Seeing Dragons in the Clouds
28 June 9 August 2008
BILSTON CRAFT GALLERY GENERAL INFORMATION Craftsense
Craftsense is Bilston Craft Gallery's permanent exhibition displaying the best of our craft and decorative art collections. Pupils can explore three hundred years of craft history together with works from some leading figures of the contemporary craft scene. Pupils will be stimulated to interact with the exhibition in a variety of ways including listening to audio sound-bites, handling materials relating to exhibits and exploring an IT kiosk. An introductory talk to Craftsense is available on request and a Craftsense teachers resource book for ideas to use in the exhibition as well as back in school can be obtained from the gallery shop. A video of three different makers, Raw to Refined, can be purchased to support work back in school. Craft Interpreter A Craft Interpreter is available on Wednesdays to help you get the most from your visit please ring and book if you would like the craft interpreter to lead a session in the gallery for you. On other days introductory talks by gallery staff are available with prior notice. Craft Workshop Room
Schools can use this room for teacher-led activities. The room is equipped with pencils, erasers, rulers, crayons, scissors, paper and other craft equipment, and we can also provide clipboards for drawing in the galleries. Garden
There is a large garden to the rear of the gallery, which is a suitable space for children to eat their lunch in good weather. Facilities
We have male, female and disabled toilets, and there is a lift for disabled access to the first floor and craft workshop room. Gallery Shop
The gallery sells craftwork by practising makers at a range of prices. There are also pocket money items for sale in our gift shop. We sell tea, coffee, hot chocolate and biscuits. Coach Parking
We do not have on site parking for coaches but there is space in the road directly opposite the gallery, and there are various free car parks in Bilston. Opening Hours Sunday and Monday: Closed Tuesday and Thursday: 10:00am- 4pm Wednesday: 10:00am 7pm Friday: 10:00am-1pm Saturday: 11:00am 4pm
Seeing Dragons in the Clouds The Art of the Imagination 28 June 9 August 2008
The link between the makers in this exhibition is their ability to use their imaginations
for transforming one thing into another. The makers have used found objects,
materials and images to start their work and have then given them a new identity and
meaning. Their thought processes and way of working are revealed alongside their
pieces, giving a fascinating insight into the processes the artists have gone through to
produce the final work. Photographs and quotes from the artists, as well as the real
objects that were the starting points for their work, are displayed, ready to be
All the artists are working with things that interest or intrigue them or they feel
passionate about. Pupils can be inspired by their own passions and use their own
collections and interests as a starting point for explorations and creative endeavours.
Chila Kumari Burman Chila has used collage and found objects to make a series of revealing self-portraits. They will be shown alongside a self-portrait made ten years ago. Other pieces will provide an insight into Chilas backgrounds and cultures. Her work is always full of brilliant colour and spontaneity, bringing a flavour of India to Britain. I dont plan anything. It just tumbles out, says this Punjabi-Scouser. www.chila-kumari-burman.co.uk has images of Chilas work and an artists statement. Robert Callender For the past 30 years Roberts work has been devoted to what can be found washed up in the area between high and low tides on a particular coastline in Scotland. He collects objects he finds and uses them as a starting point for his work as a photographer and sculptor. For the exhibition, he has made a fascinating installation titled Plastic Beach. In it he has recreated thirty individual pieces based on found objects that he has beachcombed using cardboard, papier-mch and paint. Engaging in itself, the piece also raises questions about our throwaway society and our attitude to the natural environment.http://www.robertcallender.co.uk/plastic_beach.htm shows his work in detail and includes a statement from the artist. He explains about the amazing discovery of the nature and the possibilities of the materials he used when recreating the pieces.
