Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Networking - Peterborough

Whilst visiting family in nearby Peterborough, it seemed obligatory to visit Metal, who are a fairly recent addition to Peterborough:

Chauffeurs Cottage

It seems you can't go anywhere without a knitted bike these days...!

In the underpass, murals by Jason Duckmanton led the way to Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery - these were commissioned by Peterborough City Council.   

At Peterborough City Gallery, Jason Duckmanton exhibited his first exhibition entitled One For Sorrow, a series of illustrative work connected to an Alice In Wonderland exhibition in the museum space.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Research trip - Parrot Zoo

Another research trip to the Parrot Zoo, which is well worth a visit - here are some selected images.

Add caption

all of these macaws say "hello" and "goodbye"

The Lincolnshire Tigers

The Lincolnshire Tigers playing

Friday, 31 July 2015

LAN research trip to Woodside Wildlife Park

The LAN have been on a research trip to Woodside Wildlife Park near Lincoln to source some rainforest animals and plants!
Many of the plants in the tropical house are very similar to those from the Joseph Banks Conservatory, and most species (except the German white wolves) can be found in rainforest environments. Some of these characters may appear in the mural!!

Poppy the Parrot

Julia the tigress

a lemur

Isobel the Lynx

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white wolves

giant tortoise

lemur leaping



ring tailed lemurs

fruit bat


Tuesday, 28 July 2015

LAN Rainforest Ward mural project

Plans for the hospital mural project are well underway, with 4 artists involved, planning imagery for Turtle Bay, along with others, and working through ideas.

Here are examples of existing hospital murals:

A renal ward mural

A tactile mural by Mike Ayres Design

Under The Sea theme mural for a children's hospital

Example of differing styles and with positive feedback from young patients

Whimsical and decorative animal themed imagery by Dutch Designer Tord Boonite

Use of cut vinyl graphic animal shapes for Tooting Hospital 

All kinds of awesomeness! 

Sheffield Children's Hospital mural 

This week we are planning to visit Woodside Wildlife and Falconry Park to go and source some direct reference images.

Sketchbook ideas in progress by LAN artist/illustrator and curator Helen Dearnley

We'll share more images as the project develops!

Didjin out!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

LAN/Onlincolnshire workshop - Paul Wilson blogging

This week is a busy week, with 2 workshops to finish the LAN/Onlincolnshire collaborative professional development for artists and illustrators before a break for Easter.
Tuesday's workshop introduced Paul Wilson to share his insights into blogging for artists ranging from the internet uninitiated, to those currently using blogs as part of their 3rd year illustration degree criteria, to gain useful insights into how to use them successfully, to those of us that are already experienced bloggers wishing to generate an income for sharing knowledge and expertise online as tutorials or publishing information, affiliate links, including ads alongside content, and getting paid for writing content for other people's blogs and websites. 
For artists and illustrators, this might extend to the provision of images, photos and illustrations, and discussion included how difficult it is to get work included in image sourcing stock image reference sites and to generate income for your content.

Paul Wilson demonstrating useful blogging information
Photography of work in the current Viewpoints exhibition at The Collection is prohibited, hence we've blurred out the work - which pains to do, so go and see it yourself! 

LAN artists are a curious group!

As promised, here are links to LAN artist's blogs:
James Joy
Rebecca Reid
Sarah Yates
Rose Bowskill
Jessica Burrell
Helen Dearnley

The last LAN/Onlincolnshire workshop this Thursday is on graphic novels and self-publishing - all information for this will be included on Helen Dearnley's Illustration blog, so this is one way to get paid for your blog content!

Thanks to The Collection for the lovely lunch in the Stokes cafe for LAN artists and for having us in the gallery.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Curating Digital Art Exhibitions and the Use of Minecraft

As part of the current ongoing LAN/Onlincolnshire social media and digital workshops, this weeks' workshop explores Curating Digital Art Exhibitions and the Use of Minecraft.

As the printer has decided to stop working, the workshop sheet and other info is available via the LAN blog here.

