Paul Merrick

What Is A Painting (2013)

Royal Grammar School

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Working with a group of AS students from the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle. My brief was to introduce the group to Contemporary Art, and in particular to the practice of Painting.

We visited Workplace Gallery, to see the exhibition ‘be like water’ where the group saw works by  Anna Betbeze, Michał Budny and then onto BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. We then visited my studio at 36 Lime Street where I  introduced the group to my own practice, with an opportunity for them to ask questions. The group were also shown 36 Lime Street Gallery space where then told that they would be exhibiting their new work as part of the project in the next few weeks.

Returning to the school I provided a variety of materials for the group to consider and experiment with. Inspired from their experiences at Workplace Gallery, BALTIC and my studio, their brief was to make paintings but not necessrily use paint.  Throughout an intensive day of making the group were challenged to think like contemporary artists and not like students – there were a series of crits and discussions individually and as a group with a studio atmosphere created within the classroom.

Their final challenge involved the group curating and hanging their work. They had to consider the space of the gallery as well as the amount of work to select and the relationship between one anothers works. Not an easy thing to do with

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