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The Feminist School of Painting

Art Workshops

FREE, Booking essential

BALTIC presents Ad Minoliti’s ongoing project The Feminist School of Painting, as part of their solo show Biosfera Peluche / Biosphere Plush.

The Feminist School of Painting seeks to critically reimagine the structure of the ‘art school’, exploring the potential functions of painting beyond the professional status. The school will reconsider traditional painting genres as a starting point to develop a feminist, intersectional, intergenerational and queer approach to the practice and histories of Art, inclusive of trans-feminism and all those who identify as women.

At BALTIC, the school will specifically explore the genre of landscape painting, approached in an expanded sense – beyond the white male hetero-normative gaze – from urban design to outer space landscapes, digital landscapes or as the construction of a human paradigm.

The classes will be run in partnership with a multidisciplinary group of artists, academics, writers, and activists. By incorporating collaborators from diverse backgrounds, the classes playfully promote accessibility, creativity and curiosity over any art-specific expertise.

All sessions will take place in the alcove space of the Level 4 Gallery. Tickets are free and all art materials will be provided. Booking is essential to reserve your space. More sessions will be added in January 2022. See below for more information on the individual sessions.


Saturday 12 March 13.00-15.00

Session 12 | Maps of Ours with Holly Argent and Rachael Clewlow

For the Feminist School of Painting, the Women Artists of the North East Library will share ways artists in the library have approached ideas of landscape. In collaboration with three North East based artists, each workshop has dedicated time to thinking and talking together, and participants are invited to take part in a practical painting session.

For their second workshop, the Women Artists of the North East Library collaborates with Rachael Clewlow. Join us to look at how our own personal orientations build a bigger, more varied, picture of the local environment. Through painting and collage, we will look at ways mapping can bring the small and unnoticed markers of our everyday life to the fore to create our own collective painting in Ad Minoliti’s exhibition.

The Women Artists of the North East Library brings together research and donated material to form a cultural resource that contributes to the history of women artists working in the North East of England (inclusive of women-identifying, non-binary and trans-women). Established in 2017, the project aims to create new contexts for exploring the character and legacy of the North East’s art scene in relation to the work of women artists. Through research, commissions and events the Library traces the influence of women who practised, lived, studied, taught or exhibited in the North East of England. Always open to donations, the library works collaboratively with artists, communities and cultural organisations to expand and share its collection.

Rachael Clewlow was born in Middlesbrough in 1984 and lives in Newcastle upon Tyne. Through painting and printmaking, Rachael Clewlow has created a visual language that reflects an obsessive attention to detail and a desire to map out her own experiences of the world. In an ongoing series of diaries begun in 2003, she creates rigorous and detailed recordings of her everyday movements, forming a rich source of data Clewlow uses to construct paintings and prints. Drawing from elements of the language of infographics and cartography, these works also demonstrate an obsession with colour and the formal concerns of abstract painting.


Saturday 26 March 13.00-15.00

Session 13 | Buen Vivir with Penny Travlou & Alexandra Hughes

The workshop seeks to disrupt the cultural idea of ‘landscape’ as something separate from ourselves that we view and own and will re-evaluate the depiction of nature with a focus on collectivity and our connectedness. Penny Travlou will share her research into the idea of ‘the Commons’ and indigenous concepts of ‘Buen Vivir’, particularly discussing her collaborations with community organisations who adopt ways of thinking and working together that create alternatives to extractivist, colonial, racist and anti-feminist modes of knowledge production.

This will be followed by an interlinking discussion and practical workshop led by Alexandra Hughes. Drawing on her artistic practice and research, Alexandra will explore the fluidity between constructed binaries of nature, culture and technology and the idea of ‘the Feminine Sublime’. We will then work together to create an overlapping collaged landscape on a large lightbox, using translucent art materials, natural objects, and your own photos.

Penny Travlou is a Lecturer in Cultural Geography and Theory in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at Edinburgh College of Art. Her research is interdisciplinary, focusing on theories of space and place, the politics of public space, digital culture, 'the Commons' and ethnography. Alongside her academic work, Penny is active on issues about urban commons and spatial justice and has collaborated with Platohedro in Medellín, Colombia. She is a research team member of the P2P Foundation, co-director of research at the Feminist Autonomous Research Center in Athens (FAC), member of the Alliance of the Commons in Greece, and co-founder of Options FoodLab, a food-related social enterprise and community for refugees' integration in Athens.

Alexandra Hughes is a North East based artist whose installations bring together photography, sculptural materials and performative gesture. Hughes describes her processes as ‘wilding’; material-led, tactile, visceral and disruptive to the dividing line between images, material matter and the encountering body. Hughes received her MFA at The Slade School of Fine Art (2008) and PhD from Northumbria University (2021). Hughes disseminates her practice widely through exhibitions and public talks, including Bridging The Distance, Four Corners Gallery, London (2021), Artists in the Field, Royal Geographical Society, London (2019), Liquid Land, Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge (2018) and Practicing the Anthropocene, Scottish National Galleries, Modern One, Edinburgh (2016). She is a member of Ph Research Network and an artist within the Temporal School of Experimental Geography.


