Archive | September 2013

My work for An Unofficial Alumni (a Cognitive Mapping of Now)

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Image courtesey of Rob Nunns

Within this exhibition is basically my full year’s expenditure of energy that didn’t otherwise go into earning a wage, maintaining social bonds, our down the plug hole mixed with alcohol. So obviously it’s something I deem worth sharing, alongside the blogpost cover the entire An Unofficial Alumni exhibition.

The crucial work for this exhibition was my Psychogeographical account of an area I still see worth describing as the West Riding of Yorkshire (because the base point for most of my 29 years living here is more or less on the border between South and West Yorkshire, to cover just one of the counties would be insufficient to my experience of the landscape I inhabit the most). Having come back from London, after only 3 months, after failing to manage the pressures of doing a masters, whilst supporting myself financially, it was essential that I rebuilt things, from what largely felt like a wreckage, developing ideas that were at least thrown my way down there, and using them ‘back home’.

This isn’t to make out the 3 large drawings I put in this show mean any less to me.

The West Riding of Yorkshire: A psychogeographical account.

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Image courtesey of Jason White

I aimed to conbine all memories/experiences from a year of walking/train/bus and car journeys through 4 areas that span the old West Riding of Yorkshire. It has culminated from years of wandering and musing around an area loosely centered around Leeds, Wakefield, Barnsley and Sheffield. I’m trying to show what inhabiting these places /walking through these human landscapes feels like. All too often I find reality is massively cropped to take the more picturesque; but I’m also trying to show that the issues the world faces today can be observed on a local level as much as in any international city.
I have chosen this area because it is a landscape I know better than any other.

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It relates to a course I began, but couldn’t complete, in London, called Mapping Capitalism, and in particular theorist Fredric Jameson’s notion of cognitive mapping, as a modern means of class consciousness and awareness of our real material conditions, in the disorientating 21st century world governed by global financial capitalism. Informed by both the philosopher Althusser and the urbanist/town planner,Kevin Lynch, who used psychogeographical ideas to create better living environments, Jameson argued that the “mental map of a city explored by Lynch can be extrapolated to that of the social and global totality [one that we] we carry around in our heads in various garbled forms”.  I travel often but regrettably I don’t often leave the 15 mile radius of my home that includes these areas of my focus. London was an anomaly which didn’t work out, yet it allowed me to look at (what I would class as) my home landscape with new eyes.

Image(I intended the map to be a culmination of all the ‘Mind Maps’ I have made of this area during the past 7 months. I wished to exhibit it using objects such as mesh fencing which, whilst being largely ignored as we make our way through our day, feature very heavily in the urban/suburban landscape)

I’ve found this project deeply helpful.  I look back on what I have written and the landscape reveals its true identity to me; something an A-Z or Google map could never do. It also made me realise that there is potentially something to be gained conceptually from any walk. Not just a walk through the most tourist-friendly spots on earth.

But I must ask myself why do this here and why now? Well, disparate issues seem to have come to a head and collided; personal reasons, such as memories, lost dreams, a coming of age that are all embedded in this landscape, are becoming entwined with deep concern about the changes to the world happening at the moment; an increase in poverty, homelessness, mental illness, and recent weather patterns that go far to suggest we are amidst a rapid transformation of the Earth’s climate. These changes are very noticable at a local level.

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The philosopher Franco Berard ‘Bifo’ writes that “in the last decades of the [20th] century, the utopian imagination was slowly overturned, and has been replaced by the dystopian imagination”. The social landscape is no longer a place for hope and opportunity but one that we increasingly fear; as theorist Mark Fisher says we use headphones, what he terms ‘OedIpods’, as “a walling up against the social”. We are encouraged to live in what Baudrillard called the Hyperreal, our own universes of simulcra that have no basis in, and which blind us us to a social void he called the ‘desert of the real’.

This landscape I know best more or less culminates around two railway lines; the Hallam and Penistone lines. I begin with the northern most point of this landscape of my mind: Leeds city centre.  Many parts of this area were visited by George Orwell whilst he was note-making for his book ‘The Road To Wigan Pier’, about life in the industrial north during the great depression. After 30 years under a neoliberal political economy, it is arguable that the quality of life for many, in relative terms, may be no better than it was in the 1930’s, and I am certain that the collective imagination is in an even worse state.

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(the traffic cones worked well as a common feature on the landscape that also provided a place in which to place audio players. The accompanying sound tracks – 3 in total – are recorded critical discussions between myself and friend Michael Hill whilst we walk through certain parts of this landscape, urban and non-urban).

