edge-zine issue 7: The re-launch

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We are pleased to announce the relaunch of edge-zine, the student led zine. Read & download it here https://www.edge-zine.com/issues?fbclid=IwAR1kFnPkpbRJdRpeOtZTpIljlurM1OkVx0DalIyizI9F8IAyV_AOXa65jUU. The zine is a space for you to showcase the projects you have completed and are working on. It will allow us to discuss and show the techniques, thoughts and practices we are using to create our art therefore it is vital that you share your thoughts and processes to help us all learn and develop. We are proud to publish the seventh edition of the edge-zine. 

We must pay tribute to the previous team who worked extremely hard producing six informative and extremely professional editions. Your hard work guided us when we approached this edition of the zine. Thank You!

We have been working hard to put this edition together for the last three months. In April we asked for submissions and were amazed by the number we received. However we were not surprised by the quality of the work, it was a pleasure for us to look through the work before deciding on content and the cover. This edition will be digital download only but who knows we aim to get into print as soon as we possibly can.

At this point it would be good to introduce the production team however first Dr James Pyman gave us this introduction to our revamped zine:

When I was asked by a group of OCA students to offer some thoughts on a possible redesign of ‘edge-zine’, I’d like to say I contributed lots of suggestions, recommendations, ideas, and ground-breaking creative strategies. I didn’t. Essentially I felt it could be a bit longer and maybe more varied-looking, moving beyond a strict page count and thinking about fonts other than Courier, which felt a little too ‘punk’-ish. Vary the look and try not to default to established tropes. Maybe more ‘edge’ and less ‘zine’.

The new editorial team’s first issue’s theme is ‘Water’, and it’s great to see my fairly basic observations acknowledged, as there are more pages and only a little Courier in the new issue. Beyond that, though, the editors and designer have re-thought, developed, revised, expanded, and generally greatly improved upon the old format, and the content is more visual, more varied, more experimental, and the use of text and image much better integrated. The artwork examines water in as many ways as you could imagine – water as an element, both a liquid and creative material, as a visual or lyrical subject, performative collaborator, purifier and poisoner. Water as transparent, clear, opaque, wave, reflector, fluid glass, a mirror. Water as a drop, a lake, waterfall, flood, a sea or ocean, as a passage, a journey, a border, even a barrier.

Often in educational contexts like pop-up exhibitions, catalogues or end-of-year submissions, students’ written reflection on their own work can inevitably feel too brief, or inevitably rushed. But ‘edge-zine’ has little to no such spatial or temporal limitations. If a practitioner wants to spend ten pages writing about one image they can, or alternatively they just have a one-word title and ten pages of standalone images. This agency and flexibility means personal projects or creative possibilities can be investigated in a way that sometimes the course unit may not allow or encourage. Students can step outside the ‘brief’ and test, or play, and challenge themselves further.

Congratulations to Catherine, Michael, Stefan, Amy-Sarah and all of the contributors to the new improved, expanded ‘edge-zine’. The editors have opened up their request for submissions to all OCA students; at present the majority of the work is still photography-based, with some writing, painting and drawing emerging. But in future issues hopefully students across all other disciplines will also want to take part. Students could also collaborate across disciplines; for example, a creative writing student could post a text for illustration, or musical accompaniment. It’s your space. The next theme is ‘Time’, so please consider creating some to contribute.

Now some words from Stefan our editor who will introduce the other three members of the team.

Stefan J Schaffeld

It is a great pleasure to announce our  re-vamped edition of our student-led zine: edge-zine no7.

It has been a long journey for the zine. It all started with OCA painting student Angela Johnson’s idea around 2016 of a hand printed artist-zine as a collaborative project among OCA students, inspired by works of Amy Sillmann and others. She called for collaborators and a collective group of distant learners came together. The first two issues were hand printed by Angela, and it took quite some efforts and investment on her side. Ownership changed hands and Holly Yates took over from issue no3 the editor role, turning edge-zine into an online zine only. The last issue (no6) before this re-vamped edition was published on issuu platform in 2018 with the theme ‘moving’. Holly looked for volunteers as new editors, resulting in a break in publication. It took some time till a new group of students were getting together to find a new role for edge-zine.

