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Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media and Design

Nine London Makers, Artists in Residence showing at the Gallery 84GHz

Don't Look back! I told you so, an installation by Chien-Wei Chang

Jacob Menear, who makes guitars with 'sympathetic strings'

Hidden Space, a collaborative project between l'Ecolle Boulle and The Cass

Land Side, a print by Ralph Overill

A Quiet Position, an installation/ performance by Alex Wendt

Reassembling the Self, prints by Susan Aldworth


News and Events Archive: January 2012

Cass Design School Artists in Residence come together as collective ‘nine london makers, nine themes’

The Artists in Residence collective met and formed at the invitation of Simone ten Hompel Reader at The Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Media and Design, London Metropolitan University. The group is composed of artists from across Europe, drawn to London’s vibrant art and design culture. This multiplicity of backgrounds leads to an exciting arrray of work created by computer and mind, hand and heart.

The diversity within AinR is revealed through the broad range of style, scale and mediums explored within the functional or concept led pieces exhibited at Gallery 84GHz. Works on display extend from intimate jewellery to catwalk pieces; from hand held objects to furniture; in both precious and non-precious materials.

Some AinR artists explore form, others play with words to provoke emotional reactions. Results are at times delicate and intricate, other instances witty and lyrical, or even bold and robust.

Each AinR artist has chosen a theme that challenges his or her personal beliefs.

Abnormal in Reality; Abracadabra in Rubber; Abstract in Rigor; Angles in Reflection; Anonymous in Revolution; Apparatus in Reaction; Aquaform in Rest; Arrogance in Rings; Artist in Resin.

Elizabeth Peers | Isabelle Busnel | Maria Piana | Luca Romanyi | Deborah Werbner | Riccardo Bovo | Daniel Hilldrup | Mara Irsara | Marina Skia

Download flyer: nine-london-makers.pdf

January 28, 2012

Cass Textile Student Awarded

Cheryl Robinson studying in the third year of the Textiles BA has just been awarded a bursary of £1,000 by the company of Worshipful Framework Knitters, who work with Universities all over the country. They were impressed both with Cheryl, the facilities had to offer and the teaching.

January 27, 2012

Cass Alumnus’ Solo Show in Leicester

Chien-Wei Chang, an alumnus of the MA by Project course at The Cass is holding a solo show next month as part of an Arts Council funded Project. The exhibition, called Don't Look back! I told you so will run at the New Walk Museum and Gallery in Leicester form the 11th February till the 25th March.

Chien-Wei’s latest work in Don’t Look Back responds to the idea of the cellar across different cultures as a space in which food is preserved in jars and bottles to nurture life in times of scarcity. The cellar is a space of mystery and hidden transformation. Within its bottles and storage containers Chien-Wei has placed thoughts on his day-to-day life as he pursues his creative path. The ‘cellar’ is used to preserve the evidence of his journey through time and to create a kind of a diary room or archive.

British Taiwanese artist Chien-Wei Chang is renowned for his striking re-interpretation of seemingly every day domestic objects such as ladles and bowls in materials such as silver, wood and bamboo that reflect his Chinese heritage. In this exhibition, he has stepped away from his main practice of silver / metalsmithing to create a major new installation work combining hundreds of recycled glass bottles alongside exquisitely crafted handmade objects.

The show is part of The Shape of Things crafts project (funded by the Arts Council). Crafts magazine interviewed Chien-Wei Chang about the installation and there is a full colour feature in the January/February issue of the magazine. See here

The event will open with a Private View and Launch Party on Friday 17th February from 5:30pm. This special event is by private invitation only.

Don't Look back! I told you so
11th February 2012 – 25th March 2012
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester


January 26, 2012

Lecturer appointed to Furniture History Society council

Dr. John Cross, a Senior Lecturer on Conservation at The Cass has been appointed a Council Member of the Furniture History Society.

Dr Cross, who teaches conservation to both Undergraduate and Postgraduate students has been instrumental in the successful installation, management and development of the world famous Frederick Parker Collection of chairs at London Metropolitan University.

Jonathan Arnold MBE, of the Frederick Parker Foundation, said, "This is great for John and the Frederick Parker Foundation. The Society is a most important institution and is highly respected internationally. The Furniture History Society (FHS) was founded in 1964 'to study furniture of all periods, places and kinds; to increase knowledge and appreciation of it and to assist in the preservation of furniture and its records' . The aims and ideals of our Foundation match theirs."

