Experimentation & Dialogues

Welcome Week 2022

Today was my first day back at the University Of Wolverhampton as part of my second year. I was to join in with the welcome week for the new Level 4 students as I will be joining with them in the module as per the title of this post. It’s about experimenting with techniques and process, as well as learning about the language of art and how to write academic essays or reports.

It started off with a whole heap of traffic on the main road into Wolverhampton after having left Shrewsbury at 8am for the 45 minute trip (usually) so I could get there for 9 and the start of proceedings. I got there at 9:25 in the end with a load of lane closures and seemingly hundreds of lollipop crossing people holding up traffic for the kids to cross the main road and get to school.


Upon my arrival I looked through the packed reception of the George Wallis building that hosts the MK Block and Art building for the university. It was heaving, I looked and saw a friendly face in Aaron from the, now, level 6 photography course, he was sat with a friend and fellow student so I joined in the discussion about Spiderman, Batman and other comic book based films and tv series until it was time for a call to visit the basement studio with Euripides, the course leader. (Dr Euripides Altintzoglou).

The Year Ahead

When the photography level 4 students gathered on the new lovely sofas and chairs in the Basement we were introduced to Euripides, Dan the expert technician, Niki, Simon, Gavin and Sylvia all lecturers who’d be helping us through this year. After some confusion with Level 5 and Level 6 students being in the same room we had it ready and a round of introductions from the students followed. We were able to have an introduction to the course after some initial IT problems with the presentation pc and were shown our timetable for the year to come.

When we’d finished the presentation about the forthcoming studies we had a short break and then a tour around the art building, which was more comprehensive than last year, we went in areas that I’d not seen before such as the ceramics and glass areas as well as more exposure in the printing room where screen printing takes place. Euripides showed us a printing press used for linotypes that cost the university £8000 in 1976. That’s an extraordinary amount of money for such a piece of kit, but they were made well back in those days and it’s still in use today.

Library Book Return

After the tour I chatted to Paul, a colleague from last year who is now on Level 5, before going to return and reissue my two library books that are in the recommended reading. One is called Memory by Ian Farr and the other Re-Collection by Rinehart and Ippolito. They may well come in handy for this years modules.

Welcome Week Creative Task

After returning to the basement we were introduced to Alice who is leading the seminars and lectures for my module this year. She introduced us to Dean who was her lecturer when she studied at the uni over 10 years ago. We had a presentation about everything that we needed to know from Alice before she came up with a Welcome Week Creative Task.

We were to randomly pick a colour marked on a card from the table top and then have 37 minutes to go around the art building and find subjects to take photos of that were that colour. Off we went to infiltrate every corner of the George Wallis building and take phone photos so that we could then get together and discuss the photos taken and how they met the brief and whether it was obvious which colour people had selected, based upon the images they had made.

The colour I selected was Green, it looked a little yellowy to me but another person had yellow and it looked green against that. I set out on an odyssey around the different floors looking for the green things. I wandered around the ground floor and made my way up to floor four before I’d run out of time. I visited the ceramics workshop again, then made my way to a workshop of woodworking tools and a side room of injection moulding and vacuum formers filling my phone reel up as I travelled. I felt a little naughty popping in and out of rooms that I’d never seen before and figured that wood shop was dangerous if I strayed off the path so I stayed well away from all of the gruesome “Final Destination” style tools like table saws and bandsaws.. No good ever came from being by those things when you didn’t need to be.

Show Me The Green

Once back at the basement we then started uploading the photos we’d taken to padlet.com so the images could be shared. Below is a collection of the images I submitted and then other images that I took whilst out and about exploring the various floors of the art building.

With these images uploaded to Padlet we all began discussing the images and some were trying to figure out where the photos had been taken. Some were more abstracted than others and therefore less easy to figure out. It was interesting to see the different styles of people from images that looked really well framed and composed to a couple of snapshots. Each was good in their own way and no one was criticised which is something I liked.

Almost Rans and Others

The rest of the images I took are here and I felt didn’t fit in or I didn’t want to overload the screen with my hastily taken shots.

After we had shared the images and completed our task for the day we were free to leave with the promise of finishing this exercise on Friday when we’d be joining up all of the images to form a large joint effort from the whole course which would then be shown to the other courses in the art school as they will show us what they’ve done in welcome week.

Looking Forward

I’m so looking forward to this year, as it means I will get to pick a final year project, complete the reflective journal (this blog) and also a couple of essays along the way. All while meeting and gelling with a new bunch of students, these colleagues will then be there again once I move into my third year and they begin their second year..

I’ve also just completed my Online Individual Learner Plan and booked a meeting with Lauren who is my academic coach for the year. We’ll see what comes from these meetings but I hope it’s a positive experience like it was last year when I worked with both Lauren and Sarah.

Let’s get this sorted, and produce some more work that looks like I meant to do it…

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