Creative Futures Year 3

A list of work done towards Creative Futures module, this includes postgraduate research with links to relevant posts in the blog where applicable. It’s chronological , with most recent first:


Over the next 5 years I intend to aim for an MA/MFA in the U.K or abroad. This would put me in better position to gain work in the cultural sector or possibly teaching, as well as helping to develop my practise.

I would spend the next 2 – 3 years working towards building my experience and portfolio so that I’m in the position possible to apply for my desired post-graduate course.

Relevant experience will include residencies, involvement in local and U.K wide projects, putting my work forward for open calls. I would like to be involved with setting up exhibitions locally as well, I feel North Wales has enough of an audience and interest in contemporary art that there is great potential for setting up little projects.

Skill development: I.T – I have decent basic I.T skills but would definitely benefit from from a more solid knowledge base. Courses for creative I.T skills – app or web design for example – are available locally. They would make me more employable and contribute to my practise.

Practical considerations: I have a good sized space to work from at home so a studio space wouldn’t be needed, it would just be extra expense. However I would  definitely consider a shared space. I will continue with my current part-time work but I am also considering returning to pilates instruction to supplement my income. I would work for myself rather than in a studio as i have previously done. Both my part time work and pilates instruction would be very flexible ways of working.

Datrys: Datrys had an opportunity in April/May to do a couple days paid work doing a survey on behalf of Soundlands. I was too busy at the time but I have since emailed them just to introduce myself and ask about similar upcoming opportunities.

Free Haus application. I’ve applied for one of the Free Haus fellows positions ( Freehaus fellows and Associates open call english). Here is my application:

5 images of work:

Written application: freehaus application 1

Standard updated CV: cv

I had to be quite quick with this application. I wanted to do a really good job of it because it’s such a good opportunity, but there wasn’t long between final assessments and the deadline (and work and a hen-do in between). At least I had to be decisive. I also included a link to some of my sound work within the written application, I hope that wasn’t too much.

List of upcoming opportunities and things for the future:

I’ve been using a few places online to regularly check for opportunities or to receive them via email.

art and education

art quest – very useful. As well as listing opportunities Artquest gives interesting advice and case studies. There is up to date information regarding law with respect to contracts, copyright, tax etc. As well as ‘how to’ guides

curator space2016-06-05 (1)

Arts Council Wales – I receive their newsletter via email

G39/WARP – newsletter via email

re-title: exhibitions and opportunities website

a-n: I have finally become a member of the artists network site. It was my last opportunity to get the student membership through college (free!)                                                    2016-06-05

Seeing as I will out of the U.K throughout October and November I’ve decided to enter work into some open competitions, rather than apply for residencies, since many of the residency opportunities currently looking for applicants would take place in the autumn. I’ll look for residencies again in December. In the mean time open competitions will help sustain the momentum and habit of making work:

Video open:  NOW&AFTER ’16 , a free to enter video art open with the theme ‘ecology with boarders’. Deadline: 15th July

Jerwood Drawing Prize – deadline: 27th June. This will be good motivation to develop an aspect of my degree show work.


Dissertation abstract: Dissertation Abstract


Penrhyn Quarry visit:

I was put in touch with Lisa Heledd-Jones through college and she invited me to have a chat about the work she was doing, and was able join her on a tour of the working Penrhyn quarries where she was continuing to gather material for her Penrhyn Castle residency project. It was a really interesting and fun day, Lisa is very engaging and interested talking about her work and what others are doing.


Degree Show planning:

Posters. Our poster planning went very smoothly I think. We arranged meetings when most people were in and updated our shared facebook page to keep everyone in the loop. The design was definitely a group effort – everyone compromised a little but as far as I can tell we’ve ended up with something we’re all happy with. One of the main features of our design is the fold out natures of the catalogue, borrowed from last years show. We liked the idea of having a catalogue which functioned as poster as well. I started to organise the catalogue printing. We used the contacts from last year and got in touch with W.O Jones printers in Llangefni. They initially quoted us something very cheap, around £80, but when I went in to the offices for a face-to-face chat we realised they were talking about a digital print which they couldn’t do at the size we wanted. I’m glad we went with a local printer, this made it a lot easier to clarify everything.

