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Virtual Tribes - Professional Development Online

16th February 6.00 – 8.00pm

Towner Eastbourne Devonshire Park, College Road Eastbourne BN21 4JJ

image: Turps Banana – reproduced with kind permission Turps

Virtual Tribes

During lockdown we became used to meeting friends, family, and colleagues online. In the art world, this same technology opened new opportunities to study and connect. For our February event, two members gave a talk about their experiences. Kathleen Dawson gave us a presentation on the well-established and well-respected Turps Correspondence Course for painters; June Nelson gave us her experiences of the recently established Contemporary Art Academy, which began offering short-term courses in 2022. June also told us about her experience of a recent mentorship with Ceri Hand, which she regards as saving her artistic life! Both June and Kath gave us all some valuable insights of their personal experiences regarding online professional development, some of the advantages and also some of the pitfuls to avoid. Further information can be found on our links page for both of the online schools mentioned, Ceri Hand's website, and also a link to an artists' mentor resource site.

Kath was born in East Sussex and has lived here for all the best bits of her life. At school, she was the class artist, but somehow the art career that everyone assumed would materialise disappeared in a cloud of homesickness as soon as she started Foundation Year. She returned home and reinvented herself as a systems analyst/computer programmer, staying that way until she was made redundant. Some 35 years later she picked up art college where she had left off. She works on themes around the interaction of geography and history. She draws upon reportage and news images, using paint to explore why they engaged her interest. The paintings have their own history and geography, the ghosts of previous images often being discernible.

June was born and raised in South Wales. Her first career was in academic publishing in London and Scotland. She took classes at Glasgow School of Art; then, in Edinburgh, was lucky enough to study with such artists as Callum Innes, Rose Frain, and Moyna Flannigan. It wasn’t until she moved South, that she formalised her art practice with a degree in Fine Art (Painting) from the University of Brighton while perhaps unwisely, combining it with raising a young family. She is inspired by notions of female agency, frequently using imagery from history, mythology, and personal and collective memory. Materiality of thought and feeling is key, so she lets her chosen mediums lead her, whether paint, graphite powder, charcoal, wax, soot, or moving image. She has been shortlisted for the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing prize, had two paintings chosen by Jo Baring for ING Discerning Eye 2020, and has recently exhibited some of her smoke drawings in the Hastings Open 2022. She combines her ever-emerging practice with working front of house at Towner.


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