Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Rosie - an insight into Leeds - AT LAST!

Hello, hello,
My name is Rosey Stride and I’m a fresher student at Leeds College of Art, studying Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design...one word sum up so far....AWESOME :) So my rebirth as a northerner started in September, seemingly early to others on the 13th(which woefully meant missing Bestival festival), however this was long forgotten oncecaught up in the wild and hype of not only being a student, but an art student. Thus translating as a license to getting away with it all!
As with everyone I was all nerves when meeting my fellow flat mates of the penthouse suite (top floor 10). However I genuinely don’t think I could have been luckier with my givings,living with Coley (18) studying photography, Jo (18) studying graphics and Chris (19) studying Fine Art....who all, hands down are seriously talented kids.
Absolutely LOVING city life, more so I think having come from small town Winchester. As a top floor tenant, I have the most fabulous view over the city. At night it really is like looking over a mini New York, as everything here is high rise and on blocks, most confusing when trying to learn your way about! The shopping here is such a tease with shops like Harvey Nichols and Louis Vuitton lining the high street. People here have the most amazing style of dress in every which way, era, colour and print....the vintage scene here in particular is in its majority, with markets, travelling clothes fairs and clothes exchanges making regular and sometimes weekly appearances. You can’t miss it, or help becoming a moneyless victim to it all!
Leeds is VAST and sprawling...and populated it would appear wholly by students....to see an older person or child is a rarity that only really occurs on the weekends! To name but a few educational institutes here, Leeds City College, Notre Dame Catholic College, Leeds University, Leeds Metropolitan University, the Dentistry Institute, the University of Nursing...I could go on. The College of Art is comparably insignificant in size and is non campus based. It can’t be any bigger than Alton College, however as a specialized art
institute, I guess their student intake is dramatically smallerI myself am on a course with 63 GIRLS (the largest course),the only testosterone we have about is in the form of our very tall, very scottish tutor! And again, everyone on my course is just lovely.
Our first project was group based to ‘encourage mingling!’ We were split into groups of 6/7 and drafted off around the city for the day, armed with a sketchpad and basic drawing equipment, capturing whatever we liked. From this, over the next couple of weeks, we developed these sketches and drawings through the use of cutting, paper and shapes. I found this concept hard to grasp initially, as the brief was almost so broad, I was finding it hard to pin point ideas to develop. Nevertheless wise words and wisdom from the tutors
helped the project to flow just fine! The outcome to this project was a 5.5 meter length of printed fabric per group. Printed using a two tone (two screens) repeat design, created in our groups through process of a koda trace. Instead of opting to use acetates to expose our screens with, we had to cut our designs out and place them on a large sheet of tracing paper, which is a slightly more tedious way of going about it, especially when having to cut an intricate design out many times over! Something about good practice?! Anyway we made it, and having learnt the process of screen preparation (exposure etc), our fabric was printed, and if totally honest we all felt like proud mums! All of the groups hangings are now displayed in the college
entrance looking fab :)

Moving straight on, we are almost at the end of our 2nd project, which is self led. The outcome for this will be 6 or 7 designs that could hypothetically be used for fashion garments. These images are based and derived from the Bauhaus and Art Deco era...with the shadowing theme of floral imagery. I am totally enjoying myself and have just completed week 3 of 3 of workshops in use of CAD (illustrator), repeat design and drawing and dye dispersal. Next week, we are off on a trip to Amsterdam, which I am totally and utterly stoked for :) The tutors use it as an excuse to immerse us in ‘culture and museums’, but word on the street is that it’s really an indulged week of secret danish scoffing!
So, an insight of Leeds! I’m sure Amsterdam will entail a blog of it’s own, but I hope I’ve enlighten you a little on Leeds life and maybe even inspired you a little. I cannot rave enough about the city and the college. The print course itself boasts a fantastic department of staff, and I’ve been told one of the best equipped and largest print room/ facilities in the country!

These are a couple of things I’ve created on the side, (the hearts) for a friends birthday, and the bunting was used as decoration for the 2nd and 3rd year exhibits with the theme of recycling. All good fun!
Peace to art lovers,
xXx Rosey xXx

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