We were quoted – 300 for  £275.00  or  500 for  £325.00. poster invoice We’ve gone for 300 seeing as there were quite  a lot left over from last year. Between us all this worked out well, about  £20 each after deducting the £100 we made from a bake sale back in the autumn.

When I brought the posters back to college I think we were all a bit disappointed initially! With hindsight we needed thicker paper, and the design – meant to be folded into a square – didn’t work out that way, the design wasn’t adjusted to the size of the paper perhaps? Either way we’re just folding it differently now and it still works well.

Pricing. I’ve decided on pricing and titles for my final works so Emma can print up the labels for everyone. Only the printed works – the digital satin prints – are for sale. The large print is priced at £200 and the three smaller prints at £60 each. These were difficult to price and did a bit of reading online about how to price things. I’ve tried to take into account the price of somewhat comparable work, things like screen prints etc. This wasn’t super helpful apart from one bit of advice – don’t price something at a price you might resent selling it for. This obviously takes into account the time spent working on something and materials but also how you feel about the work and any attachment you may have to it. I also considered the reproducability of the prints – being digital prints it would be very easy for me to print more.

 This is an estimate of the cost of making the prints:

  • total printing and delivery costs from Bags of Love =   £109
  • cost of materials – I used a lot of paper for printing at home. Some of the papers, coloured pastel paper pads, different grains of sketch pads, are expensive to buy but I didn’t use that much of it. I also bought props like ribbons and grapefruit (i ate these obviously) these were also used to make the videos. It’s hard to judge but… = £30

This comes to £134. So then I tried to judge the time I spent working on these prints. It’s hard because developing the video work helped set me up to develop the prints.

  • Time. Quite of few of the photographs were taken as I made the videos, some set up afterwards. On the basis that I spent three days (8 hours) working on these before sending them off for printing, and worked for £8 an hour = £192. This doesn’t include time spent conceiving an idea, it’s just a rough estimate of quantifiable labour.

So this brings me to £331. And if all of the prints were sold it would come to £380. £49 ‘extra’ doesn’t seem like much when I think what the project as a whole has cost, but I was hesitant to charge any more since they are easy to re-print.

Cost: this brings me to the total cost of the exhibition…

  • plinth = cost of perspex £80.77 invoice-SP-6487-a36c9051-0018-4d1a-8d40-b7a50c905b20
  • plaster casts = £20 worth of plaster, a 25kg bag I had previously bought, and topped up with another bag. (including waste) £40 on alginate casting powder – this expensive and the nature of many of my casts meant that most of the moulds broke and were unusable once cast with.
  • materials for assemblages = £20 (most of the materials were to hand at home)
  • tech things = £90 (speakers and tiny mp3 player for sound)
  • black out fabric = £70 (it’s really good though!)
  • fixings and paint = £50 – this includes shelving and attachments for speakers, bonding tape and fixings for the plinth, lots of hooks and pins etc
  • business cards = £48
  • catalogue = £20
  • prints = £134

This comes to £572.77p which makes me feel a bit sick. But! A lot of these things will just be used again, all the tech stuff and black out fabric for example. And there are materials left over (the gold leaf and lacquer, plaster, alginate). I like to think of it all as around 370 – 400 pounds. I feel better about it that way.

Marketing/promotion etc.

Website – I have started to look at ways I could maintain a website for my work. The obvious free websites are Weebly and Wix. Weebly is simpler and their branding presence on your own page is more subtle than Wix. I think that’s important because free sites tend to look a bit generic anyway so I’d like to avoid further distracting things. I’ve also just applied for a cargo collective portfolio page which I will begin to work on. I won’t be making a facebook page for my own work because I think they’re pretty horrible but I’ll link from a website to my instagram since I don’t take endless boring pictures of myself/food, and think that on a tiny, instant scale instagram can make for a good library of selective images.


Empty Cargo Collective page ready for customising.