January 23, 2012

String of Successes for Graduate

Following a Musical Instruments BSc, London Met 2011 graduate Jacob Menear is now one of the few people in the world who can make guitars with 'sympathetic strings'.

Sympathetic strings are additional strings found mostly in Indian musical instruments, like the sitar, as well as some western folk instruments. The strings are not played directly, but rather indirectly through the notes that are played on the main strings.

In the final year of his undergraduate course, Jacob made two sympathetic string guitars, which are amongst a handful of such guitars in existence.

Jacob’s unique work in the field won him a scholarship from the Arts & Humanities Research Council, which has allowed him to take the MA by Project (Music Technology) at London Met.


January 9, 2012

Leading Paris College join The Cass for Hidden Space Project

An exciting Workshop has been organized between the Interior Design area at The Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Media and Design, London Metropolitan University, London and l'Ecole Boulle, Paris to take place from the 12th to the 16th December 2011, as part of the Cass/ASD Aldgate Project.

The workshop, which will see students and staff from l'Ecole Boulle working with their counterparts at The Cass, is looking at the spatial potential of hidden space within the interstices and incomplete pieces that form Whitechapel Road. This is a main artery in East London, brought to light today with the completion of new major public transportation systems and the neighbouring Olympic games. There will be a packed week of site visits, studio workshops, walks and crits leading to a final presentation of work.

The team behind the project – Kaye Newman and Janette Harris from BA (Hons) Interior Design course and academic staff from l’ Ecole Boulle will be supported by high profile specialists from the commercial sector including Tom Jones Associate Principal of Populous, leading designers Peter Sheard and Enrico Caruso of Gensler and architect and urban planner, Jerome Piccard who also tutors at The Cass.

The Workshop focuses on the area around Whitechapel – a fringe of the city swayed gently by autonomous development, property speculation and the steady decline in industry. These fluctuations have left the area with a strange accumulation of leftover space, service networks and incomplete urban narratives. By drawing the actuality of this Bataillean ‘dust’, the students will first compile a matrix of spatial fragments, and focus one particular site of there choice to speculate on their socio-spatial potential whilst reinterpreting the city as a catalogue of beautifully incomplete objects.

The workshop is working with TRADE, in the context of HIGH STREET 2012 part of the London Olympic Legacy Brief, and supported by the Rothschild Foundation.

Michael Upton, Academic Leader at The Cass said, “Kaye, Janette and Jerome have initiated a fanastic project which really enriches our student expereince. Earlier this year teams from The Cass and l’Ecole Boulle devised incredible innovative solutions for the roof of the Westfield Stratford shopping centre, which was under construction at the time- I can’t wait to see how they respond to our Hidden Spaces”.

Find links to the brief and daily update of the Hidden Space workshop at the project blog: http://hiddenspacewhitechapel.blogspot.com/

Download the brief and details of the project teams:

January 8, 2012

Cass Alumnus wins prestigious Printmaking Award

A Fine Art alumnus of The Cass, Ralph Overill, has been awarded the Clifford Chance Purchase Prize for printmaking. He was presented with the award by Chris Orr, Royal Academician and Professor of Printmaking at the Royal College of Art 1998-2008 who was invited to select the recipient of the Purchase Prize at Clifford Chance's annual Postgraduate Printmaking survey exhibition. Two other Cass alumni were also shortlisted this year: Dolores De Sade and Eric Storey.

Orr presented the award to Ralph, praising his multi-part etching as 'beautifully mysterious, with an odd Outsider quality' that 'had stuck with him'. He described the print as 'enigmatic, poetic, a strange piece' that was not obvious in its subject, or how it was made. Ralph's theme of pond life, Orr considered, 'is an apt metaphor for how things are today.'

Commenting on the works of the 14 exhibiting artists, selected from London Art Colleges, Orr also spoke about 'the huge spectrum of printmaking going on in London's art schools, and beyond' reflective, he thought, of 'the golden age of printmaking we are experiencing.'

Winning Alumnus Ralph Overill completed his BA (Hons) in Fine Art at The Cass before progressing to Postgraduate studies at Camberwell College of Arts in 2011. 'My work is about a world on the edge. I explore the margins and wastelands where construction merges with corrosion and the primordial meets the industrial. Caught between fabrication and gestation, these are sites of instability, fragility and vulnerability.' Through printmaking, he captures 'A moment in metamorphosis transformed and transferred through oil and acid. The remnants of zinc and traces of ink gesture a delicate existence.'

Through the Clifford Chance Purchase Prize, Ralph’s work will be acquired for the Clifford Chance art collection.

