Alma Boyes lectures in craft and materials practice. She is a sculptor, focussing on figurative studies and the expression of social and behavioural relationships.
She has produced large works in bronze, developing casts for a number of significant artists as well as to her own designs. Her educational work at Brighton has focussed on materials practice, particularly ceramics, and issues of teaching and learning through design.
Alma Boyes is a sculptor whose work is currently focussed on figurative studies and work that explores the expression and evocation of social (and cultural) relationships, predominantly as expressed between animal species. She teaches in material practice and design specialising in ceramics.
Alma Boyes has taught ceramics and materials practices at Brighton since 1982. Her work as an educator is informed by her practice as a sculptor, and she has recently developed investigations on the teaching and learning impacts of design and making.
Alma's sculpture focusses on figurative studies and work that explores the expression and evocation of social (and cultural) relationships, predominantly as expressed between animal species. Behavioural, anatomical and contextual research as well as portraiture and anthropological studies inform her public and privately commissioned work at differing scales.
Awarded a British Council scholarship in 1979, Boyes travelled to Mexico to study pre- Columbian art. These early studies remain a key influence in her work with specific reference to form, colour, surface and the depiction of narrative. For ten years Boyes also worked in collaboration with the wildlife sculptor William Tymym producing life-size bronzes of animals for zoos in the UK and USA and in 1992 she was a finalist for the Worldwide Fund for Nature, Sculpture for the Environment Competition, exhibiting works of endangered species.
Boyes is also known for producing studies and translations of figurative subjects and as an enlarger for monumental sculptural works; a particular conceptual and practice-based expertise built up over 25 years, notably for sculptors Paolozzi and Turnbull and carried out at the Morris Singer foundry.
Her most recent works include a study of the mother/child bond between an adult and baby monkey in which she has focussed specifically upon the manifestation of this relationship. Her figurative experience and interest in the depiction of narrative also led to the commission of a life size bronze sculpture in 2002 from the Ward of Cordwainers in conjunction with the Corporation of London and which is now sited in Watling Street in the City of London.
Alma Boyes has been teaching ceramics at the University of Brighton since 1982. She was appointed area leader in ceramics in 1995, became subject leader for 3D Materials Practice in 2006, was acting academic programleader from January 2007 to August 2009 and Acting APL for BA(Hons) / MDes Design and Craft from October 2011 to July 2012.
From 2006-2010 Alma Boyes was a Fellow of the Centre of Excellence in Teaching & Learning through Design at the University of Brighton, working with Cynthia Cousens undertaking research into practice based teaching. This research has grown out of their practical experience as makers and as teachers and demonstrators on the BA(Hons)/MDes Design and Craft courses at the University of Brighton, which value creativity realized through craft processes, skills and material qualities. Creativity through making is core to their discipline. Understanding how this is taught is fundamental.
They jointly lead a research project ‘Exploring the relationship between Teaching and Learning Through Practice’, Boyes, Cousens & Stuart funded by CETLD. The project was concluded in 2008.
The overarching aim of this project was to explore the relationship between teaching and learning through practice, in order to develop innovative modes of delivery to enhance existing teaching practice. The research also explored comparative use of demonstrations in other practice-based disciplines. The findings from the research indicates relevance to teaching and learning in subjects that use demonstration as a teaching strategy and will be the subject of future research.
This research was followed by a further project ‘Learning tool support for live demonstration’ funded by CETL Learn Higher. This project identified, produced and evaluated key areas where short video clips suitable for mobile phones, ipods and MP3 players would support live demonstration of technical skills.http://www.brighton.ac.uk/visuallearning/project-news/boyesandcousins/
In September 2009 a further CETLD funded research project ‘Observational learning through Professional Studio Practice’ built upon this research. The original research project raised questions about the limitations of demonstrating a technique out of context of a range of processes and the difficulty of reflecting true time span of processes and the rhythem of making. This project researched the value of learning practical skills by the direct observation of an expert making in a professional workshop and as part of the entire process of the production of an artifact. http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/research/cetld/learning-through-the-design-process/observational-learning
In 2010 Boyes & Cousens were awarded an Art, Design, Media Teaching Fellowship (ADMTFA) to undertake further pedagogic research. 'In the Hand' researched the effects of museum handling sessions on student learning involving students in specialist handling sessions with curators at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Boyes, Alma (2015) The value, relevance and sustainability of ‘craft skilling’ in Higher Education today Making Futures Journal, 4. pp. 1-12. ISSN ISSN 2042-1664
Boyes, Alma and Cousens, Cynthia (2012) 'In the Hand’ –the effect of museum handling sessions on student learning In: Art, design, media creative learning and teaching, Ravensbourne, Greenwich Peninsula, London, 29 Nov 2011.
Boyes, Alma and Cousens, Cynthia (2010) Observational Learning through Professional Studio Practice In: 5th International Conference Challenging the curriculum: exploring the discipline boundaries in art, design and media, 12-13 April 2010, Berlin, Germany.
Boyes, Alma and Cousens, Cynthia (2009) Sustaining craft practice by teaching and learning through live demonstration In: Making Futures: the crafts in the context of emerging global sustainability agendas, University of Plymouth, September 2009.