Reading up about website/online portfolio possibilities has made me realise how a little basic computer coding  knowledge wouldn’t go a-miss. In terms of broadening my skills on practical level completing an I.T/web design type of course would be very beneficial. I’ve seen there are a load of courses available through the college (things like New Media Design and Development) so I will investigate further and find an appropriate course

Business Cards – these have been ordered from I considered using vistaprint, which I used for the Galeri show but these looked better, a bit more expensive though (£36 not including shipping which was expensive too because I left it late!) This is the pdf of the cards: degree_show(1) business cards final These are very specifically for my degree show, rather than general use, hence the images chosen. I’ve ordered 100, which seems a lot but better than not enough?!

STORIEL: After contacting Fiona with a cv and offering to volunteer we agreed I’d do 6 weeks of volunteering a day a week. My role was in ‘visitor experience’ or something. Basically make sure people don’t touch stuff and chat nicely to people if had questions (which obviously I couldn’t really answer) and direct them to the right place/people. Unfortunately I’m not sure ‘visitor experience’ is my thing. It’s pretty quiet a lot of the time, and I did a lot of standing around, reading and re-reading the signs, and also flipping through history and archaeology books which were available. Actually it was mind numbing and frustrating, and even a bit painful! – I like to be doing things. Still, now I know it’s not my thing, so that’s useful.

After a 2 or 3  weeks I asked whether I’d be able to help with change over in the gallery space as I knew this was due to happen. I spent a day helping Delyth – who is in charge of exhibitions – to take down and pack work, and unpack arriving work. This was more my bag, being busy organising a bit, and having a task and an end point, and being a bit more physical. I had another couple of normal volunteer days to do but one of them was spent mounting work for the Open Painting competition.

I was pretty open with Fiona about not enjoying the museum floor work which has worked out well because I’m now due to help Delyth with change over in July. It’s quite a commitment to volunteer regularly, this occasional volunteering is more suitable for me and I’m able to do the work I’m more interested in so hopefully this will continue.

From one of the funny little books I passed the time with…

Images from helping with change over:

Question Spaces

Glad I managed to get involved with this project despite not fitting into the age range. I wrote a blog post for this blog and a slightly edited version for the Glitch/Circuit national blog. It wasn’t very clear how to log into that – i had the wrong details – but eventually managed to log in and then it wasn’t very clear how I should structure the post i.e do i introduce myself? or just sign off with my name? I didn’t have this information, and then final module panic kicked off so that post has still not made it to the national blog. I’ve contacted Tomos again and I really hope it’s not too late and that they would still be interested in sharing the blog post!

London study visit! Blog post

And MA reasearch –  On this trip we also had a  bit of a tour around the MA studios at Chelsea school of art. Made me realise again how really very lucky we are in our little college! The spaces weren’t great. I was also surprised at how many MA students there were, I’d always imagined fairly small groups. But they had an amazing library, good workshops (though not massive there seemed to be plenty of them), an exhibition space (although we didn’t see it). I left feeling pretty motivated (and a wee bit envious) to someday do an MA.

To be able to spend that little bit more time exploring a practise once it’s started to reveal itself, which is where I feel I’m at now, would be so good. But it’s expensive, there’s very little funding (although English students can now get post-graduate loans, hopefully Wales will follow??). I also keep weighing up the value of doing it.  It’s a funny time of life for me, having turned 30 and only just completing a degree now. If I choose to pursue postgraduate study now then I need to factor in the time it would take to save up funds (and gain experience), say 3 years, then the type of study I would choose – an MA is the obvious choice if I’m short of funds but a two year MFA would be preferable. So I’d be 35/36 years old and only just leaving education and I’m not certain how I would benefit from it in a practical sense. Just wanting to do it because it would be great is maybe not enough, which is a bit of a depressing thought. I need to decide if it needs to be part of some defined progression to be worth doing and I feel it’s too early to say if that’s the case. I love living in North Wales but I feel it leaves me with slightly limited possibilities in terms of employment and being ambitious to do things, I really hope I’m wrong but it seems that way to me. With that in mind though it’s hard to really commit to anything. Ugh, I’m so defeatist – very bad and pointless trait. At the same time I don’t think doing that kind of post graduate study purely for some kind of career progression seems quite right, it’s supposed to further your own practise, right? Practise for practises sake. It’s fine art after all…. not sure what I mean by that. I’m trying to be upbeat.

