Monday, 21 October 2013


So, it was our Sketchcrawl on Saturday. Mike came to film for the day and I used Final Cut Pro to make this video. I now have the editing bug, like a great big moving collage of colour and sound. Hope you enjoy the watch.

Nottingham Sketch Crawl 2013 from Deborah Burke on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Moodboards, maquettes, moulds and motivation

Now we're back and in the swing of things, I thought it time to update a bit on where I'm up to...

It was suggested that for our first tutorial we present a moodboard of our current thinking in terms of themes, colours, ideas etc so, taking a lot of inspiration from my time in Spain I collated some images to suggest notions of my brief:

Then, just to get me going and practice what being back in the workshops is all about(!?) I made some moulds for slip-casting from domestic cloths. I have been wanting to try this out for a while, after reading about the work of Bas Kools last year.

The texture is really interesting and the manipulation of the fabric is fairly giving

This could open up some exciting new moulds and models!

I tried sampling with some less structured dishcloths too, but the weight was a problem as you poured the slip out, think I'll have to pay a visit to the plaster room...

This might be interesting once fired and burnt out though! 

I've also been developing some ideas in regards layering and windows and thinking about stitch in ceramic for installation.

I'd like to try some screen printing in ceramics this term 
and use a lot more drawing and mark making in my work.

Detail from my inital brief for this year:

Aims and objectives

1.     Define a theme
With a continued interest in the juxtaposition of non-conventional materials, I will explore the tangibility of ceramics and latex and engage with the opposing qualities of each material.

Treating ceramics as a soft, almost textile material, I will apply traditional methods of manipulation such as stitching, whilst considering latex in terms of its ability to cast and encapsulate. Using the qualities of each to play against one another I aim to create a curious aesthetic in a collection of un-functional objects for installation.

I will also be developing a relationship between hand drawn marks and surface manipulation. Having developed a number of drawing sketchbooks over the past two years I wish to exploit the marks that I have made on their pages. I am looking to embed these into the ceramic and latex surfaces, introducing layers and textures into the work through various additional materials.

2.     Visual Research and Analysis
I will work from my current sketchbooks of drawings to develop a range of marks for sampling and prototypes. I will create a new palette of 3D marks through this process and will draw from these to further investigate the marks that are being made.

I will continue my routine engagement with drawing and maintain an additional body of reference in the form of photographs and colour work.

I will focus my artist research on work produced using similar materials and techniques; with examples of those made for commission and installation works.

So, I hope to update with some exciting makes and discoveries this coming term, and although it all feels a little overwhelming, this is the last big push before the real world comes along!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Pretty Dandy Flea

I helped out at the Pretty Dandy Flea today. It stayed busy from the off with lots of quality vintage, design and food stalls, great music too and a really good atmosphere for shopping and browsing.

In between voluntary duties I had some time to do some drawings. I was going to try and get the whole space in but as I was looking I realised that it was the people moving around the space that made it what it was so I drew them instead. With my new range of coloured pens, I had quite and energetic response and feel that these could work well in an animated format:

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

New year, New term = time for making new friends!

So, it's the start of Year 3 - eeeek! It's the big one, the one where we're meant to know what the hell we want to do (?!) and the one that counts.

To start the year off and make it feel that little bit less daunting, I thought it would be nice to arrange an event for all the year groups. To help instigate a dialogue between us all and make us feel more part of a 'whole course' rather than three separate studios I thought what better way to do that than through a whole day of drawing and socialising...I’m going to hold a Sketchcrawl! 

It will coinside with the Worldwide Sketchcrawl event on 19th October and will consist of an all day drawing event around different venues and events in Nottingham. 

The idea being that there is this rough guide for people to drop in and out of as they feel suits during the day, (so that those working/other commitments etc can still make things) create a nice social atmosphere for whole of the course to get along and ultimately produce a nice range of drawings! 

All drawings from 3rd years will be curated for a show, that will run 18th November - 2nd December alongside the NTU exhibition drawology, and another event I'm involved with at the Uni - a student led exhibition called Drawing Is... 

There's been some really keen interest for the day so I'm excited for what it might produce. 

Our rough plan for the day so far:

Meet in Market Square to draw 10 - 11.30/12 (weather dependent)
Move on to Castle 12 - 1.30/2 to take in Nottingham Open exhibition (and draw grounds/cityscape from above)
Head for buffet lunch at Red Hot Buffet (it's got an amazing interior of global mishmash all themed around travel!) 2 - 3.30/4
Head to Canalhouse bar for drawing and sharing of work done so far/social 4 - 6pm
Then, for those still up for it, carry on to Beeston for some live music at Oxjam

Sounds good huh? Fingers Crossed for some good weather, it will be nice to get out and about. 

