New contemporary artists and award-winning paintings: Painting Drawing & Printmaking’s Class of 2022 Ones to Watch
Designed to immerse students in a wide range of traditional and contemporary techniques, students from BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking take three years of concentrated study, a comprehensive series of technical workshops and material demonstrations to develop creative voices as contemporary professional artists.
This year’s graduating cohort are no different, with award-winning students, an outstanding quality of work and a successful season of Summer Shows. Here’s just some of the graduates we think you should keep your eyes on as they progress into the creative industry.
Chloe Sweetlove’s creative practice has developed during her studies to become a place where she can understand, process and move on from past experiences - a lifeline where she can express emotion, thoughts and feelings without having to say a word. Chloe explores relationships in colour, contrast, line and shape. She wants her work to resonate with her audience and start conversations about mental health and emotion.
Chloe’s latest work showcases lines drawn without a ruler, “I like the honesty of the mishaps. It leaves for honest conversations about my work, about how or what I think or feel in the moment. I then proceed to add colour strategically and yet without thinking. My final piece shows a triptych of paintings telling a story of hope and breakthrough.”
“Going forward, I will continue exploring my heart, my brain, my thoughts and feelings through my work. I plan to expand my knowledge on colour and experiment more in terms of scale and composition. I want to be a voice for people who have suffered and create a language for people who are unable to verbally speak their truth. I want to use my understanding of emotion and knowledge of colour to help young people understand themselves on a deeper level.”
Chloe won the Board of Governors award at this year’s Summer Shows, with the aim of the award to highlight and celebrate the achievements of a student who has overcome obstacles to educational achievement, raised the profile of the university and demonstrated a significant contribution to university life.
Chloe receiving her Board of Governors award from outgoing Chair, David Noyce
David Noyce, our outgoing Chair of the Board of Governors at Arts University Plymouth, said: “Although the quality of submissions was generally very high, the Governors were particularly impressed by Chloe’s work which indicated real achievement in the face of considerable adversity. Her art demonstrated the therapeutic power of creativity to an exceptional degree.”
Sue Bown, winner of Arts University Plymouth’s first Pro-Vice Chancellor’s Commendation Award, is a painter and printmaker whose practice is an embodied inquiry into movement and the body in space. Using gestural mark making and layering, she takes the viewer on an uplifting journey into space and place. Colour, scale and materiality are important as is the physicality of moving paint on a surface.
Sue’s latest body of work is based on geometrical shapes and colour relationships and she uses the interplay of these to amplify her message. Sue uses printmaking to inform painting and vice versa, seeking to create a hybridity between the processes. Collaboration is a strong component in her practice, where she has observed the power of creativity in breaking boundaries and forming a cohesive community.
Mythology by Sue Bown
During her studies, Sue contributed to the creation of a hand-made, editioned, original catalogue for Another Crossing, a collaborative exhibition organised by Arts University Plymouth, The Box and the Fuller Craft Museum of Massachusetts. In September 2022, at Impact 12 International Printmaking Conference in Bristol, Sue will have work featured in a collaborative printmaking exhibition organised by Arts University Plymouth, Belfast School of Art, Ulster University and Baylor University, Texas. Alongside this, Sue will be representing Arts University Plymouth in a panel discussion on the theme of collaboration and breaking boundaries. Also, at Impact 12 Sue will have work included in a curated exhibition entitled Split Practices, which showcases the impact of the pandemic on an art practice, a subject that she researched in her undergraduate dissertation.
Sue receiving her award from Pro-Vice Chancellor's Award from Professor Stephen Felmingham
Arts University Plymouth Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor Stephen Felmingham, said: “Sue’s paintings demonstrate a profound understanding of material, colour and form, which she employs in a series of mature and confident works. These are outstanding paintings that resonate deeply with the view and are a testament to the immense hard work she has put into her practice during the course.”
David Fletcher was born in 1956 and started painting in oils at the age of nine, but stopped painting after leaving school aged 16. David didn’t pick up a paintbrush again until 2018, after taking an introduction to drawing and painting course.
“I was always going to paint but it was always next year, which never seemed to arrive in the way I wished it to. Life and its complications always seemed to get in the way. A 26-year career in the Royal Marines, marriage and children took up my time.”
“Eventually in 2018 my need to paint became overwhelming. The following year, I enrolled on the BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking degree at Arts University Plymouth and here I am now in the dying embers of the course, armed and enriched with knowledge and the experiences gained during my time here. I plan now to continue painting and exhibit my work professionally. I am involved in the creation of a fledgling collective called ‘Room 43’, alongside some of my peers from this course.”
Jo Haskins is an artist based in Devon, England and Embrun in the Southern Alps of France. She trained at Portsmouth College of Art and Guilds of London Art School before studying BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking at Arts University Plymouth.
With a keen interest in collaborating and working collectively, Jo has participated in numerous exhibitions and art fairs in the Southern Alps and the south of France. She has extensive experience in teaching English as a foreign language to all ages and all levels, regularly combining art and English language teaching.
Her most recent work took her to Svalbard in the Arctic. Camping on the land and exploring the icy waters in sea kayaks and boats, circling icebergs and approaching glaciers, Jo became fascinated with the amazing colours and intensity of the Arctic landscape. She said, “The incredible blues, turquoise and purple greys, especially on cloudy days, the shapes of the icebergs to the reflections of light on the ice and sea, the atmosphere and sounds of being totally surrounded by the ice, the feeling of the constantly moving and changing environment; the Arctic is so beautiful on occasions and yet hostile, dangerous and life threatening on others. Every place visited has moved and changed when revisited due to the movement of the ice and the light.”
Travelling and discovering remote areas of the world is an important part of Jo’s practice and inspiration. To be able to connect and experience the strength and power of nature of which Jo and her audience are only tiny, passing through participants.
Kyra-Leigh Lanfear is a multidisciplinary artist based in Devon and Somerset, specialising in printmaking and performance art to create an understanding and awareness of obsessive compulsive disorder sufferers. Kyra has been battling with the disorder for nine years, starting when she was 13 years old.
Obsessive compulsive disorder is one of the most misunderstood mental health disorders and Kyra aims to create a sense of strength, freedom and hope in her work. It is almost impossible to ignore and avoid urges and triggers but Kyra always tries to keep a positive outlook, even though the picture isn’t always perfect.
Through the use of performance art, Kyra captures herself as the canvas in very peculiar ways to portray her daily experiences and the way she has dealt with her disorder. Kyra always challenges her potential, thinking and creating outside of the box. ‘Routine’ and ‘repetition’ are two main aspects of Kyra’s practice and disorder, explored through the use of numbers, circles, words, scale and painting. ‘1,2,1,2…’ repeats over and over again, if that sequence is interrupted, Kyra is unable to function without the worry and fear that something bad will happen. Her practice is autobiographical and honest.
Since Kyra has been portraying her obsessive compulsive disorder throughout her artwork, there have been improvements in the way it is managed and understood. Kyra hopes to use her personal experiences to help and improve the lives of others. She has been looking into art therapy as a potential progression route.