This video piece, although it regrettably didn’t feature in the show, is essentially part of the same body of work.

Drawings

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The Place of Dead Ends (biro and collage on paper, 2013)

“In the last three decades of the [twentieth century] the utopian imagination was slowly overturned. and has been replaced by a dystopian imagination” Franco Berardi (Bifo) – After the Future (2010)

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For some years now I’ve had this feeling that things cannot carry on in the manner in which they have been doing. Furthermore: that we are watching the slow collapse of our civilisation. The feeling is closer year by year. It’s a broad-reaching feeling that dampens/taints the appearance of the world. I cannot switch this feeling off; there are traces of it in every thought. The only world (reality) we know seems to have reached a dead end. And because it cannot allow us to move forward, the past (or rather its past) takes control; it’s darkest ghosts re-emerge as a reaction to the huge problems we face; the dead come to rule the living. We run to the past for protection from the darkeness unfolding in the 21st century – right into the arms of the archaic forces that rise amidst such confusion and threaten to drag everything down back down with them.
The idea for The Place of Dead Ends fixed itself together whilst I was walking around the park-lands of Greenwich, London (a place saturated with popular history), in the autumn of 2012. I stumbled across the Queen Elizabeth [the 1st] Oak, a tree that the Tudor queen is said to have often taken refreshment under. Queen Elizabeth the 1st reigned over an historical period that played a crucial part in the formation of the British Empire, and (of course) the modern industrial world.
What I didn’t realise until then was that this tree had actually been dead for well over 100 years old. Yet the tree trunk remained; laying heavy upon the ground. Always having the gravity of the 21st century stalking my thoughts, I couldn’t help but see this dead relic as a metaphor for a world which is being ruled to ruin by ideas and beliefs that belong in the past; a result of a civilisation that is unable to look to the future.
In the past 5 years we have seen the massive failure of the neoliberal economic system (or global financial system);  yet, because we are unable to picture an alternative/unable to picture a future past the ‘end of history’ announced with the inauguration of global capitalism, ever-more extreme neoliberalism is being enforced onto the world. Neoliberalism is dead as a idea, nobody believes in it, yet it rules in an almost zombie-like manner (using thoughts expressed by Mark Fisher in his Visual Futures lecture). This bad medicine is being inflicted by a global elite structure whose dominance is beginning to be dangerously similar to the archaic feudal rule the kings and lords once had over the population. At the same time as this, we are made witness to scandal after scandal amidst the ranks of those  people, institutions and companies we used to see as the pillars of society,. The entire belief system has failed, but still governs us; we are ruled by the dead.
In the drawing the pillars of (a) civilisation have fallen across the route, like dead trees blocking the path. In this landscape protests are being made by many who desperately want to change the world into a better, more just place, but these pillars have landed on the protests, trapping them, making them unable to move – unable to make a difference (the most well-know example of this would be the 2003 protests against the US/UK imperial war on Iraq, where millions filled the streets world-wide, and were utterly ignored by the decision makers). On the rotting of the tree-like pillars grows all the forces that feed off the death of a future; runaway finance with no grounding in theory, and jingoist patriotism that feeds off the fears of global uncertainty.
The rest of this blocked route is occupied by people who have given up on the belief of a better future, and have given up fighting ; they live in a never ending avoidance of truth and empty feeling, condemned to the pursuit of immediate pleasures (drugs, alcohol, sex), only to spend much time in stupors of dissatisfaction and depression. I am not excluded from such a scene; I am both the protester and the individual drunken and frustrated roaming the evening streets, trying to forget reality. Every figure is interchangeable in my drawings; no individual is solely to blame and yet everybody is complicit.
Each side of the road are the barriers one faces when they try to think of a way out: the violence of the nation state, which becomes more ruthless and repressive the more it is threatened; and at the other side one faces the even worse plight of the poorer parts of the world, and the parts of the world already suffering greatly from changes to the global climate brought on by this governing system. There seems to be no way out. Clouds envelope preventing us from imagining another kind of world; they are both the very real human-made pollution we are failing to tackle, and the blotting out of imagining ourselves somewhere different; the clouds are full of the faces of ‘dead stars’, the icons of 20th century capitalism, who died and became immortalised in our collective hearts, having an ever greater ghostly presence that seeps onto the skins of us as we run backwards from the current world, in search of better times.
Drawing, for me is as much as a controlling (or management) of my darkest thoughts in which everything seems out of control. Yet, I hope my work can reveal the modern world to viewers in a way that is constructive to a collective demand for a better world. As much as I struggle to picture something more hopeful, the dead end is not the end of the world; only the end of a world, a world humanity surely must transcend in the 21st century else it may well be the end full stop.

