ReSearch Room - Kevin Cantwell and John Cocozza

One of our current ReSearch projects is a collaboration between Kevin Cantwell and Aspire artist John Cocozza. The duo has been working on making a replica of Blake's 7 Liberator with scraps and recycled bottles. Here Kevin tells us more about his practice and his project with John.

"I graduated in 2014 from the University of West of Scotland, with a first class honours degree in Contemporary Art Practice. I have been a commercial artist since 2004, but took the decision to return to education in 2010 to get a better understanding of what could be the best way of using my creative imagination in a way that could be benefited by others in a creative environment. The passing on of creative skills is an essential part of my practice.  I do this using my eye for reinventing recycled materials which are found in the environment, which I reconstruct into a new purpose in the form of sculpture.    

When I was invited to take part in the Project Ability ReSearch programme, I felt fortunate in having a special opportunity to do something creatively within their studio space. My proposal was the idea of collecting and using waste materials, which would be found in the Project Ability studio. These found objects would then be reconstructed into some kind of sculptural form, one that I could not predict what it would be, until I had experience of what materials I would find. At the beginning of the project I was researching the early pioneers of aviation, who used their imagination to create flying machines, and they appeared to have little or no scientific knowledge of aeronautics, which included the science, art, theory, and practice of designing, building, and operating aircraft. There were some inventors at that time which had some success, however most failed in their quest to conquer man’s flite; this was research became the concept I started with in the construction of my sculptural objects from the found materials within the studio.

I planned to construct imaginative, three dimensional objects or sculptural flying machines, that where based in a future environment which have no fossil fuels  nor are reliant on the science of aeronautics. I am attempting this by imagining that I am creating flying machines with no knowledge of flite and doing this by using only reference material of images of early flying machines, aviation scrap yards and flying creatures from today environment.  

Now in my 4th week in the Studio, I have joined forces with John Cocozza, one of the Aspire artist here at Project Ability. With John’s keen interest in science fiction, his influence has taken my original concept of the flying machine to another dimension!   
I have recognized that it is an honour to have been asked to take part in the residency research project, which has given me chance create work and be part of the involvement with an exceptionally worthwhile organisation, such as the Project Ability community workshops."

Thank you Kevin! And John Cocozza is very much enjoying the project too: "I am learning a lot. I usually work with cardboard or clay, so I'm using different material and it helps me realising all these ideas in my head! I am enjoying it a lot."

Watch this space for more updates on the project!

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