Michael Upton, Academic Leader at The Cass said, “We are delighted with Ralph’s success and congratulations to Dolores and Eric too. The famous print room at The Cass, led by David Skingle and Nigel Oxley has gone from strength to strength and started some very impressive careers, and printmaking is more popular than ever with our Undergraduate students; in this digital age there’s something very satisfying about learning and perfecting traditional skills -and getting ones hands dirty!”

January 7, 2012

Music Lecturer Goes to the Wire

A recording by Alexander Wendt who teaches on BSc Music Technology courses at The Cass has just been released on a compilation accompanying the January 2012 issue of the WIRE magazine.

Alex’s presentation / performance / installation entitled “...Setting conditions by which something will come into existence” was recorded at The Faculty of Architecure and Spatial Design earlier this year as part of Field Studies and includes performers from the Musarc Choir. It appears on the compilation called A Quiet Position which links to Below The Radar, a series of online publications for subscribers of WIRE magazine.

A Quiet Position focuses on listening, often through work that involves field recording. In this second edition there are 18 pieces that explore quietude, audible silence, active listening, compositional line, performance documentation and more.

Alex has also recently performed at Phoenix Arts, Brighton as part of an event called Active Crossover, a selection of experimental shorts featuring music activated images, and graphically generated soundtracks.

About the track “...Setting conditions by which something will come into existence”

A triptych – multichannel sound installation and source for performance. Adjacent room with multi-channel sound installation, one field recording, electronics and four voices.

Concept, composition, performance and arrangement by Alexander Wendt.

Location: performed and installed as part of Field Studies at the Faculty For Architecture & Spatial Design, London Metropolitan University, London, UK.

Score: Mint Loader. Voices: Gaia Bartolucci, Kate Williams and Esther Waterfield (from Musarc Choir) and Esther Venrooy.

Download  BTR_Special_A_Quiet_Position_Edition_Two.pdf

January 6, 2012

Cass Research Fellow presents Radio 4 Programme on Master Printmaker

Susan Aldworth, a Research Fellow in Printmaking at The Cass has completed a documentary for Radio 4 about the world famous print maker Stanley Jones, to be broadcast next week. Now in his 70's Stanley Jones's clients read like a roll call of the 20th century's great British artists including Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Elisabeth Frink, Paula Rego, and David Hockney. During the process she worked with Jones at the Curwen Studio on a new suite of lithographs taking the chance to hear his tales, and learn his skills.

In the 1950's the printmaking skill-base in the UK had almost completely disappeared until gallery owner, Robert Erskine, persuaded a talented young artist from Wigan to go to Paris to study the art of lithography, a skill which had been lost in the UK since the time of Whistler.

On his return to Britain, Stanley Jones, spearheaded a rapid expansion in British Printmaking - today he is revered in artistic circles as one of the greatest print makers alive. Artist Susan Aldworth was invited to be Artist in Residence at the Curwen Studio, which Stanley was involved in setting up in the 1950's - the Tate Gallery has a special archive devoted to the studio's work. In The Printmaster, we join them amongst the thundering and clanking machinery of the Curwen Studios, now near Cambridge, as Stanley initiates Susan in to the art of lithography, overhearing tales of artists he has worked with over the past 50 years.

Today lithography is "under threat" as increasing numbers of Art schools have disposed of their lithography presses and there are few technicians who fully understand the process. This is a unique chance to work with the world expert in this discipline, and for the listener to discover more about this art.

Talking about the experience, Susan said, ”Working with Stanley at the Curwen Studio was a transformative experience. I completely fell in love with the lithography - and feel honoured to be the first artist making work at the Curwen Press under the new ownership of Jenny Roland. It feels like a new era for the studio. I started off planning to make one print - and came away with 15! A tribute to Stanley's creativity.”

The programme called The Print Master goes out next Tuesday 17th at 11.30am and Saturday 21st January at 4.00pm. The work Susan created will be shown in an exhibition at the Hatton Gallery in Newcastle in September 2012 called "Reassembling the Self".



Your are cordially invited to WHAT, a Pop Up (and Pop Down quite quickly) Exhibition of work from BA Jewellery & Silversmithing first year students in the Parker Gallery, Commercial Road, on January 10th between 3pm and 5pm.

The students were asked to challenge the notion and function of a container.  They have been given just a day and a half to design, curate, set up and dismantle an exhibition as well as produce a catalogue and poster. This show is their response.

For more information contact Tim Carson: t.carson@londonmet.ac.uk


London Metropolitan University