Tag Archives: education

Feature Drawing coming to a blog near you!

Here at Mission Gallery we have decided to move our ever popular Feature Drawing activity onto here!

In the gallery you will find a clip board where you can create your master piece as usual. Once complete, you can hand it in at the front desk. The drawing will then be photographed and posted alongside others in a blog post as well as one lucky young artist being selected as the months Feature Drawing Winner, to be framed and displayed in the gallery.



Review: New Designers 2013 by Rhian Wyn Stone

The Graduates and the Show

For those of us who have graduated and gone through the process of finding our feet after University, we understand the importance of events such as New Designers. Degree shows can highlight our work yet depending on which university attended, it is a challenge to be seen – to get noticed. Shows such as New Designers cater to a wider audience and allow us to view Graduates work from further afield, to see what we are up against on the start of our creative careers.

I have been fortunate enough to experience this show on all three levels – as an exhibitor, visitor and as part of my role as Retail Supervisor. New Designers is an experience in itself – highly enjoyable, tiring, satisfying and sometimes (nearing the end of the day) frustrating.

As an exhibitor, this event was highly beneficial. Having graduated from a small course, the final degree show consisted mainly of family, friends and past students. It was more of a social affair than a professional one and so having New Designers as something to work towards drove us to work harder, and to consider our work within the wider art world.  It is easy to feel safe with those that have seen the work develop and change, there comes a point where an explanation isn’t necessarily needed – the absolute fear of having to explain my work to strangers, pushed me into thinking how best to describe the work clearly and concisely and what to include within the handout information. With such vast numbers of graduates and work, visitors tended to view work quickly, so peaking interest in that short amount of time was important – making sure to allow enough time for visitors to view work before introduction (without either scaring them away or awkwardly hovering), and to treat every visitor equally – as you never knew who you were talking to.

As a visitor, it was a far more relaxing experience – I could freely browse and chat with makers without worrying about getting back to the stand by a specific time. It allowed me to view graduate trends and see if current practice had moved on and developed.

As a returning visitor (with an aim) this year, research conducted beforehand was of utmost importance (an online presence, whether it be a blog, website or some information on the New Designers page is essential; it is very disappointing when you have liked a piece yet cannot find any information on the maker or work, or very limited information – such as only the final degree work, which by this point you may already have seen). With a short amount of time to view as much work as possible, it allowed me to pin point makers of interest right from the start. These starred names became the first point of call at the event, allowing me to either extend interest or to cross them off the list.


It is a very daunting experience exhibiting yet the ability to talk confidently about you and your work transfers confidence to those who are interested in it. PLEASE allow enough time for visitors to view work, there is nothing worse than being set upon before being able to take note of the work itself! A few minutes is enough, introduce yourself and the work (but don’t give everything away all at once) if the person in question is interested they will question you further.

Once the list was exhausted, it was time for a long and detailed sweep of the exhibition; navigating, collecting, chatting, moving on, returning, debating, writing. This was immediately followed by a nice cup of tea whilst delving though the information gathered (which consisted of a few names you may well see within our Craft Space in the near future). A final sweep of the event consisted of anything that immediately caught my eye; original and unique displays and the layout of individual makers and collective stands aid this.

So all in all a long but very satisfying day!

A few notes for future exhibitors:

  • Be confident in discussing you and your work
  • Treat every visitor with equal importance
  • Allow visitors enough time to view work before introduction!
  • Handout information – is there a way of condencing information as visitors will be collecting information from not only you. This WILL be appreciated!
  • Online presence – either a blog or website which includes more than just your degree work
  • Display – with so much to see and so little time, displays which catch the eye on first glance will attract more attention

Rhian Wyn Stone is the Retail Supervisor at Mission Gallery

APHE Photography Conference | Reception at Mission Gallery with Tom Hunter

The reception for this year’s APHE Photography Conference was held at Mission Gallery, during Tom Hunter’s exhibition ‘Unheralded Stories’. Introduced by Mark Cocks, Assistant Dean of Art and Design at Swansea Metropolitan, it began as an ‘in conversation’ between Tom Hunter, Professor of Photography Research at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, and Paul Duerinckx, who Head of the BA (Hons) Photojournalism degree programme at Swansea Metropolitan, and soon turned into an open discussion on this years theme of ‘ethics’.


(L-R) Tom Hunter, Mark Cocks & Paul Duerinckx at the reception

Preceding this, Hunter gave a short explanation of the exhibition ‘Unheralded Stories’. The photographs were taken in Hackney based on fables and stories that he had heard and then reconstructed in the style of French tableaux painters. These French painters travelled to the Middle East to capture scenes of tragedy, but Hunter states that we don’t need to put the emphasis on the exotic as being somewhere else, these tragedies and struggles can be found here, in Hackney or even in Swansea.


‘Unheralded Stories’ by Tom Hunter at Mission Gallery

Ethics is extremely relevant in terms of Hunter’s work. In order to portray an individual’s misery and poverty, he has to build up a relationship with these people based on respect. His approach to his work, its intentions, is to make us see ‘our relationship with our own lives’ through the portrayal of these universal struggles.

The theme of the conference more specifically was questioning issues of ethics of photography in education. The discussion then led its way through questioning a student’s technique of capturing and production of presentation of work. Some issues that were discussed mentioned that printing quality in some cases becomes second to the actual image. Also, they discussed that students need to spend more time thinking about printing quality and how best to present their image. Hunter uses predominantly analogue processes and emphasises that it gets you to think more about the work. Is this a question of darkroom vs. digital?

Is this lack of thought about printing quality a result of an increase in looking at images in digital formats on smart phone, tablet and computer screens? This then led to highlighting the extremely large scale of Hunter’s work in the gallery around them – what is the cost of production of a work that size? What is the cost of the framing? What is the price tag on it? Hunter explained that when he was a student he had to pay a lot of money to develop and print his images sometimes with images failing. Can students afford to print on this scale? Or can they afford not to? The discussion led then to deciding on promoting values in printing their images but is this not a question about the individuals intentions – where and how they show their work? Is it about questioning the student’s approach to their work and the appropriate way to present them?


‘Unheralded Stories’ by Tom Hunter at Mission Gallery

With Hunter’s work, the images are intended for exhibition spaces, that is their context. They are meant to be experienced, there is a ‘physicality’ to them, the scale and the place are more than relevant, what is the experience of these narrative portrayals like alone or shared?

The discussion then came to a close influenced mostly by the unrelenting heat inside the gallery which the fans blew around and around. The discussion then continued at the conference at Swansea Metropolitan the next day.