We are into the third day of the global print conference IMPACT 11 HONG KONG that for the first time is virtual. That has not stopped the team at HK Printworkshop and CFPR at UWE curating a full programme from printmakers around the world. The exhibition programme features over 60 exhibits including the cluster ebook: Legends and Legacy Between, that 12 members collaborated on. Flip the through the pages here: Legends and Legacy Between. Luby and Jonnie are also delivering papers.
The following article appeared In iCity Tiger
Making an IMPACT
School of Art students, staff and artists in residence came together to produce an ebook showcasing a wide range of printing techniques and the impact of working in isolation for virtual IMPACT 11, the International Printmaking Conference hosted by Hong Kong Open Printshop.
IMPACT, International Multi-disciplinary Printmaking, Artists, Concepts and Techniques, is one of the largest printmaking conference in the world. It was launched in 1999 by the Centre for Fine Print Research at the University of the West of England, and has since evolved into a global professional event for ‘graphic art lovers, scholars and printmakers’. This year, the conference was scheduled to take place in Hong Kong, as IMPACT 11. However, due to the pandemic and travel restrictions, the face-to-face conference has been transformed into a virtual event focused on bringing together thought-provoking thesis presentations and seminars from art communities from around the world. Postgraduate students, artists in residence, academic and technical staff from the Material Encounters Research Cluster, a research group based at the School of Art, came together to create the ebook, Legends and Legacy Between, as their electronic submission. The publication was designed by MA graduate Lucy Parris and PHD student JonnieTurpie, and represents a wide range of print techniques such as laser engraving, photographic processes, digital and traditional print media.
Collaborators are as follows: MA alumna Taiba Akhtar MA student Boyana Aleksova Doctoral Studies student Soha AlZaid Doctoral Studies student Sally Bailey Associate Professor Interdisciplinary Practice Dr Catherine Baker Doctoral Studies student Harriet Carter Doctoral Studies student Lucia Cunningham BA student Fae Kilburn Doctoral Studies student Su Ng MA alumna Lucy Parris Senior Technician Ana Rutter Senior Technician Justin Sanders Doctoral Studies student JonnieTurpie
To produce the ebook, 13 colleagues worked in isolation and submitted a core image, practice description and working preparatory images. Many of the texts not only reflect on the artworks, but on artist’s experience of lockdown and the isolation that is different to the face-to-face experience of working within the School of Art. Much of the included work has a hand-made material quality and an abstract image from a lithography stone test was selected as the front cover. A video version of the ebook has been produced with an accompanying voice over.
Dr Catherine Baker said: “The isolating times, imposed by the Covid-19 restrictions, brought about new challenges for the researchers involved in the production of an Artists Book accepted for IMPACT 11 in Hong Kong. We had to think differently and come together as a group of individuals via online platforms using alternative methods of production. This proved to be a valuable collective experience that was expertly managed by cluster members alumna Lucy Parris and doctoral researcher Jonnie Turpie. The Legends and Legacy ebook has heralded a new strand for the Material Encounters Research Cluster, and we now plan to develop further books as resources for cluster members and external researchers.”
An artist’s working process is a hidden yet significant journey: it is where ambiguous and uncertain knowledge(s) are given the opportunity to be discovered through materiality and encounter. The artist’s process itself is also a highly valuable practice of research, actively enabling new yet potentially slippery knowledge(s) to emerge through reflection, the synthesis of ideas and the unknown.
This one-day colloquium seeks to provoke dialogues across practices to examine the possibilities and unknowns of process and matter as a critical meeting point between thought, intention, and the expectance of what might transpire.
What happens when the outcome is not the goal? How can we conceptualise and capture the flux of artistic practice as research? Can the artmaking process that is unformulated, communicate research beyond words?
The newly established Photography Research Hub, led by Dr John Hillman joined the Material Encounters team of researchers at the end of 2020 and we welcome the opportunity to expand the research activities of the cluster accordingly and we look forward to working with Dr Hillman into the future.
Photography Research Hub Statement
The hub aims to bring together academics, artists and thinkers from across the faculty and beyond who engage with research and discussion around an expanded notion of the subject of photography. Orientated toward the future, it will consider technology’s role in understanding the development of contemporary photography and image making. The research will be historically grounded, with an emphasis on thinking and restating the cultural value of images and image making. The ambition is that our research will shape ideas contributing to a new understanding of photography, in the twenty first century.
We welcome new members, via an application process, and anyone particularly interested in joining the cluster and/or hub should contact us by email: email@example.com.
The first week of 2021 sees the publication of the Journal DRTP Volume 5, Number 2 edited by Dr Catherine Baker. It is published by Intellect with a focus on the multifaceted (inter)relationships between Drawing and Science. You may recall a webinar we held late last year on the experience of journal editing and writing where Harriet and Jonnie described their experience of peer review. Their completed articles are published in this journal edition: Drawing birdsong: A comparative analysis between the electronic and the human; and Drawing Ed Ruscha.
Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice promotes and disseminates drawing research with a focus on contemporary practice and its theoretical context. This journal seeks to reestablish the materiality of drawing as a medium at a time when virtual, on-line, electronic media dominates visuality and communication.
