Hear from three of the artists how they found the first day of ‘In the Studio’, where all the participants came together to find out more about the project and get to know each other.
‘I had a really great day meeting the other young artists at our Introduction Day’ says Ramona Sharples. ‘I was struck by the diversity of backgrounds and current occupations in the room. I realised I had previously thought all artists followed the same route and that I was on the wrong one, but as it turns out there is no wrong route, which is comforting. By talking to people in the breaks and over a seriously delish lunch, I noticed that a lot of us had found university not as fulfilling as we’d hoped.’
‘Still, after hearing everyone’s stories of how they got to where they are now, some with degrees and others without, some educated in art and others not, what we all had in common was a perseverance and determination to continue being able to create. The need for creative willpower was also a key topic in the talk we were given from a member of the Society of Wildlife Artists, Chris Wallbank.’
‘They had recently been documenting the vast number of urban black kites living in cities in India. An unexpected feature of their project had been the incredible story of two brothers who had set up a home for the kites on their roof and as a result become leading specialists in treating wing injuries.’
‘The educational potential of art was stressed, which could be maximised if only art was taught in a more meaningful way at school, and not undervalued by society as a leisurely pursuit. It was also highlighted how few artists manage to actually live off of their practise. The more common story is of the artist who works full or part time and manages to put time aside to work in the studio or out in the field.’
‘It was a thoroughly enjoyable and thought provoking first day of the project. I was left ruminating that the most important traits of an artist are resilience, determination, and to be hard working. The other thing was the gap that needs to be filled by young minds in the decision-making driving education and the art industry, to prevent it veering in the wrong direction or stagnating. A gap the Mall Galleries is filling through this project.’
Fellow participant Suzon Lagarde says, ‘It was such a great day - so nice to get to meet everyone and have a glimpse of how exciting this project will be. It was all very inspiring, for two reasons mostly:’
‘I always find it great to see such diversity among peers, regarding everyone's practice and individual ways of considering and presenting ourselves. One could think that forming a group would polish individuality and encourage conformity, but I'm confident that such projects have the opposite effect, allowing everyone to be unique and supported.’
‘I also loved how much passion and friendliness I felt from everyone, and that's something so precious, as phrases like 'federation', 'mall galleries', and 'royal society' can be a bit daunting. Thanks for making it all accessible!’
Mike Skeet says, ‘it's been a while since I was around so many creative minds! it was great meeting everyone.’
Events for ‘In the Studio’ will take place from November 2018 to July 2019, culminating in a Group Exhibition over the summer.