

Tutors into Schools will build on our existing work with young people, such as our National Saturday Club for 13-16 year olds. This new project will see Art School tutors, alumni and students going into the classrooms of local secondary schools to provide bespoke workshops in our specialisms. This will give the learners opportunity to directly experience the skills taught on our courses, from their own classroom. It will also provide them with the chance to speak to us about higher education and career options, and consider alternative pathways for their future.

We are committed to increasing the accessibility of our courses, arts education and careers. This new bursary opportunity and project will help us to achieve our objectives for this as set out in our Strategic Plan for the next five years.

Dr Lois Rowe, Principal of City & Guilds of London Art School, commented: “”Our priority as a school to germinate and nurture a more diverse cohort continues to be stymied by the systemic and institutional barriers young people face before they even reach our doors. This generous gift will enable us to launch a transformational ‘Tutors into Schools’ programme which will see us bring our unique specialisms of contemporary art and craft to teaching programs at local schools. Moreover, it will allow us to fully fund a number of places for applicants who have potential, but not the means, to come and study with us, thereby empowering us to grow our community and ultimately to contribute to London’s economic, cultural and environmental future.”

If you work in a secondary school and would like to explore working with us, please contact Camilla Robinson, Widening Participation Coordinator at c.robinson@cityandguildsartschool.ac.uk.

If you would like to discuss supporting the Art School and our students, please contact Hannah Travers, Head of Development and External Relations, at development@cityandguildsartschool.ac.uk.

In early February, 31 of our BA Carving and BA Conservation students travelled to Paris for a study trip with a team of Tutors: Sophie Barton (Stone, Wood and Decorative Surfaces Conservation) Jim Bloxam (Books & Paper Conservation), Rian Kanduth (Gilding), Viv Lawes (Art History), Wilfe Gorlin (Wood Carving), James Patrick and Sam Elgar (Stone Carving).

The annual Medieval Study Trip is generously supported by the Stuart Heath Charitable Settlement, who’s grant provides a subsidy to first year students wishing to attend. The trip has been put on hold over the last few years due to the pandemic, and so we are thrilled to have it back on the calendar.

Day 1
We checked into our accommodation, and then started our trip with an afternoon visit to the Louvre. Our Books & Paper Conservation students took the opportunity to see the exhibition ‘The Splendours of Uzbekistan’s Oases’, featuring masterworks including pages from one of the oldest monumental Korans from Katta Langar and monumental wall paintings.

Day 2
Our first full day in Paris began with our BA Stone, Wood and Decorative Surfaces Conservation and BA Carving students visiting the Musée de Cluny to see its collection of Medieval Art. The conservators stayed at the museum until the afternoon, whilst our carving students visited the Pantheon, the Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the exterior of Notre-Dame Cathedral. Meanwhile, our BA Books & Paper Conservation students spent the morning at the Sorbonne School of Art History and Archeology with conservator Dr Élodie Lévêque.

The group from the morning re-gathered to visit the Church of Saint-Sulpice to see the Rococo fonts and wood-panelled vestry. Tutor Viv Lawes then took Conservation students who wanted to see the churches that the Carvers had seen in the morning to visit Notre-Dame and Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Our Books & Paper Conservation students spent the afternoon at the Mazarine Library with conservator Alizée Lacourtiade.

Day 3

Wood and stone carving students enjoyed an all-day walk with visits that took them on a chronological journey of French sculpture, led by Wilfe, Jim and Sam. Their day started at the Arc de Triomphe, where they studied the magnificent quadriga. The tour ended at the Musee D’Orsay looking at the Carpeaux sculptures, whilst also taking in the Rodin Museum.

In the morning, our conversation students visited the Musée des Arts décoratifs and spent time in the conservation studios. Our Books & Paper students met with conservator Cecile Huguet-Broquet, who guided them through the workshops of graphic arts and books restoration and the collections department. This was followed with a visit to the books and paper, textiles, wood and metal studios. After lunch, the students visited the museum, with some staying until the end of the day, whilst others moved on to other museums, including the Musee D’Orsay.

Day 4
All students and tutors joined together for a morning trip to Versailles. Here, they met with third year BA Carving: Woodcarving & Gilding student, Arielle Francis, who lives in Paris.

In the afternoon, the conservators went back into the city, where our Stone, Wood and Decorative Surfaces students visited the Ecole Boulle, a fabulous school for furniture and design. Books & Paper students went to the Conservation/Restoration Workshop at the Department of Manuscripts and Ancient Books, where they met the Head of the Workshop, Sylvie Struyve. Our Carvers headed to the Père Lachaise Cemetery to look at some of the commemorative sculpture, followed by a visit to a nearby tool shop.

A few of our students ended the day with an evening visit to the Musee D’Orsay, for its late-night opening.

Day 5

For the last day of the trip, our students were given time for independent exploration before travelling home. Some of our carvers, with tutors Viv and Rian, visited a wonderful tool shop followed by the Musee D’Orsay. Their group joined up again with Arielle Francis at the legendary tea room Angelina to end the trip with a hot chocolate.

This week, our National Saturday Club members were joined by Letter Carving Tutor Mark Frith. Half of our members refined their calligraphy from last week with Mark, down to 3 letters. They then mapped out their letters onto their shields, ready to carve over the next 2 weeks. Watch this space!

The rest of the group were with Tutor Sarah Davis. These members continued to carve the patterns and forms they designed to frame their verre églomisé work.

Interested in applying for our 2023/24 Saturday Club? To find out more about the Club and how to apply, sign up to our Club mailing list.

This week, National Saturday Club members were joined by Lettering Design Tutor Rosella Garavaglia, assisted by Oliver Snelling, a final year BA Carving: Architectural Stone student.

The group split in half this week, with 8 of us with Rosella and Oliver learning calligraphy skills. What emerged is nothing short of magical!

The Club members produced stunning lettering in preparation for carving them in wood in the following weeks with Letter Carving Tutor, Mark Frith.

The other 8 of us were with Tutor Sarah Davis, supported by second year BA Carving: Woodcarving & Gilding student, Henry Brown. We planned the layout of our shields alongside our verre églomisé works and practiced carving with a range of chisels. The Club members produced delicate and skilful carvings exploring texture, form and depth.

We cannot wait to see their finished shields and share them with you, both online and in-person in the Summer. Watch this space!

Interested in applying for our 2023/24 Saturday Club? To find out more about the Club and how to apply, sign up to our Club mailing list.

 

MA Conservation student, Charlotte Jones, tells us about her project working on a mecca silver gilded picture frame, using both current and historic techniques.

I’m studying part-time for an MA in Conservation Studies, whilst also working part-time as a Gilder on projects such as the recent restoration of the Albert Memorial, and the first phase of the gilding renovation at The National Gallery. It was studying for my GradDip at CGLAS in 2021/22 that led to these career opportunities. The mix of craft and artisan skills taught in the context of conservation really inspired me with a love of gilding, which in turn opened doors for me to work on these interesting projects.

I have chosen to specialise in the same field for my MA.  I’m working on an English carved ‘mecca’ silver gilded picture frame, from c.1660, loaned by the Thomas Plume Library. The frame has been on display, framing a portrait of Archbishop Laud after Van Dyke, of around the same date as the frame; the frame is thought to be original to the painting. The frame is a rare example of a 17th century frame surviving with its apparent original decorative gilded surface. Mecca silver gilding, is a historical gilding technique where a transparent golden yellow-coloured coating is applied to water-gilded silver leaf, on objects such as frames, furniture, paintings, polychrome sculpture and interior decoration.

Silver gilding of objects was a particularly fashionable style of the latter half of the 17th century in England. However, as fashions changed in the early 18th century, and the silver inevitably tarnished, many such objects were subsequently regilded in gold, and the identification of the original silver surface often found only during in-depth analysis. Objects such as this Plume frame are extremely rare, even more so in original condition, which makes it a historically significant, interesting and culturally valuable object. The mecca varnishing technique is an intrinsic part of such an object, and a conservation concern to understand and correctly preserve this fragile layer, which is specific to a particular moment in British history.

The purpose of the mecca varnish is both to imitate gold – which was, and still is, much more expensive than silver – while also providing a protective layer preventing silver tarnish. The alteration of the silver metal by atmospheric corrosion in mecca objects is mainly related to the conservation state of the coatings. The mecca technique can be very successful, so much so that in some cases the protection of the silver leaf may hinder identification of the technique, and objects can be misrepresented as gold leaf.