LAN / Onlincolnshire workshops
Helen Dearnley LAN Director

Curating Digital Art Exhibitions and the Use of Minecraft

Introductory session – add details to the LAN mailing list and invite artists to briefly speak about their work.

Kristoffer Zetterstrand:
A Swedish artist whose classical styled paintings feature in the popular computer game Minecraft, which was founded by his former brother-in-law.
His paintings are often figurative works or virtual still lives created in 3D software, in which he often incorporates pixellated computer game sprites and icons, for example, his debut show in 2002 featured imagery from Counter Strike.

In Minecraft, it is possible to create art work that is then imported into the game, which can then be included in exhibitions.
The use of software such as Spritecraft, or images can be pixellated in Photoshop, then imported. Forums recommend Gimp.

Curating exhibitions in Minecraft
As an example, a house was adapted into a gallery by replacing the original cobblestone walls with quartz stone blocks and white coloured clay to create a white walled space in which to hang paintings.

Gallery in Minecraft showing work by Kristoffer Zetterstrand
Recreation of a Jeremy Deller piece made with a sign
Exhibition curation showing differing exhibits

In this village, the villagers don’t come out to this house, so the gallery has no audience.
The possibility of creating more conceptual works using in-game architecture, items and mechanics could also include creating installations and site-specific work.

Another smaller gallery space was built next to a zombie spawn trap.
The zombies are enabled to come out of the spawn room and into the gallery to view the paintings. There is a sign next to the exit that reads “If you do not like this exhibition, exit here”. 

Zombies entering the gallery from the zombie spawner
Zombie in gallery contemplating the work.

The zombies then pass through a room containing snow golems, who throw snowballs at the zombies, and then follow into the mob trap.
The zombies therefore experience a cultural experience that gives a purpose to their existence. This works in survival mode, but not in peaceful mode.
Iron golems and snow golems are used as gallery invigilators, and villager visitors.
Invite artists to discuss ideas about creating a multi-player world in which we can organise group shows in Minecraft.

Creating new work in Minecraft using game resources.
Rather than merely import images into Minecraft, I have created a studio space in which to experiment with the resources and game mechanics, such as building sculptures out of haystacks, displaying items in Item Frames as gallery exhibits, using flower pots, crafting quartz stone pillars to use as plinths, etc. The idea of building 3D pixellated sculptures out of blocks of gold, lapis lazuli, iron, emerald, coal, or in fact coloured wool, glowstone and redstone is entirely possible.

Pixellated sculptural piece "Miner Willy" from Manic Miner

"Miner Willy" shown at night in Minecraft
The use of redstone devices to create kinetic or mechanical pieces is worth exploring. For instance, in my studio, I used redstone powered noteblocks to create a sound piece.

Redstone powered noteblocks to create sound art

A redstone circuit powers the noteblocks

In this sense, mods are key to being able to programme existing game mechanics to create art work in Minecraft.

I came up with a mob to provide artist’s materials. It was called an “Akryll” and resembles a squid or a ghast, but it spawns in the sky at night, and drops acrylic paint. This mob could be coded and created to exist along with other existing inhabitants, including mooshrooms.

Tate Worlds maps import existing paintings into Minecraft that are created into Minecraft maps, creating virtual landscapes.

Online and offline

The obvious benefits of being able to use creative mode to build large scale sculptural work that can exist virtually and for testing out ideas is that there are no actual materials costs, other than the cost of the games console, Minecraft game software, power and internet usage where required.

Importing existing artwork into Minecraft, which is then pixellated and exists in the game is an example of real work becoming a virtual entity.

The reverse of this would be to create art in Minecraft, for instance, it could be a screen shot of a sculpture created out of lapis lazuli, gold and coal, printed out as a photograph to be exhibited in a group show, or even 3D printed models of virtual creations. The most obvious of this is Minecraft Lego.

Gadget Show tech geek and visiting lecturer Jason Bradbury uses Minecraft to illustrate information for his guest talk at the Onlincolnshire Digital Conference.