UWE The Centre for Moving Image Research and RWA Bursary Awardee Lucy Williams

The Royal West of England Academy and the Centre for Moving Image Research of the University of the West of England are offering artists of the South West three bursaries of £1000 for the creation of works of moving image art. It is intended that the three works should be completed over the summer of 2014 and exhibited continuously in parallel to the Autumn Open in the Fedden Room at the RWA with other works created from similar bursaries. All works will also be shown on the CMIR website after the RWA exhibition.

CMIR and the RWA are pleased to announce the names of the successful applicants for the CMIR/RWA Bursaries. These are:

Rik Lander – Watch for Mystery Pays
Lucy WIlliams – Pin Hole Images for High Definition Cameras
Jo Millet – Elsewhere
Kayla Parker and Stuart Moore – Maelstrom, Dangerous Waters

Lucy Williams 

I am a practising photographic and media collage artist, South West artist and co-founder / curator with Fitzrovia Noir (FN) in London – an arts Community Interest Company that works to show artworks out of the gallery and into unconventional show spaces – often in buildings and locations in transition, due to re-development or demolition.

To some extent my work for FN has determined the content of my collages which combine analogue photos, printed photographic forms, found image and moving image forms, to show places, people and times where the ‘historicity’ of the original images is questioned, re-purposed and twisted into new meaning. This creation of new images involves an almost literal ‘juggling’ of many source images, including re-photographing and re-composing and  ‘cutting n pasting’ the old-fashioned way!

Another main interest is in helping retain the basic chemical photographic process through making number of black & white photographs with pinhole ‘cameras’ and I have wanted to extend this work through making a pinhole ‘moving’ image that would replicate the pinhole’s visual effect and texture but in colour and in movement.

The project for the CMIR/RWA Bursary offers an opportunity to merge two extremes of the image-making continuum :  from the DIY ‘camera-less’ pinhole aperture to the HD Sony RED One Camera (now used as standard for major Hollywood productions).  Thus the work will experiment with a pinhole ‘lens’, attached to a highly sophisticated HD movie camera to create a filmed journey of the composition in space of a ‘nature morte/still life scene, with it’s making and emerging form captured from multiple moving viewpoints and angles.



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A look at Re-Membering I

 Re-membering I is part of Back From the Front: Art, Memory and the Aftermath of War, a programme of exhibitions and events at the RWA commemorating the start of The Great War and 75th anniversary of the start of the Second World War. It explores the theme of conflict and memory across a series of interrelated exhibitions including Re-membering I and II; Shock and Awe: Contemporary Artists at War and Peace; Brothers in Art: John and Paul Nash; and The Death of Nature.
The RWA and Bristol 2014 have worked in partnership to feature a number of responses from artists, writers, architects and composers on the themes of commemoration and memorialisation. Each new work has been specially commissioned by Bristol 2014 thanks to investment by Arts Council England through their National Lottery funded Grants for the Arts programme to commemorate the centenary of World War One.
Each of the artists commissioned for this project have been tasked with ‘creating new work that speaks to today’s audiences’. Re-membering I features work from visual anthropologist Dr Shawn Sobers and award-winning photographer Angus Fraser. Here, the notion of commemoration through art is particularly relevant, as we attempt to remember through a medium that is inherently linked to the notion of absence: presenting ghostly traces of the past.
Sobers’ experimental collection of multi-media works, Inconsequential Monuments, explores the complex notion of civic monuments, personal memorials and collective memory in relationship to Africa’s connectedness to global history and experiences of the diaspora, pre and post- colonial empire. The work African Kinship Systems: Emotional Science – Case Study: The Fate of the SS Mendi commemorates the tragic narrative of the sinking of the SS Mendi, which sank on 21 February 1917, just twelve miles off the coast of the Isle of Wight. 646 lives were lost.

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Fraser’s new work The Flooded Trench takes inspiration from the art and literature produced as a direct response to experiences of war. Inspired by Siegfried Sassoon’s The Redeemer, he reflects on the fatalities of soldiers in the trenches, capturing this hostile and alien environment in the glare of artificial lights. Shot on a large format analogue field camera the work is reminiscent of the epic narrative scale of work produced by World War One Official War Artists such as Paul Nash and Christopher Nevinson.