Using techniques such as microscopy, UV examination, cross-sectional analysis, microchemical testing, and FTIR, I have been able to establish interesting and unusual information about the materials and techniques used in the making of the frame and its original gilding scheme. This information is then being cross checked with contemporary sources from the 17th century, which give information on recipes and techniques used by artisans of the time, such as William Salmon’s Polygraphice of 1678 and Stalker & Parker’s Treatise of Japanning and Varnishing of 1688. I will be trialling some of these specific 17th century water-gilding techniques later this term.

I have recently started the practical treatment of the frame, carefully and lightly cleaning hundreds of years of dirt and grime to lift the appearance of the gilding. Next will be the consolidation of the fragile gilding scheme, and structural repair.

Charlotte Jones | Instagram

Find out more about our MA Conservation Course at one of our upcoming Open Days.

 

 

On 10th February, our second year BA (Hons) Conservation: Books & Paper students enjoyed a day trip to Northamptonshire to visit three sites to learn about leather conservation.

We started the day by visiting Harmatan Leather, a specialised tannery near Northampton that creates leather using traditional methods. Our students learned about their processes for tanning leather, using natural materials.

The students then visited the Leather Conservation Centre, which specialises in the conservation, restoration, education and research of leather. We were shown current projects being conserved, and discussed leading techniques being used in the field of leather conservation.

The day ended with a visit to the Museum of Leathercraft, where we were privileged to be given a private tour of the premises, and look at rare collectibles.

Find out more about our BA Conservation courses at one of our upcoming Open Days.

Applications are now open for 2023/24.

Photo credit: Sophie Ambelas, Books & Paper Conservation Technician

City & Guilds of London Art School is delighted to announce the appointment of two new members of teaching staff to the Foundation Department.

Joshua Uvieghara has been appointed as Foundation Coordinator/Tutor.

Joshua is a Brighton-based artist who works primarily in painting, as well as processes involving collage/assemblage, found objects, printmaking, sculpture and installation. Having graduated with a BA and MA in Fine Art from the University of Brighton, Joshua has had several academic appointments over the past 15 years as a studio-based lecturer in Fine and Visual Art. He has taught from Foundation to Post-Graduate level at the University of the Arts London, Kensington and Chelsea College, Rye Studio School, Hereford College of Arts and University of Brighton.

Commenting on his new appointment, Joshua said: “I’m so thrilled to be part of the team as Foundation Coordinator/Tutor within CGLAS. I find a striking feature of the Art School to be found in a unique focus on material form and the aesthetic-object, which reflects a wealth in the range of subject areas across the school. This resonates with my approach as an Artist/Teacher, particularly regarding what this might mean within current intellectual and cultural climates in shaping a practice. Having taught extensively on foundation courses over the years, I am looking forward to supporting students at such an exciting and formative time in realising their creative potential.”

Ana Vicente is joining the team as a Sessional Tutor.

Ana is a Portuguese-born artist, researcher and educator based in London. She works with multidisciplinary methods including moving-image, performance, photography, installation, drawing and book design. She has worked in creative education for the past fourteen years, primarily in Further Education as Senior Lecturer and Course Leader in Art & Design and Media. She is also a Senior External Moderator for the University of the Arts Awarding Body. Ana has studied MAs in Performance Making and Education Studies (Art & Learning) at Goldsmiths, University of London and is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of the Arts London.

Commenting on her new role, Ana said: “I am thrilled to be appointed Sessional Tutor on Foundation at City & Guilds of London Art School. I look forward to working with the students and the team, continuing my commitment to creating accessible opportunities for students of all diversity to engage, participate and develop their own subject knowledge and creative voice to progress in their creative journeys.”

The Art School welcomes Joshua and Ana to the team!

Find out more about our Foundation Course at one of our upcoming Open Days. Applications are now open for 2023/24.

This week, our National Saturday Club members, families and tutors visited two amazing heritage buildings, to gather inspiration for the next stage of their project.

The first stop was a private tour of the Fishmongers’ Company’s Hall and their collection of over 2,000 diverse objects, from across the Company’s long history and up to contemporary additions.

We learnt about the different heraldic shields relating to the Prime Wardens throughout the history of this important London Livery and much appreciated supporter of the Art School. Members chose different motifs to sketch from to help inspire the designs we are working on for our coats of arms.

We then walked down the river to Two Temple Place, where we were able to see the impressive historic craftsmanship on display on the stone carved facade and the woodcarved interiors, currently showing contemporary art exhibition “Inside”.

We are most grateful to both of the teams that look after these special buildings for sharing the magic of these spaces and their stories with us!

Interested in applying for our 2023/24 Saturday Club? To find out more about the Club and how to apply, sign up to our Club mailing list.

This week, our National Saturday Club members progressed to an exciting next stage of their project, preparing and practicing for woodcarving using clay. This involved modelling in clay to create three dimensional artworks, which has prepared them for carving in wood.

The members experimented with casting processes using alginate and plaster to get a sense of scale in texture and form, guided by Tutor Sarah Davis, and assisted by Second Year BA Carving: Woodcarving & Gilding student, Henry Brown.

Our members are now almost ready to generate their final design of their coats of arms which they will carve in wood.

To help them decide which elements of this heritage object they’ll be including in their contemporary designs, they will be finding inspiration on an upcoming trip to Fishmonger’s Hall and Two Temple Place. Keep an eye out for updates on their designs!

Interested in applying for our 2023/24 Saturday Club? To find out more about the Club and how to apply, sign up to our Club mailing list.

 

 

We are pleased to share that Woodcarving graduate Borys Burrough has completed his commission of the statue of St Dominic for the French Convent Cours Notre Dame des Victoires.

Since our last update back in the summer of 2022, Borys has been working on the commission to complete the statue in time for it to be up on display in the Dominican Convent for Christmas. We are thrilled to see the pictures of the statue in its new home, kindly provided by the nuns.

The work since our last update has been extensive, starting with Borys completing the carving details on the face, hands, hair, book and drapery of the statue.

Next, he worked on St Dominic’s cross, which he carved from lime wood. The staff was made from a 12mm round piece of oak, which Borys attached the cross to using a brass ferrule. Another brass ferrule was used for the base of the staff. The cross was finished by the process of being gessoed, water gilded and burnished.

The next stage was to paint the statue. Borys sealed the figure with shellac before painting it with high quality acrylics, using pigment and washes of tone to bring the figure to life. Initially, the nuns wanted the flesh of St Dominic to remain unpainted, but it was decided it would be best to paint the flesh in skin tones.


St Dominic’s clothes were painted according to the colour scheme of the Dominican order, known as the ‘Black Friars’ because of the black cloak that is worn over their white habits. The book that he is carrying was painted to look like red leather, with oil gilded details. In the centre of the book, Borys added the cross of the Dominican order. He left this ungilded, so that it wasn’t too prominent a feature.

The statue was complete and ready to transport to France, and it is now in place in the chapel of the Convent.

From the open call and competition to the finished statue, this has been a magnificent project and we congratulate Borys on his exceptional work.

Thank you to the Cours Notre Dame des Victoires and the de Laszlo Foundation for making the commission possible.

The Art School’s extensive links and partnerships with institutions and individuals mean that we have a history of providing opportunities for placements and projects to both current students and recent alumni.

Applications for our BA Carving and MA Carving courses for 2023/24 are now open. Find out more about our courses at one of our upcoming Open Days, held in-person and online.

After a delay due to the pandemic, Roberta de Caro, Glass Fellow and former BA Fine Art and MA Art & Material Histories student, has successfully run a socially engaged art initiative for domestic abuse survivors, with plans for expansion.

From the Fragment to the Whole is a project that uses glass as a metaphor for the process of rebuilding one’s life after domestic abuse. It involves a series of glass-making workshops for survivors, using fragments of broken glass to make new artwork. Participants are invited to break a sheet of clear glass, collect the shards, and reassemble them onto a colourful sheet. This is then fired in a kiln to create a new glass panel. The breakages come together, showing the beauty of repair. These artworks are then exhibited together in a light installation.

We last shared an update on this project in February 2020, just as workshops were about to take place at the Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre, Lambeth. Due to the Covid pandemic and lockdown, these had to be cancelled. On her website, Roberta discusses how covid restrictions changed the format of the project from group sessions to 1-1 workshops.

“I now believe that one-to-one sessions are a better option for the purposes of the projects due to the delicacy and privacy of the issues discussed. This individual approach allows for a level of intimacy and connection that cannot be replicated in a group setting. The power of these sessions is in the sharing of these stories and in transferring them into the process and the material. The conversations are an integral part of the work on par with the glass itself.”

