PUTNEY SCHOOL OF ART AND DESIGN GRADUATION SHOW 2013
3-14 July 2013
Within the gallery walls (and beyond them too) you will find birds, shadows, paint, plaster, tunnels; intimate journeys into the underworld, macabre animations, and the landscapes of childhood, illness, loss and memory. Laura Durrant, Katharine Mckey, Debbie Poynter, Andrea Robinson, Divya Sharma, Paula Wilkins and Jonquil Williamson were once nurses, hoteliers, accountants, marketing executives and arts administrators; they have grown up in London or have put down roots here; they come from different backgrounds and very different starting points, but they are all artists who dare to experiment – with ideas, styles and techniques. In this, their first group exhibition, they have created a show that encompasses puppets, confessional pieces, conceptual collaborations, the expression of movement, fairy stories and cautionary tales.
Seven is the culmination of a two year Diploma course at Putney School of Art and Design; the results of this study into the history and theory of art and studio practice in printmaking, painting, digital art and experimental media are provoking and beautiful. Taking sources as varied as Heinrich Hoffman’s children’s stories, a girl-hood in Madras, Waterloo’s underpasses and hidden places, family trauma, and the energy of street dance, the works explore local and universal themes.
Diploma course director Jan Malaszek comments: ‘We’ve never had an exhibition quite like this before – it embraces the technical challenges of multi-media, new technology and installation pieces, combined with more traditional disciplines, such as three-dimensional work, painting and drawing. The scope and ambition of this year’s graduation show really raises the bar.’
click on the photo to see more …
Wimbledon-based Laura Durrant joined the Diploma course to help prepare a portfolio for university applications; she will be studying Stop Motion Animation and Puppet making at Staffordshire University from September. Taking the macabre cautionary tales of Heinrich Hoffman as her starting point, Laura uses animation, puppetry, shadow works and illustration to create visual representations of each story, each one in a different form which can be read together or as stand-alone pieces.
Katharine Mckey has lived, studied and worked in Fulham for over 25 years. Katharine enrolled at PSAD to develop her interest in drawing and painting. She says “I draw and paint for fun which is hugely absorbing, frustrating and above all a luxury to do.” During her time at Putney she has explored etching and screenprinting and has particularly enjoyed the life drawing aspect of the course – an area she will continue to develop. In An inbetween Place she captures the concrete vaults and sweeping underground arches of the Waterloo area, the London that we never take the time to notice, that other London that lies beneath our feet.
Texas-born Debbie Poynter’s career in the hotel industry has taken her to the Caribbean, Bermuda and Russia. She relocated to Wandsworth four years ago. Introduced to art by a close friend, Debbie pursued her interest by taking classes in life drawing and mixed media at PSAD, before making the logical progression to the Diploma course where practical and contextual studies sessions turned her attention repeatedly towards the expression of movement in art. Debbie is inspired by the vitality of street dance, graffiti and choreographic notation. She believes the ability to capture movement is a challenging one – even so, Debbie enjoys the versatility that working with mixed media allows and strives to relay energy, spirit and grace in her work.
Andrea Robinson is a Wandsworth-based artist, writer and printmaker. Originally trained in fashion design, she has worked as a designer and illustrator and has created community art projects and digital works. She uses screenprinting, photography, artist books, mixed and multi-media pieces and installation to tell personal stories – themes that are woven into the complex story-piece Portrait of My Father as a Bird. Her interest in the different forms collaboration can take has resulted in an installation and online work by Rhiannon And Rea Robinson, a partnership she has created specifically for this show.
Divya Sharma is from Madras; she has been living in Kingston since 2009. Divya left a career in the corporate sector to study painting and drawing techniques in Munich, and portraiture and sculpture at PSAD. She has exhibited and sold her work in Munich and London. Her installation The modesty cloth is an autobiographical work which combines mixed media, ceramics, plaster and fabric to evoke her childhood and adolescence in India, taking anecdotes, relationships, and memories of the places where she grew up as inspiration.
Paula Wilkins originally trained as a photographer, working first in advertising and then medical photography. After a break to raise two sons she retrained as a nurse, and was part of the District Nursing team covering Richmond, Sheen, and Kew. She left nursing to focus on her youngest son, and became increasingly drawn towards widening her creative skills with a view to a future centred on producing art. For this show, she revisits a family crisis that occurred a decade ago, exploring the emotions of that time through themes of absence and separation.
Sheen resident Jonquil Williamson took up drawing and painting as a creative outlet around eight years ago, after a career in accountancy, and alongside a busy family life raising her three children. ‘I particularly enjoy working in oils; exploring its capacity for layering and creating interesting and varied textures. To date my work has been largely representational but the Diploma course has introduced me to a more abstract language, blending film and photographic images with my own memories and experiences.’ This language is used to powerful effect in an autobiographical piece that stems from memories of a child’s illness at birth, and a mother’s reaction to that event.
Putney School of Art and Design offers high quality learning opportunities in the visual arts. It seeks to enable students to realise their creative potential in a flexible way, enabling them to fruitfully progress as artists. The Art and Design Diploma provides specialist, structured study for students of contemporary fine art. Whilst giving a grounding in the core elements of fine art and design practice, the course encourages experimentation and allows for the exploration of a range of media and approaches, giving students the opportunity to develop their interests and their artistic ‘voice’.