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 A Chulmleigh student's views on Beaford

A Chulmleigh student's views on Beaford

Wednesday 07 July 2010 10:56am

A blog by Ruth Ferns-Duncan, a year 10 student at Chulmleigh Community College who is doing two weeks' work experience at Beaford Arts.



Busy, Busy, Busy...  

   I would say that today was pretty eventful! I uploaded, resized and produced stacks of photos for the student's project work and managed to offend the very temperamental printer somehow! You see as I was printing the masses and masses of photos the printer kept making pretty angry peculiar noises. After a while it packed up and died but slowly, whilst making more grinding noises, it slowly reeled out what seemed to be a plain sheet of paper. When I looked more closely however it read "Offending Command!". We all found this quite funny, I was the first person to have offended their printer! Other than that i feel a real sense of achievement after today because i was able to work under stress and get lots of jobs done at once. I ended the day with a really nice chat with Caroline as she wouldn't be in tomorrow. I'm extremely pleased because i wont be leaving Beaford for good; Caroline has offered me a one off job, helping out with residentials. I am really exited about this prospect and look forward to working here again. 



Off To St Ives... 

  WOW. Today was absolutely fantastic! Apart from the very early start and the late 9 O’clock finish I saw some pretty stunning artwork, scenery and extreme weather fronts! After the long 3 hour journey up to St Ives, the first thing that struck all of us was the setting. The combined headlands, rows of houses and the stunning beach were just amazing. I just wanted capture all of it, but it was impossible! After splitting up into to groups, the group lead by Sadie and I made our way over to the TATE art gallery. The building itself was a work of art. The architecture was very much revolved around the amazing beach opposite, to make the best use of the astonishing views. After a very interesting guided tour of the gallery, we had a bit of lunch and Sadie did a quick bit of demos on preparing some sketchbook pages for beach drawings. As soon as we got down onto the beach we were striate away attacked by an angry raincloud. Everyone got completely drenched; I ended up wearing the bin bag I was sat on! After legging it up to some shelter we got sketching and painting right away. It was so difficult to mix the right paints as the colours around us were always changing. It was really nice to walk around and look at what some of the other students had come up with. Once we had finished on the beach we walked up to visit Barbra Hepworth’s garden full of sculptures. Although the sculptures weren’t really up my street, it was very clever because when you looked through some of the holes in the sculptures, they lined up with views of the beach. I managed to get a couple of decent sketches before it was time to leave. Unfortunately on the way back to the coach, we were violently attacked by the raincloud again so all got drenched for the second time! Back at Beaford we served up dinner and I had a lovely meal with the staff. All I can say is Sarah makes a fantastic gooseberry chutney!



And So, The Resedential Begins...  Today was all in all a bit manic! I spent all morning getting the many residential students settled in, which meant a LOT of going up down and around the building! Then it was a case of issuing name tags and guiding students to the right locations… As people were coming in dribs and drabs of different schools, this was not as easy as it sounds! Once everyone was settled however, I found today to be great fun and I learned quite a lot. I met Phil, Sarah & Sadie for the first time today, all of which are lovely! They very kindly allowed me to have a sketch book so that I could join in with some project work. It was really interesting because I was able to learn about some artists and try out some of their techniques. Some of the workshops Beaford holds are fantastic! Unfortunately I couldn’t join the group on the nature walk because I had some urgent scanning, resizing and printing to do, which Phil was very pleased about! I really enjoyed today and look forward to working with everyone in St Ives Tomorrow.



Staff photoshoot & sketchbook scanning continued... Once again I spent most of today tying up odds and ends of last week. I continued scanning sketchbooks and then, lucky me, I had to go and photograph all of the staff! Well I say all of them however I will have to do most of them tomorrow, seeing as many of the staff escaped! I did a little bit of work in Photoshop arranging the staff photos onto an A3 sheet. To finish off the day I used the camera to get some close up shots of the sketchbooks.  