The project’s first development took place in 2021, funded by the City & Guilds of London Art School Student Initiated Project Prize. This was presented at the MA Interim Show 2021, from which Roberta was awarded £15,000.00 by Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grant to run the first large project. This was delivered between March and July 2022, involving 24 participants and culminating in an exhibition at Espacio Gallery. Roberta worked in collaboration with alumni and staff members David MacDiarmid, Dr Matthew Rowe, Philippa Beveridge, Alistair Blake, Jyoti Bharwani, Charlie Norton and Martina O’Shea to run the project and create the exhibition. Renowned artist Silvia Levenson was invited as a guest speaker, joining Roberta and glass tutor Philippa Beveridge in an artist talk facilitated by art history lecturer Dr Matthew Rowe.

Roberta is now planning a new development of the project, in collaboration with Art School alumni, technicians and tutors, to deliver 1-1 workshops to survivors of domestic abuse alongside a new series of group workshops for previous participants.

Visit Roberta’s website for updates and to find out more about supporting the project.

In late October, we were delighted to return to Venice for our annual trip for second year BA Carving and BA Conservation students. The Venice trip is a highlight in the calendar for our students, giving them the opportunity to engage directly with the art and architecture of the city, under the guidance and expertise of their tutors. This year’s study trip was even more anticipated having been put on hold for two years due to the pandemic, and a few third year students took the chance to join.

Twenty students attended this year’s trip, accompanied by three members of staff, Richard Barnes, Jennifer Dinsmore and Dr Michael Paraskos. Teaching began immediately upon arrival to Venice with a late afternoon visit to the church of San Giorgio Maggiore by Palladio, followed by a walk around some of the Baroque churches to the west of St Mark’s Square and the Dorsoduro district. An exciting start to the trip!

There was an early start the following morning to experience St Mark’s Square before the crowds arrived, where we discussed Venice as a historical, material and theoretical phenomenon. We visited Museo Correr, where we looked at Canova plasters and examples of woodcarving, books and paper. This was followed by a second museum trip in the afternoon to the Accademia, where we saw finished carved marble pieces and further examples of woodcarving.

The next day, we took the train out to Padua. We were welcomed by the University of Padua and taken on a guided tour of the sixteenth-century Palazzo Bo, the collection of historical rooms and over 3000 carved wood and stone cartouches. This was followed by a visit to the Odeon and to the Basilica of San Antonio. The day ended with a guided tour of the conservation and restoration works at the Eremitani Church and at the nearby Scrovegni Chapel, where we saw restored frescoes by Giotto.

The Cini Foundation kindly hosted us once again for the trip, and on our fourth day we had an extensive tour around the building, guided by art historian Dr Alessandro Martoni. We then headed to the Island of Murano to visit the Church of St Peter the Martyr and its adjacent museum, and the Church of San Donato.

On the final day of the trip, we returned to St Mark’s Square to visit the Basilica. We studied the interior and exterior of the building and discussed its craftsmanship, history and carvings, alongside conservation issues following the disastrous floods in 2019. Afterwards, we visited the Frari, where Dr Susan Steer of the Venice in Peril organisation gave a lecture on the restoration of the Canova Monument. The trip ended with a quick visit to a Venetian boat yard that builds and repairs the famous wooden gondolas, before it was time to fly home.

Applications are now open for 2023/24. Find out more about our BA Carving and BA Conservation courses at one of our upcoming Open Days.

This week, National Saturday Club Members continued to refine their Verre églomisé practice, lead by Tutor Sarah Davis, and assisted by Second Year BA Carving: Woodcarving & Guilding student, Henry Brown.

Using a range of resources, Members drew imagined beasts that reflected them as individuals, before drafting them onto larger glass panes, prepared through the Verre églomisé process using 24 carat gold leaf sheets.

These designs will be set in their wooden crests that they will begin to carve at the end of this term – keep an eye out for updates on their work!

 

Interested in applying for our 2023/24 Saturday Club? To find out more about the Club and how to apply, sign up to our Club mailing list.

In last week’s session, Club Members learnt how to gild with gold leaf onto a range of their own objects including a trainer and a phone case. They also applied gold leaf to a glass tile, part of the process of the heritage craft verre eglomise.

This week, tutor Sarah Davis taught Members the next steps – how to etch a design into the gilded glass tile, and add colour. Club Members produced some lovely glittering artworks.

Interested in applying for our 2023/24 Saturday Club? To find out more about the Club and how to apply, sign up to our Club mailing list.

This Saturday we welcomed our National Saturday Club members and their families to the Art School to share in the wonderful work their sons and daughters have made on the course this term. It was a delight to come together and celebrate our NSC member’s achievements and be joined by representatives of those who have supported the launch of the project: the Fishmongers’ Company and City & Guilds Foundation. We were also joined by our friends at QEST and NSC who have recently partnered to form the new Craft&Making strand of NSC programming, of which we are extremely proud to be a part of.

It’s been a term of drawing, painting, printing and gilding – next term, we’ll be taking on casting and starting to explore wood carving, preparing to design and create a coat of arms that represents how we understand ourselves, under the theme of “identity”.

Thank you to all the CGLAS students that were on site for the event to talk to members and guests about their practice and answer questions about the courses and their work.

SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS TERM

 

 

 

 

 

Interested in applying for our 2023/24 Saturday Club? To find out more about the Club and how to apply, sign up to our Club mailing list.

 

In Saturday’s workshop,  Club Members tried their hands at gilding, with Tutor Sarah Davis.

They started by embellishing their personal objects with 23ct. gold leaf. Next was the ancient art of Verre Eglomise, which is the technique of applying gold leaf to glass. Once the gold is dry any design, colour or texture can be added to make the surface even more appealing.

Members left the workshop with some impressive bling!

 

Interested in applying for our 2023/24 Saturday Club? To find out more about the Club and how to apply, sign up to our Club mailing list.

 

This week our Saturday Club Members visited an exciting exhibition where their own work was displayed!

The Club met up with all the National Saturday Clubs within London to share in each other’s “self portraits” at an exhibition at Central Saint Martins.

As well as seeing their brilliant work exhibited, and viewing the self portraits made by other Saturday Club members, this was a really exciting opportunity to hear the inspiring Sim Scavazza speak and share her industry tips on how to nurture a successful career in the Fashion Industry.

We then went to see fashion in action at the amazing Africa Fashion exhibition at the V&A.

Interested in applying for our 2023/24 Saturday Club? To find out more about the Club and how to apply, sign up to our Club mailing list.

Over the past two Club sessions, Members have been exploring how textures make them feel.

Tutor Kate Dunn writes:

Expanding on our investigations into colour, language and feeling: our second session asks, how does texture make us feel? What happens when we pair a Barbie pink with a scab-like crust, or a mud brown with a high gloss shine?

The students brought their own phrase to make an abstract painting from – sources varied from poetry, film, tv and music. Together we began to question harmonies, contrasts, paintings that shout and paintings that whisper.

 

Interested in applying for our 2023/24 Saturday Club? To find out more about the Club and how to apply, sign up to our Club mailing list.

In the past two weeks, Club Members have been working in smaller groups, alternating between two different workshops.

In our last blog, we visited Members discovering new talents in our Print Room, where tutor Kristina Chan taught the traditional process of soft ground etching on our historic printing press.

Members have also been exploring the emotional language of colour with tutor Kate Dunn!

In Kate’s workshops, Members used the colour wheel and words to interpret how emotions are held within colours. Club Members wrote a word on a piece of paper and submitted them anonymously. Everyone was then given a word at random from this collection to respond to through the format of an abstract painting.

The opening question for this session was: ‘If I told you I woke up feeling yellow this morning, how do you imagine I felt?

 

Interested in applying for our 2023/24 Saturday Club? To find out more about the Club and how to apply, sign up to our Club mailing list.

Over a four week period, our Club Members are working in two smaller groups, alternating between two different workshops.

One of the workshops is with Print Fellow Kristina Chan in our historic Print Room.

Kristina introduced Club Members to the world of traditional intaglio print with soft ground etching.  Because the ground, or ‘wax’ is ‘soft’, this type of etching allows for a wide variety of mark making.

Students worked on zinc plates to create multi-tonal prints.  In their second session, we will introduce colour into the mix!

 

 

In our next blog, we’ll share Members’ experiences experimenting with colour!

Interested in applying for our 2023/24 Saturday Club? To find out more about the Club and how to apply, sign up to our Club mailing list.

 

 

A massive welcome to our wonderful Saturday Club Members as they begin their creative journey to discover new and exciting artistic talents!