Mind Camp (biro and collage on paper, 2013)

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The title of Mind Camp is taken from a very ignorant error I made when I was somewhat younger; believing it to be the English translation of Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler’s notorious book. Of course, Hitler’s book is actually translated as ‘My Struggle’, and the remaining connection here is that which I always thought my interpretation of the title referred to: the occupation of the human mind by ideas, doctrines, logic, as a means of making them socially compatible with a system of power; that is, power that doesn’t only (or doesn’t even need to) insert its influence externally, to make sure we are compatible entities within a system, but internally (what I would later understand as what philosopher Michel Foucault termed Biopower).
The theorist Franco ‘bifo’ Berardi refers to the current stage of capitalism as ‘semiocapitalism’: a system no longer driven by mass industrial production, but by signs/communication, which is all the more evident now human life is almost completely orientated around digital communications. Berardi writes that “semiocapitalism puts [our] neurophysical energies to work, and submits them to the speed of electronic machinery. It compels our cognition, our emotional hardware to follow the rhythm of net-productivity” Capital has synchronised itself with our conscious and subconscious. It is proliferated by the “digital web…” which “…spreads and expands by progressively reducing more and more elements to a format, a standard and code that makes different segments compatible”. In such a world, brands/logos have a seemingly unlimited reach over the imagination – as we can now see all too well. , Precisely because it is internalised, Capitalism is so culturally extensive and intensive that it is hard to consider that anything may be outside of it, so that “when we sleep, we even dream of capital” (Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism).
But this means new styles of exploitation for a new organisation of power.  Franco Berardi believes it is important to see the global worker no longer a proletariat but a cognitariat, as capital  puts more and more of our neurophysical energies to work. Michel Foucault’s reference to the Panopticon (an architectural structure built to allow total surveillance over the ‘inmate’s  to maintain order and control) as a analogy for a whole form of maintaining obedience to a power structure, is still alive and well, but perhaps need only now be used in certain circumstances, when the internalisation of power fails to work. Most of us are now governed internally, a biolpolitical intrusion of all the flows and anxieties of the political economy, depolitising us in the process, as we become the guard in the watchtower of our own lives.
Franco Berardi describes the Life of the cognitariat: “labor has become fractalised. With the end of large industrial monopolies, new workers, now delocalized in the global peripheries, start resembling computer terminals, cells in the circulation of the commodity-sign”. The worker is condemned to be a component in the constant production and consumption of signs/information.”Each individual is a cell put in constant productive connection with others by the web, which ensures a deterritorialized fractal, and fluid sociality. The cellular is the new assembly line, deprived of any carnal sociality”
Precisely because total competition is the name of the game, social mobility has actually become harder in societies more saturated by neoliberalism, and the more we partake in our ‘daily races’ against one another, the more we exacerbate the dynamics of an every-man-for-himself system where the winners have already taken all. Yet, because of the “non-stop inertia” caused as the cognitariat’s libidinal energies are constantly wired/re-wired into the digital matrix, the anxiety of this enforced competitive state of being makes it sometimes feel impossible for us to withdaw from these dynamics; indeed Berardi speculates that only when we crash (depression/mental exhaustion) do we withdraw our libidinal energies from the reproduction of semiocapitalism. Alone together, protesting through innactivity.