Anyway, in more positive moments, when think of best case scenarios and all things working out nicely and meaningfully I do look things up, things I might actually try to do. And I’ve looked up MAs and MFAs a fair bit. I need to actually visit these places on open days, it’s very hard to get idea of what they’re like online. Another problem is finding out any real student experiences. A few places are very well known but not necessarily that good (like Chelsea – it did look good but so many students!?, seems a bit like a production line of people willing to pay for a name) Either way this is something that would happen in 2 years at the earliest, so cost would be slightly different and with any luck a change in funding opportunities could make it more realistic.

These have been the primary websites I’ve used for research:


Some U.K options and fees (all per year)

MMU MA = £6480, MFA = extra 120 credits @ £1080 per 30 credits. This could maybe be doable from North Wales? Especially part time? It’s worth considering for that reason.      Link

Leeds University MA = £6000

Glasgow School of Art = £6120   – in fantasy-dream-land this is where I would go – it seems like they have around 25 students at a time. Review of a past MFA show.

Nottingham Trent = £4425 (£2950 part time)

Sheffield Hallam = £6800  Link

Cardiff Met  = £5250 Link

Northumbria University MFA in partnership with the Baltic Center in Newcastle = £5450

Abroad! This would be extra good…. A lot of Scandinavian countries don’t charge for postgraduate degrees, and it would obviously be a fantastic experience to study abroad for a year or two in terms of just working a new context and environment. Still, living costs would have to be considered.

Canada. I think I’d be pretty happy in Canada. And their international student fees are comparable to studying in the U.K. For example – University of British Columbia = £5628 per year according to this (although another search came up £4390 per year link, and they have an International Tuition Award) Looks pretty o.k, 20 square meters of studio per student, and really small group sizes, just 6 a year (competitive)…! pdf

Norway Tromso   The academy of contemporary art and creative writing. A copy of the MA degree show 2015 catalogue . Taught in English language in small institution in a small city of 70,000 people.

All of these options I think would be very competitive. But as pie in the sky as it may seem I don’t see the point in dedicating myself to something with anything other than the best possible outcome in mind. It might not be the outcome I want but I’m into trying hard. I feel with 2 to 3 years I could put myself in a better position. I’ll have had time to gain experience and independence in terms of maintaining a practise. Whether any of the above options seem desirable in 2/3 years time is almost irrelevant – if I don’t begin to dedicate myself now, it’ll be too late then. I need to begin immediately to involve myself in projects and apply for work/residencies/open calls etc.

Besides some research into postgraduate study (MA/MFA) i’ve also looked into art therapy, just to broaden my sense possible avenues… This kind of work would obviously be take me into working in the health sector rather than the cultural sector.


Bloomberg New Contemporaries application. Slightly reluctantly applied for Bloomberg New Contemporaries. Seems incredibly unlikely….(I was right, but i can’t find my rejection email, I promise I was rejected) I used the work from our Galeri exhibition last year –

IMG_8970 (2)

I felt like it was the most complete piece of work I had but really I would have liked to sent my books from the end of second year, they are more current I think. I just wasn’t sure how to show them. I’ll try again next year possibly with degree show work, hopefully with new work…

BAS Leeds – went to the British Art Show in Leeds. It was great. Blog post

STORIEL. The new Bangor Museum and Gallery is opening in a couple of months, to be re-named STORIEL. Fiona from Storiel came in to talk to us all about volunteering

Frieze London – interesting, fun and strange day at Frieze Fair in London. Realised that going to London in a day is doable, should do this more…. Blog post

Tom Goddard meeting at Mostyn, October 2015.  We had a day at Mostyn and artist Tom Goddard spent time talking to each of us about our practise and research. This was really useful, especially at this early stage of clarifying my interests which might inform what I do in this final year. We touched on the dissertation research aswell, since this has directed my practise so much. Some of the names he recommended I look up were already on my list so at least I felt I was moving in the right direction and that he could see what I was getting at.

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