Sunday, 26 January 2014

Aberystwyth- Jill O'Sullivan AIR from 1st December Dec. 2013-28th Feb. 2104

Aberystwyth (1948 Ordinance map).
The Studios at Sunset 

 Our residence in Carodoc Street ( Blue Door side)

 The Journey so far:

On arriving in the UK, I spent 3 days in London, wandering around galleries, general sight-seeing , Convent garden Markets and Camden town markets, shops etc. (Harrods of course). The best exhibition I saw was the Chinese ancient painting at the V&A. Superb!
The Paul Klee retrospective at the Tate was very interesting too. Wandered over to the London printmakers Studios  as well but the best print exhibition is at the Royal printmaking society gallery on the Embankment. Christmas decoration/ lights in London were great Went for a ride on the London Eye as well.  Moved on to Shrewsbury for a couple of days there. Wandered through very old churches, the castle etc. and explored all the medieval streets.  Did a little shopping there too for a few last minute items. Caught a local bus out to the surrounding Shropshire countryside which is lovely. Met up with some printmakers in Shrewsbury,
On Sat. caught the 7.27 am train from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth where Carol (the liaison lady for the Artist in residence program) took me shopping and a whirlwind tour around the town, thence to the Studios met a few people then off to the flat.    Alan and Mathew are the other members of our winter residency. Mathew makes a great coffee for us every morning.
 Ordered my main supples (paper/inks/ charcoal/ small copper engraving plates)   from Lawrence’s art supplies,   which arrive within a day or two. Amazing service
 Carol took us down to meet people and take a tour of the Art school just after we arrived.
Very busy school with a big emphasis on life drawing (core subject for first years) and with large numbers, the school has had to take out extra space in another building nearby   for the painters.   The printmaking section was interesting , three small old litho presses and a good number of stones , and a number of etching presses, platen presses , screen printing one man presses and stations. One of the top lithographers in the UK, Paul Croft is here (think he is director of the school too). Hope to meet him soon.  Quite a large number of Post. Grads (masters and PhDs as well, all supplied with small studios. Some very interesting projects seemed to be happening.
Rather excited to see real holly and berries over Christmas and even a couple of robin red breasts.
In early December , Carol and Lloyd took the three of us off to Cardiff to see the Peter Blake exhibition of  his illustrations for Dylan ‘Thomas’s Under Milkwood  and thence a guided tour of the Millennium  Centre arranged for us by the new Director of the Arts Centre, Gareth. Brilliant visit indeed.
Carol also invited us out to Borth where we had a Christmas afternoon tea at her place and long walk on the beach. (see photos).
I'm yet to meet with the Aberystwyth Printmakers, but hope to catch them soon.
The weather is cool, averaging about a top of 8 degrees, but quite bearable and certainly not bone chilling. Given the horrific summer temperatures in Australia, I’m certainly enjoying the weather here. The walk up to the studio takes me about 18 minutes, steep rises and steps certainly warms one up indeed. (And I will be very fit by the time I get home) The studio and house are both snug and warm.

The town is interesting, with quirky side streets, the main shopping centre full of small shops and supermarkets and large stores complex near the station.
 The Arts Centre is great, nice cafe (coffee ok). Has a film theatre (3D screen too) and a Live Theatre stage) Gallery etc.
Ducked off to Paris to spend Christmas and New Year there with a friend. Stayed in an apartment just a stone’s throw from Notre Dame. Walked everywhere, ate very well and sampled just a few local reds (well more than a few). Visited galleries etc. and a couple of the great supply shops, including Charbonnel, where I bought some more engraving tools. A quick side trip to Worcester on the way back, to meet with my mother’s cousins and to have a look at one of my ancestral places.

Arrived back to Aberystwyth in the middle of the great storm, which caused some much damage to the promenade, still we were all safe and sound in the Studio and house.
Have been working on engravings, drawings and now creating investigational collages from old topographical maps, to create chorographic vignettes that document elements of place drawn both from the Aberystwyth experience and from other aspects of my travels. In addition I am finding the time spent here is allowing me a great deal of reflection, research and investigational techniques to go forward on the next stages of my practices.
I must say that I am deeply grateful to the Aberystwyth Arts Centre for giving me this opportunity and I thank Umbrella Studio and Vicki Salisbury for their facilitation in me obtaining this residency. It has been a brilliant undertaking indeed, folks.

 The Studio 


Studio view 1

Work bench
Studio View 2

Studio view 3

Studio view 4

Drying prints

Aberystwyth Images

Early Morning Aberystwyth

Castle Ruins
View over Town from Top od steps near National Library
Castle ruins

Sunset over Arts Centre

  Borth Views 

Devils Bridge
Jacobs Ladder 

The Falls

The Christmas train

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