The Club has been running for two weeks now, and so far Members have been exploring ideas about their own self-identity, how they see themselves and how they see others, through a variety of drawing challenges. These drawing workshops are the first step towards Club Members designing their own personal coat of arms by making a series of handcrafted artworks, with their final piece exhibited in the Summer Show at Somerset House.

Guided by our wonderful and inspiring tutors, Sarah Davis and Tom Merrett, Members tested a host of different drawing materials and explored new techniques.

Using charcoal and twigs dipped in ink, Members set about drawing objects that represent the things that are most important to them. Amongst other things, they drew favourite teddies, a camera, drinks cartons, sweets, sea shells and jewellery.

The final work was displayed around the room and it looked amazing!

The group then moved on to drawing a series of self-portraits, employing different techniques along the way.

They began by creating collective portraits, spending two minutes adding to each other’s drawings using vividly-coloured chalk. Moving around the room and working from mirrors, they drew aspects of themselves onto each image.

After this, Members began to draw one another, exploring facial features, line and space, creating eight portraits.

The workshop ended when Members tackled a self-portrait, choosing to work from a mirror, phone or from their imagination, with some fantastic results.

For the next few weeks, Club Members will get to know the Art School’s historic Print Room with tutor Kristina Chan, where they will learn the processes of soft ground etching and embossing. They’ll also work with tutor Kate Dunn to explore colour, expression and abstraction – can’t wait!

Interested in applying for our 2023/24 Saturday Club? To find out more about the Club and how to apply, sign up to our Club mailing list.

Image: Lucy Wadsworth

A huge welcome to our first year students on BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces,  who have just completed a five day stone carving workshop with Carving Tutor, Mark Frith.

The workshop introduced students to the types of stone commonly used in historic buildings and monuments and gave them an insight into the historic craft skill of stone carving.

After exploring the origins, properties and uses of different types of stone, the new students learnt about the range of tools used in stone carving and how to maintain them, including chisels, dummies (otherwise known as mallets) and chisel sharpeners.

Image: Julian Sonta

Mark went on to give the students an important health and safety brief, highlighting the precautions that must be taken when carving in stone. These include ensuring the space is well ventilated and wearing safety googles and steel toe capped shoes.

Each student was given a block of Levoux stone (a French limestone) and a plaster mould of an acanthus leaf. Their brief was to carve the acanthus leaf relief into the stone by following a step-by-step process used by cavers for centuries.

Image: Adrian Gono

Students drew a grid over the acanthus leaf plaster cast and then over their stone block. They then drew the leaf design onto the block, using the grid to ensure accuracy.

Image: Julian Sonta

   

Images: Daniel Abbott; Thomas Yeung

Once the motif was fully mapped out, the students began carefully carving the stone, using a small chisel to start the process. They used Calipers and a T-square to ensure the carving was developing accurately, paying attention to the depth of the carving as well as the outline.

Image: Noilin O’Kelly

After employing further techniques to enhance and define the carving, the Conservation students proudly exhibited their final carved acanthus leaf motifs – brilliant work!

   

 

     

 

Work by: Noilin O’Kelly; Kathryn Miller; Daniel Abbott; Lucy Wadsworth; Adrian Gono; Julian Sonta; Thomas Yeung

The images included in this blog are from the students’ detailed, non-compulsory process logs, compiled following the workshop.

BA Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces student, Carla Learoyd, is starting her final year on the course. Working at the Royal Oak Foundation Conservation Studio, Carla has spent seven weeks over the summer at the National Trust’s Knole conserving four frames and learning an array of new skills to take back to her final-year studies.

In her own words, Carla reflects on her summer at Knole:

Due to Covid, not many institutions were offering work placements to students in 2021 so I was thrilled to be offered the chance to work at the National Trust property Knole House this summer for a period of seven weeks.

I would be working under the supervision of my City & Guilds of London Art School frame tutor Gerry Alabone who is the Senior Furniture and Frames Conservator there.

Acquired by Thomas Sackville, one of Queen Elizabeth I cousins in 1603, Knole House is set in the beautiful grounds of Knole Park, inhabited by herds of wild sika and fallow deer. I encountered deer of all sizes on my long walk up to the house every morning and each time I would frantically reach for my phone like a tourist in the hope of taking the perfect photo, which proved to be a very tricky task most of the time!

My best photo!

My placement was based in the Royal Oak Foundation Conservation Studio, which is a relatively new addition to Knole House, opening in 2017 following renovations to a 600-year-old barn made possible by National Lottery Heritage funding in 2013.

The conservation studio is such an inspiring place, with paintings conservators, ceramics conservators, object conservators and frames and furniture conservators all working together under the same roof. I was pleasantly surprised to see that several Art School alumni were working there at the same time as me which made me feel more at ease. So I must thank past students Miyuki, Nolly and Ieva for their friendship and advice during my time at Knole.

On my first day I was given a schedule by Gerry of tasks that I would be working on throughout the seven weeks including frame conservation, report writing, studio organisation and providing general assistance in the studio where needed. During my placement I managed to work on four different frames, all of which had different requirements.

The first two frames were 17th Century gilt auricular style frames that were recovered from the attic of Lacock Abbey in Chippenham.

Both frames had been adapted and cut up to make a larger third frame, so I was dealing with two small top and bottom pieces and two separate side pieces, all in a very poor condition with high levels of surface soiling. Most of the gilded surfaces were flaking, with some loose pieces vulnerable to future loss. The larger pieces also had structural issues to the mitred corners and splits to some areas of the sight edge (the inner edge closest to the painting) which was making them structurally unstable and difficult to handle.

   
Left & right: Images showing some of the soiling and flaking on the gilded surfaces

These frames required intensive treatment as the two sides were over 2.4m high and the full treatment that I carried out is too long to list here, so I have highlighted a few areas that I worked on. I carried out various tests to work out what the best cleaning methods, consolidants and adhesives would be and subsequently cleaned all surfaces, consolidated all loose and flaking gilding, and adhered any loose pieces that could be placed in their original location. I then addressed the issues that were affecting the structural stability of the largest pieces of frame. Following treatment, all pieces could now be confidently handled and stored.

 
Images showing the bottom left corner before and after treatment to allow both surfaces to sit flush together

My second frame was a beautiful gilt frame with rococo style features from Hughenden Manor in Buckinghamshire. The brief for this frame was to provide a gentle clean to the surface to fully reveal the gilding scheme, to replace missing features and to create a cohesive overall look to the frame. There were also issues with the hanging fittings and the back edge had large areas of loss to the painted surface.

Most of the frame had been water gilded but some later additions had been oil gilded and gaps in the gold leaf revealed the surface beneath.

After cleaning the frame, I used dental putty to create a cast of an intact element to replace a missing leaf tip to the top left corner. This was the first time I had carried out this process, so it was great to have this practice. The rest of my treatment for this frame included re-gilding, distressing, and toning of the surface. I also used watercolours to tone in the back edge and removed current hanging fittings to make way for a new system to be fitted. I hadn’t carried out any toning of gilding before, so it was great to get some experience doing this. I had some great advice and help from Maria the decorative surfaces conservator and Miyuki who had lots of experience in this area.

Images showing the moulding, application and gilding of a missing leaf tip

 
Images showing an area of the back edge before and after toning in losses with watercolour

The final frame I worked on was a painted frame from Westwood Manor in Wiltshire that required cleaning and had some structural issues that needed to be addressed. In comparison to the previous frames, the treatment I carried out wasn’t as intensive, but it did allow me to replace a major loss to one of the corners and in the process practice my wood carving skills which were a bit rusty!

Images showing the bottom left corner following the moulding and shaping of a new pine insert. The corner was then stained and polished to integrate successfully with the adjacent moulding

Unfortunately, my time ran out before I could finish the frame, but I did manage to stabilise the loose corners and carry out some toning to the surface using watercolours before I left.

 
Images showing one area of the outer edge before and after toning in areas of loss using Golden acrylic paints

Before I finished my time at Knole I was lucky enough to have a tour of the house from my supervisor Gerry, which only highlighted what an inspirational place Knole must be to work at.

Aside from the great experience I gained in the world of frames conservation, I really felt that I was part of the workforce because I was made to feel so welcome. It really feels like a little family there and everyone was happy to give me advice and tips if I asked.

I must give a big thank you to Gerry who arranged the work placement for me. It was a pleasure to see how enthusiastic he is about all things Knole, and I will be able to transfer all the skills I picked up into my third year at the Art School.