Within the drawing I wanted to try to visualise mechanisms that function by appropriating these ‘neurophysical’ energies from the cognitariat, but then merely dumps them once the required labour process is over, as the wealth accumulated by semiocapital becomes the preserve of a small section within the social system, who own the rights to the sign language as “intellectual property”. The ‘cognitariat’ is in a state of constant becoming; once their mental energies have been used, they drop (perhaps mentally exhausted, in what Berardi describes as a state of depressive withdrawal), only to find themselves reattached to the constant and futile ‘career-climb’ (the prospect of falling out of reach is often unthinkable as the welfare systems there to protect the financially vulnerable becomes less and less existent).
It often seems the case that the more one sends cell phone texts, posts images/links on their Facebook/Tumblr/Twitter wall, in the aid of becoming more (more financially, socially, and identity secure), the more one actually dissapears/becomes less, as they invest mental energies in an infinitely expanding information web, whose increase in size means increasing fragmentation of identity and of communitiy, as media wedges itself between more pockets of time/space; also this expansion not only engenders further exploitation of our psychic resources, but of our material conditions, as an increase in connectivity for the financial plutocracy means a greater reduction in labour costs for profit maximisation.
As the system refines its mechanisms in this so-called recession (the global 1% highest earners have seen their profits surge during this ‘recession’ period), jobs become so scarce to the extent that more mandatory, low paid jobs are absorbed more and more into the competitive, ‘careerist’, ‘life-as-a-CV’ job market, which was initially only the reality of those who were willing the work the career treadmill in the hope of a top salary. You stand still in a world of unrestrained ruthless capitalism and the fear is that one will be wiped from the game. It is evidential that we are witnessing a race to the bottom for (to use the now-common terminology) the 99% of us, as the concentration of wealth/power becomes more refined, with a logical conclusion that renders the fiction of films such as the recent Hunger Games imaginable.
The bulwark of information that is disseminated from the concentrated power is structurally designed to divide and confuse the population it relies on to utilise mental and physical energy from. This is the the only source that passes from the top to the bottom within this piece of work. The mechanism appear almost like pinball games levers, knocking all that is below back down, whilst only allowing these ‘media bombs’ to drop downwards. Sometimes I find the mechanisms visualised in games, especially early computer games, useful metaphors for the procession of power relations in the world, especially in the digital age.
Within the brain-like part of the work (which also attempts to refer to something inflated, and still inflating; a bubble of the logos of semiocapital) all signs, all logos, all companies, all sections of capitalist reproduction are shown to be connected/dependent on each others’ existence. Just as no individual is exempt, no sign/no commonly-seen logo is exempt from a network of images that descends into the darkest networks of reproduction; some brands seem to float like little fluffy clouds in a guilt-free cyberspace, but they are just as much as part of the system as the most destructive corporations wreaking havoc to the social/environmental, and also the darkests forms of image production from violent pornography to the filming of murder.
It’s an uncomfortable truth that the language of our times that often seems innocent on face-value is part of the same logic that allows the most brutal forms of exploitation in the world. Within this drawing there is no solution, I admit this (although there is cracks appearing in the super structure). But, to quote Franco Berardi again, because I largely agree with his opinion here, “The task of the thinker [to which, in my understanding of art, would include the artist] – if thinking has a task – is not to breathe hope into hearts, but to help in understanding  reality, because only understanding can bring forth new possibilities”.