With talks between me (Stefan J Schaffeld) and Sue Parr, a new call for a curating and editing team started. As our new theme ‘water’ highlights, to study with OCA as a distant learner is not a full-time job. Other obligations and restrictions made the new start harder than expected. Till we found a solid team to lead edge-zine into the future, regrouping of the team happened. Now we have besides me: Amy-Sarah Opitz, our fabulous designer and hard worker, Catherine Banks, our experienced photographer with strong experience from the Open Art Collective , and Michael Green, our pragmatic Antarctic expedition specialist. 

I was very positive that it eventually will lead into something. It was and still is a fluent and creative endeavour and we don’t know how it will look in one-year from now. 

For me it is the not-knowing that resonates so well with how I study my subject matters on the Fine Arts pathway. Instead of physical paint or other material matters, the materiality is derived from various inputs from our editing team as well as from the contributors. For me, editing could be considered as a material approach, more than digital imagery, rather a social collaborative fluent interaction of ideas, projects, visual and text stimuli.

I am very proud of our editing team with such incredible competences on board, and that so many contributors followed our open call and submitted for this new issue ☺

Amy-Sarah Optiz

….I came rather late to the party and took everybody’s ideas and stuck them in a PDF.
That PDF metamorphosed into something else and, no doubt, will continue evolving and adapting with the needs and suggestions of  the tutors, support teams and (most importantly) the students

Catherine Banks

I had read earlier copies of edge-zine online and was also lucky enough to get printed copies of two of the previous editions.  The idea of a collaborative artistic project between people from different disciplines very much appealed to me. In my working life I had been a member of a county-wide project team setting up a variety of therapeutic groups, so I’ve been used to working in collaboration with others.  I didn’t feel confident enough, though, to submit work to edge-zine because this was about putting my artistic work ‘out there’ – exposing myself in a more public arena.   

However, this changed when I was subsequently involved in the setting up of an Exhibition by members of the OCA Thames Valley Group in the Lightbox Gallery, Woking. I was a member of the project group, co-curator, learning such a lot in a relatively short period of time and really enjoyed collaborating with fellow artists. As a result I was feeling more self-confident by the time a re-vamp was announced for edge-zine and so I volunteered to be on the editorial team.

It’s been another steep learning curve as I have no previous experience of putting a magazine together.  What’s been great is that we all have different skills as a team and can learn from each other, sharing ideas, discussing changes and seeing the zine take on its revamped existence.  I enjoy the buzz from collaborating, especially when it’s something new and I’m slowly learning some new skills. More importantly I also believe that interacting with artists from other disciplines is important for creative development and cross-fertilisation and I’ve been pleased to see how much such initiatives are being supported by OCA.

My hope for edge-zine is that readers will enjoy it and that it will become recognised as a collaborative, multimedia publication which other artists seek to be included in.

Michael Green

I became involved as I enjoy learning new things and have never done anything like this before. So what better way to learn than to throw yourself in at the deep end and learn. I have developed skills and enjoyed my involvement with the team and can`t wait to get the next issue started. The most important thing being “never be scared of leaping in and getting involved when the chance arises, you will surprise yourself”. Whilst the zine is led by OCAs students, we will receive regular input from OCA Tutors practicing the different disciplines within the OCA portfolio. They will share with us there invaluable insight into the world in which they practice. 

The most important thing for the magazine are your submissions. Whilst we will be looking for high standards of work, we will help and guide you so we can get your voice heard, whilst helping others see the message you are portraying through your work.

So when will the magazine be launched and where? It will launch on the 19 of July* and will be available to from Issuu as read only and Facebook to download look for edge-zine to find it we hope you enjoy it……….and then submit.

The next edition will have a theme of Time and will be released on the 19 of October.

*Read, download and find out how to submit for the next issue here https://www.edge-zine.com/issues?fbclid=IwAR1kFnPkpbRJdRpeOtZTpIljlurM1OkVx0DalIyizI9F8IAyV_AOXa65jUU

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