The Bower Blog

Dr Cecilia Mandrile invited as the special international guest of the HEAA national exhibition MEGA PIXEL 2014 

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Dr Cecilia Mandrile has been invited as the special international guest of the Hungarian Electrographic Art Association/ HEAA ( national exhibition MEGA PIXEL 2014, 8-12 April 2014


As part of the exhibition  the art historian, Judit Sárosdy will give a presentation on Dr Cecilia Mandrile’s work and her recent book El Perfume de la Ausencia (The Perfume of Absence)  on Wednesday 9th April (6pm) at the ARTEN Gallery, 1052 Budapest’s, Régiposta street 5.


The Perfume of Absence, is the outcome of theoretical and creative research (1995-2013) that explores the fragmentation and fluidity of identity caused by prolonged periods of displacement and migrancy. As the Dr Cecilia Mandrile journeyed across Argentina, the United States, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, England, Croatia, Estonia, Belgium and Jordan, she systematically documented her evolving experience of displacement through the continual production and exhibition of small, fragmented, printed art works and artefacts, notably small dolls, created in different places using a laptop, digital printer and found objects: a portable studio. These ‘wandering prints’ and portable objects allowed Mandrile to explore the relationship between these processes of displacement and their realisation in art works and also to engage in an ongoing dialogue with academics, writers and curators from different countries and cultures concerned with new approaches to print media and the visual representation of migrant experience, who responded to the work presented in each site. This successive series of works that echo forwards and backwards, build towards a larger narrative: of fragmentation and dispersal but also the tentative possibilities of an eventual re-construction of identity.


The bilingual publication contains a series of essays and an overview by Gill Saunders, Senior Curator of Prints at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which explore the significance Mandrile’s mobile works as a contribution to the enhanced knowledge and understanding of the visual aspects of nomadic practices in different cultures, addressing what Julia Kristeva in Strangers to Ourselves identified as the migrants’ ‘secret wound’ and Stuart Hall as the representative postmodern experience of displacement and the fragmentation of identity in an increasingly mobile, dislocated contemporary culture.

Annual Miniature Print Exhibition 

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Our third year Masters in Multi-disciplinary Print students and staff have been busy printing editions of 60 miniature prints for an exhibition at Foyles bookshop in Cabot Circus, Bristol. 30 artists join the project each year to produce a ‘miniprint’ - maximum print 10 x 8 cm on 20 x 25 cm paper which is kindly donated by John Purcell Paper in London. The prints are divided into sets for the artists, and the remaining 30 are exhibited and sold to raise funds for the students degree show next year. We have a beautiful selection of miniature prints on show - the image here is of Corinne Welch’s miniprint - on the first floor of Foyles Bookshop (thank you very much Foyles!) until February, so please come along and have a look, and even better buy a print! They are £18 each and worth every penny.

Oral History in the Visual Arts 

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UWE’s Dr Matthew Partington has co-edited Oral History in the Visual Arts with Linda Sandino, Senior Research Fellow at Victoria & Albert Museum, London. This book resulted from the 2010 Oral History Society Annual Conference (which Sandino and Partington were co-convenors of) and was published by Bloomsbury Academic in August 2013.  

Interviews are becoming an increasingly dominant research method in art, craft, design, fashion and textile history. This groundbreaking text demonstrates how artists, writers and historians deploy interviews as creative practice, as 'history', and as a means to insights into the micro-practices of arts production and identity that contribute to questions of 'voice', authenticity, and authorship.

Through a wide range of case studies from international scholars and practitioners across a variety of fields, the volume maps how oral history interviews contribute to a relational practice that is creative, rigorous and ethically grounded. Partington’s essay 'Oral History and Research Ethics in the Visual Arts' is the concluding chapter to the book. Oral History in the Visual Arts is essential reading for students, researchers and practitioners across the visual arts.

Interpreting Ceramics 

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UWE’s Dr Matthew Partington has had a book chapter included in Interpreting Ceramics published by Wunderkammer Press.  

The chapter, Espresso, Exoticism and Earthenware: the coffee bar ceramics of the Picassoettes, 1952 – 1960, charts the birth of coffee bars in Britain and explores the design influences upon them. The principle focus is the work of three artist potters who made ceramics for a number of the coffee bars and whose work represented a unique meeting of art, design and commerce. Drawing on oral history interviews with the artists and previously unpublished photographs, Partington discusses how those who worked on the coffee bar interiors operated: how the commissions came about, how the overall design schemes worked and what the finished interiors were meant to do.  

Interpreting Ceramics, Selected Essays demonstrates the diverse interests explored by a range of international writers on ceramics since the year 2000. The essays were originally published on-line in the journal Interpreting Ceramics and have been selected to represent the first ten years of the journal content. Written by practitioners as well as leading academics, they vary in length, tone and approach. Some were accepted for publication through the journal s normal peer-review process, others began life as conference papers and others were submitted in response to special initiatives such as the Speak for Yourself project. Collectively they reflect the vibrant and scholarly debate that has characterised the web pages of Interpreting Ceramics and underline its contribution to the field.

The Man Who Got Carter 

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UWE’s Dr Andrew Spicer has a new co-authored volume with Dr Anthony McKenna – The Man Who Got Carter   


Michael Klinger was the most successful independent producer in the British film industry over a twenty year period, from 1960 to 1980, responsible for 32 films, including classics such as Repulsion and Get Carter. Despite working with many famous figures, including Michael Caine, Claude Chabrol, Mike Hodges, Lee Marvin and Roman Polanski, Klinger's contribution to British cinema has been ignored. This definitive book on Klinger, largely based on his previously unseen personal papers, examines his origins in the Sixties' Soho sex industry, sexploitation cinema and 'shockumentaries', through to major international productions, including Shout at the Devil. It reveals how Klinger deftly combined commercial product - the popular 'Confessions' series - with artistic, experimental cinema and highlights the importance of his Jewishness. The book also assesses the essential, often misunderstood role played by the producer. 


This book, published by I.B.Tauris, is one of the outcomes of an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project which has made a valuable resource available to scholars through establishing a permanent archive with a catalogue, key documents and interviews accessible online. The Man Who Got Carter, will restore Klinger to his rightful place as an important figure in post-war British cinema. It provides an in-depth understanding of the varied functions of the film producer whose role has been misunderstood and neglected within Film Studies. This study of Klinger, and the other journal articles and chapters in book collections that have already been published, make an important contribution to the resurgent interest in British cinema and culture in the 1970s, just beginning to be recognised as a rich and diverse period but one that lacks systematic and rigorous studies. The detail provided by the case study of Klinger will illuminate many of the key issues and problems faced by British film-makers during a period of uncertainty and profound change. The specific focus of the project will also connect with wider current concerns about the relationship between creativity and commerce and the nature of the Creative Industries.

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