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RWA Spotlight Printmaker – Sophie Rae

The RWA are pleased to showcase the beautiful work of local craft professionals. For each exhibition we choose a Spotlight Print-maker and a Maker of the Moment who work we feel complement work.

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Sophie Rae’s work has been created using a small durathene roller and ink. A technique she has been developing since University. There are a number of stages to her process, which she equally enjoys. After the inspiration has hit and the image decided it all starts with a sketch. This sketch is then cut into separate pieces, so eventually each part of the original sketch is a stencil. These stencils are then placed onto a fresh sheet of smooth paper and the apron is put on. Now the printing begins. With a roller in one hand and often some music in her ears Sophie mixes new colours and applies them to the paper using her roller. Her stencils are there to mask off areas of the paper, just like a screen print. So she applies ink in the spaces of her stencils, gradually building up the image in this way until you get what you see here today.


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A spontaneous and exciting way to work, it has immediate results and can be used to create very simple or very complex monoprints.

Sophie Rae has also worked as Artist in Residence at Chhaap Printmaking Studios in Baroda, India, for a month in 2013. Here she produced a series of prints inspired by her trip around the country, some of the landscapes you can purchase here.

Sophie works from her studio in Hamilton House and teaches her technique too. To find out more about her workshops and techniques or if you have any other questions or comments you can reach her at sophie@sophie-rae.com

Her website is www.sophie-rae.com

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Sir Peter Blake CBE, RDI, RA, RWA (Hon) Announced as Invited Artist for the 162nd Annual Open Exhibition

RWA 162 Annual Open Exhibition

The RWA are pleased to announce that Sir Peter Blake OBE Hon RWA will be showing at the 162nd Annual Open Exhibition, 12 October – 7 December 2014. The exhibition has a rich history of exhibiting internationally renowned artists alongside submissions from Academicians and artists of all ages and stages in their career in this eclectic show. Previous invited artists have included Graham Crowley, 2010, Norman Ackroyd RA, 2007 and Lisa Milroy RA, 2004. It is in fact Blake’s second time exhibiting (he was previously invited artist in 2009) making a fitting return after being awarded the status of Honorary RWA by the Academy.

Blake is one of the country’s leading artists, a pioneer of Pop art; founding member of the Brotherhood of Ruralists alongside the RWA’s own David Inshaw in 1975; elected a Royal Academician in1981 (resigning in 2005) and awarded the CBE in 1983; alongside infamy as the artist who designed the iconic album cover for the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club. His work hangs in galleries around the world including the Tate, London, who staged a major retrospective of his work in 2007. He has inspired a generation of younger artists, embracing pop culture through a myriad of different mediums from print making to collage. In 2013 he showed Under Milk Wood, the culmination of twenty-five years of work at the National Museum of Wales, illustrating each of the characters from welsh poet Dylan Thomas’ celebrated radio-play in their fictional home of Llaregubb.

Following the runaway success of last year’s open exhibition, where over 2200 works were submitted from nearly a thousand artists, we are pleased to announce that this year’s submissions are now open.

The exhibition now in its 162nd year attracts submissions from local, national and international artists alike, including entries from Academician’s such as last year’s Threadneedle Prize winner Lisa Wright RWA, Richard Long RWA and Anthony Whishaw RWA. Alongside these established artists you can also see entries from art’s rising stars, which last year included the Independent’s 2007 one to watch Aisling Hedgecock. We also welcome entries from students and emerging artists encouraging artists of all ages to apply.

Artists are encouraged to submit a maximum of 3 recent works, via a dedicated website and the first round of selection takes place online with a final results day at the Academy in September.

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Kids Company Exhibition

Kids Company

Our Many Faces Exhibition at the RWA 

We grow up acquiring a range of personalities to enable us to adapt and survive the different environments and situations we are in. ‘Our Many Faces’ discuss the different masks that individuals use when dealing with the outside world. We work with the notion that we all wear masks, all the time, some habitually, some self-consciously.

