Making, Painting and Creating!

Spent time time in the studio today continuing on with my work for the degree show along side fellow artists Helen Axton and Vanessa Balmer

The rollers were out and the paint clothes were on! I am currently working on the addition of these jagged frames to accompany the boards that I have previously made. Having overcome my previous artist block, I finally felt like I was moving forward and definitely making progress!

Throughout the development of my practice, I have experimented with a variety of genres including video and collage and with this current piece, I have been dipping into the field of sculpture.  Unlike previous works, I have been thinking more about material and colour rather than the imagery in the piece. With my previous works, the use of imagery was a vital part in the work, however this time, my work experiments with natural materials which have been cut to shape and coloured to therefore reflect the harsh nature of the beauty industry.

The slide show below shows the progress being made in the studio whilst the gallery spaces are being tidied and painted ready for some amazing artwork!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



And the build begins!

Now the official 10 day countdown begins! The art block is buzzing with activity and progress is definitely being made! The space is being cleared and the walls are being built and sanded ready for that fresh clean coat of paint!

Studio Work

 With the degree show only 2 weeks away, I spent the day in the studio surrounded by PVA, paint, wood, cardboard and everything possible to get the creative juices flowing! Having created a series of contemporary coloured boards, I began experimenting with the possible idea of adding images of the body to them. However, I found this to be a very frustrating process as I couldn’t clearly imagine in my mind what it was I was trying to create. As my practice began with collage, I assumed this would have to be incorporated into the work.  Although, after a very successful tutorial, I began to understand that the journey the work goes on does not have to go full circle, it can be linear. It felt like I had known this all along, but it was DEFINITELY the breakthrough I needed! After some artist research, my artist block was now over! Plenty to do and think about now!



John Newling

Fellow fine artists from York St John University were working alongside pioneer of Public Art, John Newling to create ‘The Market of Hidden Labours.’ Located at City of York Council’s West offices, it is the first interactive public art event.

The work focuses on the tradition of the market as a place of civic assembly and exchange. Each stall requires the participation of the public. A personal favourite was a stall which offered the chance to write a letter to yourself. You could then decide weather you wanted it to be posted to you 6 months, 1 year or 2 years later.

Commenting on the installation, John Newling said: “The Market is an attempt to make transactions between people and emerging artists from the City of York; a kind of ‘capital’ of ideas and expressions as a valued currency of exchange.

John Newling then gave a really good talk about his practice. It was really interesting what he had to say, especially about how a piece of work functions in a space.

He also began the talk by asking “Has the earth got heavier over evolution?” ….Just something to think about!


Today involved a day in the studios with good old fashioned pencil and paper. My practice focuses on the body and our changing perception of ourselves due to the bombardment of ‘perfect magazine advertisements. I began with some one line drawings from images in magazines on found bits of paper. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Not a lot beats a fresh piece of paper to draw on, weather it be parcel paper, newsprint, envelopes or luggage tags! Gradually the drawings evolved and soon included bits of ripped adverts from magazine with PVA and white paint. they are almost mini versions of part of my work Im creating for the degree show.

Magnus Quaife

Manchester based artist and curator Magnus Quaife came into the university today to give a talk about his practice. in the afternoon the opportunity arose to have a tutorial regarding our work with him. It was interesting to see how he received our works with fresh eyes having known nothing about our previous works. I found it particularly helped me understand if the subject matter I was exploring was being successfully expressed.


With everyones work ( still in progress of course) exhibited in the space, it is beginning to give a little sneaky peak as to what the final degree show will be like. With only two weeks to go until the ‘build’ its all hands on deck and every single page in my diary is full!

In the Studio

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe studio is definitely the best place to be when ‘artist block’ hits. At the moment, the walls are almost leaking artwork its getting that full! It is nice to be able to wander round and see what everyone else is up too. (Definitely a benefit of sharing studio space!) 

Its the holding area for everyone’s work to be exhibited for the exhibition ‘This Is Who We Are.’ Personally, I love the studios right before an exhibition. It can be a bit like looking inside someone’s mind. Some people have very organised up to date studio spaces and others prefer to work in more of an ‘organised mess’ sort of manner.

You can look through all the sketchbooks, loose drawings and doodles of possible ideas which have all impacted on each persons own practice.  In a few weeks the exhibition shall be the final result of all this work.


Further work update!

A successful crit session with my tutor and peers, resulted in a busy and productive day in the studios.

Further developments in my work has led to the possible edition of coloured transparent perspex. Happy with my work so far, I feel the painted wooden boards exhibited on the floor are resolved, yet something else is needed in order for the work to be complete.

So far, my work has taken inspiration from artists such as Vanessa Beecroft and Matthew Stone, with particular regards to the colours they have used.

Keeping their colour pallet in mind, I have so far kept to contemporary colours reminiscent to those found in magazine advertisements.  When choosing the colours for the perspex, I still stuck to this choosing a transparent blue and yellow, however, looking back over previous works based on this subject matter, I added a splash of red after seeing how it worked in these previous pieces.

This Is Who We Are

Further information about my up coming graduate exhibion,

Create 13 BA (Hons) Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition: This Is Who We Are

Art Block at York St John University and The New School House Gallery, Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PW

Preview: 17 May 2013, 6-9 pm (both venues)

Opening times: 18 May – 1 June, Tue – Sat: 10-5 pm, Sun: 12-4 pm (both venues)

Graduates of BA (Hons) Fine Arts at York St John University explore art in all its dimensions and across wide-ranging contexts. The works on the show are as eclectic as the artists who described themselves as ‘awkward, beautifully odd, temporal, financially screwed, eclectic, defensive, filthy, improvisative, creative.’

This Is Who We Are is the culmination of a 3-year academic, artistic and personal journey and represents the self as social and personal experience: the body’s journey through time and space, whether physical, historical, constructed, embodied or imagined.

We are the future cultural leaders, Turner Prize winners, Biennial-exhibitors, the eccentrics … We are young artists making our own scene in the historic setting of York.

We are the York St John Degree Show 2013.


Just over three weeks to go till opening night and degree show meetings are in full swing. Studios and the art block are buzzing with activity! Video installations are being edited, performance pieces are being planned, materials are being ordered, sculptures are being constructed and floor plans are well under way!

This, week I’ve been continuing with the development of my work, focusing particularly on the construction and painting of the boards. Since the start of the year, my work has found a place somewhere between installation, collage and painting. Elements of all can be found in the work.


The aim was to mix contemporary colours which you would find in the pages of magazines, on catwalks and in retail.  As a response to the subject matter surrounding body image, I wanted the natural material of the wood to be cut into harsh shapes and painted a flat colour.


From this….to this! As you can see my work has taken on some pretty major developments over the past three weeks, and with just over three weeks to go till the opening, who knows what else is going to happen in that time!

As much as I love messy studios filled with all sorts of finished and unfinished work, its great to be able to get the chance to place your work in more of a gallery setting. It’s a great way to get over ‘artists block.’


One month and counting

Only ONE MONTH to go till the opening of York St John University’s BA Hons Fine Art Graduate Exhibition, This Is Who We Are. Studios are looking very busy and very full with lots of lovely art! Postcards accompanying each artists work are now in production!!

EmilyWhistlecroft POSTCARD