The passion and creativity of Late at Tate Britain Online: Stream 1
For many of us, the months of lockdown have been a period of considerable anxiety and frustration. The government’s decision to temporarily close galleries and theatres was entirely justified, as anyone who has been personally affected by this dreadful virus or lost someone they love will concur. Over the coming days and weeks, public galleries in the UK are reopening; commercial galleries have been open since June but available through appointment only. Anyone of artistic sensibility will be singing from the rooftops at this news. The Royal Academy already opened its doors on 9th July and on 24th July, this week, the Tate will do the same.
From the 29th May, 2020, the Tate has streamed free live talks, workshops and music sessions from their website. The virtual versions of the hugely popular “Tate Lates”, which have been held on the last Friday of each month at the Tate Modern and Tate Britain since 2016, have offered the public the chance to get their contemporary art fix from the safety of their homes.
The latest of these was streamed on 17th July from their website, where it will continue to be available for viewing until 24th July. Tate Collective Producers – a group of 18 to 25-year-olds based in London, Liverpool and St Ives – presented a virtual event embracing the themes of identity, activism and the ways in which young artists have responded to lockdown. What unites these creatives, apart from their youth, is the energy and sheer enthusiasm they all bring to their nascent practice.
This edition of Late at Tate Britain introduces four up-and-coming artists along with Mae and Sam – cofounders of ERIC, a career and self-development platform for young creatives. After briefly introducing themselves, Mae and Sam return later on to deliver a workshop on fostering self-awareness for the purpose of fulfilling your potential. They impart their five-step advice with honesty and a dose of irreverent humour, drawing on their own research and personal experiences. It’s the first of several workshops they will give, each of which will have an accompanying article on their website to recap content.
The majority of the four creatives are introduced by the visual artist and Late at Tate Associate Creative Researcher, Soofiya Andry. Unseen except for their hands, Soofiya enthusiastically sets the scene for each artist using bright Post-It notes. First up is Simone Niles, who introduces herself as a fashion promoter and student just out of foundation studies and who does everything from illustration to fashion photography. A terrifically bubbly person, Simone shows her home studio set-up before announcing that her theme for the day is asymmetrical cross-patching. Having cut up an item of denim clothing with a pair of scissors, she proceeds to sew the resulting square pieces together to create “grunge” handbags and accessories. Niles believes strongly in the importance of remaining motivated and enjoys collaborating with people working in the same vein. An ambitious young creative, she aims to get her own fashion line up and running by August or September.
The second person to feature is the black, trans new media artist Huntrezz. Partnered with the digital platform Hervisions and the Tate Collective, this engaging young person teaches the viewer how to create an Instagram face filter. She describes herself as gender nonconforming, whose work frequently reflects her identity. Huntrezz’s animated cartoons and rhymed writing are thematically centred on “blackness and queerness”. Viewers are shown some spectacular filters she has produced before Huntrezz provides a step-by-step tutorial of the technological processes involved in making the design. The public are urged to view her work on Instagram or to visit her website.
Having just completed his foundation studies course in Digital Communication Design at Ravensbourne, Lloyd Wood is now about to embark on a BA in Graphic Design at Nottingham Trent University. For him, a designer’s priority lies in the forging of the concept itself to appeal to both client and user. As a fan of hip hop and RnB, Wood has created a couple of album covers for a musician friend. Upon being asked by the Tate to create a piece of work that reflects his experience of lockdown, he came to the realisation that the lack of a regular timetable during social isolation had led him to work both during the day and at night. Lloyd explains the stages behind the animated illustration he subsequently created. He depicts himself apparently working on his iPad in what appears to be his kitchen. Adobe After Effects was used to create the illusion of time passing. The artist determines different periods of day and night by colouring the sky framed by the window in the background, along with an appropriately placed sun or moon. Wood expresses a desire to launch a clothing brand he started with his friend from his course.
The final artist to feature is the lively Paul Ifeneziuche. Over the lockdown period, Paul, who has just finished his third year studying Advertising and Brand Design at Ravensbourne, decided to transform his mother’s living room in Southampton into a photography studio. As a lifelong basketball fanatic and having seen the recently released Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance, Ifeneziuche came up with the idea to recreate the NBA draft press photographs taken in the late 90s and early 2000s. Having acquired a background and frame from Amazon, he photographed himself using his Canon M10. Dressed smartly in a striped blazer and tie with basketball in hand, Ifeneziuche mimics his heroes. The resulting images were edited in Adobe Lightroom and used for a university project. Eventually, he was able to make his own basketball trading cards and posters. Paul hopes to go on to work as a freelancer or find a job at an agency. He signs off with some words he recalls being uttered by one of his secondary school teachers that express a sentiment all of these energetic young creatives would subscribe to: “You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started in order to be great.”
For more information and to watch Late at Tate Britain Online, visit the Tate Britain’s website here.
Watch Late at Tate Britain Online here: