English, Rose (4 of 13).  National Life Stories: Artists' Lives

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  • Recording date

    2005-12-08, 2006-02-03, 2006-04-11, 2006-05-08, 2006-06-05,

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home/studio, London

  • Interviewees

    English, Rose, 1950- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Dyke, Anna, (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 4: [Session Three: 11 April 2006] [57:13] RE’s outfit. Recent trip to China; rehearsal with the acrobats; for September performance at Liverpool Biennial. Choreographing the act. Describes glass objects designed by SV. RE’s role as performer in it is still undefined. [06:04] Farnham School of Art; outlines curriculum; lectures; theatre group. Foundation course run by two young artists (Oliver Bevan and Larry?); energetic, imaginative teaching. Ceramics, textiles and painting degree courses. Two-year foundation; RE age 16 when started. Lodged during week with landlady Miss Ailand. 2nd year, RE shared apartment with three older students, on textile degree; Incredible String Band music scene; Biba influence. RE’s group; would often work on projects together; eg. project re-Buckminster Fuller. RE’s friends: Rosemary, Suhail Ahmed, Linda; hasn’t maintained contact with these friends; refers to family’s move to Hereford. [17:10] Feeling effect of 1968 sit-ins at Hornsey and Guildford. Ceramics tutors at Farnham; mentions life drawing tutor Bob Pengelly; their concerns re-changes in art education; diploma became a ‘BA’. RE’s sense of this at the time via SE studying Foundation at Guildford. SE planned to study ecology, but switched to art; degree at Leeds - where RE also studied. SE’s land art piece in his final year; details. RE and SE would talk about art; collaborated on SE’s 8mm films. [23:56] Having independent life at art school; full grant; buying shoes at Elliott’s. Inhabiting a different world to that of friends from boarding school. Art history tutor; students would design/illustrate projects as bound books; eg. RE’s projects on Indian textiles, Ballet Russes/Bakst designs. Sharing in each other’s work; crits. Relationship with tutors. Using plastics and resin; hard work to polish it. Moving around art school buildings; carrying equipment. RE’s clothes; mini skirt, thigh-high boots, pony skin coat; bought clothes from jumble sales and Biba. Visits to Biba; first Biba stores; describes mini dress; big Biba store; also went to Bus Stop; and Dolly Rockers brand. Friends’ clothes; folkloric style. [37:05] Exhibitions; trips to galleries which represented the tutors, Oliver and Larry; ‘Hard-edged’ painting. Picasso ceramics; applied and decorative arts; Aubrey Beardsley; Gordon Craig; drawing in V&A textiles room, costume galleries. Went to poetry society readings. Repertory theatre The Castle; seeing same actors in different roles. Amateur dramatics group; RE played violin and designed costumes in Lorca’s Blood Wedding’. Specialising; RE interested in everything; love of theatre plus performing; advised to study stage design. Applied to Central St Martins, Wimbledon, Nottingham; took place on fine art course at Bristol; tutor’s advice. Bad experience as student at Bristol School of Art; details. Restrictive, dull teaching; tutors’ characters; RE was thrown out. Small-mindedness. Meanness; eg. policeman and landlord/property-developer team; intimidation. Meeting during last term; tutors’ criticism of RE’s work; RE’s reaction. Reflects on positive consequence of going to Leeds. Harassment from landlord re-RE’s boyfriend moving into the flat. Negotiating relationship with the art school; advice; transfer to another art school. Took year out; saved money from waitress job; travelled with boyfriend in India. Via SE; applied for a place at Leeds (to join the 2nd year). After graduating, discovered Bristol had sent a warning letter about RE to Leeds. Awarded a 1st from Leeds. Advice RE has since given to students. [57:13]

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