NEOS kicked off at SSW this weekend, with Paper-Kiln Building, Woodcarving Demonstrations and Cheesecake-Making as well as an Open Studio Exhibition.
The SSW Open Studio officially opened this Sunday, with work by artists Jennifer Argo, Beth Bidwell, Amelia Bywater, Eden Jolly, Nam Le, Michael Marriot and Kevin Andrew Morris, as well as work-in-progress by current resident artists Ben Burtenshaw and Joanna Foster.
Ceramicist Beth Bidwell led participants through the process of Paper-Kiln Building, which involved first constructing a tee-pee structure with wooden sticks before packing the kiln with ceramic work along with wood chips, straw and some metal objects to add a variation of effects when firing the ceramics pieces. The kiln was then clad with newspaper and clay slip with help from Sofia Oliveria, artist-in-residence Joanna Foster and SSW Director Nuno Sacramento before being placed on top of a small bonfire to fire the ceramic objects within the kiln. Once the kiln had been securely mounted on top of the fire, Beth and technical resident Michael Marriot sawed off the top of the tee-pee to let the fire breathe. Once it had build up enough heat the paper-kiln was then capped-ff with a cap Beth pleated out of old newspapers, with the help of NEOS visitors, and left to burn through the night.
For anyone who did not get a chance to take part in Paper-Kiln Building or see the Woodcarving Demonstrations, SSW will be hosting the second round of workshops and demonstrations this Saturday; if anyone would like to include work in the second paper kiln, come along to the Open Studio this week to make some work aided by ceramics artist Beth who will guide you through the ceramic process. (Please call the SSW office on 01464 861372, or email http://www.ssw.org.uk, to organise a time with Beth prior to dropping by.)
Local artist Gavin Smith held woodcarving demonstrations throughout the day in the SSW wood workshops while giving tips to onlookers, taking a break only to aid Beth in capping off the kiln. Gavin will also be hosting a second day of woodcarving demonstrations this coming Saturday.
Socially engaged artist Merlyn Riggs provided visitors with a well-recieved, constant supply of pancakes through the afternoon, as well as cheeesecake-making for anyone who wanted to get involved. Merlyn also set up tables at interstitial points around the workshops, such as the materials bay in the workshop, the gallery space itself and the ceramics space, to prompt spontaneous dialectical engagement between visitors to NEOS, artists working within the space and SSW staff.
Come along between 10am- 5pm any day this week to see the open exhibition and enjoy some afternoon tea and scones in SSW’s temporary Cafe space where you can also read about the projects that have been taking place at SSW this summer.
The NEOS closing day at SSW will feature Dudendance, a local performance collective who will be performing in SSW’s main studio from 6.30pm.
To view the NEOS programme at SSW, visit: http://www.ssw.org.uk.