In a time of post-Christmas blues, a very welcome chance to get away was the first year’s trip to Gregynog Hall: an amazing house (with particularly amazing wallpaper) in the midst of beautiful countryside. It’s not really the kind of place you would expect to be entirely content with giving guests – let alone university students – virtually unlimited access to, but that we were. Amidst Rodin casts, giant hand sculptures and an organ, Photo Art and CSM students were free to shoot and record, and generally create at their whims.
Initial excitement upon going to Gregynog was admittedly for the food – with an itinerary that promised food and a cup of tea virtually every two hours it sounded like a student’s heaven, especially when there’s not even the need to wash up afterwards. Whilst this particular aspect was 100% a highlight and definitely met expectations, I think what was really great about the trip was that we all learnt an incredible amount. The work was intense and far from stress free, but we all came away with some pretty great photographs.
Aside from the few days being generally beneficial, they were just a great deal of fun. With evenings including great music from the CSM students (complete with dancing of varying degrees of sophistication from the rest of us), a few drunken and heated games of giant jenga and general socialising and bonding, the hard work was balanced out with some really enjoyable evenings. I think the only regret that many of us had coming away from the wonderful was that with such a packed time plan, whilst it meaning that we really got a sense of how commercial work could be, meant that many of us had no time to explore the beautiful grounds (despite making plans to get up for sunrise walks – obviously not going to happen).
Upon returning to Newport and recuperating a little, it was straight into printing and planning for the show. With a tremendous amount of work from everyone, we managed to produce a really great exhibition that really proved how much we had all learnt from the duration of the trip, and highlighted how effective collaboration, and a combination of sound and image can be – it was very evident how much everyone had learnt and the amount of effort that had been put in!
Following the trip to Gregynog was a collaborative exhibition including our Photo Art and CSM students:
2014 Blackbox installation
Natasha Lowe-Sellers, Mihai Moldovanu, Lua Ribeira
Rebekah Prentice, Alice Mc Kinty, Conor Elliott, Hannah Dollman