Discussion Day – Report

Report on the Almshouse Tempera Project’s Discussion Day held at the University of Nottingham, Wednesday 24th June. The aim of the day was to bring all the project participants together to discuss how their work and thinking was progressing and to focus attention on to the forthcoming exhibition and project publication.

The morning session, Looking Backwards, Looking Forward commenced with a presentation, by Derek Hampson, detailing what had been achieved to date, including the many talks and workshops delivered by the project. He then focused on the forthcoming exhibition, outlining his suggestion for the exhibition’s title, Inscription, and the reasons behind it. Following this each of the project participants gave a short presentation on how their work for the project was progressing.

The afternoon session, Translations, was organised around a talk by photographer Andy Lock, on photographic representations of architecture. Andy’s talk included a number of his own images of architectural structures, particularly council houses. Of particular interest to the project was his work using the Albumen Print, an early photographic process which, as its name suggests, utilises egg white. Following Andy’s presentation there was a wide-ranging discussion.

The day concluded with a discussion around what participants might contribute to the exhibition and project’s publication. A practical end to what had proved to be a day of thought-provoking interactions. Many thanks to all who participated.

Discussion Day

The Almshouse Tempera Project is now half way to completion. You are invited to join us, to help us map out the project’s future direction during a day of informal presentations and discussions.

Wednesday, June 24th, 11am to 4pm
University of Nottingham
Trent Building
Room LG11 (lower ground, room 11)

The day will be split into two sessions.
Session 1, Looking Backwards, Looking Forward (11am – 1pm)
Session 1 will be led by the project co-ordinator Derek Hampson, who will outline what has been achieved to date before focussing on the forthcoming exhibition at Nottingham Trent University’s Atrium Gallery. The proposed title of the exhibition and the thinking behind it will be outlined. Project participants will then make a short presentation on how their contribution to the project is developing. There will then be a general discussion on how the exhibition’s theme might be supported and expanded by this practical and theoretical work.

Session 2, Translations (2 – 4pm)
The second session will focus on exploring the concept of ‘medium’, testing the proposition that working with a medium involves a process of translation, from one medium into another. The session will begin with a presentation by photographer Andy Lock who will discuss his photographic recording of architectural structures in terms of a translation from a built structure into a photographic image. Following this there will be a general discussion.

Tea and coffee will be provided, there is also an on-site café.

Getting there
Bus – take a 34 Orange Line bus from the centre of Nottingham to the University, get off at East Drive then walk to the Trent Building, the large building with the clock tower.
Car – you can park in the main visitor car park, from where it is about a 10 minute walk
Lift – if you need a lift please get in touch via the Contact Us! link.

map of the university      34 bus route map

Also use the Contact Us! link if any questions.

Hope to see you there!

Deborah Harty on making work for the Almshouse Tempera Project

I entered into the Almshouse Tempera Project with an open mind. To be honest neither the study of architecture or the use of painting have formed part of my practice in the past few years, so ultimately this is what made inclusion in the project seem like such a good opportunity: to rethink some of my ideas and refresh my approach to my practice. Although I didn’t have an idea of how I may progress I suspected that I would be interested in the internal environment and its affect, rather than the architecture per se. As Atsu has also intimated, I was thrown by not being able to go inside the houses and experience the internal environment. My work generally focuses on capturing phenomenological experience through the marks created on the surface when drawing; a trace of the experience as it appears to consciousness. I adopt the position of Velmans’ ‘reflexive monism’, which identifies that;

The “contents of consciousness” encompass all that we are conscious of, aware of, or experience. These include not only experiences that we commonly associate with ourselves, such as thoughts, feelings, images, dreams, body experiences and so on, but also the experienced three-dimensional world (the phenomenal world) beyond the body surface (Velmans, M. 1996, Defining Consciousness).

From this respect, my drawings are not generally figurative, as they incorporate marks and traces of both the psychological and physiological experience.

When we visited the Almshouses in February, the initial sense of panic over not being able to enter the Almshouses gave way to fascination in the potential spaces glimpsed through the partially open doors, and disappearing staircases: spaces of transition and threshold. Returning from the visits to consider where I may begin, I started to think about the liminal space that I often feel I occupy during the activity of drawing: an inbetween space, a threshold between differing states of consciousness fluctuating between conscious awareness of self and absorption in the process to a sense of loss of self. The awareness of this connection prompted me to follow the idea of thresholds within the Almshouse Tempera Project, in a sense it gave me a way in.

The doors or staircases of the Almshouses related to the sense of threshold: not only entering a differing physical space but also a psychological one, in the sense of the change of circumstances often occurring within the residents’ life as they move to the Almshouses. With this in mind, I began to draw. I started literally, which is often my default when I am unsure what to do: working not from observation but allowing the work to appear on the page in front of me. This is one thing that is challenging with the tempera as it has a less immediate, slow deliberation than drawing with charcoal; at least it appears so at present.

