Wobbly lamps, online adventures and the Tsunami

Issue date: 12 June 2006

'Wunderbar' by Laurence Chalk Online adventure games, wobbly lamps and the devastating effects of the Tsunami are just some aspects of the diverse work being presented by students from Bristol School of Art Media and Design in this year's MA and Degree Show at the Bower Ashton Campus of UWE and at Spike Island.

Final year students from the University of the West of England who have studied a wide range of art and media disciplines including fine art, art and visual culture, illustration and animation will be exhibiting their work in the show.*

Professor Paul Gough, Dean of Bristol School of Art, Media and Design says, “For this year's show we have combined the undergraduate and postgraduate work, providing a visual feast for those who enjoy media, design and art. Every year the shows cover an amazing spectrum of technical skill, creativity and ideas. Our students continue to produce high quality creative work and are sought after in many areas of the creative and media industries. We wish all our graduates the very best success in their future creative careers.”

Student profiles:
Laurence Chalk
Laurence Chalk, a Fine Art student, makes large kinetic sculptures, which he describes as “absurd, tragic, sad, funny, pathetic and wonky.” He also likes to make tall phallic beacons and wobbly lamps. A distinctive feature of Chalk's work is his fascination with movement. Most of his work features a mechanical device such as a record player or electric motor which in turn raises a flag, or wobbles a pole.

Laurence says, “My most recent kinetic sculptures, titled 'Wunderbar,' experiment with the emotive and seductive qualities of wobbly poles, precarious light bulbs and creaky mechanisms. Through inventive and playful creation these weird, phallic sculptures will with any luck arouse some sniggering, a few anxious gasps and bit of that haven't got a clue feeling.”

Laurence, who plans to stay in Bristol when he graduates, says, “For me making sculpture is about experimentation and constant tweaking of ideas and beliefs. It is about change, movement, exuberance and simply getting excited about something. Being an artist is full of uncertainty and frustration but it is not so much about doubt but a strong commitment to eternal, faltering optimism.”

Rogge Evangelista
Rogge Evangelista comes from the Western side of Brazil, where he grew up in an area of great natural beauty surrounded by rivers and rain forests. His film was made with Peruvian student Sandro Granda.

While on an extended trip to Sri Lanka two years ago, Rogge found himself witnessing first hand the way the lives of local people were changed by the Tsunami. Rogge says, “I lived for two weeks in the small village community of Tangalle in the far South where I met a young Singhalese couple Sarath, and his wife Renu who lived in a beautiful beachside bungalow. Although my original idea was to film the idyllic life I was experiencing, when the Tsunami hit it changed everything. So instead of making a film of how beautiful life used to be, I have made a film showing how the couple and their friends are trying hard to recover their lives and regain the peace and happiness that was so much part of their existence.”

Valentina Riva and Jon Williams
Valentina Riva, a BA Hons Media Practice student from Italy, has worked with Jon R M Williams (from Cheddar) on a cross media project entitled Arcana that spans film (developed by Jon Williams and Valentina Riva,) 3D animation, blue screen and an internet based ARG or 'Alternative Reality Game'(created by Jon Williams). It is inspired by the cyberpunk works of Williams Gibson and the style of Mamoru Oshii's 'Avalon.'

Speaking about the project Valentina says, “Jon and I aimed to create a dark and believable dystopian future in which different characters occupy different mediums of the project. In the film, Teseo, a lonely innocent civilian, receives a mysterious parcel containing tarot cards and starts to make connections between the cards and TV adverts. He soon discovers a world that he does not want to be part of. The film connects to an internet-based: 'Alternate Reality Game'. This new game genre is becoming increasingly popular; mixing role playing with puzzle solving, it allows people from all over the word to become immersed in the world we have created. Part murder mystery, part science fiction; players seek the truth behind the death of 'Cayse Minos'only to find out that nothing is what it seems. Within one week of launching the game we have had over 50,000 hits.”

Milo Brennan
Milo Brennan, an Art and Visual Culture student says he gathers most of his material while out walking the streets of Bristol with his digital camera, “The things I record are instances, accidents and unintentional events, and they will nearly always involve letters or words. The written language in its many guises is the focus of my work, it will appear in some form in or on most of the objects I make.”

Milo, like many of the artists at this year's show is enthusiastic about staying in Bristol after graduation with its thriving arts and cultural life, “The contacts I have made in Bristol and the opportunities available to young artists make it the perfect place for me to continue my practice. Right now, I can't thing of anywhere else I'd rather be to carry on making art. In September I will be moving into a new house here in Bristol and I'm looking forward to making work without the guidance of my tutors and contemporaries, though I'm sure it won't be long before I miss their valuable input.”


Editors notes:

Visual of Laurence Chalk's sculpture available upon request from the Press Office.

Editors notes:
*The Degree and MA show 2006 will take place in two separate locations – the Bower Ashton Campus, Kennel Lodge Road, BS3 2JT; and Spike Island, 133 Cumberland Rd, BS1 6UX - and will feature work from students on the following programmes:

Showing at Bower Ashton Campus

BA(Hons) Drawing and Applied Arts
BA(Hons) Graphic Design
BA(Hons) Graphic Design with Animation
BA(Hons) Illustration
BA(Hons) Illustration with Animation
BA(Hons) Time Based Media
BA(Hons) Time Based Media with Animation
BA(Hons) Textiles
MA Fine Art
MA Media (Animation)
MA Media (Interactive)
MA Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking
MA Research by Project

Showing at Spike Island

BA(Hons) Art and Visual Culture
BA(Hons) Fine Art

The show will be open to the public at the following times:
Saturday 17 June 2006, 10am-6pm
Sunday 18 June 2006, 10am-4pm
Monday 19 June 2006, 10am-8pm
Tuesday 20 June 2006, 10am-8pm

For more details about the degree show contact: 0117 32 84716

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