Y is for…

…yawning, in the sense that when you see someone yawn, everyone seems to yawn…it is almost like trend-setting or an obsession. I’m doing it now just by thinking about it! I can’t stop yawning today, largely due to a very packed art and music, sunshine and rain-filled weekend that has caught up with me.

The weekend commenced on Friday with a Skype conversation with Kate Nicholson from Art Radar Asia, to discuss my first exhibition review and article, which has now be approved and uploaded to the Art Radar Asia website today. It is called ‘Xu Zhen takes on Middle Eastern identities and cultures as the new artists’ collective alias Madeln at the Ikon Gallery, UK’…a little long I know, but there is a lot of freedom with titles. It reads more like the first line of a press release! It would be really good to hear some feedback about it if you have the chance. It is quite a small and brief overview of the show. I will be writing for Art Radar Asia nearer the end of the summer and during my time in China from September to November this Autumn. Yet again, very exciting!

On Friday evening, I went to support my graduating Fine Art students at Loughborough University School of Art and Design at their degree show, who I have been teaching for the last semester. It was a muggy, humid night, where there were many friendly and familiar faces present. For me, it turned into a kind of posh parents evening, were I meeted and greeted the very proud and caring parents of the students. This was a really nice experience and a little humourous as I often got the question,

Parent: “So are you in the same year as my son/daughter?”
Me: “Ummm, no, I errrr, teach them.”
Parent: “But you look so young!”

It certainly put a smile on my face. This years cohort have their own website for their degree show as shown on the flyer below. A bit of a play on IKEA and swedish design, perhaps due to them having a swedish tutor and lecturer over the past three years, but who knows.

Take a look at it as there are some highlights, one of which is below by Antonio D’Angelo, an artist obsessed with notions of the critique on corporate and consumer culture…which was a thread running through a few of the students work in that year group. You all know I have an obsession with text-based art so I was quite taken by D’Angelo’s installation, which was one of the first pieces you saw when entering the fine art building. It made quite an impact. I’ve told him to pitch and look at doing these kind of works for some of the major department stores like Selfridges as they often have window display curators.

'I am Dreaming of a Reality' by Antonio D'Angelo (2010)
'I am Dreaming of a Reality' by Antonio D'Angelo (2010)

I could state many, many other students who I feel are worth noting, but there are so many…I wish them all well in their futures. Let’s hope they stick with this creative journey (and sometimes a battle) that we call being an artist or curator or writer. I think it is part of your soul, you know? It is either there or not, and I know full well it is in my blood.

Finally, today my 9R, after 4 drafts, got submitted to my research department at BIAD for the faculty panel meeting. That officially means (well once the panel meeting is over and the recommendations have been made) that I have completed one full year of PhD studies, so i’ve squeezed two part-time years into one. This is only due to my Director of Studies Joshua, with his help and encouragement I don’t think it would have happened. As ever Rachel is impatient wanting to get it done as quickly as possible. I’m currently trying to sort my visa out for China and it is a little troublesome as I intend to travel for about 85-days, and usually they only give visas out for 30 or 60…i’m making an appointment with the visa people today to discuss. Fingers and toes crossed…then I can get on with everything else for the trip…one step at a time….injections and inoculations next…eugh!

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