Adrian Dawson, Martin Atkins, Rachael Allain and Phil Power with one of the images from Rachael’s series, Light Water Exposures. Credit: Chris Saville

The University of Plymouth is giving south-west businesses the opportunity to display work from some of the region’s up and coming artists. A new project – ArtWorks – allows businesses to select art by current University students or recent graduates for their boardrooms, offices and foyers.The first business to take part in the scheme is accountancy firm PKF Francis Clark, and its Plymouth office is now showing seven works by Plymouth graduate Rachael Allain.
Originally from Guernsey, Rachael now lives in Totnes and holds a BA (Hons) Fine Art, PGCE, an MA Contemporary Art Practice and an MFA Photographic Arts from the University. Her double pinhole images are created using expired camera film and allowing water and light to wash over the camera to capture the sea and the horizon. Her new series - Light Water Exposures - captures Plymouth seascapes. She said:
“I have always been fascinated by the sea, the ebb and flow of the tides, the intertidal zone and the hidden realms of our visual perception, particularly the places that are invisible to us. The works that are now on display at PKF Francis Clark are site responsive, following a recent residency at Plymouth Arts Centre, near the Barbican so it is very fitting to see them displayed in a boardroom with a stunning waterfront view. Taking part in ArtWorks has given me an opportunity to show my work in a different, more commercial, environment.”
Phil Power, Associate Professor in Fine Art Contextual Practice at the University of Plymouth, said:
“We have really enjoyed working with PKF Francis Clark, to bring Rachael Allain’s work to their offices. ArtWorks gives our students and graduates the experience of showing their work outside the University. The students produce a huge amount of work and it is extremely diverse, so we think there is scope for businesses to loan works to add interest to their buildings, and to focus the conversations around the table. This is a great way for students to learn more about the commercial side of being an artist.”
ArtWorks gives students the opportunity to learn more about the commercial aspects of the art world and the experience of explaining their work to new audiences. PKF Francis Clark is now in discussion with the University about how the firm can support students to prepare for their future careers by learning more about operating in a commercial environment.
Martin Atkins, of PKF Francis Clark, said:
“We had the usual, generic office images on our meeting room walls. When the University asked if we would be interested in displaying work by art students or graduates we were intrigued. ArtWorks is a great way for a business to support and promote local artists, while also having new and exciting art to enjoy with clients and staff. Rachael Allain’s work looks fantastic in our meeting rooms, which are used by around 100 people a week, and the images are proving to be a good talking point with clients.”
The project was developed by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and the GAIN team at the University of Plymouth.
Director of Research and Innovation at the University of Plymouth, Adrian Dawson, said:
“ArtWorks is a simple concept, but it could have a number of benefits for the region’s businesses and for our students. As well as giving businesses the opportunity to loan exciting pieces from up and coming local artists, it gives our students and graduates experience that could be invaluable for their future careers. We are delighted to see the images on display at PKF Francis Clark’s Plymouth offices and hope that more businesses will be interested in finding out what art works they could loan from us.”
Contact the School of Art and Media