Innovative makers celebrate Mount Edgcumbe with exhibition of large-scale artwork
Students from our BA (Hons) 3D Design Crafts, BA (Hons) Ceramics & Glass and BA (Hons) Jewellery programmes are exhibiting their large-scale artwork in the historic grounds of Mount Edgcumbe for the first time. Specialising in a variety of disciplines, from ceramics and glass, to metalwork and 3D printing, the students’ work reflects their individual experiences of the vast estate.
The students were given a project brief by the staff at Mount Edgcumbe, asking them to respond to narratives connected to the house and grounds. Tackling current issues such as the decline in the local bee population, the plastic pollution on the local beaches and homelessness, the art provides a talking point for visitors to the exhibition.
David Marshall, Mount Edgcumbe Business Development Manager, commented on how Mount Edgcumbe was delighted to be working with second year students from Plymouth College of Art to be able to give them practical experience creating and installing large-scale artworks.
“The whole journey has been a joy and has allowed our staff to learn more about the sharing of stories and understand something of the creative process. We hope the public will enjoy these temporary and very exciting interventions which will make people pause and think.”
The installation invites engagement from members of the public, from intricate glass pieces capturing the summer sun, to a life-size ceramic wolf lurking in the fern dell and large swathes of printed fabrics hanging in the relic garden.
Gayle Matthias, BA (Hons) 3D Design Crafts Programme Leader, said, “This is the first time that second year students have collaborated on a project at Mount Edgcumbe. The work is to be a reflection to mirror the students' experiences of Mount Edgcumbe that they have gleaned through individual and group research, and to share that experience with visitors who will engage with their work in the grounds.”
Each artist is working to communicate a message, including BA (Hons) 3D Design Crafts student Lorna Yabsley, who has created a direct replica of the daybed owned by the Mount Edgcumbe estate from 120 sheets of cardboard, produced on the laser cutter at Fab Lab Plymouth. The daybed comes complete with a sleeping bag bolster cushion and aims to highlight the daily issues faced by those living on the street.
It is estimated that more than 300,000 people in Britain - equivalent to one in every two hundred - are officially recorded as homeless, and people sleeping on the streets are 17 times more likely to be victims of violent behaviour.
Lorna explains, "The ‘Down and Out Daybed' project is a response to my frustration that the divide between rich and poor is so great that we accept this appalling situation that is under our noses everyday, and yet only seems to be getting worse.
“We have all walked past or turned away when confronted with homelessness on the street and felt helpless to do anything about the situation.”
Lorna hopes that her creation for this exhibition will help to initiate conversation and raise awareness of the issue.
Glass student Colin Wilkes is also responding to the environment, with his pieces featuring a collaboration between glass and wood following a trip to the grounds and estate.
Colin explains, "I had noticed that there were some fallen trees around the park due to the bad winter. It was after seeing the trees, I came up with the concept of using the wood from the site as my mould and combining it with my glassblowing and using both elements as the sculpture."
The exhibition can be found throughout the formal gardens, house and grounds of Mount Edgcumbe from Saturday 5 to Thursday 31 May 2018, and showcases the work of over 30 students currently studying at Plymouth College of Art.