IGNITE updates
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Graduate Spotlight 10: Molly McAndrews, Fine Art Graduate

After the great feedback and success of publishing our IGNITE website and social media platforms, we decided to shine a spotlight on one graduate, who has uploaded their portfolio to the IGNITE website, each week. Through our Weekly Graduate Spotlight, the graduate chosen will have their work and their experience of The University of Plymouth or Plymouth College of Art promoted and celebrated on our various IGNITE platforms.

For this week’s graduate spotlight, we decided to share Molly’s own words entirely as she had written such excellent answers.

Overcoming the Challenges of UK Lockdown Measures

As an artist, you engage in a practice that constantly shifts in shades of feeling, physicality and theory. My installations, as a viewing experience, is intimate and reflective with the negative space between the bodies functioning as part of the work. However, the space between (socially distanced) bodies, provided new connotations which were equally exciting and daunting.

The physical boundaries overlapped into social ones too; blurring and re-shaping my parameters for bodily experience, and the context in which an exhibition space exists.

Contained Thought, 2019

Being an artist that uses light as sculpture and space (between us) as the work, I had an opportunity to view my art in an isolated, inward facing experience – rather than with an audience. It provided an intimacy within my practice I had never realised.

The other challenge was to digitally produce an exhibition, even though my work was light sensitive and installation based. I ended up creating my own virtual space which paralleled a physical space; the same but not quite. Although, this worked in my favour, as the loading and viewing through digital bodies, was reflective of the times. It allowed my reflective practice to move beyond installation and provided commentary into the wider social atmosphere.

Molly’s Hopes for the Future

My hopes for the future are to continue writing, reflecting and learning from our ever-changing environment. I would love to publish some of the lockdown notes and experiences into a small book. I worked with another artist to develop a series of talks titled ‘Co-Vid Co-Lab’, where creatives come together to discuss and listen to new conversations and generate potential change for good, deeper than an economic modality. This is something I would like to continue, as an action for listening and learning to the community and beyond. I am also excited by the wave of artists and organisations that are allowing more accessible routes into viewing art. I would love to continue making work that is accessible and more inclusive, opening up conversations for our responsibility as artists to have deep and meaningful dialogue about social, political and environmental issues surrounding the arts.

Post-Graduation Plans

Graduating during lockdown has arrived with its challenges, equally it has provided new, accessible and interesting opportunities for showing new work in new ways. I was selected alongside 15 artists from around the world to be part of the virtual exhibition ‘Person and Otherness and Nature’, offering a 360-interactive online space as a new way of exhibiting work. These are the kinds of experiences I would love to continue, as each opportunity provides new learning curves and valuable lessons.

I would also like to continue my collaborative, conversation based, approach in the wider community of Plymouth. Myself and two artists (my two brilliant tutors from Fine Art) have been awarded some funding from a recent project we did, which we are hoping to invest in a physical exhibition in a post-covid world.

Re-building a Post-Covid World

I am hoping to continue and elaborate on my creative line of enquiry for the Research Masters of Art at Plymouth University in 2021. The course offers an inter-disciplinary approach to investigate the creative relationships between theory and practice in art. The university offers brilliant national and international opportunities for academic and creative research.

How IGNITE Has Benefitted Molly’s Professional Development

IGNITE has provided digital space for wider community and professional online engagement, which is so valuable during this time. Providing an inter-disciplinary site that overlaps creative practices can be a tool for learning from each other and encouraging virtual networking between disciplines. It also allows for a carefully curated snapshot of your portfolio to be registered on an application or CV. IGNITE has also increased my website and social engagement, which is so valuable.