Research fellows 2012
Each year our fellowship programme enables artists and researchers to develop their work.
In 2012 our visiting fellows included Christopher Townsend, Isabel Hufschmidt, Melissa Laing, Giles Round and Harry Willis Fleming.
Royal Holloway, University of London
Senior Research Fellowship
Duncan Grant’s Abstract Kinetic Collage Painting, Sound and his Omega Workshops carpet design
Professor Christopher Townsend’s project examines the kinetic relation between the body and the artwork in Duncan Grant’s Abstract Kinetic Collage Painting with Sound (1914) (aka ‘the Scroll’) and his contemporaneous designs of carpets for the Omega Workshops. One artwork is a painting that moves past the spectator, the other works are effectively paintings on which the spectator may walk.
Townsend’s research will examine the formal relationships between the similar motifs on ‘the Scroll’ and the carpet designs, using Grant’s correspondence, notebooks and sketch books; it examines the historical background to these works, in particular the influences within French modernism that are reflected in ‘the Scroll’s’ kineticism, and which derive from Grant’s trip to Paris in early 1914 and his interest in the ideas of the French philosopher Henri Bergson.
The Edition of Sculpture in England: A French Spirit of commerce, English manufactories and the New Sculpture
Isabel Hufshmidt will be researching bilateral influences – aesthetic, technical and economic – in relation to serially reproduced sculpture in nineteenth-century France and Britain. Her project will specifically focus on the role of the New Sculpture, sculpture’s relationship to the decorative arts and its commercial potential and economic roots, as well as a new democratic access to and enjoyment of art in this period.
Works by French sculptors, which had been regularly reproduced and commercially distributed by popular foundries in Paris since the 1830s, came to attract the interest of English manufactories, who were engaged in the reproduction and sale of small-scale statuary, especially in Parian Ware. Whilst simultaneously developing a new artistic language, British sculpture also recognised French superiority in foundry techniques and commercial ambitions.
British artists had long since bemoaned the lack of a platform for the serial production and distribution of sculptural works. It is not the case that there were no foundries and dealers in Britain, but the tradition of cire-perdue casting, brought to a masterful degree in France over centuries, had been rather neglected. In the second half of the nineteenth century, several foundries were established although they preferred to rely on French craftsmen – the realisation and implementation of the British-born commercialisation of sculpture thus took its proper form.
St Paul’s Street Gallery, Auckland University of Technology University
A history and critical analysis of the BAA Art Programme within the dual contexts of civil aviation and public art practices
Dr Melissa Laing will examine the Public Art Development Trust (PADT) archive held at the Henry Moore Institute, with the aim to construct a history and critical analysis of the BAA Art Programme within the dual contexts of civil aviation and public art practices.
The BAA Art Programme ran from 1994 to 1999 and by 1997 had an annual budget of £400,000 a year. It worked with three art consultancies including PADT, and saw over 40 artworks commissioned for BAA’s airports and collection.
Liang’s research forms part of a larger book project on the history of public art programmes and museum exhibits at airports.
Sculpture, Object, Decorative Craft
Drawing on Henderson & Paolozzi’s homewares company Hammer Prints Ltd, 1955-61 as a starting point, Giles Round will be conducting extensive research into the relationship between artist, object, decorative craft and interior. This will see an investigation that expands into the twentieth and early twenty-first century, to look at both individual artists and artists’ collective companies who have contributed to decorative and utilitarian household wares. From textiles to furniture and from pottery to glass, this research will look at artists who have contributed both utilitarian and decorative items for the home.
Supported by the Chelsea Arts Club Trust.
Harry Willis Fleming
Two Albums: The Genius of Richard Cockle Lucas
Harry Willis Fleming will use two albums of drawings, etchings, and ephemera relating to the sculptor Richard Cockle Lucas (1800-1883) as a lens to examine that artist’s palimpsestic approach to archive- making, memory-making, and the bottling of tutelary genius.
In parallel, Willis Fleming will consider Lucas’s present-day reception and place within current debates in the history of sculpture. The Fellowship will lay the foundation for a major research project.