But I must say that I think Gerry was most happy about mastering my exacting strong tea requirements! By the end of my placement, he had produced the perfect cup of tea with the colour that is now known as “Nan’s tan tights”! Thanks Gerry!

Senior Frames and Furniture Conservator at Knole Gerry Alabone and me

So, if any future students have the chance to work at Knole, grab the opportunity but don’t get too hung up on taking the perfect deer photo as it will become an obsession!

Third year BA Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces student, Ethan Gallesio, carried out an observational internship at the paleochristian catacombs of Villagrazia di Carini, the largest catacombs in western Sicily, dating from 4th to 8th century A.D.

In his own words, Ethan describes the conservation work undertaken in the catacombs:

Entryway to the catacombs

My internship focused for my part on the painted frescoes present in the galleries and cubicles of the catacombs. Most of the frescoes illustrated passages from the Old and New Testament, illustration made by craftsmen with the exception of one fresco representing Helena, mother of ​​Constantine the Great made with an artistic approach (use of other pigment and illustration techniques not present on the rest of the frescoes).

First fresco made for a tomb of a children (Mechanically cleaned)

Second fresco painted arc for another small tomb representing Maria and the child with the three wise kings (laser cleaned)

Third fresco representing Maria and the child seated (Mechanically cleaned)

The analysis carried out on these frescoes made possible to identify pigments such as red iron oxide, yellow ochre, brown manganese as well as cobalt blue present only in the representation of Helena being a very expensive material at the time.

Representation of Helena (face on the left) with a blue background painted with cobalt pigments (Mechanically cleaned)

Detail of the fresco depicting Helena

The frescoes being initially covered with sediment, the curators cleaned them with scalpels, cotton wool and deionizer water. Certain frescoes were cleaned using laser cleaning. A few years after salt crystals and a patina of limestone appeared on the surface making the frescoes less visible. The dampness of the catacombs causes erosion, and an aeration system has been placed to diminish those effects.

Painted fragment with chalk and iron oxide residue

Laura Goodman, currently starting the second year of BA Conservation: Books & Paper, undertook a summer placement with Museum Conservation Services, working at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds, to carefully remove and conserve a collection of 1950s theatre posters that had adhered to a damp wall.

In her own words, Laura outlines the conservation treatment she carried out:

As my summer placement comes to an end, I thought I would share a project I’ve been working on throughout the summer. Working off site at the Theatre Royal at Bury St Edmunds to remove a collection of theatre posters from the 1950s.

The posters have been deteriorating in condition for a number of years and the paper has become very fragile, from continuous moisture damage.


Initially, we used steam to soften the starch-based adhesive – although on some posters the paper is so brittle through mould and water damage that the only way to remove them is mechanically.

Then we applied enzymes, as the adhesive is starch-based the enzymes ‘soften’ the adhesive resulting in a easier removal. We applied them directly on the posters for a couple of hours until removal.

After removing the posters, we washed them on site to prevent any watermarks. Then we took them back to the studio for further conservation work, which will include lining for support and removal of the overpaint over the edges.

 

During the summer break, students on our Conservation programmes have the opportunity to put their Conservation skills and knowledge into practice on an exciting range of work placements and internships within the conservation and heritage sector. Here’s what some students got up to during Summer 2022.

Sicily’s catacombs – Ethan Gallesio 

Third year student on our BA Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces, Ethan Gallesio, carried out an observational internship at the paleochristian catacombs of Villagria di Carini, the largest catacombs in western Sicily, dating from 4th to 8th century A.D. The conservation project focused on analysing the painted frescoes depicting passages from the Old and New Testament, in the galleries and cubicles of the catacombs.

Read more >

 

Knole House, Kent – Carla Learoyd

BA Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces student, Carla Learoyd, is starting her final year on the course. Working at the Royal Oak Foundation Conservation Studio, Carla has spent seven weeks over the summer at the National Trust’s Knole. Under the supervision of the Art School’s Frame Conservation tutor Gerry Alabone, Carla worked on the conservation of three frames, learning an array of new skills to take back to her final-year studies.

Read more >

 

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds – Laura Goodman

Laura Goodman, currently starting her second year of BA Conservation: Books & Paper, undertook a summer placement with Museum Conservation Services, working at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds, to carefully remove and conserve a collection of 1950s theatre posters that had adhered to a damp wall.

Read more >

Conservation projects around the UK – Joshua Horsfall

Third year Stone, Wood and Decorative Surfaces student, Joshua Horsfall, has spent the summer working on a range of conservation projects in all corners of the country, with Skillingtons Conservation Workshops, Rupert Harris Conservation and Sally Strachey Historic Conservation.

Read more >

 

Science Museum, London – Rhys Briggs

Second year BA Conservation: Books and Paper student, Rhys Briggs, has been working at the Science Museum under the supervision of the Museum’s Library & Archives Conservator, Jessica Crann ACR. This is the first work placement for a paper conservator the museum has hosted, so we are delighted that Rhys was chosen for the role. Rhys has been working to stabilise and rehouse two illustrations of the moon by James Nasmyth in the Science Museum’s collection of Nasmyth’s lunar artworks.

Photo credit: Jessica Crann, Science Museum

 

© Julian Calder for QEST

We are delighted to share the exceptional work of 2021 Woodcarving graduate, Borys Burrough, who is completing a commission to design and carve a statue of St Dominic for Cours Notre Dame des Victoires, a Dominican Convent in Northern France.

Borys was awarded the commission following the Art School’s open call for recent woodcarving alumni, to submit drawings and plans to create the statue, via one of our supporters. The competition brief, to create a carved, polychromed statue of St Dominic, was set by the Convent to mark the 800 year anniversary of the Saint’s death.

St Dominic (1170 – 1221) was a 12th century Spanish priest who founded the Dominican order of preachers. The completed statue will be placed on a niche about one and a half meters high in a chapel in the convent, amongst other wooden polychromed and gilded figures.

Borys’ drawings of St Dominic

 
St Dominic, detail of fresco in Convento di San Marco, Florence; St Dominic by Fra Angelico

After winning the commission, based on his pencil study of St Dominic and charcoal face study, Borys was asked to develop a clay model for approval by the convent. The full size clay model is approximately 80cm in height, and was developed based on feedback from the convent’s nuns, who had a very clear vision for how this St Dominic should look. His appearance is based on paintings of St Dominic by Fra Angelico (an Italian early renaissance painter) who was himself a Dominican friar. Unusually, the  feedback process has been conducted by letter, as the nuns have not yet embraced modern communication technology.

The clay model of the statue

Once the clay model was finalised, Borys began the wood carving, which is nearing completion. The statue is carved in lime wood and will be painted, along with gilded elements including St Dominic’s golden cross and details on his book and cloak.

The carved statue – work in progress

Work on the project continues and we look forward to sharing photos of the finished statue before it is transported to its new home in France.

Borys graduated from MA Carving at City & Guilds of London Art School in 2021, having previously obtained his undergraduate Diploma in Ornamental Woodcarving & Gilding (now verified as a BA course) in 2018. Borys works as a professional woodcarver and gilder, with a focus on restoring and creating picture frames. As well as taking on private commissions, Borys works part time for antique picture framer and restorer Rollo Whately Ltd.

Borys also undertook several commissions whilst studying at the Art School: a frame for a Van Dyck portraitframes for two Dutch Old Masters.

The Art School’s extensive links and partnerships with institutions and individuals mean that we have a history of providing opportunities for placements and projects to both current students and recent alumni.

 

We were delighted when we recently heard that the large scale final piece of 2022 Foundation Diploma graduate Alice Farrall, has been selected by Rich Mix, a major art centre in East London, for exhibition during August 2022 and then to be permanently housed at the venue.

Alice describes her work, ‘Afters’, as “a picture of a community, a marker of moments shared and gone – moments that I’m continually honoured to be a part of.” She goes on to explain, “With the painting I hope to invite the viewer to journey through the many brush strokes – an invitation to experience the same break from usual thought patterns that I experienced while curating and creating it.”

The exhibition Afters is open until Sunday 23 August, on the first floor Gallery space at Rich Mix, Shoreditch, and the impressive painted piece can be seen on permanent display in the art centre thereafter.

We asked Alice to tell us more about her practice and how she has been able to interrogate and evolve her work whilst studying on the Foundation Diploma at the Art School.

In her own words: “Over the past few years my artistic practice has developed into an exercise integrated into my daily life. After leaving a seven year career in finance I wanted to orchestrate my time to follow pursuits that in no way felt like a chore. Pursuits that provide me with deeper meaning and lasting connection. Through visual art I find myself able to understand and absorb the beauty of my surroundings, I find myself grateful, and I find that time is no longer passing with desire to get from one point to the next. And that I can sit more comfortably in the present through creation.

