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We are delighted to share with you the latest news from Phoenix Art Space which includes details about our family art packs, our upcoming drawing course and a Q&A with the 2019 winners of the Cass Art & Phoenix Studio Award.

If you love what we do, we ask you to continue supporting our organisation in order to safeguard its future.
You can do that by either Becoming a Friend or Making a Donation.
Images: Rosie Powell
Art packs for local families

Phoenix Art Space are continuing to work with the local community to provide much needed support at this difficult time. Another batch of free family art packs were delivered to local residents last week and we have now launched a new initiative; adult art packs for older people so that they can enjoy being creative at home! Dedicated volunteers at the Phoenix Community Centre food hub are working hard to distribute food parcels each week along with our family and adult art packs. Thank you to Phoenix Community Association and Hyde Group for their support. 
Image: Dan Kimber

You can now book a place on our new Drawing on Location course, taught entirely outdoors by studio artist Rachel Cohen.

Join Rachel on either 4, 18 or 25 July in Preston Park for an opportunity to improve your observational drawing. Students will take part in a variety of exercises on drawing and looking, and will be provided with guidance and feedback to help develop their skills. £20 for each session. Book your place.

In our most recent Virtual Studio Visit we hear from studio artist and photographer Hugh Fox about socially-distanced photoshoots under lockdown. 
"For me, documenting my family life, reportage in and around Brighton, and recently socially distanced planned shoots have been fertile ground for new ideas and ways of seeing. I’ve been hooked on the different ways people have voiced their experience as we have been forced to reshape the world around us."
Q&A with Miranda Forrester & Emily Kat Moore
Miranda and Emily were the 2019 winners of the Cass Art & Phoenix Art Space Studio Award, an initiative which sees Cass Art sponsor a studio space for two Brighton University graduates. 

You both won the 2019 Cass Art & Phoenix Studio Award. How have you found working out of a studio at Phoenix Art Space? 

MF: I feel really lucky to have been awarded the studio at Phoenix. It is such a great space and I feel like I have really been able to make the most of it. Everyone at Phoenix is really friendly and helpful and it has been invaluable to have a space that’s open 24/7 with such good light! 

EKM: Having a quiet place away from full time work and my (tiny) flat to spread out and make more ambitious, ongoing work has been brilliant. After years of hot-desking at University, it’s been really special to have a space that’s just ours. It’s also been amazing to be part of such a busy community of artists. I’ve loved getting involved with Phoenix events, attending Spotlight Talks has been a great way to get an insight into others’ practices and reflect on my own. 

How has your practice developed since graduating last year? 

MF: My practice has developed since last year in terms of continuity, narrative and materiality. I feel like when I was graduating, all the ideas and materials I had been exploring throughout my degree had only just started to come together. Since then, I have been able to fully realise those ideas and produce a diverse body of work that I think is achieving the things I want my work to achieve. 

EKM: It’s been a hectic year! Alongside working in the studio at Phoenix, I’ve been lucky enough to secure a full-time job in the creative industry, as a producer at an animation studio. Developing my personal practice at Phoenix alongside hands-on industry experience has been incredibly valuable to me - it's really helped with the tricky transition from being an art student to a professional practitioner. Work-wise, I’ve welcomed the opportunity to break free from university briefs and deadlines. Working more experimentally and on smaller, independent projects has helped me to become more intuitive with what I’m doing.

What have you been working on these last few months? Have you managed to stay creative? 

MF: I have been working on my Naked Truths series, which is a ongoing series of small paintings on canvas/ PVC exploring intimate moments/fragments of domesticity and queer black relationships. I have also been making drawings and lino prints for the artist support pledge. I have struggled to make new work over the last few months for the first time in a long time. Everything happening has been a lot to process and I think like a lot of black creatives, it has been a mentally exhausting time. However I’m feeling positive and hopeful for the future and have taken this time to think about what direction I want to take my work in next. 

EKM: My main ‘lock-down’ project has been an animated music video for the band ‘Raffles’. It’s a very detailed, complex project that I’ve really pushed myself with, using a combination of intricate illustrations and 3D models. I’m really excited about it, and it should hopefully be completed in the next few weeks. On the side, I’ve been working on a series of studies in gif formats. I’ve found this a fun way to bridge the gap between being an illustrator and an animator, producing still life studies and bringing them to life with small, looping animated elements. It’s rewarding to work on some smaller, quick pieces of work whilst working on something like a music video, which can take many months to complete.

What are you plans or ambitions for the coming year?

MF: COVID-19 really scuppered a lot of my plans, but I think that has been a good thing for me to live more day by day. So all I’m really planning is what kind of work I want to make. I am looking forward to at some point being able to exhibit again in a space where I have a lot of freedom. I have experimented a bit with installation and painting on the walls behind my paintings before but I would like to push this further and bigger for a future show. I also want to make some bigger, life- size work. The practicalities of large scale work put me off but I’ve been considering more the impact of scale particularly in the larger work I have made previously. 

EKM: The last few months have been very strange for us all, and I think everything still feels quite up in the air. I’m going to make the most of my last two months at Phoenix, and will work to keep the momentum going afterwards. I’m going to continue with my personal practice, and hope to secure some more private commissions. I’ve really enjoyed working on the music video, so I plan to seek opportunities to work on more projects like that in the future.

To see more of their work, follow Miranda and Emily on Instagram.
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