Neil McNally: The best me there will ever be.

During my time as a student I’ve comes across many different stereotypes that people have towards art students. All they talk about is art, they have tattoos, and they dress funny.

Well I can’t really disagree with the first comment, we talk about art allot but really we study the subject so what else would we be talking about? also yes some of my class mates have tattoos but so do my friends that study science and business so really I think we are more proud to show them off. Last yes ok we may dress different but really it’s just more practical for us, we get messy allot you’d wear your grandmas knitted jumper too because that thing is indestructible.

I’m an artist which means I’m creative, inventive and imaginative but if I needed to describe myself in one word then let’s say I’m original.

I am the best me there will ever be.

This mind-set of self certainty is my theme for this entry, Inspired by artist Neil McNally who before today I had no experience towards. His artist methods are questionable, however his works are thought-provoking and to many aggravating but overall Neil sees to ‘annoy people’ with his artwork, whether that be from the depicted media in the painting or photograph or from his method of signing his work on the front on the canvas in view of everyone, something that is considered every unprofessional.


Personally at first I found his work slightly strange, he does paint suede’s and has a deep interest in the subject after all. I myself by the end of his talk had a higher view of the vegetable, something I didn’t realise was possible. Within his work as seen above, he uses a very diverse colour pallet, the sudden introduction of pink to the left and the boldness of his use of white gives an example of how his use of colour can often leave the subject matter obscured at times however, he always has a level of self certainty that is inspiring to witness.

From his talk I feel I’ve gained a new level of understanding towards artists such as McNally, he showed that it doesn’t matter what people think about you or your work it’s what you think about yourself that’s important, if you feel you could have done better than you’re the only one that needs to tell yourself that fact.

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Jennifer Halvorson: Frozen in time

As already mentioned in my pervious entry, it’s easy to forget how privileged you really are as a student studying art, your supported not only by your tutors but also by the visiting artists such as Jennifer Halvorson for example.

Jennifer Halvorson is an extraordinary teacher with a  diverse knowledge spreading across the different fields of arts. Steel metal working, hot glass and sculpture work are just some of the areas she has experience within, however her true home for her work is within kiln glass.

Despite my love for glass, kiln glass isn’t a medium I’ve found favourable at present, however with that said I found Jennifer’s workshop on press moulds to be enjoyable and entertaining but above all I found it informative. I believe it’s defiantly a technique I can see myself testing further in the future.


Currently Jennifer’s work is focused on an idea of mending, pacifically using the mending of cloths as a metaphor for the mending of oneself. My personal favourite from the ‘Mending’ series is ‘Pinched Gathering’.

‘Pinched Gathering’ is a mix of kiln casted glass and found objects, the piece I find has a simplistic appearance, the subtle use of colour within the casted glass coupled with the translucent property gives the form a light appearance, tying in well with the delicate tiptoe forms seemingly held up by the wooden pegs. The piece reminds me of childhood innocence, a small child dressed in worn hand-me-down cloths dancing on it’s tiptoes across the wood floor. It holds a peaceful air, almost as if it’s a moment frozen in time.

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Small World 

As a student I find it’s easy to forget that the people we call tutors are actually artists themselves.
I find that dispite having them teach you and remind you in small ways that they themselves really do know what their talking about it doesn’t really sink in that these people we see every day are figures that another student from another university would only hope to meet one day in the future, for example.

Inge Panneels my honourable mention from my last entry, Is a well known glass artist having worked in both the public eye and the private sector. She also just happens to be my kiln glass teacher and head of my second academic year at university.

Small world.

Inge Panneels had a true artistic mind In my opinion, she can see the potential in the simplest of  matters and then progresses and  evolves that subject into a series of world which can expand over years. “Creation” Is one of my favourite worlds by Inge. It explores universal creation mythology, a very large subject matter which she has managed to breakdown into the smallest and I believe to be the most beautiful of pieces.

The world ring if you will, Is my own personal favourite from the “Creation” series. The way it catches the light and gives it a mysterious glow brings the lives inner meaning to life, showing the mystery behind the piece. The piece itself is not loud in its form, it is simplistic yet still manages  to couple Its meaning and beauty together in one object, much like she does in all her works.

During my time at University Inge has taught me many things from techniques such as mould making  and pate de verre, to the importance of having a good studio   practice when it comes to tools and materials. I’m beginning to understand that we learn more then just the literally things people teach us, I guess it really is a small world after all.




Keiko Mukaide: There’s something expectatious


There’s something expectatious about writing your first blog entry, now I know that’s not an actual word but I’m finding it hard to find a better word which relates just as perfectly as my own new creation. I believe it to be an experience which goes hand in hand with that feeling you get when you start a new notebook, that moment where you make sure that your handwriting is extra neat because its the first and definitely the most important page of the whole book. Today also marked the beginning of my artist talks at university the first neat page in my notebook.

Keiko Mukaide is a site specific artist originating from Japan, travelling to the UK for education she progressed from student to teacher and even taught today’s second speaker Inge Panneels to whom is my honourable mention after her own thought provoking talk on #Making.

Mukaide made an important point during her talk, ‘being from a different country makes you feel like your different,’ she openly humours on how she sees herself as ‘half Scottish’ however at the beginning she felt like she should act upon her difference because that difference was her strength against everyone else, a strength she encourages in other artists however, After settling roots in a new country the events of 2010 in Japan made her reconnect to her own, the devastating earthquakes that effected the country hit her hard even from her home in Scotland.

“Threads across the sea” was a breath taking yet eerily still installation piece set out in and around the ‘Scottish Fisheries Museum’ in 2012. Consisting of 2000 origami cranes sent from Japan and 1500 origami boats sourced from Scottish Communities the piece celebrated her ties between the two countries. With the museums pieces below the origami creations where suspended within the rafters above in a eerily still manner. Birds and boats are objects that I link with movement, both the birds wings in flight and the boats gentle rocking to the waves remind me of peaceful life, yet within Mukaide creation here they sit still and tense, pulling on your heart strings.

The first of my artist talks have definitely fulfilled my expectatious feelings. Funny and heart felt are just two of the ways I can described the talks given by both Inge Panneels and Keiko Mukaide. They were captivating and extremely thought provoking leaving me looking forward to my next weeks talks, lets hope they are as fascinating as this week.