Week 6 Hippo Campus. LO3 and LO4 01.03.20
Last week I made the rather brave decision after seeing online the ‘Hippo Campus : Where we learn’ exhibition that had opened at the exchange in Penzance, to email the gallery to ask about the exhibition, and to see if there was any way to be involved somehow in what they were doing alongside the exhibition. I also included a few of my images from last module to illustrate what I was doing.
Hippo campus is named after a photograph by Bedwyr Williams, taken in 1974 , where asleep, drooling on a coach on a school trip, another student took a photograph of Bedwyr to humiliate him, he then reclaimed the photograph, re-contextualising it, naming it hippo campus after the part of the brain that processes memory and learning and representing it as art. The blurb for the exhibition catalogue is “A group exhibition featuring works from the arts council collection that explores alternative schooling, peer-to-peer learning, and self education, Hippo campus looks at how we learn, where we learn, and who we learn from. (Newlyn art gallery & the exchange , Spring 2020)
In the email I introduced myself, and my project on alternative education to the gallery and exhibition curator Blair Todd. I explained how exciting it was for me to see an exhibition like this being staged in Cornwall, and that I would love to be involved somehow, in any way possible. I actually had no idea how I could be involved to begin with. I had seen that they were running something called lunchtime schools, where the gallery were inviting artists every other week, to come in and present a talk to a group of attendees and then, after a communal lunch, to do something more practical with them. I suggested maybe I could come in and present my project to the group. Which, I think was so cheeky, but , really it couldn’t fit more perfectly with my project, and if you don’t ask, you’ll never know right? Before coming to the MA , I would never of dreamt of doing this !
Blair then very Kindly invited me to come along last Wednesday, to meet him, have a tour of the exhibition and talk more with him about what he was doing there, and what I was doing.
To say I was a little nervous was an understatement, I talked way too much going round with him I am sure. However, Blair was great, showed me around, and talked so enthusiastically about the very same issues that I am so passionate about, and then very kindly asked me if I would like to come along to one of their lunchtime clubs, and present a talk & my project to the group.
He had very Kindly after my email kept a date free for me, may the 8th, where I will go along, present a 30minuet talk about home education, have a bowl of stew with everyone who comes, and then I will take along prints from my project and present to the group, and have a more informal chat about what I am doing on the MA, my project, how it weaves into our home education. I am doubly excited as my eldest son Bodie, who is 18 , will be attending with me, so that he can chat informally to the group as well, both about home education, and about being a collaborator on my project .
This is such an exciting prospect for me, to talk about what I am trying to achieve in a gallery setting, and one where they have done something so amazing as to set up a whole exhibition on alternative education and schooling . I am extremely excited about this opportunity, and admittedly proud that Blair thought my work was good enough to show to people as well !
Off of the back of this I have also organised to take a group of home educated children and their families on a tour around the exhibition, something I am especially excited about, as before coming to the MA I was running weekly art and photography clubs for home educated children, doing practical workshops, art history lessons, and visiting galleries with them. I haven’t been able to do that since starting the MA, so it is fabulous to be able to combine my passion for my project and my passion for alternative education , with a like minded group , support the gallery and it’s exhibition, and to see my art group kids & parents again ! I will do a separate post on the exhibition, and on our visit when we have attended and link it back here.
Before then, I will be focussing on creating my presentation talk, and editing a selection of images to have printed and to take along for the viewing. There is a fee for presenting my talk, so I will be able to use this for my printing, and I am also planning to use this to have a small zine printed of the work from last module which focussed on home educating families in Cornwall as well, to distribute at the talk, and to have to hand afterwards to show people when talking about my work . For the printed images though I will need to think about the financial implications , where to get good quality , cost effective prints done, that I could reuse again in the future possibly for the MA somehow. I usually get all of my printing done at the print space in London as their print quality is exceptional, however they are on the expensive side, so I will look more closely at local printers, including at the university as well to see if I can get comparative products at more competitive prices.
Newlyn art gallery & the exchange. Spring 2020. Whats on catalogue.
Newlyn art gallery & the exchange. Hippo campus ; where we learn. Available at https://newlynartgallery.co.uk/activities/hippo-campus/ (Accessed 03.03.20)
Hippo campus where we learn. Arts council collection. Available at https://artscouncilcollection.org.uk/exhibition/hippo-campus-where-we-learn (Accessed 03.03.20)
Lunchtime School. Newlyn art gallery and the exchange. Available at https://newlynartgallery.co.uk/activities/lunchtime-school/ (Accessed 03.03.20)