Tanya Raabe-Webber – Workshop Reflections

As lead artist on Venture Arts OutsiderXchanges studio project my initial first thoughts were about finding inclusive ways of connecting with the artists as practitioners in their own right. To explore their themes and artistic practices with them that is driven by learning disability art and cultural identity. This has proven to be a natural road to follow. All of the artists, as you can see from the blog posts so far, are developing their own ideas, exploring materials and developing there own unique techniques. This seems to have grown very quickly and organically in a very short time.

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Our staring point was about exploring our identities as people, as artists and the relationship we had with the new space. Everyone soon claimed their space in the studio and set about making and thinking about their own art.

The studio really does feel like a hub of artistic thought and ideas beginning to flow, artist centered and artist led. Our studio practice is very much like embedded in the culture and practice of a supported studio. We have James Pollitt from Venture Arts, an art tutor who has a great foundation and background knowledge into the artists past work, working practices and communication. James directly facilitates the artists in their arts practices as and when they need it. Glen is our photographer, blogger and has been named Grip the Runner Man in case we need a hand in the studio and I have Jackie Cooley who is my personal artist assistant and she supports me to access my working arts practices when collaborating with the other artists.

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As the artists are now working on their own individual ideas I am able to begin to stand back and reflect on how I might develop collaborations between the artists, myself and the non disabled artists that will be joining us later this year.

With each artist I’m very interested in exploring verbal and non-verbal collaborative processes to develop new work of my own that explores learning disability art aesthetic, cultural identity and inclusive practice.

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I have just begun to do this with Horace. With Horace I’ve began to explore our shared experiences of childhood memories of school and childhood. Horace recalls experiences he’s had in an almost per formative way, taking on the physicality and characterisations of the people he speaks about, asking questions that he already has the answers to, whilst expecting you to know the correct answer. His recollections have an almost docudrama feel to them. When Horace is interviewing you it’s like you are the first to have been asked these questions. Making you, the interviewee, and feel very important. For me Horace’s stories are extremely lucid, totally reflective of a disability cultural identity and very real and for me our collaboration will inform a series of paintings about illustrating these types of memories whilst in the studio. We worked together on some pictorial ideas for this, which we filmed.

And this was just for starters so I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Tanya Raabe-Webber Lead Artist

Don’t forget you can join the artists on their journey by applying to be a collaborator on the project. 

We are looking for 4 interested artist to join our Manchester based artists over a five month period and in return they will be given a free artists space for the duration of the workshops and we are also looking for one artist to collaborate with a learning disabled artist based at Baltic 39.

More details can be found here: OutsiderXchangeS Collaboration.

OutsiderXchangeS Artists Workshop 4

The OutsiderXchangeS project is already a month old. During the past month our five artists  – Barry, Sarah, David, Horace and Lesley – have been hugely focused on developing their own individual art form and skills.

  • Barry has taken his narrative story style and begun to pass this onto acetate
  • Horace has begun to experiment with video and storytelling
  • Sarah is developing the designs – inspired by Bronte country –  for a piece of clothing
  • Lesley is exploring his illustrations and how to turn them into animations
  • and David has taken his fascination of the sky to another level utilising different media and abstract painting.

The OutsiderXchangeS artists will now take a short break for the festive period but will return on the 5th January to continue their artistic explorations.

Don’t forget you can join the artists on their journey by applying to be a collaborator on the project.

We are looking for 4 interested artist to join our Manchester based artists over a five month period and in return they will be given a free artists space for the duration of the workshops and we are also looking for one artist to collaborate with a learning disabled artist based at Baltic 39.

More details can be found here: OutsiderXchangeS Collaboration.

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OutsiderXchangeS Artist Workshop 3

Workshop 3 of OutsiderXchanges
Barry is writing into the shapes he draws (, street lights and houses) to create new layouts.
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Lesley is creating some layered 3d drawings by drawing each bit separately then cutting them out and composing them.
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Horace is working on his interview technique by filming himself chatting with people about their school days.
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Sarah is working on experiments and designs for a textile sculpture.
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David is using his photos of skies as a starting point for some abstract and fantastical multimedia landscapes.
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Want to join our artists? Want to be involved in a collaborative process? Want to be involved in a ground breaking project? An artist based in Manchester and Newcastle areas and want a free art studio space for 5 months? Find out how you can be involved by visiting: Artist Submission.

The deadline is 8th January.

OutsiderXchangeS Artist Workshop 2

The second week of the OutsiderXchangeS project and our artists: Lesley, Sarah, Barry, David and Horace continued to experiment with their artistic explorations which included the local community, superheroes, space exploration, Bronte country and stories.

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Horace experimenting with paper cutting.

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David exploring with pastels and space.

 

 

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Sarah experimenting with pencil and Bronte country.

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Lesley exploring pencil and pen drawing using superheroes and figurines as inspiration. 

 

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Barry exploring text art and a story about working with old Coronation Street stars and a trip to Wales.

Want to join our artists? Want to be involved in a collaborative process? Want to be involved in a ground breaking project? An artist based in Manchester and Newcastle areas and want a free art studio space for 5 months? Find out how you can be involved by visiting: Artist Submission.

The deadline is 8th January.

OutsiderXchanges Artists 1st Workshop

OutsiderXchanges Artists 1st Workshop

On Wednesday 18 November the Outsiderxchanges artists came together for the first time with acclaimed artist Tanya Raabe-Webber  and our lead art tutor James Pollitt.

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The first strand of workshops are sessions where artists based at Venture Arts get a chance to explore and share their artistic skills and interests. These sessions will take place every Wednesday up till the end of January. At which point the artists will be joined by an equal amount of non-learning disabled artists who will be recruited in the mean time.

Our Venture Arts artists are as follows: Leslie, David, Sarah, Horace and Barry. All of these artists are very accomplished artists, all with different styles and who use different types of media in their work. We will be previewing a selection of the artwork of each artist throughout the OutsiderXchanges project.

For our first session we decided to try out a portrait exercise. Using an overhead projector, sharpies and acetate paper and frames. Each of the artists – and myself (although my attempt wasn’t very good – I’m not an artist) paired up and drew a pen portrait on the acetate of our partners. Some of the work produced – even in this simple exercise was great – except mine of course.

During the afternoon session the artists decided to take the portraits a step further. Projecting the acetate onto paper, tracing the portrait onto this paper and then an afternoon of experimentation took place. Tanya and James as our art leaders encouraged all of the artists to experiment with media they perhaps don’t normally experiment with.

Of course one of the main advantages of having a studio space is our artists can experiment and focus fully on just expressing themselves with their art. Allowing the creative energy and thoughts come out through their work. Something that may not always be possible in a normal workshop or at home but in this space allows them that freedom.

Outsiderxchanges workshops will continue on Wednesday’s right up to the end of January. Tanya will attend about half of those sessions and James will be attending all of them.

By the end of the day all of the artists and Tanya, James and I were full of enthusiasm for what is to come and the collaborations and work already produced and experimented with during this first session.

Glen