Inside Out

IndieOUt RCA Publication.

A multidisciplinary Royal College of Art event in Spring 1978.

One way of looking at Inside Out, the two-day 'multi-media art fair' which is here commemorated, would be as the equivalent on the art side of the College to something done on the design side two years earlier, in April 1976. This was called Design For Need, an international symposium about, and exhibition of, design work done specifically with the aim of helping the economically or physically disadvantaged whether at home or in the Third World; minimising resource-use; and conserving the environment. Designers were encouraged to re-direct their priorities away from the kind of useless or deleterious work all too often commissioned by commerce, towards real social and environmental necessity.
Analogously, Inside Out called for a shift of preoccupation on the part of artists away from the accepted art market which, to be sure, offers young artists less and less outlet each year - towards a wider audience and new modes of address.
The comparison is asymmetrical, however, since Inside Out was not international, nor was it restricted to one side of the College - some of the most memorable installations being by designers on holiday from the utilitarian. Moreover Design For Need had behind it high-powered committees, a cast of dozens, a budget of thousands, and the communications networks of ICSID and ICOGRADA. lnside Out by contrast, was conceived, planned and carried through {save for generous help from College secretaries and technical staff} entirely by a small group of inspired but very businesslike students on a budget of £150 contributed jointly by the Students' Union and the Department of General Studies. Gratitude and homage then, to (in alphabetical order): Susie Allen {Printmakingl. Graham Cooper (Painting). Nigel Helyer (Environmental Media). Richard Neill (Industrial Design) and John Tappenden {Environmental Media} and all their coadjutors.
It worked - at least to the extent that everyone participating, whether actively or as audience, felt a sense of exhilaration and the glimpsing of new possibilities, and all who attended the accompanying talks must have greatly profited. Whether it registered with the College establishment as more than a harmless rag I rather doubt: but then Design For Need also dropped pretty much dead in those quarters. A prophet is without honour in his own country. Statistics: over 100 students participated, coming from 14 School or Departments.
Inside Out was pointing at something, reaching out for something that is probably still only in the early stages of its formulation. What it is, or might become, is adumbrated in these pages.

Christopher Cornford


This publication is intended as a record of Inside Out, a two-day 'Multi Media Art Fair' which was held at the Royal College of Art in March 1978. It was hoped that the event would be an exciting new venture for the College, providing an outlet for some of the energy and creative enthusiasm which exists there. Students seldom have the opportunity of exhibiting their work collectively in the College except perhaps during the final year degree shows. By opening up new areas and possibilities for work, we hoped that this event would benefit both College and its individual members.

So, Inside Out was born with four objectives in mind:
First to create a new event for RCA students who felt the need to expand their work beyond their studios and the College walls. .
Second to help break down and transcend the barriers which still exist between the various schools and departments within the College.
Third to create an event that would be 'open' in the widest possible sense, with the public where possible encouraged and invited to participate. Thus exhibits and performances were organised in the College courtyard and the surrounding parks and streets. By exhibiting ourselves and our work in this way to the 'outside world', we felt that we might at least in a small way help to overcome some of the physical, economic and social obstacles which all too often surround and mystify the 'Art World'.
Fourth that the concept of an 'Art Fair', which makes a greater use of the 'outside spaces' could be a very real alternative or supplement to the present restricted gallery system which, for all its 'virtues', generally only offers its facilities to the established or commercially viable artist.

As well as the many bizarre and imaginative exhibits and performances, Inside Out included an extensive programme of lectures, slide talks, and films, which were open and free to all throughout the two days. Many distinguished speakers were invited from a wide range of backgrounds and professions, both from inside and outside the RCA. It is the content of these informative lectures that we believe justifies the production of this publication.

Whether Inside Out succeeded in fulfilling all our aspirations is unlikely, but for some it did open the door to more experimentation, and provided a greater freedom to work in other fields and departments. It also succeeded in raising several important internal issues. Should there be a far freer reciprocation' between departments? How do we as artists and designers relate to each other, the layman, and our every day environment? What role do art colleges and in particular the Royal College play in the 'outside' world? Is the RCA just a name? And is this its attraction? Inside Out was our way as students of trying to answer at least some of these questions.

It is a feeling generally held amongst both students and staff within the College that such events should occur more frequently. Apart from providing a much-needed outlet for some of the creative energy within the College, it would help stimulate a more open dialogue between the College and the public. Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all the speakers, exhibitors and helpers who put so much effort into making Inside Out the success it was.

Susie Allen (Printmaking)
Graham Cooper (Painting)
Richard Neill (Industrial Design)

4 Foreword
5 Introduction
6-7 Inside Out Activities
8-9 Talk on Public Art by Peter de Francia
10-11 Exterior Painting in the UK by Graham Cooper
12-13 Two Mural Schemes by Islington Schools Environmental Project - Dave Cashman
14-15 Painting goes Public by Richard Cork
16-17 Exhibits
18-19 The Language of Colour by Tom Porter and Byron Mikellides
20-21 Towards the Old Hierachi-Tecture? by Alf Bews and Bob Hodge
22-23 Shalford Green, Essex by John Norris Wood
24 Mud Slinging (Clay Dance)
25 Bus Stop Chairs
26-27 Making Do and Getting By by Richard Wentworth
28-29 A Precis of the Film 'Reflection' by Keith Critchlow
30-31 Earth Art, Safe Art? by John Taylor
32 Clothes Line by Richard Neill and Giannis Siradakis
33 Doing Art and how it can help by Chris Crickmay
34-35 A Personal Inside-Out by Bryan Kneale
36-37 Morceau de Gateau by Bruce McLean and Silvia Ziranek
38-39 Conspectus I by Julia Peyton-Jones
40 Programme of Events


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