The Planet’s Mental Illness (biro on paper, 2012)

The first thing I need to explain about this piece is why I chose the word planet instead of world; the latter being specific to humanity and all of its concerns, whilst the former describes everything that makes up the ball of rock, gas and liquid that constitutes the earth. I need to do this as it is evident that what I am trying to depict here is life in the grips of the dynamics of the human-made system. The word planet seemed more specific to dealing with an infliction on the earth of this all-consuming human system. I wanted to look at this culture (or civilisation) as something that, despite its initial intentions, has coated everything, making its logic inescapable, a logic that deals with maximizing all resource extraction, destroying the body upon which this civilisation needs to survive. This is why the word world simply did not suffice in representing the extent of the saturation of the issue we have here.
In a completely unreligious way, I see humanity as being life’s brain: its ability to think about everything that is and has been; the ability to look back at what came before it.
I don’t mean it in a sense that it is our destiny, more that the evolutionary process has placed the human being in this position. Yes, this way of seeing has been inspired by the Gaia hypothesis (a scientific hypothesis), which argues that all of the ecosystems on earth, and each living thing within it are interdependent to the extent that life has adapted this ball of rock, gas and liquid into a super-organism, self-regulating the earth to maintain conditions the best it can for life, in the way that a smaller system regulates itself in order that its stability is maintained. And I am in no way a new-age hippy: I’m too saturated in this wasteful and exploitative cultural logic/too infected with this globally-spread mental illness to be anything that comes near to genuinely fitting such a persona.
The term mental illness applies at every level here, right down to the individual. As we now clearly see, this life-sapping system is now creating a mental-illness epidemic, where the use of anti-depressants has become on commonality, and it being rare to walk around a shopping street without noticing a victim of eating disorders. Earlier this year, my friend spoke of how such a high number of his friends were complaining from migraines due to the stress of being unable to fathom out what the hell is going on, from the local to the global, that it couldn’t be dismissed as mere coincidence. I situated such heads, fit to burst, in isolated computer screens within this piece of work, as more and more of communication between one another is mediated through mechanisms. The spaces between us, in cyberspace, are full of arguments and attempts to explain what just is going off all around us. However, rarely does the action transcend the screens and have effect.
Computer screens seemed like the best place to position individuals separated from each other to suffer from the exact same causation, alone. It may be worth adding here that the scientific methodology that dominates our culture, has always sought to reduce everything to its individual components, to see everything as atoms per se, rather than as interdependent/connected atoms. And although this is certainly very useful, it seems to be a methodology with penetrating perception in one eye, but utter blindness in the other. The philosopher Martin Heidegger uses the term ‘modern technology’, where I would always use capitalism, to show how it is not a coincidence how a system based on reducing everything to “standing reserve” for future exploitation appeared historically not long after the beginnings of modern physics. This one-sided view of the world saturates our culture to an extent that it’s hard to imagine anything else, even whilst it slowly makes us more and more ill.
The tube-like tunnel this landscape is situated in is just this: the hegemony/the logic that has spread so intensively and extensively that one cannot imagine a world outside of this tunnel, even as it leads us into a darker and darker place. Towards the end of the last century, as systems that tried to challenge capitalism began to fall apart, the theorist Fredric Jameson claimed that in this time of late capitalism (or what he called ‘a time of no time’) “it’s easier to imagine the end of the world that an end to capitalism”; and as humanity stumbles into the second decade of the 21st century, this diagnosis is becoming terrifyingly tangible.
As the heads inside the computer screens veer closer to the dark ends, they burst, re-releasing the cultural logic, in a chronological waterfall of the destructive cycle in motion since early European colonialism and the beginnings of the industrial revolution pours out, recreating the only world they know, as they self-destruct. It is almost the genealogy of the system being revealed, like DNA within we who know no other way even as it causes us to break down.
The landscape being constructed from the genealogy of our culture is of course intended to be the world we have now. As much as we see the brutality of the social gradient, from the private houses, and finance skyscrapers to the corpses of the global poor as they are the first to reap the harvest of climate breakdown, and those who are cultivated to sell their bodies in whatever means as the only means to earn a living, it is still clear that nobody is safe from these destructive dynamics. The lyrics of the late Richie Edwards in the Manic Street Preachers song Motorcycle Emptiness claim that “every where’s death row, everyone’s a victim”; this is the case under a truly global capitalism. Whilst this doesn’t excuse the vast injustices, where more and more millions are being dumped on the waste pile, whilst a minority enjoy the luxuries of kings, it certainly makes the case that we all have an investment in a different the future to the bleak one the logic of capitalism has in store for us and the planet.

An Unofficial Alumni (a virtual tour of the exhibition)

We were all incredibly pleased with the way the exhibition came together (and would still be very thankful to any more visitors to the show).

The exhibition tried to bring together a rather interesting mixture of work from working artists from the area around Barnsley, aware that after 9 years running, 2013 marks the end of degree courses at University Campus Barnsley being run by the University of Huddersfield. An Unofficial Alumni is a showcase of working artists who studied or taught at the campus during these years. These artists have go on to work in a diverse range on medias, including painting, photography, ceramics, design , installation art…and robots

