This week AA2A artist Gayle Storey came to talk to us about her practice. Gayle started off her creative journey completing a BA in Ceramics at Bath University. During her time on the course she was lucky enough to exhibit throughout the country having her work published in some ceramic journals.
When she finished her degree she moved back to Luton to teach within colleges.
The first major project she spoke to us about was her group show in Luca, Italy. She was lucky enough to work with Tacita Dean throughout this project. The concept behind her piece was to recreate a journey that she took walking around Luca, her path took her off the beaten track and she discovered abandoned and disused areas and lodgements. Using her film camera she took pictures of what she found aiming to recreate the places in the installations. Her part photo part realist installation highlights ware and tare and how she is becoming a fine artist rather than a ceramist.
Gayle’s second project was actually her masters project. After coming back from Italy she decided to take on a part time masters degree in Fine Art at the University of Canterbury. Her project was titled Cognal Riencivoto and looked into the construction and communication of scientific and medical products. Gayle has invented a product that was meant to enhance vocal recognition. (Cognal Riencivoto being its anagram.) Although the product was completely fake and did not actually work. Gayle had the design boxed up and reproduced so it could be purchased and prescribed. A building she was supplied with during the MA became the head quarters of the Cognal Riencivoto. Her final piece of work was the whole chain of the Cognal Riencivoto production and distribution. She even hired people to play pharmacists and consultants who could prescribe the Cognal Riencivoto for people to take away with them. In order to engage with the audience further she created booklets, prescriptions and a website and in the box you would have an instruction leaflet alongside other “medical” products available for purchase.
Her next project was a more community based project where she took a brief from a church in her local area. She had to create an installation piece suitable for the church that highlighted the spirit and community however keeping in mind the aspects of the protected building. She included the congregation in her project, they helped her make the crosses that she had previously created the moulds for. These porcelain crosses were mounted onto metal and displayed on one of the church walls.
Gayle’s final project stemmed from a print workshop she took as Central Saint Martins in London. Here she explored print processes, imagery and etching. She used the uncopyrighted work of Ernst Haechel to create her designs and patterns. She is now taking concepts of print further using dead flowers and leaves to make new designs here at UoB.
I appreciated Gayle’s talk especially as she is a resident artist at the University. I found her print work really thought through and the idea of layering images and using dead flowers and leaves exciting. I found it a shame she only spoke about this briefly at the end because for me it was one of the more interesting parts of her practice. I found it hard to relate to the Cognal Riencivoto work as for me as the concepts are not anything I have looked into before during my practice. However the chain of how she worked and how she created a fake air of mystery was inspiring as a continuous master based project.