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 ‘Our Many Faces’ is an exhibition of artwork and sculpture created by children and young people from Kids Company, in collaboration with The Royal West of England Academy (RWA) courageously exploring the positive and negative aspects of the self, the different masks we wear and what’s behind the mask once its lifted. The children bravely demonstrate the choices and power we can gain of having the self-awareness of these different personalities we all have and the different environments we choose to bring them out to play in.

The partnership between the RWA and Kids Company is based on the belief that the practice of art in the context of compassionate human relationships can be life changing for vulnerable children. The staff at Kids Company are therapeutically trained and support children through potential trauma recovery. The staff and volunteers at the RWA have brought their artistic experience to the project and share a commitment to enrich and transform children’s lives.

This exhibition celebrates the astounding ability of children and young people to create art from adversity.


Most people consider their personality as fixed and unchanging; in Psychotherapy there is an understanding that we can operate out of different parts of ourselves. These parts (or ‘sub-personalities’), which can come from the different roles we assume in life or from ways we have learned to behave in different situations, can behave and think in very different ways from one another.

Just think about the part of you who is a ‘Lover’ and the part that is ‘The Good Parent’: each has its own way of behaving, thinking, and being in the world. If you let the Good Parent sub-personality choose your summer holiday, you might end up having a week in Disneyland, while the Lover sub-personality would prefer a romantic weekend in Paris!

The more we look, the more sub-personalities we can find, and we discover some of them have very different motives, needs and ideas about how your life should be run! This can cause internal conflict, which can make life very difficult, especially if you get identified with a particular part. Understanding the different parts of ourselves enables us to stand back and become conscious of how these different parts operate. This can be very empowering and give you back conscious control of internal dynamics, which can be so tricky and confusing if you are not aware of them!

Once you become aware of how these parts operate you can stand back and get an objective view of reality and choose which part to give your attention to. Some of your subpersonalities may have been formed in childhood and are way past their ‘sell by date’ and could do with a review or a bit of transformative work. The ‘Stroppy adolescent’ sub personality might have been very helpful in helping you formulate your own ideas and break away from your family, but its behavior in your current life might be unconsciously destructive in relationships at work.

One subpersonality we all have to deal with is the Internal Critic, which can be extremely judgemental of others and hugely critical of ourselves, undermining our best efforts, berating us for ‘mistakes’ and sapping self confidence and esteem.  At the root of every sub personality is a quality, the Internal Critic might ‘bring out the best in us ’or help us to discern what is useful in what is offered by others. When its negative or cynical thinking gets out of hand however, it is important to become conscious of it and evaluate its contribution to our lives. Recognising and accepting, or transforming these parts gives us more control and choice in how we live our lives.

True Self and False Self

In early childhood, if something authentic (e.g. an essential quality or our true-Self) is not acknowledged and mirrored back to us by our parents, we presume it is unimportant so we repress it and develop ego structures that will help us cope without it.

True self and false self are terms introduced into psychoanalysis by D. W. Winnicott in 1960. Winnicott used the term “True Self” to describe a sense of self based on spontaneous authentic experience, a sense of “all-out personal aliveness” or “feeling real”.

The “False Self” was, for Winnicott, a defense designed to protect the True Self by hiding it. He thought that in health, a False Self was what allowed a person to present a “polite and mannered attitude” in public but he saw more serious emotional problems in patients who seemed unable to feel spontaneous, alive or real to themselves in any part of their lives, yet managed to put on a successful “show of being real”. Such patients suffered inwardly from a sense of being empty, dead or “phoney”.

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Back From the Front Events Programme

To accompany the Back From the Front Exhibitions the RWA have scheduled a programme of fascinating events to give participants a greater insight to these challenging, thought provoking  and often moving exhibitions.

Back From the Front – Art, Memory and the Aftermath of War explores the theme of conflict and memory across a series of interrelated exhibitions, including Brothers in Art: John and Paul Nash; Shock and Awe, Re-membering I, Re-membering II and The Death of Nature.

Shock and Awe: Contemporary Artists at War and Peace ‘Walk and Talk
Free with exhibition entry

Professor Paul Gough RWA will lead an informal ‘walk and talk’ tour of this challenging, diverse and fascinating exhibition.

