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Carl Wadkin - December 2002
17

Carl Wadkin and Sharon Snaith 1981-84. My wife to be Sharon, and myself were both mature students in Fine Art studio B17 (we think) opposite the Fine Art office, home to do-it-all secretary Marlene and Head of the Department, Colin Crumplin.
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click on the photos for a larger version

Kelvin Rogers on drums, Alison Head flute, Anthony Andrea bass and Carl Wadkin guitar. Note the dustbin lids and watering cans hanging from the beams, members of the audience threw large lumps of wet clay at these to register disapproval. Among the other strange items thrown at us were a number of raw herrings!
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Clinton Phillips on drums, Mick Webb graphics student in stockings and suspenders, Anthony Andrea with proclamation/poem(?), Sharon Snaith attempting to raise the tone of the performance whilst Carl Wadkin pretends to play the guitar.

This conveys the horrible truth whilst we were performing. The looks of utter disbelief, incomprehension and horror still cause embarrassment. Testament to the Dutch courage consumed (or not) by performers was the backstage area which was a sea of broken glasses, spilt beer/cider, items of clothing and hundreds of spent joints plus the odd lump of clay and raw herring. After this last fling of student excess I seem to recall that all further student band nights were confined to the Student Union 'hut' and strangely enough never seemed to plumb such depths of depravity again.

flash movie!

Line-up of our first band as seen at the Cabaret

left to right; Clinton Phillips (keyboards and occasional drums),
Carl Wadkin
(virtual guitar), Alison Head (concert flute) year above us,
Kelvin Rogers
(guitar), Anthony Andrea (vocals and meaningful prose).


The 'red ink' fiasco of the 1981 Halloween party may well have become infamous due to the damage caused to the Corsham Court basement by over enthusiastic vampires, but we feel it pales into insignificance compared with the Cabaret held in the Beechfield canteen that same year. 
Things got off to a bad start when it was decided that the newly tuned piano should be moved from the 'Union Hut' to the canteen. Many will recall that there were several steps up to the hut door. Naturally the piano went down these rather quickly and never sounded the same again. 

The event was professionally hosted by Andy Southwell and another fine art student whose name escapes us, the former indulging in that favourite pastime of British men - cross-dressing. Andy performed admirably as male host wearing a tutu and fishnet tights. Of course he wasn't the only one in ladies underwear as the photos show! Performances ranged from the very professional Graphics band 'The Wicked Feedbacks', who we (Fine Art) thought did not really enter into the spirit of things as they could actually play very well. To, at the other extreme we have to admit, the most appalling performance of the night by our band, though other members may well disagree. 

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Clinton Phillips in litho. Sophisticated equipment in Graham Day's litho shed. I spent many a happy hour here getting into a hell of a mess, producing prints in a medium which didn't suit my style at all. The other figure is a Graphics student known to us 20 years on as Vicky's 'boyfriend'..

Back of Clinton, with a fine shot of the back of Sharon's head as she contemplates a blank canvas, also in the background Kate Haylett's head is just visible. Clinton's beer barrel contained his own personal water supply for use with acrylic paint.

Paul Bridger The next couple of shots were taken in the studio nearest Screen-printing, not sure why I felt the need to photograph into the mirror. Paul lived in a caravan on the farm at Pickwick for some time and was a great bass guitarist. I seem to recall that he had the most successful degree show selling most of his work.

Alison Stanley in studio, taken much nearer the mirror Paul Bridger is visible in the background whilst Alison Stanley also Fine Art contemplates the meaning of life. My excuse for the poor quality of these photos is the horrible cheap Russian rangefinder camera I owned at the time.

Melanie Southern another resident of B17, known for her aggressive attitude, I don't think she was coming to hit me!

Kelvin Rogers shows. Kelvin sitting just inside the studio door, in front of Jackie Crew's work, going through his morning routine of reading the paper. Through the open door you can see the office notice board (how exciting!)

I've included a detail of this - fineart noticeboard - as you can see the Magnolia painting competition and ICA Young Contemporaries posters, always popular with aspiring students along with the Northern Young Contemporaries competitions. Sign of the times is the anti nuclear poster. I always felt comforted in the knowledge that if someone did press the wrong button, then we wouldn't know much about it in Corsham as it must surely have been a target..

panorama Graphics studio

Beechfield House Pretty obvious! We think that the figure hurrying on the right is ceramics student Michael Taylor. Looking at this photo reminds me of our favourite graffiti which appeared in the gents toilet in Beechfield House in 1981: 'Bath Academy of Art - Butlins for Rich Kids'. I suspect that this may have been the work of a disgruntled member of the cleaning staff, or was it a tutor? True, none the less!.

I think this was taken from the studio occupied by Paul Bridger and Julia Giles among others. Looking end on at the Graphics studios, under and to the right of the Cedar tree was the college shop run by Penny, Polly and others (sorry girls it was a long time ago). Last time I went to the shop a couple of years ago, now at Sydney Gardens in Bath, Polly was still in evidence.

Visit Carl & Sharon's business site
Visit Carl & Sharon's
business site

and the online home of
visit their Motorcycle Drag Racing site
Motorcycle Drag Racing


There are more photos to come when I have a bit more time, plus some of our memories of personalities and occasions. Better still I still have some Super 8 film of the Peter Kinley 'Cow' incident, hopefully this has not deteriorated too much and I can get a sample on disc. 

Sadly the Peter Kinley Cow epic is so boring it's just not worth sending, however I did manage to get a couple of screen shots to go with the story which goes roughly as follows:
Legend has it that one summer morning in 1982 Peter Kinley (can't remember what his actual status was) was giving Colin Crumplin (head of Fine Art) a lift to work. Just after the car passed the cycle shed, it screeched to a halt and reversed to a point where the main lawn was visible. This gave a clear view of a life size 2D replica of one of the cows which featured in all Peter's paintings, grazing on the lawn.
Soon teams of evil Fine Art tutors began asking awkward questions in the painting studios, but to no avail as no one seemed to have a clue where it came from.


I can now reveal that this ultimate in 'found objects' was discovered beside a rock on the beach at Watchet, near Minehead, during a sketching - sorry 'drawing' trip organised by some of the painting students in our year. Coincidentally this followed an official trip to Oxford to see Peter Kinley's exhibition. Peter is no longer with us now though his cows live on, my only clear memory of the man was his favourite parting comment; "I think you'll find I'm right".
Hopefully someone has a photo of the cow 'installation'.

 

April 2008 update: Peter Kinley paintings (3.5MB pdf)

View more photos from Carl & Sharon on the NEXT page.

Alice Mason painting 83-86, has given us two photos taken in 1986.
"We were among the last graduates from BAA Corsham".

my friends at the time, Sue Hayler and Chris Horrocks.

me, Alice Mason in 1986

Sue did sculpture and Chris and I painting. Chris is now a published critical theory writer, having written 'Introducing Foucault' and one on Baudrillard. He made me laugh throughout college, he was hilariously funny.

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