Remake / Remodel: A Workshop to Generate Ideas and Questions
OCA tutors Bryan Eccleshall and Priscilla Edwards were joined by OCA students for a one-day workshop at the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield.
Aim – we designed the workshop to enable students of all levels and across all disciplines to explore how ideas can be generated through the process of making and remaking. Students were asked if they could bring examples of their previously made work with them: perhaps something that was unsatisfactory or still fascinated them. The idea behind this was work could be shared, discussed or revisited with a view to developing new simulating work.
We decided to draw at The Graves Gallery as they house a rich collection of historic and contemporary art including work by artists Damien Hirst and Greyson Perry – so there was no shortage in inspirational pieces to work from. We wanted students to use this platform to develop a varied collection of sketches to be used as a starting point to develop larger scale collaborative drawings later in the day. Students spent over an hour making images and taking photos of the collection before returning to the Millennium Gallery for our illustrated talks.
On our arrival back at the studio we were greeted with a feast of drawing materials ready for students to get creative. Large papers of different qualities and textures were taped to the floor in long lengths in preparation for some large-scale drawings. Bryan had photocopied lots of images to use as inspiration or to fold into new work -creating an inspirational addition to the next stage of the process. Brightly coloured gaffer tape, acrylic paint, graphite and marker pens were just some of the drawing material available to use.
During lunch Bryan and I presented illustrated talks discussing our own practice and how these have been developed through a process of trial and error. We discussed the ups and downs of creating new work and those eureka moments where perseverance pays off. The talk stimulated some interesting discussion between students – in particular how ideas are generated through the borrowing and reworking of existing visual material and how this can push work in new directions.
Getting started…the second stage of the workshop was all about the making where students engaged with the process of creating marks, playing with ideas and allowing themselves the freedom to make images with no restrictions.
It was great to see such liberated and stimulating interplay between students and the work they were making. Unfamiliar drawing methods were explored including drawing with lengths of cane, using coloured tapes to collage with and stitching with a domestic sewing machine to create a variety of textured marks and lines. As the session progressed spontaneous collaborations began to develop between students where one would work over another’s drawing or drawings were developed together to produce an innovative dialogue of marks.
Outcomes – The workshop was designed to challenge the idea of how reviewing and remaking work can generate new pieces. One of the most positive outcomes of the workshop was the interaction between students; each one coming from a different course and studying at different level meant individuals had the opportunity to work alongside each other.
The challenge to work out of your comfort zone is never an easy one, but by doing it as a group activity it definitely made it a less scary experience. It prompted students to share their experiences, explore media and rework found or old work in new ways. Everyone felt it certainly made them consider how they make-work and would change how they approach the making process in future.
To keep up to date on current and forthcoming exhibitions visit www.museums-sheffield.org.uk