Brothers in Art: John and Paul Nash ‘Walk and Talk’
Free with exhibition entry

An informal tour of the Nash show led by exhibition curator Gemma Brace.

Art and War: Truth, Propaganda and Protest Half-Day Workshop | £10 | £5 Friends, RWA, Artist Network Members and Students

Looking at the wider themes of the exhibition, this half-day workshop will combine gallery-based talks with an illustrated lecture led by exhibiting artists and Dr Grace Brockington, senior lecturer in Art History, University of Bristol.

Shock and Awe: In discussion…
Free with exhibition entry

Join Dr Hazel Brown, Project Research Assistant (UWE First World War Centenary projects) and exhibiting artists, for an informal, gallery-based discussion.

Landscape and the things behind: The Places and Paintings of the Nash Brothers; Art History Day School£30


This study day led by Dr Justine Hopkins, offers an opportunity to explore the paintings of the Nash brothers. The day will include three lectures and a tour of the show.

Download the full programme here BFTF Whats On
For further information and how to book please visit http://www.rwa.org.uk

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A Chat with Professor Paul Gough Curator of ‘Shock and Awe; Contemporary Artist at War and Peace’

Marketing Manager Rebecca quizzed Professor Paul Gough RWA about his motivations for Shock and Awe; Contemporary Artists at War and Peace.

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Paul Gough, some answers 

  1. What inspired you to take on this subject and this project?

  •  I wanted to reflect on the impact of war on two renowned British painters – John and Paul Nash – and set their work in the context of today’s artists who had also been drawn to the challenging themes of conflict, peace and reconciliation.
  •  Bristol is possibly creating more cultural reflection on the legacy of the First World War than any other British city outside London, and I wanted the RWA to be part of that creative wave.
  •  Like every British university, UWE Bristol has many impressive artists, musicians, writers and historians among its staff and alumni – through the Bristol 2014 project I wanted to create a platform for the work of a diverse group of practitioners. With Arts Council funding we were able to commission some fascinating and unique pieces.
  •  There are many academicians from the RWA who wanted to be part of this project and I knew they would respond with insight and enthusiasm.
  •  The publisher John Sansom and his team have shown support for the wider project, and how could I refuse his unalloyed interest in promoting British art of yesterday, but also tomorrow.


2. What are you working on currently?


A suite of drawings originating from a recent visit to Hanging Rock in central Victoria SE Australia; hatching a new book idea with the Stanley Spencer Gallery in Cookham and with the National Trust; slowly drafting a series of lectures and papers in the UK in November each linked with the Armistice; and a clutch of ideas for creative projects linked to the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign. And trying to write a book chapter on ‘The Sounds of Silence’ with one of the RWA exhibitors, Katie Davies.


3. How did you select the artists and artwork?


We are showing some of the most innovative and insightful artists dealing with the charged issues of conflict, violence, recovery, and peaceful protest. They are so good they virtually selected themselves. Talking to each of them over the past year, visiting their places of work, and getting to know them and see their idea evolve has been one of the joys of my role as curator. I have learned  a great deal from working with them but also with the staff at the RWA, whose professionalism has been so rewarding.


4.       Do you have a favourite piece from the exhibition?

Not really; having been part of the team that hung the show in the past few days I’m taken by the overall unity of the main galleries – its essential monochromatic, serious nature, and the dramatic events that slowly reveals itself in each piece of work.

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  1. Is there a piece you wanted to put in the exhibition but couldn’t? 

Not really: I tend to overhang an exhibition, to put too much in, so it was good to work with a hanging team – including the inestimable talents of Gemma Brace and Alison Bevan – who advise on the placing so that we made the most out of each individual piece and each juxtaposition.

It was also good to be able to show a balanced number of works by new artists and those Academicians who play such a part in the life of the RWA.

I would have liked to have shown a sculptural piece by Michael Sandle RA who has been a major figure in my own practice ever since I was a post-graduate student at the Royal College of Art. But if I can pull it off I’m hoping to stage further shows in London and there may be an opportunity to do so then and there.

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