Education studies and teaching news at Brighton

examples of Natasha Cyanotype artowrk

My Glyndebourne Teaching Arts Residency experience

Natasha Tully is a (Secondary) Art and Design PGCE graduate who undertook an artist residency at Glyndebourne last summer.

We recently caught up with Tash to learn more about her experience and how the residency has supported her in her career since becoming an teacher:

“The best thing about my time at Glyndebourne was reigniting my love for experimentation. As a teacher, I do not have much time to continue exploring my artistic practice, and the Teaching Artists Residency allowed me to do this.

The residency had many advantages, including being able to attend to every opera in the festival run, unrestricted access to most of the beautiful site, including the gardens, and up close and personal contact with the performance and staff.

One performance in particular, The Darkness of The Wreckers, sparked my interest in terms of creating artwork. I felt compelled by the dark and brooding atmosphere of the performance.

The Darkness of The Wreckers was established through lighting and the use of shadows to cast ominous silhouettes of figures both on the sets and through projections on the backdrops. Using this idea as a starting point, I began sketching scenes that lingered in my memory including the noose falling from the tower, the masks worn by the performers, and the movement of the sea from the projections on the backdrop. These stills quickly became animation and I then went on to explore how to convey the atmosphere of the production using watercolor, cyanotype, and textiles.

The (Secondary) Art and Design PGCE supported my time whilst in residency as it provided me with all the pedagogical knowledge I needed. It also allowed me to meet like-minded trainees who shared their own expertise to broaden my repertoire of skills. This enabled me to develop a bank of skills that were well-rounded.

The University of Brighton’s Student Experience fund provided me with additonal financial support. The online form was quick and easy and I was fortunate enough to receive a quick response detailing that I’d been successful in the funding. I had a couple of zoom conversations with my course leader who was extremely keen to hear all about my plans for Glyndebourne and provided warmth and support in the application process.

The funding helped to cover my travel expenses to and from the residency. It contributed towards my materials costs, which gave me the means to explore and experiment with new ideas. It raised my game. Knowing someone was supporting the project only elevated my enthusiasm and drive to make my artwork the best it could be. It was humbling to know that someone else recognized the value of the experience I was presented with. It was also heart-warming to know I had support from behind the scenes from people I had never met before that seemed to believe the job I would be doing for Glyndebourne had value and worth.

I graduated in 2022, and now teach textiles, design & technology, and graphics at a local school in Brighton. I am absolutely loving it and feel so lucky to have found a job that suits me. Every day is different and the enthusiasm, creativity, and outcomes the students produce make every day worth it!

I also maintain my freelance work as an illustrator/animator to keep extending my skills which I can transfer to the students.

Training to Teach at Brighton allowed me to obtain a position teaching a number of subjects that were outside of my comfort zone, I felt well equipped to teach because of the confidence I’d built in those unfamiliar subjects/processes when training.

I have established a working relationship with Glyndebourne and have recently completed further commissioned work for their campaigns for Performance For Schools. The new skills I learnt from creating the artworks in residency have carried into my own practice and will transfer into my teaching when introducing new techniques to my students”.

To read more about Tash’s residency and see more of her work, follow her blog at www.tashtullyillustration.com

Christina Camm • January 30, 2023


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