Boyes, Alma, Cousens, Cynthia and Stuart, Helen (2009) Learning Tool - Video Support for Live Demonstration In: Clews, David, ed. Dialogues in Art & Design:Promoting and Sharing Excellence. ADM-HEA/GLAD, UK, pp. 260-265. ISBN 978-0-9558978-1-8
Cousens, Cynthia, Stuart, Helen and Boyes, Alma (2008) Exploring the relationship between teaching and Learning through practice In: Houghton, Nicholas, ed. Enhancing Curricula: using research and enquiry to inform student learning in the disciplines. Centre for Learning and teaching in Art & Design 2008, London, UK, p. 250. ISBN 9780956038203; 9780956038210
Boyes, Alma, Cousens, Cynthia and Stuart, Helen (2007) Exploring the role of demonstration in practice-based courses. In: Centre for Learning and Teaching Research Conference: Underpinning learning, teaching and assessment with pedagogic research, 19 October 2007, Brighton, UK. (Unpublished)
Boyes, Alma, Cousens, Cynthia and Stuart, Helen (2007) Teaching and Learning by Demonstration In: European League of Institutes of the Arts International Conference 2007, 11 - 14 July 2007, Brighton, UK. (Unpublished)
Currently working with the Crafts Council as a Higher Education Institute Ceramic Ambassador on their 'Firing Up' initiative. This is a national programme which aims to promote ceramic education in schools. The scheme crates clusters of a Higher Education Institution with 5 schools in the local area and 5 ceramic artists. Students are also involved in the projects as assistants to the ceramic artists in residence working in the schools on projects with the pupils.
In 2010 worked with MDes students on a Community Based project to produce a tile panel for the Southwater Area in St Leonards on Sea. The joint project with SARA, the Southwater Area Residents Association, has been awarded £10,000 from the Lottery’s “Awards for All” funding scheme. The award funded the first artwork to be commissioned in the second stage of the arts project in the Southwater area of St Leonards-on-Sea called “Up the Road and Round the Corner.”
The ceramic tile wall will be sited on the corner of Stainsby Street and Station Approach. This will welcome residents and visitors and provide a ‘gateway’ to the Southwater area.
The artwork was jointly designed by Hastings based arts and architecture practice ONE TWO ONE, working with SARA, and Level 3 MDes Students from the 3D Materials Practice Course (WMCP) at the University of Brighton.
The panel reflects aspects of the history of Southwater and the lives of local residents past and present and is the first of a series of public artworks to be commissioned as part of this project. Others will be commissioned if further funding bids are successful. Intended date for completion is September 2009.
2006 to present
2007 to 2011
'Celebrating 150 years of Art and Design - From Art School to University: Art and Design at Brighton 1859-2009' exhibition
'Scramble'. Reduction of a new monumental sculpture to commemorate the 'Battle of Britain' unveiled September 2004 – sculptor Paul Day. Commissioned by the Battle of Britain War Society cast in bronze & resin.
'Oscar'. Life-size bronze portrait of Oscar, 2yrs old. Commissioned by his family.
'Baby Elephant'. Portrait sculpture of Sithami enlarged to life-size for Annett Yarrow. Commissioned by Chester Zoo.
HRH Royal Tank Regement Whitehall Place, London. Commission to produce 4 plaques representing Cap Badges.
Royal West of England Academy Open Sculpture Exhibition. Queens Road, Bristol.
Society of Wildlife Artists' Annual Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London.
'Shop'. University of Brighton Galleries.
1993 - 1994
'Newton After Blake'. Production of a Monumental Sculpture, 3 meters high, 4 meters in length, to be cast in Bronze, for Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, unveiled in 1995. Commissioned by The Arts Council, for the new British Library, Euston Road, London, WC1.
Royal West of England Academy. Open Sculpture Exhibition. Queens Road, Bristol.
1992 - 1993
'The Wealth of Nations'. Production of a Monumental Sculpture, cast in Bronze, for Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, at 3.5 meters high by 5.5 meters, this is the artist’s largest and most monumental sculpture to date. Commissioned by The Royal Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh.
Society of Wildlife Artists' Annual Exhibition. Mall Galleries, London.
'Torgamba'. Life-size portrait sculpture, depicting a male Sumatran rhino, at that time, the only one in existence in Western Europe. Designed and produced in conjunction with William Timym, MBE. Commissioned by John Aspinal for Howletts Zoo, Kent.
'Djoum & Juma'. Life-size portrait sculpture, of a male gorilla Djoum, depicted with his daughter, Juma, cast as a Limited Edition Bronze. Produced for William Timym, MBE. Commissioned by John Aspinal for Howletts Zoo, Kent.
'Phil'. Life-size portrait sculpture of Phil the Gorilla, cast in bronze, produced for William Timym, MBE. Commissioned by St Louise Zoo, USA.
Horse Rider & Bird 25 foot high sculpture, cast in bronze, produced for Bob Clatworth, for Sun St, London EC1.
'Guy'. Life-size portrait sculpture of Guy the Gorilla, produced for William Timym, MBE, private sponsorship for outside the Gorilla House, London Zoo.
'Las Colinas Mustangs'. Monumental bronze sculpture depicts eight one-and-a-half-times lifesize mustangs produced for Robert Glen. Commissioned by Ben Carpenter, Dallas, Texas, USA.