Linda Betts
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My current practice explores the theme of memory and more specifically, memory loss. Some of my most recent work aims to observe memory from a more scientific point of view and examines the causes of memory loss, and more specifically Alzheimer’s disease, within the brain.
The piece ‘Memoriae‘ draws on my own experience and knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease and aims to convey the feeling of watching a person disappearing, vaporising and fading away in front of our eyes, whilst also wanting to piece together the fragments of that person and save them.
I am captivated by light and its use within a space and as such my work is greatly influenced by light artists. I use artificial light as a raw material within my own work to show how memory alters and fades over time.
Linda graduated from the University in 2013
Gemma Brookes
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Since I left University in 2011 I have continued to produce art work in some shape or form, when I have the time I like to work on printmaking but I am currently producing plastic jewellery with hand drawn images on them. I have been concentrating on buildings as I think these are the things that people remember most about a place, as I know I do, I also like the detail you can put in to them. So I thought it appropriate to show works similar to this for this exhibition as it would relate well to the point of the exhibition being about people continuing to produce art after graduating from Barnsley Uni. I have a few pieces I’d like to include as well as some new ones I am working on, I am also planning some watercolour paintings to go alongside these pieces. Some of my pieces are scenes from in and around Barnsley, some include buildings and some are more nature based, others are from further afar but my theme is to show the appreciation people have of their hometowns and how this should not be forgotten as every place has it’s wonders that you can remember and be proud of. I want to show with my art some key areas from places that I find memorable and beautiful. I think sometimes people forget how lovely the places are that we live in, I have seen people doing this with Barnsley a lot recently and so this is what encouraged me to do this project.
Gemma graduated from the university in 2011
Gemma Brookes Designs @ Facebook
Steve Ellis
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New Concepts, Re-visited, Diversifying, Un-grounded
Steve Ellis worked at the university from 2005 to 2013
Lee Gascoyne
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I graduated from University Campus Barnsley in 2011 with a first class honours degree and was awarded the Chancellor’s Prize for Outstanding Achievement. During my studies I was involved in various exhibitions, which I’ve managed to continue in one form or another since my graduation to the present. I’ve also been commissioned on a couple of occasions, one privately and the other for Barnsley Museum’s first exhibition. I have also collaborated with other UCB graduates, both on artworks and exhibitions. I now live in the Lake District, which is where I work and make art.
Lee Gascoyne graduated from the university in 2011
Rachel Guest
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Rachel Guest’s work has focussed on the themes of pain, struggle and confinement, and the destruction of dreams.
Rachel Guest has sought to explore these themes through textiles, print, collage, installation and photography. Where possible, she has tried to combine more than one medium to create interest on several levels.
This piece is a culmination of separate pieces all collaged together in one design. Her work aims to address the myth that art should always be comfortable to look at. Some of the pieces are confrontational, making them difficult to view or ignore, like pain, for her.
The print is an example of how pain can envelope and restrict a person, crushing dreams and ripping aspirations to shreds.
“Pain can drag you down. When you have a brain and spine infected with cancer, it literally drags you down. I’ve lost my hair, my fertility, my memory, and my dreams. Only infection and pain remain by my side, keeping me from sleep, reminding me that I am still alive. Life is not make-believe and it does not always end fairly”.
The folk art of Latin America inspires Rachel for its embodiment of passion, endurance and freedom. Rachel aims to encompass these ideals in all of her work.
Rachel Guest graduated from the University in 2013
Fay Holmes
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Cat-alogue was created using a mixture of watercolours and inks. The painting is a previous series of speed drawings and monoprints, the inspiration for the piece is T.S Elliot poem named ‘Growl Tiger’s Last Stand’ and my love of the not-so-domestic pet.
Fay graduated from the university in 2011
 David S Jarvis
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My work so far can only be described as an eclectic mix of painting and sculpture in many styles such as Abstract, Abstract Expressionism, Outsider, Realist, Pop and Conceptual art. There is a reason for this mix, and the reason is; that I simply have not yet discovered a singular or particular way of working that fully suits me comfortably (I perhaps never will). A singular or particular way of working is difficult for any artist to achieve and is even more difficult to implement in the long term into a consistent visual art form, I like to think of this problem as in terms of a Where and What dilemma? This dilemma or question of from where and what does the contempory artist take his or her inspiration from to create beauty is one that I find particularly challenging. Firstly; where dose the artist create from – the world around him perhaps via simple direct observation, or the inner world; the world of the mind and emotions or maybe a mixture of both? This raises the second question of what the artist creates, and by what I am referring to the wide range of possible artistic styles that have been developed over the history of art and that are now available to the learned artist; as well as the seemingly infinite number of sensory objects/subjects available in the world for the artist to draw upon.  Of course you may just simply say that the artist creates and draws inspiration from his philosophical, religious, moral and political view points; and it is in this that answers the where and what questions. This cannot be denied but I feel it misses the wider point, for everything it seems is perhaps in the flux of change including all view points and therefore artists in my opinion need to communicate through a deeper and more meaningful language, that of beauty, but how do we achieve and recognise beauty? We must search the where and what. The fine artist therefore must be resilient to these facts. He or she must face this problem almost on a continuous basis even when they feel that they are on a good and true creative path; these questions need continual attention. The artist is bound intrinsically and inexorably to the questions of where; do we create from and what; do we create from?
