Tag Archives: AA2A

Postcards from the UK: Martha’s return for “Glimpse”

During the school year the technicians encouraged us to hang our works in progress in the hall outside the print rooms. This allowed the other art students; design, fashion and photography to see what we were doing.

I am returning to the University of Central Lancashire for three weeks.  The Artists Access to Art Colleges (AA2A) group of three other printmakers that I worked with during the last school year will have a two week show titled ‘Glimpse’ at the PR1 Gallery at the university.

I will also be working on Tracy Hill’s and my show, ‘Field of Vision’ which will be at Washington Printmakers Gallery in December.  Tracy is the senior printmaking technician at UCLan and we’ve been collaborating for a year on a body of work.  Two printmakers, 10 walks, two countries.  We’ll do our fith and final walk in Lancashire during my visit.  Tracy was in DC for a nine day residency at Pyramid Atlantic in April.  We did our five US walks at that time.  ‘Field of Vision’ will go to the Harris Museum in Preston, UK in February, 2012.

-WPG member Martha Oatway

Postcards from the UK: Oatway wins student vote!

What did Martha Oatway win?  Read on for her summary, details to come in future postcards!

"Field 6" by Martha Oatway

AA2A stands for Artists Access to Art Colleges and 31 universities around the UK participate in the program with 3 to 4 slots at each university.  Some universities host a sculpture or painting program and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) where I was happened to have a printmaking program for the AA2A.

At the end of the academic year there is a vote for two positions in the AA2A scheme.  Students can vote for the AA2A person they felt offered the most help and mentorship and there is also a public vote.  I co-won the student vote with a person from the University of Northumbria.  One of my AA2A cohorts at UCLan received the most public votes.  This is the third year in a row that UCLan has received this kind of recognition and it says a lot about the staff in the printmaking program there.

Postcards from the UK: Martha’s work from Artlab

Martha Oatway is finishing up her time in the UK and will soon return home to the States.  Be sure to mark your calendars for her tw0-person exhibition with her friend and UK printmaking, Tracey Hill, on view in December.  For now, read on to see how Martha’s art has developed since she’s been across the pond!

Martha pulling a print--the press in this picture is over 100 years old!

My time in the UK is nearly over.  My husband’s job brought us to Preston, UK in July of 2009.  Preston is home to the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) which has a student body of 32000, making it one of the largest universities in the UK.

My first year here I joined Artlab, a group of artists from diverse backgrounds and interests that meet for 4 hours on Wednesday nights to explore printmaking.  The printmaking studios at UCLan offer a wide range of facilities for etching, lithography, relief and screen printing.

Plates and prints from Martha Oatway

It was through Artlab that I discovered Artists Access to Art Colleges, something unique to the UK.  The AA2A project provides placement for artists in one of 31 institutions, providing 124 placements nationally.  Each university has a different focus, sculpture, painting, etc.

UCLan has four placements in printmaking.  I was accepted for the 2010/2011 year based on my project proposal which was to bring my US eyes to the UK landscape and make prints that express how I respond to it.

"Mapping the UK" by Martha Oatway

I am fascinated by the layers of living here in the UK.  This island has been inhabited by many peoples over the millennia and many of them have left indelible marks on the land.  A contemporary wheat field could also be home to Bronze Age circular burial barrows.  Sheep graze among stone circles.  There are hundreds of abandoned medieval villages which are only visible via aerial archaeology as they are now fields.

My latest prints are collagraphs layered with etching and paper lithography, sometimes incorporating chine colle.  They are abstract maps and aerial views layering different scales of space.

"Aerial View 10" by Martha Oatway

You can see the prints I’ve made so far this year on my AA2A page where you can also vote for me if you wish.  The winning artists from 2011 will be promoted on the AA2A websites, facebook and twitter pages.

Making WPG the #1 Gallery in DC

The Washington City Paper is accepting votes for their 2011 Best of DC poll now through March 14.  Last year, we won 3rd place in the Express’ 2010 Best of DC poll, so we know with your help we can place in this poll, too!  Help WPG become #1 by voting us “Best Gallery” at this link.

"Two Pines" by Martha Oatway.

While we’re asking for your vote, also vote for Martha Oatway as your “favorite artist” at AA2A.  You’ve read about Martha’s participation in the program in some of her earlier Postcards from the UK–with your help she can get extra promotion from AA2A.  You’ve seen her prints (and there’s another sample, to the side, in case you haven’t) so you know she deserves it!

These polls are more than just popularity contests…OK, they might be partly popularity contests, but they do help the gallery.  Did you know that running a 3.94×3 in black and white ad can cost around $330 for one run in some of the local papers?  For small businesses and galleries that win a poll like this, it’s promotion that they (and we) can’t usually afford in ad form.  If you like WPG (or any other DC area business) then definitely vote for us/them!  We definitely appreciate it!

Postcards from the UK II

Below is the 2nd installment of art news from WPG President Martha Oatway, currently splitting her time between the States and the UK.

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston participates in a national plan called Artists Access to Art Schools (AA2A) which allows an artist access to studio space for a year and a stipend for materials.  During the past year I’ve had the pleasure of working beside three of the four AA2A printmakers in the printmaking studio.  In September they had a joint show in the Victoria Building gallery, the culmination of their years work. 

Table print by David Henckel

One day during the semester I walked into the classroom and found a desk top inked like a relief plate.  David Henckel noticed something everyone else saw but really didn’t notice:  the scratches and dings in the surface of the desk made by 20+ years of students.  He inked it and printed it.  His print of the gum deposits in front of Victoria Building takes a similar tack.

David Henckel in his own words:

David Henckel

The chewing gum piece and the table print are concerned with the patterns and marks that develop as a result of unconsciously collaborative activity. Both pieces highlight and draw attention to something that is already there. The table print is a direct relief print taken after inking up the table with a litho roller and shows in greater contrast the intricate cuts and scratches that have built up over time from its use as a paper trimming area. It reveals a pattern of activity loosely focused along one edge from when the table was pushed up against the wall.
I like the ambiguity of the finished print and the semi focused randomness of the marks.

Chewing gum deposits painted bright pink by David

I noticed the chewing gum deposits throughout Preston and felt they were similar in nature
to the marks on the table. Diffusion patterns with concentrations of deposits at the entrance way
to buildings or around the trash bins. The 2 screenprints that I made use photographs as a starting point which I’ve then manipulated to leave only a hint of the architecture and the space. The chewing gum which merges with the pavement has been coloured in on another layer and in the prints stands out in stark contrast to the background.

After making the prints I decided I really wanted to paint the actual chewing gum deposits and after a little bit of negotiation and a few blind eyes being turned set about the entrance way to the gallery. Thankfully a good friend volunteered to help me and we painted all the gum in the vicinity a nice bubblegum pink.
Whilst painting the gum, no one tried to stop me and we got a few odd questions including
“What are those pink blobs meant to be?” and “Is that meant to be chewing gum?”

What I originally thought might be far too obvious turned out to be a lot more subtle and with the
onset of Autumn??? already the pink blobs seemed to fit with the leaves.

I’m thinking about a chewing gum film of Preston and the possibility of a musical piece based on the distribution of gum being notes in a sequence.