Youth Bursary: Dannii Hillis, Alliyah Enyo, Lorenzo Rangoni Robertson and Niamh Hughes

ESW’s youth Bursary Programme began in April 2022 as we welcomed the selected artists Dannii Hillis, Alliyah Enyo, Lorenzo Rangoni Robertson and Niamh Hughes into the building.

The cohort will be based at their studio in ESW for the next 9 months to undertake a programme of nurture, training and support designed to help them establish their artistic career. There is one shared working day each week and the rest of the time the artists are free to access the studio and workshops at ESW to make their work

The programme will run for 9 months and has been designed to help them to develop their skills,  their ideas and to connect with a community of fellow artists and arts professionals.

September

For the first 2 weeks of September the Youth Bursary cohort worked with Naomi Garrick on a workshop entitled Engrossing Interactions. Naomi is an artist and teacher who’s practice includes a variety of media, ranging from painting to participation activities.

In the first week the were tasked with setting up the learning lab with materials that best lent themselves to whatever activity each of them found most engrossing. Plaiting rope, building structures that balance, carving cups form clay, mixing paint colours and arranging objects were some of the activities. Within this space everyone was encouraged to interrupt each other and learn how to do someone else’s activity.

This week long interruption was a chance to take a break from that their daily practice and long term research, to lower their expectations and maybe their egos and to open things up again. If they are in a position where they do not know what this is the activity of the workshop might provide new parameters for making work.

The objectives of her workshop in the first week were to interrupt the participant’s art practices and plans, to think about their habits, to become conscious of their schema and to incorporate these into a new work that they exhibited together the following week.

The group took away whatever materials they needed to do the activity they found most engrossing with the aim of making work to install in an impromptu exhibition the following week. Lorenzo and Niamh were given the task of installing the work and they played on the notable synergies in visual language between the artists who had worked apart from each other since the initial workshop. This prompted more discussion on the value unique learning that can happen in peer led spaces.

Also in September the group visited Jupiter Art Land. We met with Claire Feeley, Head of Exhibitions and Learning Programmes who spoke to us about the history and the ethos behind the commissioning of this very different sculpture park.

Claire also introduced us to the 2021 addition to the collection, MiMi by Rachel McLean. At the end of a woodland path, a toy shop, seemingly abandoned and derelict on the outside that, on entering, revealed itself to be the upside-down world of cartoon princess Mimi. Maclean’s first fully animated heroine, Mimi is a darkly arch character for our generation who invites us into the topsy-turvy world of end-game capitalism; a 21st century fairy-tale about consumerist desire. This idiosyncratic art work from an artist who is not best know for long term outdoor art works perhaps best embodies the ambition of Jupiter’s commissioning.

August

Throughout August the Youth Bursary artists continued to work with Gordon Munro to explore the creative potential of flexible mould making and examined how cast objects are used within contemporary artistic practice. Everyone chose an object that we then made a silicone rubber mould from. This in turn enabled the creation of objects in various materials including plaster, wax and chocolate! The tough nature of silicone allowed us to also pour molten pewter into the mould to create excellent pewter casts.

Reproducing an object in wax is the first part of the lost wax casting process. With this skill under their belts the plan is for the Bursary artists to now work with our Technical Team to learn about casting in aluminium and be involved in the casting of their work in this medium. With these experiences I hope new doors have opened within the artists’ practices and we look forward to seeing where these will lead to.

July 

After a couple of well needed weeks off the Youth Bursary programme restarted in the last two weeks of July.

This week the cohort began their training in the casting as they were introduced to the possibilities of the process. Over the next few weeks ESW Assistant Director and artist Gordon Munro will take the group through the technical aspects  and the creative potential of the casting process.

This week they started with a comprehensive introduction to the history and application of the process The participants also got the chance to see some of Gordon’s work and the different stages of it production before they start getting their hands dirty from next week onwards.

Over the coming months the Youth Bursary cohort and ESW staff will take turns hosting a skill sharing workshop.

These began this month with a site-writing workshop led by learning assistant Megan Rudden, who took us on a mind journey to explore a body of water, using imagination and memories to write about place. Niamh Hughes then led a session in experimental ways to use Microsoft power point, considering innovative ways to present and make work digitally. She also showed us how to make short animations using our bodies and found objects.

June

We finished June with a few gallery visits. First we went to the Talbot Rice gallery to see Celine Conderelli’s exhibition After Work where we were given an impromptu introduction to the work by one of the exhibition curators James Clegg. We then walked dow to the Fruitmarket Gallery where we saw the amazing sculptures of Daniel Silver before finishing off at The Collective where we watched Ruth Ewan’s new film The Beast and the latest instalment of their Satellites Programme from Camara Taylor.

The cohort now have two weeks off before starting their casting training with Gordon Munro.

June has seen the culmination of lots of of things our Youth Bursary artists have been working on over the last three months.

Niamh presented her work as part of Kfest, an art festival based in Killorglin in Kerry, Ireland. She exhibited  the work from her APORIA project wis an ongoing project centred on critical introspective reflections of the self and the destructive tendencies of both ourselves and the environments we inhabit.
The festival ran from the 3 – 6 June, 2022.

