One of the first things students are asked to consider on the MA Ceramics programme is how they first encounter a environment – their studio space, the university, the city and how they might document that experience. This year we went into Cardiff city to documented our experience of the environment from the perspective of its dominant visual traits, its sounds and activities. The following film documents the experience, not the artwork, but the observations of the students. In this case the absence of individual responses causes you to listen and observe the cityscape from their point of view.
In 2010 we went to Nash Point, Cardiff, Wales, a site of natural beauty and often challenging climate, particularly in Autumn and Winter. Being at the edge of land and physically exposed to high wind and cold temperatures, any exploration of this landscape necessarily involves a consideration of the body, your own physicality as set against the properties of this terrain.
Students were asked to respond to the environment through drawing. The following film, played at the ‘Beginning Approaches’ exhibition, begins to demonstrate certain connections in the ways in which they evidenced their response including the simplification of information and an exploration of their physical / sensory response to surroundings. The question must be raised however, would their exploration of another context demonstrate the same common themes in their creative thinking, particularly one that did not so overtly make them aware of their own bodies?