I began to draw doors, partially open. These are imagined spaces and I am more interested in creating the sense of thresholds and liminal spaces than I am in replicating particular architectural motifs. I anticipate that I will move away from this way of working, however, it is one space before I step over the threshold to the next.

Deborah Harty

Talk Report – Painting and the Post-Medium Condition

Short report on Derek Hampson and Peter Suchin’s talk on ‘Painting and the Post-Medium Condition’ hosted by Mik’s Front Room at Primary artists studios, Nottingham, May 20th, 2015. The talk focused on the concepts of ‘medium’ and ‘medium specificity’ as defined by Rosalind Krauss and Clement Greenberg. Derek Hampson outlined Greenberg’s concept of ‘medium specificity’ before talking about the concept of the ‘post-medium condition’ and Rosalind Krauss’s rejection of it. Peter Suchin expanded on this, referring to Walter Benjamin’s writings on photography as an expanded medium because of its implicit textual component. Peter also discussed Marcel Duchamp’s creation of new mediums in works such ‘The Large Glass’. There was a good audience for the talk, which was followed by a detailed discussion.

Project Talk Notice – Painting and the Post-Medium Condition

Project Talk
Peter Suchin and Derek Hampson
Wednesday 20 May, 19:00 – 21:00

Location: Primary, 33 Seely Road Nottingham NG7 1NU
Hosted by Mik’s Front Room
In the last of a series of dialogues from a range of speakers, held at locations across Nottingham, artist and Art Monthly writer Peter Suchin will discuss, with artist and Almshouse Tempera Project organiser Derek Hampson, their practices as painters in relation to their use of tempera paint for this project, as well as offering some thoughts on Rosalind Krauss’ notion of ‘the Post-Medium Condition’, as outlined in her Perpetual Inventory, MIT Press, 2010.

Report on Project Talks May 5th and 6th

Two talks by Almshouse Tempera Project participants on successive days, both well attended, opening up debates around the themes discussed – thanks to all participants; speakers and audiences.

On Tuesday May 5th Atsuhide Ito and Aimie Purser discussed the subject of ‘Art, ALterity and Attunement’ at Nottingham Trent University’s Department of Fine Art. Aimie Purser explored the concept of attunement, discussing its relationship to ideas of empathy and intersubjectivity embedded in concepts of the ‘other’. Atsuhide’s discussion centred on his approach to making tempera artworks for the Almshouse Tempera Project, in which his attunement to the work’s subjects is part of the process of creating the work.

Wednesday May 6th Jonathan Hale and Deborah Harty centred their discussions on; ‘The Role of Drawing’ at the University of Nottingham’s School of Architecture. Jonathan Hale presented a detailed paper drawn from his research into the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s writings on the role of embodiment in the creation of understanding, whether through language or through drawing. Deborah Harty’s presentation drew on her extensive research into the idea of drawing as phenomenology, including work with visually impaired respondents. She then went on to discuss the artwork she is making for The Almshouse Tempera Project, which is focussing on ideas of the liminal expressed through the entrances to the almshouses.

Derek Hampson

Project Talk – the Role of Drawing

There will be an open Seminar/Workshop on Drawing, 4.00pm-5.30pm, Tuesday 6th May 2015, @ University of Nottingham, Sustainable Research Building (SRB) Seminar Room C10
Location Map the SRB is No. 17 on the map next to ‘North Entrance’

This session will feature two short presentations by members of the Almshouse Tempera Project, Jonathan Hale and Deborah Harty, coordinated by Derek Hampson

Unlocked-for-editing: Tools for transformation; http://wp.me/p5ypVv-86
This talk will ask how it is possible for a designer to discover something new within the act of drawing. Typically, a half-formed idea of how a space could be reconfigured is roughly sketched out on paper using what Maurice Merleau-Ponty would describe – as he did with spoken language – as a process of ‘coherent deformation of available significations.’ By drawing on Merleau-Ponty’s analysis of what he called expressive or ‘speaking speech’, I will aim to shed some light on the creative potential of sketching as a tool for the design process.

Jonathan Hale is an architect and Reader in Architectural Theory at the University of Nottingham.

Drawing through the threshold
Deborah Harty’s recent research is centred around the premise ‘drawing is phenomenology’: an investigation into the phenomenological potential of various drawing genres and processes. Harty will make reference to various positions being taken within this research and introduce new starting points and thresholds generated as a consequence of her engagement with the Almshouse Tempera Project.

Deborah Harty is a Lecturer in Fine Art at both Loughborough University and Nottingham Trent University and a co-director of TRACEY drawing and visualisation research: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/microsites/sota/tracey/index.html