Lorenzo as part of the Vomiton Collective,  performed at the riotous Mictosteria: The Symbiotic Circus at the Hidden Door Festival.

This event was a collaboration between up and coming band Maranta,  Chell Young, a rising star of visual art specialising in film and set design and Vomiton, the outrageous costume design collective. Vomiton worked with dancer and choreographer Hannah Draper to develop a performance  for their bizarre creatures in response to the sounds of Maranta and the set of Chell Young.

Lorenzo has spent the last few months building some of these costumes in his studio and it was great to see them in action.

All images by Celine Antal

 

May

In School of Sideways Sculpture the group were learning about slip casting and were painting on to plaster bats. Niamh and Dannii completed their wood workshop induction and Niamh, Lorenzo and Alliyah all have public presentations of their work.

Alliyah and Lorenzo are both preparing performances developed at ESW for the hidden door festival. Alliyah’s work Selkie Reflections explores the idea of echoic memory using the mythological framework of siren and selkie myths will be performed on Saturday 11 June.
and…. Vomiton, a collective of which Lorenzo is a member, are performing their new work Microsteria, The Symbiotic Circus, on Thursday 9 June.

Images of Selkie Reflections courtesy the artist.

Things are beginning to emerge from the School of Sideways Sculpture as the Youth Bursary cohort glaze their work in preparation for their first firing and from the studios as two of the group have upcoming deadlines for their presentations as part of the Hidden Door Festival.

Lorenzo, Niamh and Dannii have also been paired with their mentors from ESW’s studio community. Aurelién Froment, Oana Stanciu and Juliana Capes have kindly agreed mentor the young artists during their time on the bursary. The first meetings have taken place and Alliyah will be connected with her mentor next week. They mentor will meet with their mentee regularly to offer support, advice and encouragement and sometimes coffee.

Away from the workshop Niamh Hughes will be exhibiting her work at KFEST  June 3 – 6 Kilorglin, Ireland.

The cohort continued to work in clay, building larger sculptural forms. This week was also studio day with individual tutorials. Now that they have a more thorough understand of the materials and the processes this is a chance for them to start work on their individual projects, developing their ideas, with advice from Charlotte.

The studio visits continued in the afternoon when Dannii met the staff team to talk about her the recent work she has been doing and her desire to start to learn the casting process.

April

The cohort continued developing their ceramic skills in School of Sideways Sculpture, experimenting with painting on the surface of wet clay using slips and oxides to try out different techniques such as marbling, sgraffito (scratching into the surface of the clay, slip trailing, plaster bait painting, paper masking and clay colour inlay. These surfaces will be used construct 3- dimensional forms over the coming weeks!

They also  had their first studio visits. Alliyah met with Hanna Tuulikki, a British-Finnish artist, composer and performer based in Scotland. Hanna’s multi-disciplinary projects investigate the ways in which the body communicates beyond and before words, to tell stories through imitation, vocalisation and gesture so she was the perfect person for Alliyah to discuss her vocal, sound performance which will be presented as part of the Hidden Door Festival next month

Niamh and Lorenzo met with the staff team to discuss their research and the development of their work over the last few weeks. Niamh spoke about the research she has been doing at the national Museum of Scotland and Lorenzo talked about the ideas behind his practice and the costumes and masks he is making for an upcoming performance.

You can find out more about Hanna Tuulikki’s work here

here

The group embarked upon learning new skills. They joined a group of fellow artists on the School of Sideways Sculpture, a ten-week course that gives them the chance to learn techniques and test different creative approaches to sculptural ceramics. The course is led by Charlotte Barker and comprises of five weeks of artist-led workshops and five weeks of studio time to enable them to explore their own ideas with the support of Charlotte.

Alliyah and Danni were also inducted into the Metal Workshop by the artist and ESW Technician Emma Hislop. Emma is an expert in the art of all things metal and introduced them to the equipment and the possibilities this material presents.

You can find out more about Emma’s work here.

The cohort visited the Talbot Rice Gallery to see the exhibition Meet me at the threshold. This exhibition brings together the first ten participants of Talbot Rice Residents, a part of the Freelands Artist ProgrammeThe cohort met the exhibition’s curator Stuart Fallon who discussed the work and the wider Residency programme. They also met the artists Jenny Hogarth and Mona Yoo who talked about their work.

The Freelands Artist Programme is a five-year programme that supports emerging artists across the UK in partnership with g39, Cardiff,PS², Belfast, Site Gallery, Sheffield and Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh.

In their first week Dannii, Lorenzo, Alliyah and Niamh were introduced to the staff team, the workshops and resources of ESW and set up their studio spaces. They presented their work to each other and began to input into the upcoming programme, suggesting artists they would like to meet, materials they would like to work with and training they would like to receive.

The programme has been designed so that the cohort can shape their learning and tailor their experience in the way that best suits the development of their work.

This programme has been supported by Creative Scotland’s Youth Arts Fund: Bursary Programme