UCA Farnham Fine Art student, Charlie Evaristo-Boyce who graduated in July 2014 has just completed his commissioned residency at Turner Contemporary in Margate. Charlie talks to us about the experience that built on his practice whilst as UCA Farnham (see earlier posts). He share what he feels he has gained and what he is planning to do next.
“Since getting a studio in Margate I made an effort to integrate myself into the growing art scene. I did this my meeting other artists and networking through twitter. Through following key members and organizations I found out about the ‘For The Love Of Colour’ commission which I then applied for. I got to interview stage from my application and then had a chance to show my portfolio of all the work I had produced during my time at UCA Farnham. This included the piece I produced for the Gustav Metzger show, which gave me leverage due to its scale, colour and the fact that it was installed in a public location. For the commission I was able to build on an earlier project that I produced in east London in my final year, taking a risk to hire a gallery space and try some new ways of working.
Part of the commission included collaborating with the youths at the Quarterdeck Youth Centre, which meant conducting workshops and organising creative activities. I didn’t expect this to be so intensive and being dropped in front of a dozen teenagers was hard, but it managed to work. It was definitely a great learning experience. I approached the project with an open mind and no definitive finalised artwork in mind. The works produced in response to the workshops I ran were themed around found motifs, portraiture and text.
I found working in the public eye takes some adjustment. My original plan was to paste up prints in locations around Cliftonville in Margate and create banners that could be hung on scaffolding, but this was not possible as when dealing with privately owned locations it’s a lot easier for people to say no or just to not respond, as it is less effort for them. So the locations that were available were mainly owned by Thanet District Council and when a project is supported by the council then every little detail needs to be considered and approved, and a level of refinement is required. All this bureaucracy was initially difficult, but I soon adapted. If you want to achieve something you have to put the work into it to make it happen. You encounter technical problems that you have to adapt, for instance, with one of the pieces of work, the images, instead of being pasted directly to a surface had to be mounted onto a sheet of ply that was screwed to poles, this was so it could be temporary.
Making public art is something every artist should try. As well as getting your work out there into the public realm it also generates feedback from everyday people rather than other artists. It also pushes you to work with the system and in doing this give you important experience and feeds directly into the community. I think my time at UCA Farnham gave me the confidence to set out of the degree and directly into being an artist.
Next I plan to get on with my own work, keep producing prints and other artworks, but more importantly get the work out there whether that’s exhibitions or more public art. I am so pleased with the results of the commission and the scale of the project.
I’m planning to make other ambitious projects, but the next thing I have is some work I made for the ‘Pushing Print’ event at the Pie Factory Gallery in Margate from Sat 4th – Tues 14th Oct.”http://optical-confectionery.tumblr.com