Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Beacon Bi-Monthly 9 Friday 2 March 2012

I am Dan Bond and as a fine art student, I always find it to be of great resource to attend the kind of networking events of which the Beacon Bimonthlies are prime. Hosted by Beacon directors, Nicola Streeten and John Plowman, these evenings make me feel like a welcome guest in the old chapel. Also, the free ride from Lincoln is most useful for the poverty-stricken student.

Upon arrival, it is standard procedure to introduce ourselves with a bit of themed whimsy to the rest of the room. This evening’s theme was on personal superstitions. I do enjoy this little bit of the evening, it’s a great leveller.

The evening consisted of two artist presentations and a conversation between the hosts on the topic of audience.

It’s inspiring to see the range of talent that present their work and ideas. It gives me the confidence to believe that I too could succeed as a professional artist. The first speaker, Marc Renshaw, shared with us the intricacies of his fictional football league. The league is a product of years of inventing statistics and league tables for his teams. The teams are entirely fictional too, existing only in the tables and Marc’s illustration work, presenting them with their own characteristics. Teams such as the ‘Tranquilayers’, and the ‘Bayerns’ are considered to be the top dogs in the league. They are similar to real teams, that I personally would know nothing about! He predicts the scores by playing through the matches in his head. The outcomes of these depend on previous statistics, weather conditions, and other variables.

I’m quite glad there are people like Marc still around. He has followed an interest from boyhood that would seem to others to be a waste of effort. Nerveless he stuck with it, never expecting anything more than the satisfaction from a very unique pastime.

                                                         Images: Marc Renshaw

To break up the evening, there was a selection of refreshments, tasteful bites and, as ever, a pot of fine homemade soup. This intermission gave people the opportunity to network with others and share contacts. This is a vital part of the evening and one of the reasons why people come. It feels like the event provides a healthy balance of presentation and conversation.

The second speaker was a recent graduate of Nottingham Trent University. Krystina Naylor works primarily as a sculptor, with works that deceive the eye. Her recent sculptures ask for a particular viewpoint. Once viewed in this way, their apparent shapes are disrupted.

I don’t think the photographs of these sculptures can do them justice. I feel that these sculptures can only be experienced whilst standing in the same space with them. You can then assume a more interactive role with the viewing, which is what this work demands.

                                  Images: Krystina Naylor                

This next and final part of the evening was a conversation that started off with the hosts, before the rest of the room began to participate. We discussed our audiences and how we could attract a wider and different audience. We, and I exclude myself from that, gained a little progress in sharing our ideas. There were times where the situation developed into debate and this is always good.

After arriving to some conclusions in the conversation, we ended the evening and drove back into Lincoln. I look forward to the next Beacon night. It’s a shame they’re only bi-monthly.

Dan Bond
Fine Art
University of Lincoln