This peer-reviewed publication represents drawing as a significant discipline in its own right and in a diversity of forms: as an experimental practice, as research, as representation and/or documentation, as historical and/or theoretical exploration, as process or as performance. It explores the drawing discipline across fine art, science and engineering, media and communication, psychology, architecture, design, science and technology, textiles, fashion, social and cultural practices.
I am currently trying to comprehend the irony of bountiful blessings on the Peranakan culture. One of the motifs often found on many Peranakan objects was the Eternal Knot. Its intertwining lines flow in a closed pattern , symbolising the interrelation between all phenomena. It expresses the union of the spiritual, human compassion and wisdom, and a necessary bind that creates harmony in our universe. I am still working on the interaction between the mythological bird and common motifs such as these
We are delighted to welcome Professor Erin Manning to present the second talk as part of this series:
Erin Manning is a professor in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada). She is also the founder of SenseLab (www.senselab.ca), a laboratory that explores the intersections between art practice and philosophy through the matrix of the sensing body in movement. Current art projects are focused around the concept of minor gestures in relation to colour and movement. Art exhibitions include the Sydney and Moscow Biennales, Glasshouse (New York), Vancouver Art Museum, McCord Museum (Montreal) and House of World Cultures (Berlin) and Galateca Gallery (Bucarest). Publications include For a Pragmatics of the Useless (Duke UP, forthcoming), The Minor Gesture (Duke UP, 2016), Always More Than One: Individuation’s Dance (Duke UP, 2013), Relationscapes: Movement, Art, Philosophy (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2009) and, with Brian Massumi, Thought in the Act: Passages in the Ecology of Experience (Minnesota UP, 2014)
Brief outline of the talk: How does the question of art shift when we think of art in its medieval definition as “way”? This opening toward what I call the artful, or “aesthetic yield,” will allow us to consider the activity of the hyphen in “research-creation.” How does the commitment to practice at the heart of the artful alter the question of life itself? What are its modes of existence? What else can be heard in the making? Issues around black life and neurodiversity will be at the forefront of a journeying into where the political does its work in the ethics-aesthetic.
We are currently looking for contributions from cluster members to feature your works in progress on the Material Encounters website. It would be really helpful if you could let us know what you are working on at the moment by sending us some images and texts about your works. It may sound ambitious, but we think it is possible to create an online space where we could see what our peers are doing, much like having others working in their studios beside us! (Click to see an example)
Everything seems tentative and surreal at the moment with the pandemic, and it has definitely affected the ways we connect with people and ideas. The difficulty of accessing the practices of others, particularly tacit knowing through material engagement, is further compounded by our remote connection with other practitioners.
It would be interesting to see how works evolve through time and in tandem with others, much like a working document. We are not expecting anything perfect or even complete, but something that would keep us all engaged with our making.
You could also send us links to your social media pages. This could be your blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin and other social media sites you are currently using. Imagine the dynamic connections one could experience starting with a single site!
If you are interested to share, please send the relevant information to either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
From 10 – 17 December 2020, Jennifer Ng presented ‘Peranakan Whispers’ at The Substation Gallery in Singapore. The “Blackboard Schemes” Exhibition featured artists of the Fertile Art Refinery (FAR), creating an experimental and process-centric platform to promote collective reflexivity and connectivity. This organic unity with a multiplicity of practices by 30 artists include themes such as society and the pandemic, representation of women, bio ecology, the ideas of craft and fine art, and other intriguing artistic lenses.
Whispers – a strange way to speak, speaking in secrecy, speaking in a way that only close ones can hear you, a private conversation.. can you actually hear it ? what do you really hear?
This performance video with a Singaporean collaborator Wilson Goh, was developed as part of Jennifer’s experiment to articulate displaced or lost meanings/objects through dialogue/non-dialogue, connection/ disconnection/reconnection through interfacing portals between distant lands.
Remember Jim, Matt and Deb? Canadian Artists Jim Holyoak and Matt Shane shared their drawing experiences with the Cluster in 2019 as they took a day out from their immense all gallery drawings at Mac Birmingham. Debbie Kermode the CEO and Artistic Director of Mac shared with us the curation history behind the show and what was planned. This included drawing days in Cannon Hill Park and a Big Draw day in the gallery, not on the walls, but on the floor! They and their work at Mac has been awarded the Big Draw Best Museum and Gallery award.
“The Big Draw Festival 2019 Award Winners Announced”
The Big Draw has recognised the work by awarding Mac, Jim and Matt with the Best Museum and Gallery Award for the day’s work. ‘Among their many events, MAC coordinated a large-scale collaborative work which was later displayed in the public foyer.’ Big Draw: https://thebigdraw.org
Jim and Matt led the public engagement day where anyone entering the gallery could pick up a mark making tool and draw on the floor. They introduced the day with short presentations of their drawing inspirations and motivations which became inspiration for a constant flow of drawers throughout the day. The final floor wide drawing was celebrated with its hanging in the Mac foyer alongside a time lapse video of its making.
More about the show on Mac website and watch the time lapse to see how the full floor drawing was created.
