The United Kingdom may have voted for Brexit, but strong relationships with Europe have never been more important for the college, hosting Made@EU in The Gallery.
The new exhibition showcased the work of seven artists, designers and makers who have worked on residencies at the college as part of an exciting European Fab Lab project funded by Creative Europe, bringing together prestigious organisations in the UK, Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Budapest.
In an exhibition that included sculpture, animated film, furniture and architectural models, The Gallery has played host to work by Adriana Ionascu, Alfie Smith, Jack West, Laura Martinez, Mark von Rosenstiel, Matthew Bush and Phil Cuttance, Ludovic Mallegol and Annemie Maes.
“The facilities at Plymouth College of Art are incredible. The spaces are huge and I took some time to wander around and chat to the makers in the jewellery and ceramics studios." – Phil Cuttance, Made@EU residency maker
Working in partnership with École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle (ENSCI) Paris, Institut d’Architectura Avancada de Catalunya (IAAC) Barcelona, WAAG Society: Institute for Art Science & Technology in Amsterdam and FabLab in Budapest, as part of the Made@EU project, we invited emerging designers and creative talent to put forward proposals for enhancing their practice utilising facilities in Digital Fabrication Laboratories, otherwise known as FabLabs.
We offered a number of subsidised residencies to give the selected participants access to our specialist traditional and digital workshops, including Fab Lab Plymouth, to enable participants to develop a project that creatively investigates the merging of traditional crafts with 3D digital ‘maker’ technologies.
“The European dimension is incredibly important and exposes staff, students and artists to opportunities that would not otherwise be possible.” – Hannah Harris, Director of Development
Phil Cuttance, a designer/maker from New Zealand who is based in London and participated in a residency at Plymouth College of Art as part of Made@EU, said, “The facilities at Plymouth College of Art are incredible. The spaces are huge and I took some time to wander around and chat to the makers in the jewellery and ceramics studios.
“There was a really positive vibe down there, which didn't surprise me. Everyone seemed to be working hard and excited by what they were doing. The Fab Lab staff were incredibly patient, helpful and supportive. Everyone was.
“Nothing ever seemed a problem and there was always a solution. I would have liked to have spent more time at the college.”
Hannah Harris, Director of Development at Plymouth College of Art, said, “The project is as much an exercise in exploring new technologies, materials and processes, as it is in making art works.
“Made@EU offered a unique opportunity to the resident artists to undertake an experiment with unknown outcomes in the reassuring setting of the Fab Lab, with full access to high end digital skills and equipment.
“This collaborative project has been beneficial for all parties, for the artists to develop new skills and to push the boundaries of the Fab Lab itself.
“The European dimension is incredibly important and exposes staff, students and artists to opportunities that would not otherwise be possible.”
The Made@EU project aims to bridge the “digital divide” that currently hinders the widespread use of digital fabrication knowledge and technologies in the European cultural and creative sectors, especially in the field of design, arts and crafts.
The project brings together five institutional partners from France, Spain, UK, Netherlands and Hungary and began with a series of intensive workshops at the partners, introducing digital 3-D systems to artists, craftspeople and designer-makers across Europe.
Watch this space as the project continues…
Photos by Dom Moore.