Chelsea College of Art and Design - BA Mixed Media

Scope and Content

Material relating to Franko's time studying for a BA at Chelsea College of Art and Design

At Chelsea Franko B not only produced paintings often relating to identity and desire, but he created large sculptural pieces that involved welding, displayed outside of the college (as seen in slides). The Alternative Media floor at Chelsea provided Franko B with the space to create and experiment, particularly with photography and video work.

Franko B's painting tutors wanted him to pursue painting due to his potential, but Franko wanted to pursue alternative media. Franko B even fell out with his personal tutor due to his move towards mixed media rather than focusing on painting, however, his tutor changed his mind and became very supportive and pushed for Franko B to get a first class BA Mixed Media, which he achieved. Franko B's art for the final degree show was displayed on a separate floor to the main degree show, due to complaints from other students about his work and how their visitors could be upset by it. Visitors had to go higher floor to view his art work, however he managed to screen his work in between floors.

Franko B also encountered prejudice whilst studying at Chelsea because of his sexuality and being an anarchist/punk. Franko B can recall the graffiti in the toilets relating to him. Whilst at Chelsea, Franko B founded the first gay society, with only 4 people turning up to the first meeting. The society went on marches in response to Section 28/Clause 28 and Operation Spanner. The stigma attached to AIDS, ignorance at the time, prejudice against homosexuality and targeted arrests on those engaged in consensual SM activities had an impact on Franko B's art work whilst at Chelsea, producing works in response to this climate.

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