David S Jarvis – Visit my Blog to find out more: theartistdsjarvis.blogspot.co.uk
David graduated from the university in 2012
John Ledger
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I had always drawn/doodled/made stuff  from a very early age, and although I stopped doing most things during the often necessary crushing of idiosyncrasies required during secondary school years, I always knew I’d return to art because something still informed me that artistic expression was in tune with the way I experienced life. But actually feeling like an artist/feeling, well, this mindset was instigated by world events and personal events  that occurred during my mid-to-late teenage years. Being witness to the horrific televised spectacle of the 9/11 terror attacks when I was 17, and then being witness to a collection of smaller news events (whilst around the age of 18) that precipitated uncontrollable concern about the future of our species on this planet, and I needed to find an escape from it by physically distancing myself from the world.
The isolation that I plummeted into during this early stage of adulthood gave me the first chance since school to think my own thoughts. It wasn’t a particularly good time, but I found myself compelled to make art as a sort of coping method. I was a bit naive and a day-dreamer as a teenager; these events shattered this bubble. Making art was the only reaction I could find to this.
The ideas for my work always precede putting pen to paper; and their formulation in my mind takes much longer now, but when they come together it brings both great relief and great excitement. I want to do justice to all that hidden labour that has been underway in my head, and for this reason these ‘doodles’ have no choice but to become murals. Although my work was initially fueled primarily by ecological and personal issues. When I began to look into what I would argue has largely caused these ecological and personal problems, my work then began to gravitate towards socio-political issues. My landscape drawings allowed to be bring all these concerns together to reveal how they were interrelated.
Although I still now sometimes use paint and collage, I didn’t feel that I could always truly say what I wanted to say with it. Yet drawing always seemed like a ‘sitting’ down method of working, and I wanted to transfer as much energy as possible whilst working. Once I got hold of large sheets of paper, and realised I could work on a drawing facing it like it was a canvas, this felt so right and was a breakthrough point for me. I still sort of see myself as a painter, as I still view drawing as being a far less energetic,  more relaxed way of working, and I often see my works more as paintings that drawings.
John Ledger was born in Barnsley, January 1984.
He  graduated from the university in 2007
johnledgerartist.co.uk
Julie Newton
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Julie Newton is an emerging artist who graduated with first class honours from The University of Huddersfield (2013) she has increasingly exhibited on both a local and national level in numerous group shows and most recently undertook two sizable commissions. Newton’s working practice is predominantly involved with the reciprocal relationship between home and identity; the vernacular role of domesticity forms the context from which the work is created.
Questioning notions of acceptability, in regards to the female form, raises issues of idealized norms; the familiar is often paired with the uncanny, creating a sense of both presence and absence. Newton is fascinated by the way the human mind can be lured into making assumptions based on very little, especially focusing on how remembrance compresses both time and space creating a new reality. Symbiotic repetitious behaviors manifest throughout her practice, alongside ongoing phobias and fixations, inherent anxieties’ reveal themselves to the viewer, through the defamiliarisation of the seemingly banal.
Julie graduated from the university in 2013
http://julie-newton.blogspot.co.uk/
Rob Nunns
Street Photography                 Curiosity is everything.
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Rob’s photographic work is documentary based with a strong emphasis on capturing life’s idiosyncrasies. He has a Preference to using an iPhone and its basic camera software over a conventional SLR camera. He Believes that the truth can only be captured when his subjects are not aware they are being photographed. It is for this reason he prefers using the less obtrusive iPhone. Curiosity and remaining inconspicuous, almost invisible to the subject is everything, searching for the moment when the magic that is human nature and fate collide. The photographs being displayed are all recent examples of his work, having been taken in Europe over the past 12 months. The work forms part of a larger on going Street Photography project.
Rob is a Yorkshire based photographic artist, living and working in Leeds and Barnsley. He is also an official photographer for Barnsley Football Club.
Rob Nunns graduated from the University in 2009.
@PitchsidePro – Twitter
Andrew William Parker
Care?
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This series of work aims to capture an essence of the individuals within it. A care home can be dark place at times, a real final resting place, a culmination of life experience, emotion, pain and memory, a place where raw, solid, emotional imagery can be seen on a daily basis. These people all shared their penultimate years together and for some this maybe their only legacy. These are just a few of the faces that will soon be forgotten by most.A.W.Parker @ FacebookAndrew William Parker graduated from the university in 2013

