Plymouth College of Art

Plymouth College of Art / News / Thu 29 Apr 2010

Looking in, looking out: Welcome to my world

Looking in, looking out: Welcome to my world

Ernie Ladell, a Plymouth College of Art student, has had his work chosen for display at Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery after creating a model for a window sculpture.

His work was selected as part of a brief set by the Museum in connection with its ‘Looking In, Looking Out’ scheme – a new programme which is enabling it to work with artists and commission new works of art.

Ernie, 51, from the Barbican is a wheelchair user and his piece representing that theme is now on show in one of the Museum’s mezzanine display cases alongside current commission, ‘Labelled’ by Dail Behennah – an installation made up of nearly 500 enamel labels inspired by the natural history collections.

He said: “I hope the work will be viewed not only as a piece of art, but it will help raise awareness of the limited access that wheelchair users have to cultural experiences.”

“’Welcome to my world’ invites viewers to see the configured piece from a different perspective by viewing the work from the angle a wheelchair user would see it.”

“For example, depending on your height, there would be one spot in the lobby where the component parts of the abstract sculpture would compose themselves into a representational image.”

The students taking part in the brief made models of their proposed sculptures for the Museum to choose from. Ernie’s work was selected along with a ceramic piece by fellow Applied Arts student Emma Perry, also on display in the same case.

Alison Cooper, Assistant Keeper of Art said: “We’ve been engaging with the College’s Applied Arts students throughout the past year on some exciting projects in connection with Dail’s installation and Ernie and Emma’s display marks the culmination of this work. A number of Museum visitors access our building via our lift entrance and can’t unfortunately get on to our mezzanine landing. This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be given the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate our displays – even if they have to view them from a different vantage point. It’s something we were very conscious of when we were planning the interpretation for ‘Labelled’ and an experience that Ernie’s work focussed on. We were very impressed with the models that he and Emma put forward. Just as Dail’s piece gave a fresh insight into our natural history collections, Ernie’s work has provided a new perspective on ‘Labelled’ so there was a great fit all round.”

Sue MacGillivray Programme Leader Applied Arts at Plymouth College of Art, said: “The Museum is always extremely supportive of our students work and Ernie’s piece in particular was chosen because they are aware that access is an issue for wheelchair users, and they want to highlight the issue.”

She added: “Ernie’s work is excellent. He has been a very positive influence on the Applied Arts course and the College, helping other students to use his specialist technique, Makume Gane, which combines different materials to make jewellery.

“He has also been an influential consultant in helping us develop our workshop space so wheelchair users have improved access; this included making more space by redesigning the jewellery area.”

Ernie and Emma’s display will be on show until 26 June 2010.

For more information about Applied Arts at Plymouth College of Art contact Sue McGillivray or call 01752 203434.

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