It is a pleasure to offer you a complimentary copy of EXPRESSION 30. This issue, the fourth one to appear during the Coronavirus pandemic, faces a crucial theme, that of identity, which bothers a large percentage of the human beings, of societies and of nations. It also concerns students and scholars, trying to define the identity of past and present cultures. The selected articles range in different directions and should stimulate other contributions on the same general topic: the identity of a culture, an age, or a social trend. Five articles face the problems of identity of different ages and different nature, in four different continents: Africa, America, Asia and Europe. Amélie Balazut considers the paintings of French Paleolithic caves, looking at the problem of human identity in Paleolithic times, seeing the totemic animal counterpart of man as a source of identity. How did Paleolithic people conceive their images of half human and half animal beings? Stavros Kiotsekoglou analyzes the meaning of the similarity of two archeological sites, one in Greece and the other in Italy, stressing coincidences and what appears to be common elements of identity despite the geographical distance: cultural identity or pure coincidence? Jitka Soukopova faces the confrontation between two different cultural identities, hunter-gatherers and pastoralists, of a few thousand years ago, in the oases of North Africa, when what is now desert was greener. How do their rock paintings help defining their cultural identity? Emmanuel Anati deals with the earliest known urban settlement in the Near East, which came into existence in the age of hunter-gatherers, searching for the identity of its founders and for the process that led to its birth and development. What was the function of a fortified town among clans of hunters? And Giuseppe Orefici explores the identity of the makers of the extraordinary geoglyphs at Nasca, in Peru, their religious beliefs and their social performances. What was the function of miles-long cleaned and managed grounds and of the large size images which are hardly visible from the ground? The attempts at defining identity will be further considered in forthcoming issues. We hope that you will be stimulated by these cases of cultural identity. Those having something to say on the topic are welcome to participate in this open sharing of knowledge and ideas. Expression 30: <https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fdrive.google.com%2Ffile%2Fd%2F1lNah2jUbETlfUhfpFImjWgUGwkQpHtYX%2Fview%3Fusp%3Dsharing&data=04%7C01%7CEdward.Turpie%40mail.bcu.ac.uk%7Cd5341140c0aa4d31cc0d08d89b5c8c2f%7C7e2be055828a4523b5e5b77ad9939785%7C0%7C0%7C637430169103455012%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=4av3jRNNjPEsLEoPr3BtrSUUmBS%2BqaVf2oUCcNVgx%2Fw%3D&reserved=0>
Cordial regards and best wishes for the coming festivities and for a new year free of pandemics! Emmanuel Anati (EXPRESSION General Editor)
The IMPACT Printmaking Journal has been published online. In is the second edition of the journal borne of the IMAPACT Print Biennale that is in its twentieth year. Some ME members will know of IMPACT as they have participated in the international Conferences, most recently in Santander in 2018. The Journal is edited by Wuon-Gean Ho, who suggests it would be lovely to hear from you. ME member Edward (Jonnie) Turpie has an article in the new journal.
IMPACT stands for ‘International Multi-disciplinary Printmaking: Artists, Concepts and Techniques’, which takes the form of a conference that is run every other year. The next are scheduled for March 2021 in Hong Kong, and 2023 in Bristol.
The IMPACT Printmaking Journal is an open-access peer-reviewed academic publication. There is no fee to submit and no fee to read the articles. All articles published from Autumn 2020 onwards are published under a creative commons licence CC BY 4.0. For more information on this licence please see here
IMPACT Printmaking Journal supports scholarly and critical debate in the field of print: advancing technological knowledge, contextualizing print, talking about the poetry and language of print, and maintaining a showcase for print practitioners.
Novel contributions from academics, scientists, writers, philosophers, students, graduates and independent artists alike are warmly welcomed. All contributions will be peer-reviewed by a panel of peer-reviewers.
The IMPACT Journal is published by the Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR) at the University of the West of England. ISSN 2732-5490
The next Material Encounters cluster event will focus on practice-sharing where cluster members will talk about their research practice for up to 5 minutes, using a ‘piece’ of their practice as a starting point. This could be, for example, an image, object or piece of sound; that is, something that embodies or represents in its materiality or (im)material form their research.
In art, there is“… a very specific sort of knowing, a knowing that arises through handling materials in practice. This form of tacit knowledge provides a very specific way of understanding the world, one that is grounded in material practice or (to borrow Paul Carter’s term) “material thinking”. The concept of material thinking offers us a way of considering the relations that take place within the very process or tissue of making. In this conception, the materials are not just passive objects to be used instrumentally by the artist, but rather, the materials and processes of production have their own intelligence that come into play in interaction with the artist’s creative intelligence.” 
In reference to the quote from Barbara Bolt above, cluster members will specifically talk about things that have prompted or encapsulate the unknown, process and/or material thinking.
Our aim is to prompt discussion from member’s practice-sharing, as well as to potentially initiate further collaboration and networking.
 Bolt, Barbara. “The Magic is in Handling” in Practice as Research Approaches to Creative Arts Enquiry, edited by Estelle Barrett and Barbara Bolt, 29-30. New York and London: I.B.Taurus & Co, 2007.