The CSM Short Course exhibition aimed to highlight the talent of the tutors who teach on our short courses and reach out to a wider audience. Short Courses are designed for students of all levels that are interested in learning new skills or improving some particular aspects in their area of expertise.
We spoke with curator, Angela Sanchez Del Campo, to get a behind the scenes look at putting together the Central Saint Martins Short Course Exhibition.
The exhibition provided an excellent opportunity to showcase the work of some of our tutors and give potential students a sense of the type of work that they could make during a CSM Short Course. When talking about art and design courses, looking at the objects and watching the making process are the most efficient ways to explain what it is about.
The first and last windows of the show feature two fashion illustrations that were commissioned for the exhibition by Alexis Panayiotou. Alexis is a talented fashion illustrator who teaches not only on short courses, but also for the BA Fashion students at CSM. Alexis, who often finds inspiration during the process of making work, explains that he created these two illustrations to demonstrate the kind of exercises he does with his students in the short courses, but in a much larger scale.
“I wanted to produce some figures that reveal the working of the drawing; like an anatomy diagram you can see the ‘innards’ of the figure in layers from the initial basic skeleton, the basic shapes of the figure either drawn or using collage, and then details like print and the face, although not always necessarily in that order .” – Alexis Panayiotou
The exhibition also includes a time-lapse video showing the making of both illustrations. This video, which can be seen below, offered a great opportunity to appreciate his technique and the step-by-step process.
The next window exhibits a series of four photographs by Karl Grupe and an illustration commissioned by Oliver O’Keefe, along with some of his sketchbooks.
Karl Grupe, is a photographer who defines himself as ‘obsessed by the narrative formed from disrupting patterns’ and is interested in capturing images which involve an alchemy of improvisation, risk, reflection and narrative passing through the portal of photography. The four photographs exhibited are part of a series called ‘a harsh land’, which uses the genre of landscape to explore classic photographing rules which step outside of the professional doctrine of landscape photography.
“a harsh land explores the deconstruction of the visually perfect, opening up to the potential brutality of the camera’s eye and allowing for a ‘beautiful ugly’ to take over and resonate from the raw ingredients of the photographic process. The results are hard, unexpected and raw. They are perfectly imperfect.” – Karl Grupe
The next work, commissioned to Oliver O’Keefe, shows a sample of what he teaches his students in class. His courses are designed to focus on what the student does as an image maker and find ways to help them progress. Oliver likes setting a number of briefs during the course; some of which are industry focused, like book covers, while others are more probing, asking questions about illustration and what it can be.
The inclusion of some of his sketchbooks also gives an idea of his style and how his imagination works toward creating a physical image from an idea.
Oliver also teaches on the BA Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins. He is an illustrator interested in stories, with a particular passion for comics from an early age. He has been working for the last 3 years on an illustration project called 52wordsayear.com with three other illustrators. The project consists of responding to a word with an illustration every week.