“Most of the work I produce is derived from researching those that surround me. I am always attempting to grasp at snippets of moments that cannot be contained, for example drawing movement from life, or expression through my non-visual senses. The immediacy of my practice is a way of translating my human experience, what I collate and curate is where I find my meaning – the pattern of what stares back at me. Over time I have realised that mark making is a language, and I want to learn how to read and speak it as much as possible. Mark making provides information that images alone cannot, it is that which is happening in the now, and therefore has become precious to me.

“Through this understanding my work has moved from predominantly figurative to a mixture of abstraction and figuration. Sitting somewhere between these two in order to communicate with both narrative and imagery as well as marks and energy.

“My Foundation year at City & Guilds of London Art School was incredibly nurturing and allowed me to flourish in my practice. I feel as if the advice and support that I gleaned from the tutors gave me confidence, and allowed me to see correlations in my work that enabled me to further understand who I am as an artist. I was encouraged to go deeper with everything I created, and the facilities were holistic spaces in which to achieve this.”

At the Art School, we are lucky enough to be seeing more of Alice and her wonderful work over the coming years as she embarks on BA (Hons) Fine Art with us.

You can see more of Alice’s work on Instagram @alice_farrall_art

Following the restrictions placed on us all by the pandemic, second year Books & Paper conservation students recently enjoyed much-anticipated site visits to a leather tannery, leather conservation centre and The National Archives. Student Ana Sofia Drinovan describes the visits and how they supported their studies.

After doing our best to ride the waves of the pandemic for the first year and a half of our course, our cohort, the second year of BA (Hons) Conservation: Books & Paper, embarked on a trip to Rushden and Northampton. This trip up north would be to Harmatan Leather Ltd and the Leather Conservation Centre, a trip made doubly exciting by it being our first ever excursion as a class. There’s something indefinably special about piling into a coach for an outing with classmates you first got to know through little video squares online.

Set in the calm and quiet streets of Rushden, Harmatan Leather surprised us by fitting right in. Marc Lamb came to greet us and invited us into the heart of the business, a high-ceilinged workspace with skins stretched to dry in green and blue, white leather in a pile waiting to be processed, and employees working with vats towards the back of the space. When we remarked that there was a distinct lack of the powerful smells typically associated with leathermaking, we learned that this was because Harmatan imports leather already treated in India and re-treats them with their own recipes and dyes.

We were then shown how the dry leather is treated with a layer of casein and rubbed down; some of us had a go at smoothing the surface of a hot pink piece of leather. Harmatan provides leather to clients of all kinds, from bookbinders to interior designers, and the array of colours and types of leather they make was very impressive. One of my favourite features of the work at Harmatan were some gloriously complex and charmingly designed machines that have been a legacy of the business in decades past but still serve a staunchly practical purpose, like the pistachio-and-pink machine of dozens of metal pins finely calibrated to measure the thickness of any piece of leather inserted. It was a fascinating visit, rounded off by a very welcome sandwich lunch!

Our next stop that day was the Leather Conservation Centre in Northampton. We were dropped off and then led up some stairs, and when we emerged we were in a room overlooking the city, being introduced to Rosie Bolton and Arianne Panton. We pored over a collection of the leathers from a bewildering array of animals, from chicken to crocodile, and then we were shown into the studios, where conservators were working on a wonderful range of objects: a leather folding screen, a makeup case, even a globe cover. Each of the materials we learn to use on our course constitutes a world unto itself, and this pair of visits was a dizzying look into all the possibilities of leather.

The next day, our class met in the sun-filled forecourt of The National Archives in Kew. Sonja Schwoll came to meet us and took us to the conservation studio, where conservators were at work on items from the archive. Katerina Williams received us and told us all about the conservation department’s current projects, and after showing us an amazing collection of ledgers from as early as the 15th century, our class collaborated to enter information about one of the ledgers into a database that was in the process of being created for those particular manuscripts.

One of the most delightful parts of the day consisted of some of the conservators in the studio showing us around their workbenches and their own current projects. Helen Mayor showed us a collection of architectural prints and drawings showing views of Whitehall through the ages. Alison Archibald had been at work on a legal document with many wax seals dangling from its lower edge; we were all very taken with the Tyvek fleece enclosures she had devised to protect each and every one of the seals. Each conservator had their own way of keeping their space organised, and there was a very particular pleasure to be had in asking about the various tools that we saw they were using! We learned even more from Ioannis Vasallos, who showed us photographs from the collection and some of the analytical and conservation techniques they employ, and we also heard presentations on the Archives’ latest digitisation project and the importance of engagement.

Over the course of two days, our class had the chance to step into many different spaces, from the cool order of The National Archives to the bustle and whirr of Harmatan, and the range of leather objects at the Leather Conservation Centre has to be seen to be believed. As future book and paper conservators, it has been a delight for us to start to get to grips with the lay of the land of conservation, and with that knowledge we can start to chart a course for ourselves as practitioners. It was wonderful to be welcomed in all these places, and we were all grateful that the conservators and leatherworkers with whom we spoke were happy to share their techniques and insights with us. After the caution and isolation in which we started our studies in conservation, it is exciting to go out and feel the collaborative spirit!

 

Photo credit: Cristina Biagioni (BA (Hons) Conservation: Books & Paper, Yr 2)

This Easter Break, students on our BA Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces course have been working on an additional special project to make nearly 100 feet of cast ‘composition’ ornament for fabricating a ‘Watts’-style frame for the Conservation and Technical Research Department at the National Gallery of Canada and overseen by Frames Conservation Tutor Gerry Alabone.

 

On Wednesday 23 March, second year students on our Stone, Wood and Decorative Surfaces BA course presented the findings of a conservation project they have undertaken at Southwark Cathedral.

The students have been carrying out investigations of three areas of the Cathedral, looking at the history of each area, the use of replacement stone and the condition of the building fabric. Each group presented their findings plus recommendations for the care, maintenance and conservation of their area.

Students Anya Hordejuk, Thomas Barry and Josh Horsfall (pictured above) discussed the Harvard Chapel,  Ben Edwards, Carla Learoyd and Elsa Ray-Iliffe focussed on the North Transept and Alicia Amatangelo, Charlotte Jones and Ethan Gallesio studied the North Choir Aisle.

Cathedral architect, Kelley Christ, the archaeologist for the building, Jackie Hall, and Katy Lithgow, a member of the Cathedral’s Fabric Advisory Committee (and also a Conservation Tutor at the Art School) all said that they found the information that the students had compiled really valuable and interesting.

Books & Paper students recently took part in a paper-making workshop with tutor Amanda Brannan.

On the first day the students learned about the historical and contemporary aspects of papermaking. This was followed by an intensive program to learn the skills necessary to become makers of both the Western and Japanese styles of handmade papers.

With the support of Amanda, the students learnt the Western Style of sheet formation using cotton and abaca (manila hemp) fibres and the Japanese Style of sheet formation using Kozo and Gampi fibres. The workshop also covered inclusions, pigmentation, recycling and upcycling.

bty

 

 

 

 

Adam Wilson recently graduated from our Woodcarving and Gilding BA course and is currently undertaking MA Carving at the Art School. For his MA project, Adam is designing and constructing a timber vault based on the vault from the Chantry Chapel of Henry IV (also known as the Edward the Confessor Chapel) at Canterbury Cathedral.

Describing the ambitious project, Adam said:

“I wanted to attempt a complex project for the MA, where I could combine carpentry, joinery and carving as well as carry out research into historic timber building construction.

“I have been interested in this style of English architecture since I went on a school trip to Devon when I was 10, and it’s only since completing a BA in Historic Carving that I have gained the full skill set to enable me to make a serious attempt at such a complex project.

“I chose the vault because of its diminutive size, elaborate decorative tracery and crucially it was accessible, which made close up inspection of the detailed mouldings and carved elements possible.”

In his own words, Adam brings us up to date with progress so far:

During the first four months of the MA, I undertook an in-depth investigation of the vault, using drawing as a tool to work out the relationship between each geometric element of the design, in order to understand how the individual sections (springer/conoid/spandrel) are combined to create the overall form of the vault.


I used the information gained from this detailed investigative process to construct multiple working drawings, which naturally progressed to the production of wooden and plaster three- dimensional scale models. I successfully used these models to explore the complex curved forms and the relationship between the structural and decorative elements of the vault.