Saturday 16 April 13.00-15.00

Session 14 | Voicing Animacy with Sabina Sallis and Jim Lloyd

This is the second of three workshops with Sabina Sallis during the Feminist School of Painting, continuing the ongoing activities of her project Multispecies Visionary Institute (MVI). The MVI seeks to explore how creative and ecological practices can help build collective visions for flourishing futures, and imagine what an ‘aesthetics of sustainability’ might look like. This session will broadly consider how through art practice, we can voice and animate language to communicate living, animate worlds. Artists Sabina Sallis and Jim Lloyd will present elements of their art practices exploring multispecies worlds that are alive with active participation, particularly discussing approaches that use language in a creative and playful way. Sabina and Jim will then guide participants through the creative activity of making a voice visible via actions of writing, drawing and painting.

Sabina Sallis is a Newcastle upon Tyne based artist, researcher and curator whose practice spans across mediums and disciplines; using video, photography, drawing, performance, sculpture and speculative multimedia narratives that interweaves fact and fiction. Sallis explores the entanglement between the human mind, knowledge and more-than-human worlds and speculates about an evolving aesthetics of embedded sensitivity towards life. She is currently completing a practice-led PhD at the School of Fine Arts, Newcastle University that investigates aesthetics of sustainability and multimedia visionary scenarios for sustainable futures.

Jim Lloyd works in a wide range of media to explore our relationships with nature and place, including sound, photography, video, drawing, and poetry. Lloyd is interested in non-human perception and perspectives; exploring how art practice might inform, and be informed, by these considerations, in order to gain a deeper understanding of the world and what it feels like to be in it. Lloyd is interested in the different ways art and science understand the natural world, but unlike the scientific approach, his work leaves space for communication to be “fuzzy” – embracing chance, ambiguity and the stance of the viewer. Lloyd holds an MFA in Fine Art (distinction) from Newcastle University and is currently a PhD candidate in Fine Art at Newcastle, funded by the AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership.


Saturday 23 April 13.00-15.00

Session 15 | Slow Return Humus Sound Activation with Sabina Sallis and Joe Sallis

This is the final workshop with Sabina Sallis’ ongoing project Multispecies Visionary Institute (MVI) during the Feminist School of Painting. MVI seeks to explore how creative and ecological practices can help build collective visions for flourishing futures and imagine what an ‘aesthetics of sustainability’ might look like.

This session will consider humus (compost) in both its factual material role and as a metaphorical expression of creative production. Sabina Sallis will present elements of her artistic practice and research into sustainable land practices with the aid of collective focusing techniques, gentle somatic sound practices and improvised storytelling. Creative practitioner and permaculturist Joe Sallis will then introduce relevant permaculture principles and discuss how permaculture design can inspire art practice. Sabina and Joe will then guide participants through a practical creative activity of making a ‘Slow Return Humus Sound Activation Device’ incorporating painting. This is a simple, ritualistic sound-producing instrument made from locally sourced and ready-available materials and the activity will be suitable for all ages. Expect to have fun playing your instrument with the whole group!

Sabina Sallis is a Newcastle upon Tyne based artist, researcher, and curator whose practice spans across mediums and disciplines; using video, photography, drawing, performance, sculpture, and speculative multimedia narratives that interweaves fact and fiction. Sallis explores the entanglement between the human mind, knowledge and more-than-human worlds and speculates about an evolving aesthetics of embedded sensitivity towards life. She is currently completing a practice-led PhD at the School of Fine Arts, Newcastle University that investigates aesthetics of sustainability and multimedia visionary scenarios for sustainable futures.

Joe Sallis is a creative practitioner, permaculturist, and woodworker running the wood workshop in the Fine Art Department of Newcastle University’s School of Arts and Cultures. Joe Sallis has been a designer and maker of experimental musical instruments for 30 years. In recent years he has led students and graduates in an experimental music group, Drone Ensemble which uses unique, self-made instruments in extended improvised performances.


Saturday 30 April 13.00-15.00

Session 16 | Speculative Painting and Drawing en Plein air with Laura Harrington and Sage Brice

Laura Harrington and Sage Brice will reimagine the concept of ‘en plein air’ landscape painting through a feminist and post-humanist lens, using speculative modes of thinking. We will explore Sage Brice’s idea of ‘drawing in the fluid tense’, an experimental technique that seeks to highlight the changeability of a landscape by considering its many potential dimensions in time and space - pushing at the boundaries of realism and speculation. This will be followed by a practical outdoor activity in which we will ask what it is that 'matters' about working in the field. Participants will be invited to use found materials to explore imagined pasts and futures while working in situ at riverside locations.

Laura Harrington is an artist, researcher and creative producer living and working in the North East of England. Her work explores the complex relations between humans and unstable/overlooked landscapes, often through cross-disciplinary research and co-production. Situated between art, science and philosophy her practice of film-making, installation, drawing, fieldwork and listening seeks to create works that centre on an idea of ‘upstream consciousness’, an ethos for engaging with the source as opposed to the results, that draws on upland ecologies to think about various relations and connections.

Sage Brice combines research in cultural geography with a lively contemporary art practice. Her work interrogates the politics of nature, particularly in relation to queer and trans ecologies of identity. She has an affinity for watery and fluid landscapes, and her most recent project explored problems of identity and ecology in the Huleh wetlands, in northern Israel-Palestine, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Currently, she is working on graphic research with a small group of trans and non-binary participants, asking what happens to everyday practices of gender under the novel spatial conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic. Her artwork incorporates drawing, sculpture, and socially engaged, participatory art practices.


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