Michael Steer
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As an abstract painter my work focuses on the relationship between
hard-edged geometry and gestural chaos and how the interaction between
these elements represents, for example, the interplay of man and
nature or reason and emotion. Most of my paintings also feature
heavily abstracted references to landscapes and these two pieces are
no exception.
Michael Graduated from university in 2012

http://www.michael-steer.co.uk

Richard Turner
‘Walter’ – Richard Turner/Lee Gascoyne
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Richard Turner, Art Technician at the University Campus Barnsley, graduated in 2003 with a BA (Hons) degree in Combined Studies (Art & Design). He has completed many private commissions for clients including Kirklees Council and the University of Sheffield.
Richard Turner worked at the university from 2005 to 2013.
Corinne White
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Upon leaving school in 1996  I enrolled on a Performance art BTEC at Barnsley college. I enjoyed the creativity and freedom that the course provided but being quite an introverted child, I found the exposure of being on stage a little too over powering and by the time that I completed the two years of education, it had become apparent to me that performance art wasn’t right for me and that I didn’t want to continue it at a university level.
Throughout my education I had been working in a town centre pub and had grown close to the family who ran it. On deciding to take  year out, I was offered a full time position there. During the year I went to see a careers advisor who was adamant that I should go to university. Still not knowing what I wanted to do I decided to return to education and increase my points score in order to qualify for a degree.
In the summer of1999 I enrolled to do an English Literature, Classical Studies and Modern History A Levels at Barnsley college. I enjoyed being back in full time education And worked hard in order to gain the qualifications that I needed. Although, with hindsight, I was defiantly missing the creativity and freedom of art.
In the summer of 2001 I decided to apply to Sheffield Hallam University to enroll on the degree course titled “The History Of Art And Architecture”. My hope was that I could combine both my academic skills and interest in art and enjoy the experience of being a university student. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen. I found the Architecture side of the course incredibly tedious and realised early on that I had no passion for what I was doing. Ironically, my fondest memories of that time was hanging around the art studios.
After dropping out in December 2001 I returned to full time work. The experience severely knocked my confidence and I resigned myself to a life of pub work.
By the time I was 27 I had trained up to the level of Manager and was working for a Management company who took on failing pubs and attempted to build them back up into viable businesses. I had not done anything creative for the last seven years and new that the life I was leading wasn’t for me. It was well paid job and I was my own boss and was provided with free accommodation but I still felt empty.
On December the 6th 2009 I gave up the pub, my home and my income and moved back to my parents house in Barnsley. I attended an opening day at UCB and was accepted onto there Interdisciplinary Art And Design Degree and new instantly that I had made the correct decision. Rediscovering my love of art and creating has changed my outlook on life and me as a person. It is something that I will do for the rest of my life and I feel very lucky to have something in my life that I am so passionate about.
Corinne graduated from the University in 2013
Corinne White Art  @ Facebook
Shane Wogan
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This series of ceramic work explores body image and people’s perception of the human form. The idea is to play with the viewer’s perception of what they are looking at. Using innocent parts of the body and joining them together in a mirror image way distorts the original part of the body and can sometimes appear to be rude, even though they aren’t
Shane graduated from the university in 2013
Louise Wright
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I find that drawing is an aid to tap into the subconscious and download thoughts and feelings in the form of detailed obsessive drawings. I am fascinated by the natural world; captured by the way fungi, spores and micro organisms multiply and spread through their environment mirrored by the way my drawings spread across the page. I have an obsessive need to draw and document my existence. Drawing is proof of my existence and will remain the embodiment of who I am, long after I am gone.
Louise Graduated from the University in 2009
Emma Wroe
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I have used different processes to achieve different outcomes with my work. My pictures are the consequences of a series of thoughts and actions. I begin by finding an image that I would like to use and then I make drawings from the image. I repeat the same drawings until the lines and shapes of the figures start to become as fluent to my hand as writing a sentence in my own handwriting. This process helps the drawings to ingress more freely into paintings. When I begin to paint it is the quality of line and composition that act as good foundations to be able to let the picture grow in a fluid and eloquent way without being fabricated. When I begin to paint it is color that acts as a serious denominator that seems to decide in a helpful way the route of the spirit of the picture.
Emma Wroe graduated from university in 2013
Emma Wroe Fine Artist @Facebook

Upcoming Exhibition: An Unofficial Alumni

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After 9 years, 2013 marks the end of degree courses at University Campus Barnsley being run by the University of Huddersfield. An Unofficial Alumni is a showcase of working artists who studied or taught at the campus during these years. These artists have go on to work in a diverse range on medias, including painting, photography, ceramics, design and installation art.
We have a conviction that individual efforts, brought together, show that a strong body of intelligent and challenging work has been create…d by artists who studied or taught within a building situated in the very centre of Barnsley. We are committed to celebrating this in the town where it was cultivated. Barnsley is a northern English town that has often been overlooked as an area for generating art/artists; we believe any attempt to help shift this status is important to further development of the town’s culture.
Artists: Lee Gasgoyne, Corinne White, David Jarvis, Richard Turner, John Ledger, Louise Wright, Steve Ellis, Gemma Brookes, Andrew William Parker, Emma Wroe, Shane Wogan, Robert Nunns, Julie Newton
Thursday 19th September – Friday 4th October, open Monday – Friday, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Preview: Weds 18th Sept, 6:30-9pm
(About Redbrook Studios & Exhibition Space: Northern Young Artists are working in partnership with East Street Arts to manage a new temporary art space at Unit 1F at Redbrook Business Park, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S75 1JN)