Well, here's to the start of a challenging year ahead then, still can't believe this is the final year!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

We illustrate to say goodbye...

So today is the last day :( and after cleaning the house we have a last session drawing on the front terrace. When saying goodbye, there's no better way than representing it by line so whilst everyone sat here:

I drew them!

We said adiós to the village

Then relaxed on the beach, before we head home

And that was my trip! 

A roller coaster of mark, line and colour - I'm really glad I booked on to it! It's given me a sense of place within my work this coming year that I just don't think I would have got by staying at home. The sketchbook has been a place for me to think, explore and dream and bookending the long summer with drawing trips has been the best. Now it's back to reality, and the grindstone of uni, third year, life! Let's see what the next 9 months might bring....

Hasta la vista Cutar, hasta próxima vez

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Day Six: Pattern Repeat & Colourful Cutar

It's the penultimate day :( Having spent the week visiting lots of locations 'off site' we spent the day in the village. This was great actually as it was the perfect time to have a day of reflection. Not only on the trip to Spain, but a reflection on the whole summer and time to consider what might be taken on into the new term and year ahead.

Having spent time in Cutar on two occassions now I had a real urge to draw the whole landscape of the village. On the first night we took a paseo and I was totally struck by the view from the top by the bus stop.

This was to be my chosen location for the day. 

So, after an early rise to catch the sun:

it was a day spent connecting with the village through line....

To start off however, we all had a repeat pattern workshop on the terrace

Collecting florals from the surroundings 

Then cutting them up to help start the repeat:

Positioning the flats on reverse of one another 

then filling in the gaps with more drawing:

Slicing the image again to create the full repeat

Then drop this into photoshop and tile up - It's quite tropical!

I then took myself to the top of the village

And began with some continuous line drawings:

It is interesting how the second drawing has become much tighter than the first 
- I must have been observing better!

I then went on to draw the same landscape again, but this time used colour! 
I'm quite pleased with the outcome here. It just goes to show that perseverence and practice is key to a better drawing!

Tutorial that evening brought a really nice close to the week's work. Both comparing our drawings from day 1 to those of day 6 we could all map our journey and progression of thought through the week. The key take away was that drawing (in terms of design) is a process not a drawing from drawings is a must for developing ideas! I think that's been rattling around up there but having some time and ability to gain perspective on things this has really stuck. I'm going to take this into my work this coming year and really work from my work. It's all there, you just have to tweak it out, through looking, analyzing and recreating to transform again...I'm really excited!!!!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Day Five: Sugar Factory/Rum Distillery - a window to its soul

The old sugar factory/rum distillery...this informed some of my work last year and it is a very special place to be and draw. The life that this location use to have, lost to time and ruin. By sitting and looking, thinking and watching, scribing this place to a page, it's a very magical experience. 

I spent a while walking around the grounds before finding my spot to sit and draw. I chose this specific view as it seemed to hold everything I had been exploring on this trip so far: colour, surface, texture, windows, layers, framing and moment. By taking what was into what is I have given energy back to this static standing mass of brick and bone. I like that this image looks magestic, cathedral like in its stance. The colour too is so vidid and alive.

Exploring further patterns that can be found in the makeup of the building I kept coming back to all of its many windows... Could this be something to explore in my work this coming year...?

The setting of the factory is quite fantastic, how its architectural mass sits against the undulating hills, the composition was just crying to be interpreted in my sketchbook...

During the tutorial we talked about the reinterpretation of drawings through collage and other media. 

Drawing is an act of transformation, so transform it again through additional drawing!  

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Day Four: Malaga

Today we went Malaga. There were some great exhibitions on and it was a good day for photographs and drawing.

The Alcazabar was my favourite location of the day last time and it didn't disappoint on a second visit! It is a most beautiful place - I love all that moorish styling and with a new found mode of 'useful drawing' I had a great day!

Here are my 'surface patterns' from the day:

And a more painterly psychedelic study:

There was an exhibition by Subodh Gupta: The Imaginary Order of things at the Contemporary Art Gallery which was excellent. My favourite pieces from the show ticked the texture box that I have been collecting:

The window holes invited you into another world: 

There were other sculptures playing with mirrors/concealment:

The 'combine' sculptures were my most favourite:

Along with the simplistic vessel forms:

The composition

And the layering

I mean look at it - wow!

That's some more details to add to my list then...hanging, fixing, rope and thread

We discussed relief painting in ceramics during the tutorial and ideas behind installation. I think this is the area I want to explore with my work. Although I would like to try lots of other materials, I can save some of that for later. Having enjoyed working with ceramics over the past few years I would like to challenge my current uses of it and perhaps incorporate more drawing... a good day though, on lots of levels, it's off to the sugar factory tomorrow - yippee!