Members of The Ryde Art Collective (TRAC) visited Portsmouth on Friday to see the delights of the University Library and the Graduate Show. The one hour planned for perusing the library, quickly turned into 2!
We started by looking at some items from the Rare Books Collection including the contemporary photographic journal, Alaska, Josef Alber’s Interaction of Colour – with all of its coloured plates setting colour against colour and Poley’s architectural plans of St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is actually from the Bolton Collection, popular with Architecture students. Next we had a tour around the building looking at the art works on the walls, including the 3 paintings from the National Collection, documented on the BBC’s Your Paintings website, ‘Do you Speak Pompey‘, a personal favourite, by graduate Jodie Silsby and the Nick Schlee collection curated by Oliver Tubb who has just graduated from BA (Hons) Illustration.
There is a national agenda in the library world at the moment, the Library as Incubator Project: How can libraries and artists work together? TRAC members thought I was incredibly lucky to work here with such wonderful collections. (I am.) We talked about working towards an exhibition which responded to works held in the University’s Rare Book Collection and perhaps displaying it in the library. As a member of TRAC, I will definitely pursue this to make it happen! Perhaps it is something students can get involved with too?
After a lovely lunch in Cafe Coco we ventured over to the Graduate Show. I pointed TRAC members to the various staircases to get them to where they wanted to go and left them to peruse at leisure. Meanwhile I concluded my own tour of the show with a visit to the top floor of Eldon West to see the postgraduate work from courses in the School of Architecture which was a lovely end to the week.
If you are interested in discussing how the University Library could work with you or your artists’ group then do contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org