Degree Show Celebrationsfor some of our Fellows in the South West - RSA

Degree Show Celebrations for four South West Fellows

Fellowship news

  • Creativity
  • Higher education
  • Creative Institutions and Systems
  • Mental health
  • Community engagement
  • Health & wellbeing
  • Arts and society
  • Fellowship
  • Youth engagement

NowYouSeeUs and Hot16 are the degree shows taking place in Plymouth this June. They have particular resonance with FRSAs in the South West as they will feature the work of four of our newest Fellows; Elena Brake, Sarah Gregory, Paige Barnard and Ben Ayling, fine arts students from Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth University, who became our first four students to win ‘Redrow Joshua Reynold Fellowships’, funded for the next two years.

These four students were awarded Fellowships via the hugely successful Joshua Reynolds project - see here for more information.

It would be great for RSA Fellows to go along and support these new Fellows and their degree show work; details of the shows’ opening times are below, as are short biographies for each Fellow.  Both shows are free and open to all. They open with a private view this Friday (10th) from 6pm onwards.

Plymouth College of Art #NowYouSeeUs16, 11-24 June, Monday-Friday 9:00-18:00, Saturday & Sunday 10:30-14.30. Plymouth College of Art, Tavistock Place, Plymouth, PL4 8AT.

Plymouth University Hot16, 11-23 June, Monday-Friday: 13:00-16:00, Saturday 11:00-16:00.  Peninsula Arts Gallery, Roland Levinsky Building, Scott Building and the Royal William Yard: Mills Bakery.

Elena Brake, Plymouth College of Arts

My work embraces various combinations of performance, installation and video to explore and enchant our everyday world. I make art about everyday experiences, in attempt to reveal them as extraordinary and worthy of contemplation. I create surreal situations where familiar objects or actions (such as washing the dishes) can be seen in a different way and become enchanted, to show people that even familiar things can be a source of intense emotion when it is closely analysed. Due to its performative nature, my practice relies on the audience experience and the audience becomes as much a part of the work as I am.

Sarah Gregory, Plymouth College of Arts

My work is a mixture of painting, drawing and printmaking with drawing being the most important element and which appears somewhere, however discrete, within all my work. The subject of my current body of work is mental health and in particular, senile dementia. In the future I see my work developing into other areas of mental health as I find this subject is of great interest to me. I think that art and the mind has an ability to be influenced by one another and this suggests that art is not only a great therapy for mental illness but also for many areas of life.

Paige Barnard, Plymouth University

I have worked in the socially engaged realm, encouraging the audience of exhibitions or participants within workshops to engage and participate in the creation of art. I volunteer with The Zone where I help to run an art group for young people with mental health problems. I do this by drawing on my own art practice for inspiration to engage and interest them in art and creativity. I am interested in how art can be a therapeutic tool for all, and shouldn’t be limited to people with an arts background.  For the degree show I aim to create a body of ceramics that will begin to break down the boundaries between viewer and artwork, allowing them to touch, hold and even hug the work. This will hopefully facilitate connections to the artwork allowing them to connect on a new level. This may also create new conversations around the piece and their own experiences with others.

Ben Ayling, Plymouth University

My current practice revolves around the study of war, the chasm it creates, and the ripples that these seismic events have had on our human history. I explore how past and current wars have affected our societies and how this has reverberated through the art world, causing a constant reminder that ‘change’ must be a vocation for us all. My aims are in conjunction with the RSA morals, to enrich societies and to evoke social change. Being given a place within the Fellowship is a great honour and has pushed me to create an interesting project called BASE, (Bulago island for Arts, Sustainability and Ecology) which is an initiative to create an educational and collaborative artistic platform for east Africa. This positive impetus of sustainability and conservation are fuelled by the desire for change, creating a framework to enrich communities.


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