My old lecture theatre and painting studio – Exeter Art College

The derelict painting studios in Exeter College of Art looked smaller than I remember – these were the spaces where I learnt my painting skills and the place where I was told to forget my painting skills. Those were the days when art was promoted as an intuitive process and not a prescriptive target driven qualification.

On the floor below the studio, directly underneath was the library, now devoid of shelves and books. All that information, inspiration and knowledge gone.

The lecture theatre still had its seating but its projection screen was missing. This was the place where I booed lecturers who spewed bullshit and I think I met Sir Terry Frost (?) – the place where I rediscovered Pollock and was seduced by Rothko, learned about Fox Talbot and watched some ridiculous interview reenactments based on articles published in magazines…

Sarah Bennett used this empty vessel to install ‘Institutional Traits (Series 2)’ which comprised of two large printed photographs of the empty lecture theatre. The lighting in the space was (and always was) simple – controlled by two light switches, one that puts the lights on at the back and one that put them on in the front. The two images mounted on the sides of the theatre reflected the lighting options, one was of the lights on in the front and oneĀ  was with the lights on at the back.

‘abandoned along with the art education system that it served’

…to be redeveloped as executive housing (maybe).

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About peter

'Death by Sushi' Fish can kill me. When I was very small (maybe 3 or 4 years old) my grandfather, who lost the sight of one eye from a bullet fired by a German sniper (fortunately not a very good one) during the Battle of the Somme in World War 1, wiped my face with the corner of his apron, an apron he had used to wipe his filleting knife on. He was a grocery shopkeeper who specialized in wet fish.