Scale models have been used throughout history to understand and create working prototypes of complex structural forms, which can be successfully scaled up to construct viable and structurally stable buildings.

I combined the findings from this extensive visualisation and modelling process with a detailed knowledge of historic carpentry and joinery practice, allowing for a seamless transition from the design stage to the physical construction of the timber vault.

By combining critical analysis of historic vaulted timber structures and the application of the principals of historic structural design theory, I am constructing a working ⅓ scale model of the vault from Baltic oak, Quercus petraea, using 15th century carpentry and joinery techniques.

The construction of the vault involves joining over 400 individual pieces of oak, using traditional carpentry joints, to create a structurally stable, self supporting, complex vaulted structure.

Once the major project of the MA brief is complete, I will embellish the vault with extensive ornamental carving, including gilded bosses and ornamental frieze appropriate to 15th century English ecclesiastical work, and I will be exhibiting my work at the MA show in September 2022.

By recreating the design and construction processes of the 15th century, and by using the tools that were available at the time, I hope to gain insights into the thought processes employed by master carpenters, resulting in a deeper understanding of the methods used to create these elegant structures.

Several benefactors are generously supporting Adam on the MA Carving: The Worshipful Company of Carpenters; The Drapers Company/City and Guilds Institute; The Honourable Society of Knights of the Round Table; The South Square Trust.  Adam was recently granted Freedom of the Worshipful Company of Joiners and Ceilers.

A range of bursaries and grants are available to students studying Carving at the Art School. Find out more here.

One of the larger modules in the Autumn Term for the Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces 1st year students is the stone carving and lettering workshop. The module is divided into two five-day workshops where students are introduced to these historic crafts.

During the stone carving workshop, students became familiar with stone carving techniques, were taught about the range of tools available to stone carvers and then made their own carving in a piece of limestone.

Having made accurate plan drawings from a cast, the students transferred the drawing to a piece of limestone using carbon paper. From there, they continued to apply the carving techniques they had learnt, with some impressive results.


The five-day lettering workshop introduced students to the basic techniques of drawing and carving Roman capital
letters in stone.

Using examples as a guide, students drew sans serif capital letters and worked through the alphabet looking at the
construction of letters, proportion and similarities within groups of shapes. In particular, the students focused on thick and thin stroke contrast, weight, proportion and where the letters sit on or cut the lines.

The students then transferred their drawings to stone and put their new knowledge into practice, carving a range of serif Roman capitals into the stone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Autumn Term, Kim Amis, the Art School’s Modelling and Casting Tutor, led a casting workshop with 1st year Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces Conservation students.

The students learnt how to create a plaster cast and tested out their new skills on a range of interestingly shaped vegetables and fruit, including miniature pumpkins, broccoli, peppers, bananas, apples and pears.

The purpose of the six-day project was to understand clay, plasters, plaster bandage, alginate, and silicone rubbers as raw materials and their relevance to professional moulding and casting. All plaster casts produced during the six-day casting block were suitable subject matter for the following gilding project. In addition to handout sheets, students produced their own daily notes that were compiled and presented as a process log on completion of the project.

 

As part of the Historic Craft module, first year students on our BA (Hons) Conservation: Books & Paper course have been developing bookbinding skills during a series of workshops with tutor Richard Nichols.

The focus of the workshops is Romanesque bookbinding, and students have been learning Romanesque sewing techniques. Romanesque bookbinding involves sewing several different parts of the book, including the text-block, primary Tab end-band, the chemise, the edging strip and the secondary decorative end-band.

With the support of their tutor, the students are creating their own model Romanesque binding, which will enable them to understand how the sewn elements combine and interact and will give them invaluable insights into the craftsmanship, materials and techniques used in their production which essential knowledge for book conservators.

As well as developing historic bookbinding skills, the students are also learning about the historic context of bookbinding and are considering Romanesque bookbindings in significant collections in the UK and abroad.

 

 

 

In late November, City & Guilds of London Art School (CGLAS) hosted the four 2023 SPAB Fellows – Jack Buchanan, Kate Longworth, Daniel Cheetham and James Osborne – for a week-long placement in the Carving Department at City & Guilds of London Art School. Their time at the Art School was spent learning Stone Carving alongside our BA (Hons) Carving: Architectural Stone students.
“I had such a great time at CGLAS, we learnt invaluable skills and knowledge through the kindness of the tutors. The tutors welcomed us as normal students and gave us the time we needed. It was lovely to see how passionate everybody there was about their craft, but also how everybody was willing to share their skills so freely.”
James ‘Oz’ Osborne, SPAB Fellow and a blacksmith, from Shrewsbury. (Work by James pictured above)
“I relished the opportunity to come and spend the week stone carving at CGLAS. It was a great opportunity to foster creativity and develop skills in such a supportive and welcoming environment with likeminded people. Thank you for having us!”
Jack Buchanan, SPAB Fellow and a Historic Environment Scotland stonemason, from Glasgow. (work by Jack pictured above)
“Our time at CGLAS was really inspirational. I was taken aback by the warmth and passion shared by the students and tutors we met, and the standard of work they are producing.” Kate Longworth, SPAB Fellow and bricklayer from Hull.

The Art School is delighted that our two organisations are able to share and exchange knowledge and to promote the teaching of critical craft skills in the UK that are vital to maintaining our built heritage for the future.

The SPAB’s William Morris Craft Fellowship was founded in 1987 to address the shortage of craft skills and to champion the importance of craftspeople that carry out repairs. This unique annual scheme is designed to broaden the skills and experience of craftspeople from any trade who work in the repair of historic buildings. The programme gives Fellows the chance to travel countrywide together and learn on site from specialist craftspeople, architects, surveyors and others working in building conservation.

City & Guilds of London Art School was established in 1854 as a small, specialist college, dedicated to teaching the techniques of the specialist crafts and focused on developing skills required in the artisan manufacturing industries. Since then, it has evolved and expanded its educational programmes, offering an alternative approach to that provided in most other art schools on its programmes in Conservation,  Carving and Fine Art . For 170 years the Art School has played a vital role in passing on specialist craft skills and inspiring new generations of artists and makers, and offers the only Carving courses (wood and stone carving) validated to BA and MA level in the UK.

Heather Griffith, 2016 SPAB Fellow

The Art School has long enjoyed good relations with the SPAB. For decades SPAB Fellows have benefitted enormously from time in the workshop with tutors Nina Bilbey, Mark Frith and then Head of Historic Carving, Tim Crawley.  A prime example of the synergy being Heather Griffith (above) who, after a placement at the Art School during her 2016 SPAB Fellowship, returned to study with us and graduated in 2020 from the Art School’s BA (Hons) Historic Carving: Architectural Stone course.

The Art School looks forward to developing mutually beneficial relations with the SPAB for many years to come.

 

 

                                             

Adam Wilson graduated from the BA (Hons) Historic Carving: Woodcarving & Gilding in 2021 and is currently starting MA Carving at the Art School.  When he graduated, he was awarded The Joiners & Ceilers’ Prize, in recognition of the development of his woodcarving skills over the three-year course and dedication to his studies.  We asked Adam to tell us about his experience as a carver so far, his plans for his MA and to share some of his impressive work.

I have a deep interest in historic timber buildings and after taking a PgDip in Historic Timber Building Conservation at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum in West Sussex, I worked as a building conservator, specialising in traditional carpentry and joinery repairs to historic houses in Somerset.

I came to the Art School to advance my woodworking skills and learn historic carving, as I had developed an interest in pierced frieze and wished to explore their manufacture and design theory. During the first three terms at the Art School, I taught myself to make projecting cornice mouldings with wooden hand planes. This lead to an interest in curved work including sprung mouldings and circular joinery, which I combined with carving on projects in the second year.

17th century French panelling with applied circular frame, constructed of 12 pieces (Work in progress)
Riven Baltic oak (Quercus petraea), 38” x 27”

As a trained carpenter and joiner, I enjoy combining woodworking disciplines to create complete objects which contextualise the carved work, allowing the viewer to gain a better understanding of its role as part of a culturally significant object.

My work for the final submission of the BA (Hons) Historic Carving: Woodcarving & Gilding at the Art School was based upon detailed research into material culture of the 16th century English and Venetian workshop.

Both projects (shown below) began in the woodland and were constructed of timber which I had self selected and converted, relying on in-depth knowledge of timber as a material learnt over the course of many years.

The picture frame was constructed of air dried sawn stock and the chest from unseasoned riven stock. The timber came from within a 20km radius of my workshop, reducing the environmental impact of each piece considerably, and both objects were constructed entirely by hand using historically correct methods.

The chest was left unfinished to naturally oxidise and darken and the frame was water gilded with 24 karat gold.

Picture frame, spruce (Picea abies) and oak (Quercus petraea) with gilded applied gesso ornamentation, 800mm x 1000mm

Carved, joined chest, Riven Baltic oak (Quercus petraea), 43” x 26” x 24”

For the MA Carving course, I have been offered a mentorship in fan vault design by John David, master mason at York Minster. Under his tutelage, I will build upon my previous studies in historic carpentry and joinery to realise an ambitious fan vault. This vault brings the three woodworking disciplines that I have been trained in together in one challenging project.

Vaulted ceiling of the Edward the Confessor Chapel Canterbury Cathedral

I have chosen to construct a timber vault based on the vault from the Edward the Confessor Chapel at Canterbury Cathedral to a scale of 1:3, which will be appropriate for the canopy of a medieval tester. This will be eventually decorated with gilded carved gothic vine leaves and polychroming.

This elegant design employs a moulded three centred transverse arch, which divides the two bays and produces two flat central spandrel panels. The sides of the bays incorporate slightly higher four centred arches to accommodate the gothic styling of the windows and is decorated with a geometric design constructed from tangental circles containing cusping and sub-cusping.

The tracery and the deeply moulded ribs will be joined using traditional methods and the shaping of the ribs and construction of the superstructure that supports the fan will be done by hand using historic joinery and carpentry tools and techniques.

The aims of the project are to research the historic construction methods and techniques used to produce these quintessentially English architectural designs, explore the connection between disciplines and contextualise a variety of carved architectural elements which are often carved as stand alone pieces.

The project will challenge my design skills along with my practical skills and is intended to recognise the generous support of the Worshipful Company of Joiners and Ceilers and the Worshipful Company of Carpenters during my BA (Hons) in Historic Carving.

Adam’s work will be exhibited at the MA Show, 16-23 October 2021.

Sarah Davis, a graduate from the Art School’s BA Historic Carving course, recently appeared on BBC Radio 6 Music, talking about her sound-art project Day Zero.

Based in part on Sarah’s undergraduate dissertation for the carving course, Day Zero is sound and word exploration of Sarah’s personal experience having treatment for cancer. This informed both her innovative carving work on the studio course and led to a new area of artistic activity, semi-autobiographical writing and audio art. Working with experimental musician, Edward Simpson and others, Sarah produced a piece that was broadcast in August 2021 on the BBC Radio 6 Music show, BBC Introducing Arts.

Described by presenter Huw Stephens as “deeply moving” the work involves spoken words and recordings made by Sarah of the sounds she heard while undergoing treatment in hospital.

According to Sarah, “When you go through an experience that is so life changing it’s quite hard to slip back into your old routine and your old way of making. For me, reclaiming that creativity came about through writing.” This she describes in part as being “cathartic”.

A recording of Sarah’s interview and the audio-art piece she made can be found on the BBC Radio Sounds App at https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000yddc

 

IMAGES

Sarah Davis in her carving studio.

Sarah Davis, ‘Octopus’, 2021, Limewood.

Sarah Davis, ‘Pill Cup’, 2019, Sterling silver.

We strongly believe that it is the responsibility of an Art School to create the conditions in which learners can safely explore, investigate, experiment, create, write and think, without the distraction of life’s everyday demands. But we also recognise that for our programmes to remain culturally, socially and politically relevant, our students need to actively engage with others outside of the protected and privileged space of the workshops, studios or library.

That is why the MA in Art & Material Histories incorporates projects into its syllabus that require our students to collaborate with artists, scientists, writers, craft and trades people outside of the institution, in order to learn from them and the contexts in which they work and develop professional networks to draw from after graduation. This year, in alignment with the current theme of the Art School’s Material Matters research platform, our students have been collaborating with professionals from the world of clay.

Sabine Amoore Pinon continues her exploration of pigments through a collaboration with the artist and developer of London Pigments, Lucy Mayes. Together they have produced a fascinating in-depth study of the origins of Potters Pink, Celadon and Ceramic White.

Matilda Sample worked with a group of women from a range of backgrounds to explore the overlapping properties and qualities of the clay body and the human body. Through hands-on workshops and open discussion, the participants explored and challenged themes of malleability, impressionability, and the natural.

Maddie Rose Hills teamed up with the research-based artist Robin James Sullivan to investigate Cornwall’s china clay quarries and the impact they have had on the landscape and the lives of those who have lived and worked there. Staging a revisionist and a-chronological dialogue that mimics the process of mining itself, these two collaborators have unearthed a range of geological issues and excavated rich and precious social histories.

Oscar Wilson conducted a series of interviews with potter, artist and craftsperson Dr Mark Sowden. In his work Tidings, Mark collects, identifies and then reconfigures found sherds of ceramic and other objects found on the Thames foreshore. Through Wilson’s generous sharing of knowledge, Oscar learnt about London Bricks, mud larking and the history of pottery.

Check out the publication of our Art & Material Histories students’ collaborative research projects and other fascinating materials projects on our Material Matters Research Platform here.

This week the Art & Material Histories course was delighted to welcome Laura Wilson (@wilsonlaurawilson) to give a talk about her practice. Laura will be joining the staff team next year and her talk provided an ideal opportunity for our students to acquaint themselves with her material practices and ways of thinking.

Laura’s process involves researching, collaborating and re-telling the material histories of things through performance, film, writing and sculpture. She is interested in how history is carried and evolved through everyday materials, trades and craftsmanship and works with specialists to develop sculptural and performative works that amplify the relationship between materiality, memory and tacit knowledge.

Thanks so much Laura for a fascinating and inspiring talk!

Laura Wilson, Deepening, 2020. Still from video, 15:36 minutes. Co-commissioned by New Geographies and Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery.

Wilson’s interdisciplinary and research-based works have been exhibited widely including at: The Collection, Lincoln with Mansions of the Future, UK;  First Draft, Sydney, Australia (2021); 5th Istanbul Design Biennial – Empathy Revisited: Designs for More than One; Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Norwich, UK (2020); The British Museum, London, UK with Block Universe; Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, UK; and The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London, UK (2018); SPACE, London, UK; V&A Museum, London, UK; and Invisible Dust at Hull and East Riding Museum, Hull, UK (2017); Delfina Foundation, London, UK (2016 & 17) Site Gallery, Sheffield, UK (2016); Whitstable Biennial, UK (2014); Camden Arts Centre, London, UK and Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK (2013); W139, Amsterdam and De Warande, Turnhout, Belgium (2012). Her project Trained on Veda, a malted loaf and evolving artwork was initiated during her residency at Delfina Foundation in 2016 is being developed in partnership with TACO!, Thamesmead, Grand Union, Birmingham and Site Gallery, Sheffield, supported by Arts Council England. She has forthcoming projects with POOL, Johannesburg, South Africa; The Landmark Trust, Wales, UK; and MIMA, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, part of Teesside University, Middlesbrough, UK. A Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow, she has been awarded the inaugural Jerwood New Work Fund and the Dover Prize 2021.

Laura Wilson, Old Salt, 2021. Silk screen print. Co-commissioned by Mansions of the future and The Collection Museum, Lincoln. Photo: Reece Shaw.

Laura Wilson, Old Salt, 2021. Installation detail. Co-commissioned by Mansions of the future and The Collection Museum, Lincoln. Photo: Reece Shaw.

Laura Wilson, You Would Almost Expect to Find it Warm, 2018. Co-commissioned by Franck Bordese and Block Universe for The British Museum. Photo: Manuela Barczewski

Laura Wilson, Fold and Stretch, 2017. Commissioned by Site Gallery. Photo: Jules Lister.

All images courtesy of The Artist.

 

 

Dr Joanna Russell holds an MSci in Chemistry with Conservation Science from Imperial College, London, and an MA in the Conservation of Easel Paintings from Northumbria University. She completed an internship in paintings conservation at the Hamilton Kerr Institute and also worked as a freelance paintings’ conservator for various clients, before returning to Northumbria University to undertake her PhD on the analysis of painting materials, focussing on the artist Francis Bacon. While at Northumbria University she also carried out teaching for postgraduate courses on conservation.

Since completing her PhD she has gained over seven years’ experience of working in scientific research departments in museums, first at the British Museum, and then at the National Gallery, working on the technical imaging and analysis of museum objects, particularly drawings and paintings. Joanna is currently Scientist at a specialist independent laboratory, where she conducts scientific analysis of paint and pigment and carries out technical imaging.