Recently I have been taking part in a competition names ‘ARTiculation’. After I prepared a speech on Jan Svankmajer, a filmmaker and surrealist artist who I am very keen on, I presented it to groups in my college and passed through to the regional heat in Bristol.
I then took part in fortnightly discussions with Steven Forsyth, my teacher or mentor of sorts. At this sessions we prepared for the regional heat. My speech has changed a lot since we first attacked it; now it is looking as it it may metamorphose once more.
The Regional heat took place in the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, on the 16th of January 2017. I was one of eight to present there. We drove up in the car early on the day, from Plymouth to Bristol. I have never seen Bristol before, it is surprisingly beautiful.
Before the presentation I was given a brief on what would happen, a bottle of water and a pamphlet with thick tracing paper sections which always forced their way from their staples and fell out. I was third to speak. The first two presentations were incredibly planned and scripted making my note cards dauntingly simplistic. The two before mine really made me worry. They were good, very good.
I started by placing my notes down and then took a look at my crowd. I thought by this point, I was certain even, I couldn’t win. I considered my lecturers, I should at least give them what they asked for.
They were very good.”
An awful way to start I am aware.
I did my presentation, as planned until swapping to words somewhere near the middle. it surprised me. I took a moment to panic, and then a moment to hold eye contact with a woman in an orange cardigan. She was nodding surly and reassuringly at me. Her nod told me to pull my socks up. So I kept going. I nearly ran from the stage, it was really embarrassing actually. I hadn’t really felt that big and small since primary school, standing up speaking times tables, that moment when teachers hand fell on me. Six Sixes are… ?
After the boy next to me had spoken about a particularly artistic toilet, we stopped for a break. I ate two biscuits and mused at the paintings and sculptures. Most of the art in that building is unsettling. If you want unsettling then its ideal, great fun, ten out of ten, would recommend; If you are really not in the mood for being unsettled, as I was then, then they are not ideal.
We then gathered on the stairs for a photo, I began to feeling increasingly whisped away, a feeling which I am really developing recently. Even if I am not attached to the people particularly, for example my mentor, or lecturers, or a friend of a friend, I will feel panicked to leave them. Glancing back as the herd migrated to the stairs I noticed the banisters and floor and then the ceiling. The banisters were dark, perhaps black marble, not polished, they had gold pinstripes. The floor was tiled and the staircase a dark wood. The ceiling had a skylight, a large dome of glass and paintings all around it. Adam and eve, a god in a chariot, angels and more. I felt smug to be in such a lovely building. The photo was taken.
Four more speeches I wish I listened to later, and the long wait over with, the results were announced. They were the following.
Third place: Annabelle Brand
Second place: Nina Butslova
Fist place: Rose Lovegrove
I was given a book on architecture, its a great one; full of interesting facts
and it is wide and fat enough to help me reach things up high!
Listening to queen we prepared for our trip to Cambridge.
I am disappointed with the was which I presented at Cambridge. In the few days before my speech I was stressed with personal problems and I think this had a negative effect on my speech. However the speech is done now and being one of nine to speak in Cambridge was a great honor. I am proud to have represented ‘Plymouth College of Art’.