Friday, 20 December 2013

Has it been three months already? - First term at RWCMD

It's Christmas once again, 'I don't believe it' as Victor Meldrew would say.

This term has just flown by, yet, gone very slowly all at the same time. I've learnt so much in such a short period and gained many new friends.

University life - Learning to live 'independently' has really taught me a lot, enjoying meeting new people and gaining a broader knowledge of different cultures. I am currently living with 5 others at halls. Were all from pretty different backgrounds, but so far we do get on really well and have had many lovely memories as a group.
I am known as 'The clean freak' or 'Kluned'/'Cleaned' or even Leonard in some cases, which ever way you would like to spell it.. I like an immaculately clean bedroom/kitchen.
But I am learning that sometimes, it's just not possible to keep it that way.

On another note; I turned 21 in October, (crazy I know) we had a Birthday celebration at the flat, it was lovely.

Tom Odell is amazing live, and he signed our tickets. LEGEND.

There are 17 of us in total as BA1 Theatre Designers, all from various parts of the UK/World. It's a pretty small group, so we will get to know each other really well over the next three years. There are also a group of 'Masters' students, they do similar projects to us. It's lovely to have a number of older students, hearing about their experiences and expertise in various fields of Art, Theatre and Design.

The work is intense and extremely tough at times, but I wouldn't change my degree for the world. As much as we complain about having to be in from 9am-6pm (o'r later) everyday, we achieve so much more and receive almost daily group/one to one tutoring. The course is hands on and very practical, the way I learn best! We also get the opportunity to watch the Richard Burton Company (college third years) performances for free which are an inspiration and helps gain further knowledge of theatre/performance.

Our Projects

WSD Presentations - During our first week we had the chance to meet many other 'Freshers' as well as students from the years above us. The college is a small community and everyone is deserved of their place as they all are talented individuals in their field of practice.
We created short presentations talking about three productions and their designers, it was a good opportunity to actually question each other on our opinions of the productions, using first and second hand research. I took the chance to contact the designers themselves, to ask a few of our questions, and had good responses. It was great to see the reactions to the productions, they were all different, yet we saw similarities in the main focus of the work.

Paper Seagulls - Made completely from various paper and sellotape on a massive scale, created over a two and a half days, an epic transformation of the Linbury Gallery. It was sad to see them eventually be taken down.

Poem Model Box - One of our tutors wrote a poem including many interesting individuals, which we had to create a room for.
The line I received was 'A valiantly brave life boat man, relieving a rescue at sea. The first time I have ever measured and technically drawn, cut, created and rendered a model box and character. It was complicated to say the least, but we all managed to finish.

Don't mention the 'B' word. NO ONE likes to bevel anymore....

Harold Pinter - A Night Out
By focusing on the fireplace as the main feature of the set, I created a model box referring to the dark hole in which the main character lived. The dreary claustrophobic house with his own mother. The incestuous, creepy, relationship made me think of Freudian themes and the Oedipus complex.

Nutcracker Ballet - Character Drawings.
I decided to set the ballet in the 1970's, as it is know for the bright colours and patterns of clothes. It would appeal to all ages, the timeless fairytale story, also a production that the parents/adults could relate to, as I based some of my characters on famous iconic figures during the 70's. I used collage as my medium, I believe some designs worked better than others, as I intend to develop this technique because it shows elements of the character in each drawing.

Other trips and adventures

Convinced Missions Week in Cardiff - Another year has passed, the week was
successful in the sense that many people came to hear the talks, lunch bars were full, many came to enjoy free pudding and cake. I enjoyed being questioned by my friends about my faith, what's different about Christianity and how it's directly impacted my life. It has been a good way of seeing how God is using me at University, I know that he does give me great strength and I wouldn't have arrived where I am today without Him.

I've been to London a number of times in the past few months; As my brother is a part of the cast for Les Mis on the West End, I was able to work back stage for two shows, gaining knowledge and experience, shadowing a stage manager. I thoroughly enjoyed my time seeing how the set was used, how the stage was so cleverly lit and the props set on stage during the show. I also got to sit with the DSM on 'The Book' for the first time, it was exciting and a great insight to the 'real world' of live theatre. Meeting the members of the cast and the SM's was really cool and I made sure I asked as many questions as I could think of!

I was also chosen for the WJEC Exhibition of Excellence in November, I liked seeing other foundation students work from all over Wales and England, it was a privilege to be a part of it.

Also; I won a competition through IdeasTap website, a day at Punch Drunk's Temple Studios. It was truly unforgettable, as I came to understand their design process first hand, how to work with found space then applying it in a practical way.
Creating an installation using an empty room with some simple materials; paper, string, light torches/candles. Focusing on a specific atmosphere and tonality to the space for others to encounter.

I thoroughly look forward to next term, as we have a number of great projects in store for us, as well as a few more college productions to watch.

'To the praise and glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.' Ephesians 1: 6-7.

One more thing;

Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i chi gyd!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

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