This week marks the start of a series of guest posts from artists working at Rogue Artists Studios in Manchester, looking at how they have adapted their spaces to suit their needs. The first is from Naomi Kashiwagi, who utilises the space in her studio to compliment the way she works.
I work as Student Engagement Coordinator at Whitworth Art Gallery and also as an artist. I have a studio at Rogue Artist Studios in Manchester. Established in 1995, Rogue is a not-for-profit artists studios and is now the largest independent studio group in the North West with ninety seven artists working in 30,000 square feet of space over three floors of Chapeltown Mill. Members range from recent graduates to established practitioners working in a wide range of disciplines and media; including drawing, film and video, illustration, installation, interactive art, painting, performance, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and textiles. Rogue Artists Studios (for hyperlink: http://www.rogueartistsstudios.co.uk/
My practice playfully provokes the fringes of disciplines and genres, the intersections and impacts of visual art and music upon one another and the cyclical nature of obsolescence and technological innovation. I work through reinvention- recycling the redundant and that of the established order to reveal the ordinary as being inherently extraordinary. I explore the potential of things beyond their prescribed uses by transforming their utilitarian and conceptual function and making unorthodox connections.
Exhibitions and performances include Playtime, Cornerhouse, Manchester (November 2014), Gramophonica, Power Plant, Toronto, Canada (June 2014) Innsbruck International: Festival of the Arts, Innsbruck, Austria (2013),SOUNDWORKS, ICA, London (2012), Progress Reports: Art in an era of diversity, INIVA, Rivington Place London (2010) and The Intertwining Line: Drawing as Subversive Art, Cornerhouse, Manchester (2008).
Studio 1ab. Desk (average size desk) with a kneel chair (good for posture, but also fits under the table when I’m not using it). Standing Desk (this is just a shelf from B&Q and my laptop and typewriter (!) fit on top- fixed at the height it is for good posture- elbow height.
Studio 2. Mezzanine floor table – shelf fixed at elbow height in sat down position- means I can work there on a laptop and also acts as a shelf.
Studio 3. Coffee table: used as an additional light table that can be moved around easily. I made the legs shorter so it could be a table I use on my mezzanine floor table.
Studio 4. Big Table- standing height- this wasn’t custom built, so not at elbow height, but work standing or sitting (!) It’s very sturdy and big, so it also doubles up as a mezzanine floor. I have a small step ladder that I use to climb to the mezzanine. Underneath I store big drawings, large sheets of paper and also have conservations archive materials there for storing my work.
Manchester Metropolitan University runs a professional development Unit X annually, where students can gain an understanding of the breadth of opportunities in the arts sector. This year, six students had a placement with the Whitworth with a specific brief to develop a strand of activities for self-directed visits when the gallery opens its doors again. The aim was to produce a generic resource, which could nurture playful ways to engage and interact with exhibitions, collections, the building and the park whilst at the gallery.
Last week visual art students Emma and Jade visited the studio at Artwork Atelier to trial their ideas. They had worked collaboratively to design two activities, which drew on their expertise of drawing and sculpture. The proposed resource would be contained in a portable box on wheels with an idea manual.
Both tasks provided ways to consider art through drawing using a variety of materials and approaches, with one activity resulting in a potential three-dimensional outcome.
Examples of the instructions are to…
- Scribble wildly on your paper, do not be precious about it; just make that first mark.
- Go around the gallery and find something to draw using a continuous line drawing. Draw what you see without taking your crayon off the paper.
- Go change the colour of your crayon.
- Go back and add shading to your drawing.
- Find another painting or drawing you like. Study it for a few moments, now turn around and draw it from memory, without looking at the artwork again.
- Try drawing a piece of art without looking at your piece of paper.
See images of Emma and Jade at work in the studio below…
This week Georgina and Zoe came to the studio to respond to the same brief to create a resource for the self-directed visitor. Their ideas were quite different employing a sensory approach to potential gallery interactions inspired by the concepts around the relationship between the inside and outside of the gallery. They used the resource as a way to make the visitors experience the gallery afresh, even if they were a regulars to the gallery.
Try out these resources when the gallery is opens once again in October 2014.
Today I moved into my studio at Artwork Atelier. These are bespoke studios designed in collaboration with Capital Properties, Ultimate Holding Company and the renting artist/maker/producer. Each studio is unique in size, purpose and interior and exterior fittings. This brings a great variety of practice with spaces occupied by musicians, artists, ceramicists, urban landscapers and many other cultural enterprises.
The studio has many functions for the Gallery. It’s a research space; a making space; a culture lab; an office; a comfortable lunch space where conversation will take place over a delicious butty; an insight into how artists use their studios; a place to ponder about the Whitworth’s forthcoming engagement offer and really get to grips with how we want to use the Whitworth’s new Learning Studio.
This is such a great opportunity to think about the future in a fresh, original space. Watch out for future responses from fellow creative participants at No. 6 Artwork Atelier.