Dr Max Stewart, Senior Lecturer in Applied Arts at the Wolverhampton School of Art, said: “As part of their studies, 15 students were tasked with a project to work outside of the University and create an exhibition based on their experience. Getting involved in a live project allows them to work outside their academic space and covers all aspects of setting up an exhibition including advertising the event, fundraising and organising the Private View.”
“The students responded to the architecture and the artefacts at Wightwick Manor as a spring-board for work made primarily in ceramics and glass. The response is varied and as individual as each student and contemporises the themes of the Arts and Crafts movement which dominates much of the house.”
Ryan Ashcroft, 20 from Tividale in Dudley, said: “It was fantastic to work with a group on a live project like this, taking inspiration from such a wonderful local attraction like Wightwick Manor. Although the project was hard work, it’s been a very enjoyable experience, giving me a real insight into how things work outside of education and it’s certainly something I would consider doing as a career in the future.
“I chose the course because it was a great opportunity to continue working in my favourite subject areas – with glass and ceramics – and it’s taught me how to develop my own techniques but allowed me to experiment with new materials. The University’s equipment and facilities are excellent, the tutors and technical staff are very friendly and helpful and it’s just a great place to learn things.”
Emma Mounsey, 20 from Cambridge, said: “This project has given me an experience of the complete creative arc, from initial inspiration when we visited Wightwick Manor, through development and creation to organising and publicising the exhibition. It has also given me experience of the challenges and rewards of collaboration which is important preparation for my future as a practising artist.
“This experience has challenged me to develop new skills, to work collaboratively in a field where much of what we do is solitary and has given me the time to explore the narrative behind my work. I chose the course because of the emphasis on practical making and development of skills and it’s been great to put those into practise during this project.”
For more information about the Reflections of Wightwick exhibition check out the website and Facebook page.