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Wirral Metropolitan College BA Fine Art students go wild on a book arts adventure in Yellowstone National Park, USA
52 backers pledged £1,156 to help bring this project to life.
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£1,156

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We are BA Fine Art students from Wirral Metropolitan College and we have been invited on a once in a lifetime adventure to make artists’ books in the wilderness of Yellowstone Park in the USA. In June we are going to spend two weeks exploring Yellowstone with the students and faculty of the Department of Visual Arts at Brigham Young University, Utah, and then we'll return to BYU to create our artists’ books in their printmaking studios. 

Our group represents all three years of our course and we come from different backgrounds with all sorts of life skills, ages, abilities and disabilities. Our group includes printmakers, sculptors, painters, book artists, assemblers and photographers. 

We are all really excited to have a chance to do something really amazing with fellow students from the other side of the world and to respond creatively to an incredible location. 

To get the project underway we’ve already started fundraising with an art prize draw, a quiz night, sponsored marathon runs and supermarket collections to help us pay for our flights which are our major expense. 

We think Kickstarter is a great way to let more people know about what we are doing and your interest and pledges will add to our funding pot and help us to get there! We have set a target we think we can reach and which will make a good contribution towards our flights.

Kickstarter works like this; if we don’t reach our funding target we won’t receive any money and you won’t be charged. 

This is what the project is about

  •  Western Wilds is about our relationship to the ‘wild’ and ideas surrounding the personal, historical and cultural values which we place on the protection of, and access to, wilderness sites. We are all thinking about the unknown, possibly getting lost and even homesick. It is likely that these psychological responses to remote places will be present in our creative responses to this unusual environment.
  • It’s also about collaboration and bringing together students and staff from both institutions to share educational practices, specialist fine art skills - including printmaking and digital technologies, conceptual approaches and peer group support in the production of artists’ books.

This is how we are going to do it

We start with three full days onsite research at Yellowstone Park and this bit will involve:

  • introductory presentations where we talk about our own art practice
  • lectures about the project themes and ideas
  • daily exploratory hikes to gather research ideas and imagery
  • workshops in book arts practice – bindings and structures
  • workshops in printmaking and digital image formats
  • filming ourselves at work - and doing some directed experiments in performance art!!

This is what we will produce:

  • artist’s books by 14 Wirral Met students and staff and by about 25 participants from Brigham Young University
  • a daily blog and eventually a project website
  • lots of original prints and photographs
  • a short documentary film
  • filmed collaborative performance works
  • an end of project exhibition in BYU’s 303 Gallery
Yvonne Davis 'Reflections' Shared Ground Project 2012
Yvonne Davis 'Reflections' Shared Ground Project 2012
Bernadette McHugh 'Adventures in Birkenhead Park 'Shared Ground Project 2012
Bernadette McHugh 'Adventures in Birkenhead Park 'Shared Ground Project 2012
The Shared Ground Project exhibition at BYU's 303 Gallery, photo by Prof Joe Ostraff
The Shared Ground Project exhibition at BYU's 303 Gallery, photo by Prof Joe Ostraff
Lottie's 'Try - Angle' book in The Puzzler pledge
Lottie's 'Try - Angle' book in The Puzzler pledge

Risks and challenges

We haven’t done this before, but our tutors have. This will be the third time our course has collaborated on a project like this with BYU so we have a successful track record to follow. You can see how they turned out on the links in our bio information.

We are still anxious about it though because it will be a huge personal and creative test for each of us. We know we’ve got great support from our own tutors and that BYU will be working really hard to make us feel we can do it in what will be a pressurised timescale. It’s going to be something we will never forget and that is our best motivation.

Our biggest fear right now though is how to survive a bear encounter and, for Rachel, it’s whether the airline will let her bring her Marmite.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $7

    The Introducer: You will receive daily blog updates on the project so you can follow our highs and lows almost as they happen, plus for every one of the 14 days of the project you will be emailed a daily Jpeg file of one artwork / image made by each member of the group - 14 images in total for you to collect for your own Yellowstone archive.

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    Pledge £10 or more About $13

    The Bookish Beginner: You will receive all of the above rewards, plus we will also email you four of our specially designed instructional guides (PDF docs) on how to make some of our favourite book folds and simple book forms. You can download them, get involved making some of the books forms that we will be using on the project and let us know how you get on!

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    Pledge £15 or more About $19

    The Puzzler: You will receive the £5 and £10 rewards plus we will email you our very own Lottie Millington’s delightfully dyslexic and deliberately puzzling ‘Try-Angle Book’ as a ‘print your own’ PDF pamphlet book for you to print off and make at home. For dyslexics and non-dyslexics or anyone who has ever been baffled by ‘how to’ instructions - this is for you!

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About $26

    The Promoter: You will receive the £5 and £10 rewards plus we will post you an original two colour ‘Western Wilds’ screenprinted project poster personalised with your name, on 220 gsm paper, size 42 x 29 cm – designed and printed by us on our return home.

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    Pledge £30 or more About $38

    The Collector: You will receive the £5 and £10 rewards plus we will send you a selected original print produced by one of us during the heat of the project, plus a small inkjet printed ‘Maze’ book containing the 14 daily images emailed to you. These will be posted to you on our return.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $63

    The Publisher: You will receive the £5 and £10 rewards plus we will post you an original artists’ book entitled ‘Surviving Yellowstone’. This will be a collaborative field guide documenting aspects of our experiences and personal reflections on the wilds of Yellowstone, with edited texts and images contributed by the entire group. It will be screenprinted by us in 2 colours, in an edition of 25, size 21 x15 cm aprox, on 220gsm paper, when we return home.

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Funding period

- (25 days)