Attended an open day at Leeds College of Art this weekend. Despite the torrential rain (my map was ruined in seconds; thankfully some kind locals saw how lost I looked and helped me) I got a really good feel from the place. The building was pretty, fairly modern but modest with nice details. I smiled when I noticed the yarn bombing of the lamp posts which made them look like rainbow [silver] birch trunks. Student ambassadors were very friendly, resources seemed great and I fell in love with the Visual Communications course. It sounded like everything I want from university. A very open ended, broad disciplined course with a lot of hands on, community involvement and ‘live’ projects. The alumni careers were also incredibly diverse which I found very exciting. The Fine Art course also looked brilliant with some very interesting, accomplished tutors. Got the chance to look around the accommodation and have a good explore of the city, as well as make a friend along the way who is studying Foundation at Central St Martins (!)
Overall I had a lovely day out and felt drawn to the city as well as the university so it will definitely be one of my choices.
While I was there I had the opportunity to visit the Leeds Art Gallery and The Tetley. The British Art Show was at the gallery which had an amazing assortment of work, including video installations by Patrick Staff and Rachel Maclean which really caught my attention. I was surprised because video art has always jarred with me and I rarely have the patience to pay attention but I think, as a result of more gallery visits and being on this course, I’ve become more open-minded and receptive to things I may have rejected before.
There were a series of portraits by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye which I really liked and, upon reading the description and finding that they were all fictional characters, loved even more. I love the idea of painting a person from your mind. When I was younger I had a lot of people and stories in my imagination so the idea of being able to realise them through paintings, like snapshots into that world, is very exciting to me.
At The Tetley I was really inspired by an installation by Delaine La Bas, a Romany gypsy and anarchist (I know, wow!), titled Witch Hunt. It was contained in a small room and featured textiles, sculpture, video, text and photographs. The work was about confronting her own identity as well as the attitude towards the Romany people and how those things have evolved over time. It was a bold, fiery, passionate statement and exploration of someone who seems instantly intriguing. To go through life marginalised and as a minority in two senses will surely produce a person with some unique and extreme viewpoints. I spent some time reading the literature related to the exhibition afterwards but unfortunately didn’t finish it as the gallery was closing. I have since found it again online and would love to read further at some point in the future as this is a subject that really interests me. I liked the way that she dealt with it with humour and attitude and that the installation has adapted and grown as it’s gone on.