Heidi Dash Heidi has made three intricate sculptural pop-ups made out of card and paper. Her ideas began by deconstructing plastic toy animals and making them into hybrid beasts. She then photographed them and digitally morphed and distorted them until a new form emerged. The final pieces were the result of folding, cutting and manipulating paper and card into new sculptural forms and meanings. Helen Denerley Helen is a sculptor who always makes animals using found scrap metal. For this exhibition she has made a sculpture of her pet dog, Molly. She began her work, as always, by meticulous observation captured in photographs and vivid life size drawings. http://www.helendenerley.co.uk/ http://www.helendenerley.co.uk/cow01.htm shows a series of photos including ones of Helens drawings next to the finished work. Pupils can see how the artist has changed shapes and the position of the cow as she worked without resorting to an eraser! Lizzie Farey Lizzie has created pieces which began from her childhood memories of seeing the clouds as birds and, more immediately, the swallows and swifts which fly in and out of her workshop. She has explored the shapes and forms evoked by the birds and flight, creating metaphors for these in her chosen natural material, willow. http://www.lizziefarey.co.uk/ is full of inspirational photos of her work, the variety of materials she uses and her collecting shoots in the willow fields. The site has a guestbook which includes messages from students studying for GCSE and A level art who write to say how inspired they were by Lizzies work and have studied her as part of their research projects. Nora Fok Nora has made four groups of exhibits, all inspired by her fascination with plants and insects. Her extraordinary, meticulously made pieces are built from plant parts: actual seeds, leaves, petals, acorns, conkers, twigs anything she could find. The pieces include 125 imaginary insects, a million dollar collar made from artichoke seed heads, a wall hanging using skeletonised Cape Gooseberries, and pseudo-flowers. http://www.norafok.com/ includes an online version of the computer interactive available in the exhibition. Follow the link to Recent Exhibitions and click on the Noras Seeing Dragons minisite. There you can explore the materials that Nora uses by playing squish the bugs, experiment with designing earrings and also see fabulous close up images of the work on display in the exhibition. Linda and Peter Green Peter and Linda have made a series of six prints, printing from a surprising variety of everyday objects including hot water bottles, shoe soles, plastic bags and foil dishes. The results are quirky and gently humorous with titles such as Roller Coaster, Tread Mill and Beach Beacon. The exhibition shows six relief and stencil prints, a framed print showing the sequence of printing the successive stages, called Satellite Flower.
In addition, there are framed examples of relief prints from found objects and a process panel showing how a print is made. Frank Hills Frank lives on the south coast and has taken inspiration for his two paintings from the clouds and sea, hinting at the mysteries that might be concealed there. He begins work by thoroughly researching background material and exploring techniques which are exemplified in accompanying studies, sketch and note books. Leo Hills Leos piece is called Secret Garden. He has written the software and used computer graphics to create an interactive virtual world of hidden surprises where nothing is quite as it seems. Visitors use the joystick and buttons to navigate around the world he has created and you can spot things like a snake in the grass, a toad on a stool and dragons in the clouds. Romilly Hills Romilly has written his own software to create a light-hearted website to enable visitors to find out more about Nora Fok and her work.
TOPICS TO EXPLORE
Teachers and group leaders can build the visit into a creative project based around:
Art and design: collage, mark making, computer images, self portraits, pattern
and texture, paper constructions, printing, imagination
Maths: using repeat patterns, symmetry, reflection
ICT: developing images using repeated patterns
Researching topics and making careful observational drawings
Pollution and waste disposal: recycling and reusing objects; discussing the
number and variety of discarded objects found by Bob Callender on the beach.
Science: materials explore the difference between real objects found on the
beach and recreations of this type of debris. What are things in the exhibition
made from? Are they real or recreated by the artist? Why have objects survived
for so long that they can end up on the beach?
Literacy: using dragons and other imaginary creatures as a starting point for
creative writing, poetry or play scripts. Devise conversations between imaginary
creatures. Pupils need to have researched their creature first and have made a
list of its likes and dislikes, habitat, temperament, and its peculiarities. Ask
them to choose a creature from Heidi Daishs collection to write about.