Education Poster & sketchbook Scanning... I spent most of the day today finishing off the education poster for Caroline and I’m really quite pleased with the outcome! It was pretty useful for me to have done this task as it’s allowed me to get to grips with photo shop and to get a taste of the marketing side of things. I later spent my time scanning some of the amazing sketchbooks which are going to be used as inspiration for next week’s workshops. The textures and graphics were incredible to look at.  The only problem was, it took 10 minutes to scan each page… imagine doing 25 of them! I’m sure the time and effort will be worth it.



Felt Making Workshops... Today was fantastic fun! I got a chance to work with Caroline and really get evolved with the education side of Beaford. I helped to support a couple of workshops in felt making. This was brilliant in both ways because I love working with children and teaching but also I learned a lot because I’ve never made felt before! It was really nice going round and helping kids with their work and seeing what ideas they would come up with. Not to mention the amazing outcomes of their work. It’s incredible to see the transformation of the materials and how they evolve from clumps of wool to a beautifully smooth flat picture. It was a very rewarding task for us and the children and I think everyone learnt something. 



Marketing And Web Design...  This morning I had the chance to talk to Catherine about what she does for the centre. I found out that her work is very IT based and it was really interesting talking about it with her as Marketing and web design is something I really like to do. She talked to me about aspects of the website and talked me through the software she uses. We also shared some ideas of what things we could change or introduce into the website and today was when I actually set up this blog on the website. Another part of Catherine’s job is to create posters and flyers. Some of you may be aware that Beaford now has a travelling cinema and someone has got to make the film posters…  I had a go at doing one for the film ‘Avatar’. I really enjoyed doing this as not only was I able to apply my graphic design skills but it also involved researching about the copyright laws for the images I was using. Attempting to print these posters was a whole other matter! The printer here can be quite temperamental, so as you can imagine when we finally did get our first decent poster it was a case of literally legging it back to the computer and printing as many copies as possible! After lunch, I began to help Caroline with a huge mail out which meant putting together information sheets, forms, maps, then putting them in envelopes. Caroline introduced me to a machine that weighs and stamps letters which was quite a clever device. I feel that I have learned a lot about the business side of things today and all in all thoroughly enjoyed it!  



About The Archive...  Today I began with getting to know what the archive was all about. I sat down with Kathryn and she explained about the archive and showed me some photographs of where the negatives are being held. Apparently they are in a room where if there is a fire, the room will seal and fill up with gas which is a little unnerving! I then watched a half hour documentary about the Beaford archive which made everything become much clearer! I found James Ravilious’ photography stunning and love his work. After the film Kathryn introduced a couple of the projects she had been working on about the archive, one of which involved removing old Ravilious photos from frames in order to prepare the frames for a James Ravilious exhibition over in Hungary. This was a job I was happy to do! After this we talked about another project which had been waiting to be finalised for months now. It was basically a walk where people would be able to visit some of the locations where some of James’ photos had been taken. I really enjoyed looking at the photos and discussing some of the projects. Later on I did some file sorting and attempted the angry paper shredder, exciting I know! To finish off the day I made a start in Photoshop, designing the poster advertising workshops and residentials. I really enjoyed finding out about James Ravilious today, found it very interesting.




My First Day...    After having been introduced to the staff and the building (and had a lovely cup of coffee!) I talked with Caroline about the education aspects of Beaford Arts. I learned about how the centre puts on different residentials and workshops to fit people of different ages and abilities. We looked on the website at the many different courses that could be done. After this I was given some time to make notes and review parts of the website. Later on I had a chance to talk with Hannah about the marketing side of things. It was quite exiting as we began with looking at some of the performers that are going into next season’s brochure. Hannah gave a brief explanation of each act and we went on to talk about how Beaford Arts would fit performances to certain venues, while I was shown some examples of events which had been organised by the centre. I loved seeing some of the unique acts and some of the fantastic events that had already been put on by Beaford. I found learning about the process behind organising all of the events and the brochure extremely interesting and really look forward to getting the chance to do some myself! Later on I wrote a news report promoting the Otesha project that will be coming to Beaford next Monday. This Report can now be viewed online at[tt_news]=229&cHash=aa155558f7. I also got to photograph some exhibition work for Caroline. I feel that I’ve learned a lot more about the Centre today and look forward to finding out about the archive tomorrow.