May 30, 2014

Guest blog: Brigi Antal discovers the talent at Waltham Forest College

Don't miss out on any of these great exhibitions!
Find opening times and more details on the E17 Art Trail website

HNC Art & Design Student Exhibition
A fresh and dynamic mix from Waltham Forest College HNC Art & Design students. Exciting exhibition of drawing, painting, print, design, photography and 3D. Come and view the talent of the artists and designers of tomorrow.
020 8501 8287 

Art & Fashion - Adult Learners Exhibition
(Sharon Drew 
An exciting exhibition of sculptures, paintings, drawings, prints, ceramics CAD, photographs, fashion, textiles by adult students. Creative Industry courses at Waltham Forest College: HNC Art & Design, HNC/HND Fashion, NCFE Portfolio Preparation 

WFC Student Summer Art Exhibition
Exhibition of exciting student work including sculpture, painting, drawing, print, CAD, textiles, ceramics by students 16-19 yrs on National Art & Design programmes. Come and view the talent of the artists and designers of tomorrow.
020 8501 8287 

Home is where one starts from...
A series of mixed media works on paper exploring some of the themes in TS Eliot’s Four Quartets. Also ceramics, thrown stoneware and earthenware the latter made at Waltham Forest College where Linda is a Ceramic Artist in Residence.

I Love Clay
(Judi Leddy 
An exhibition of ceramics and paintings by local mother of four, Judi Leddy. Created in or inspired by Waltham Forest evening classes. Come and make a tile in the parent and child workshop. Tea and cakes sold in aid of Marie Curie.

It's 12 o'clock and I'm heading to the Arts Department at Waltham Forest College. I feel very much at home in this magic subterraneous realm and I'm suddenly surrounded by shadows of the past. I walk along the corridor wrapped in an invisible cloud of memories of my own college years. The cloud might not be that invisible after all as I manage to lose my way and have to ask for directions. I'm asked whether I'm a model -it made my day, haha!

Oh here we go this is the one, that's the adult learners' exhibition poster for the E17 Art Trail.

Oh wow, everyone's  busy tidying and lovely art is revealed in all different corners of this stunning creative space. 

Say hello to Marie Louise Plum, art technician, artist and WFC's Twitter angel! 

As I later find out from Fenella Magnus, Fashion Lecturer, students were tidying their desks to be able to think again, which is exactly how I'd do it. I always have to put my toys away before I start playing art again!
I instantly think yes, that's the good old school teaching I was expecting to be happening down here. Think before you create.

I'm now taken to a cosy art infused lunch room with a sofa and some very inspiring art on the wall (I regret not having taken pictures for you).

Here is something else that I liked;

It very much looks like a family kitchen, you know that lovely warm space that seems to always generate the best ideas.

We certainly have food for thought here, among the appetising packed lunches, as we start talking about WFC and the E17 Art Trail. I feel moved by the fact that I'm allowed to be part of this teachers family lunch, while analysing all aspects of taking part in the E17 Art Trail with Fenella Magnus, Marie Louise Plum, Tracey Newman, Hugh Hamshaw-Thomas and Peter Cottrill. 

Speaking of appetite, we all agree that the exhibition for Appetite last year was a great success. The catering department, which is just on the other side of the wall I'm looking at, chose to host the aperitif course of their fine dining event in the art department's exhibition.

I have to show you at least one picture; 

Read more here

Oh yes! Good neighbours are always good, especially if they're good at baking. As it turns out, treats mainly come from students who love spoiling their teacher-family. A delicious looking something from Bulgaria smiles at me from the shelf. 

We're talking about the E17 Art Trail, what it means to our community and the East London art scene and how it became part of the college's life over the years. ''We've been doing it forever''. The exhibition hinges around Sharon Drew, painter and teacher at WFC, whose work I love so much. The new dates this year mean a great opportunity for the college as the E17 Art Trail dates coincide with the dates of their end of year show.

They managed to prepare three exhibitions this year in order to showcase the talent of all students. There is an emphasis on professionalism, these lovely dedicated teachers here want to teach a profession, not a hobby.

Fenella and Tracey almost sing their motto together : EDUCATION MEETS PRACTICE!

Artists in residence like the well known ceramicist Linda Green, mentors like Mo, an ex student with experience in various techniques and collaborations like the one for The Great Wall of Sainsbury's present an amazing opportunity for students to find out about life as an artist and how to apply your studies to reality. 

Mo and HNC and Extended Diploma students were involved with the hypothetical Public Art project, 
The Great Wall of Sainsbury's.

The project grew through working with Ashley McCormick and her work with the re-development of local high streets and took for it's starting point the Richard Woods installation titled LOGO No. 112 (Waltham Forest council commissioned the installation for Walthamstow Town Square).

Richard kindly gave a talk to students. Later, they took part in a print workshop using his templates at the Pop up shop at 38 Hoe street, that Ashley was instrumental in setting up.

I interrupt Mo and a student for a second to take a picture of him with one of his creations 

Another exciting plan to set up a teachers' hub in the prospect of having a separate building for the Art Department by the end of 2015.

Marie is kindly taking me round to see all different creative spaces. I'm amazed to see the number and quality of the facilities available and with the new building there will be more of everything!

I'm now heading to see Tracey Newman's students and Linda Green and I'll tell you all about it very soon!

For more from Brigitte, see the E17 Art Trail Schoolyard blog aimed at teachers and students. 

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