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
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)