Bee Eaters: A Virtual Residency focuses on developing art practice through a supportive communal structure. This intensive 3-day residency brings artists ‘together’ via online platforms for conversations, thinking and/through listening, while working independently within our individual studios. The residency’s core focus is on developing creative practice in a critical and supportive environment without any pressures of outcome. Committing to a small group of individuals the time will be spent within our own studios experimenting, testing, developing, thinking, contemplating, reading, doing/not doing intermingled with two checking in periods within the day and a small group social (virtual) lunch. Working with the spirit of a ‘Thinking Environment’ (Nancy Kline) during these checking in moments we will share, talk, and listen to enable individuals thinking and practice to grow. This is a record of our individual actions and developments through our time collectively ‘together’.

Participants include:

Louisa Chambers (UK) studied an MA Painting, Royal College of Art (2007) and is a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University. She has worked on various public site-specific commissions and has been a finalist in prestigious national competitions. Recent exhibitions include: Expanded Studio Project, PS2, Belfast, 2019, Enough is Definitely Enough, General Practice, Lincoln, 2019, Pacific Breeze, White Conduit Projects, London, 2018 and Manuscript – Letter Home, China Academy of Arts Museum, Hangzhou, China 2018. She has a forthcoming solo exhibition at Lakeside Arts, University of Nottingham scheduled in September 2021.

Julia Wenz-Delaminsky (DE): Media artist Julia Wenz-Delaminsky lives and works in Stuttgart and nomadic. Conceptual work with collections of everyday objects or written and pictorial works are inspirations for a playful approach. The further processing takes place with different techniques. Photographs, objects or interventions in public space find their origin in a picture idea or an everyday experience. In their openness, they can relate with the place and other positions.
instagram: @juleswenz_artist

Tamara Dubnyckyj (UK, MA painting, RCA 2007) creates paintings and drawings that form part of an ongoing series of staged spaces, evolving from collected ephemera. Shapes are defined and echoed across the surface, piled up, assembled, curated; colour picked out and heightened, or flattened. Exhibitions include, Strangelands, Collyer Bristow, Nightswimming, Mission Gallery, Swansea, Ghost Changing Room, Wimbledon Space, London. She was selected for the BEEP prize in 2020, and had a solo exhibition Stage, Stone Space, London, 2018.



Traci Kelly (UK/DE): My interdisciplinary curiosity engages audiences in surprising ways to create open and evolving dialogues. Works often unsettle notions of corporeal and socio/political subjectivity, opening up a space for doubt around the status of the lived and material body. Intuitive work emerges in relation to specific contexts and sites, embodying the hauntings of history, the specific vernacular of place and a poetic turn of materials.

Danica Maier (USA/UK) is interested in iterative variations or the un-repeating-repeat, through site-specific installations, drawing and writing; as well as the dialogical nature of joint projects that foster collaborative independence. Through various collaborative projects she jointly and independently explores processes of practice as opposed to outcome; investigates unseen parts of archives as catalysts for artworks; and the drawn line as graphic score. She is an artist and Associate Professor in Fine Art, Nottingham Trent University, UK.

Clare Mitten (UK, MA Painting, RCA, 2006) works across 2d and 3d, employing construction, drawing, painting and collage to filter the actual and imagined appearance of objects. Exhibitions include:  Silent Disco, Greystone Industries (2021); Backyard Sculpture, Domo Baal (2019); The Machine Stops, Danielle Arnaud (2018). Plantworks: A Factory As It Might Be, William Morris Gallery (2017); Awards include: Jerwood Painting Fellowships (2011); Bow Arts Award (2014); British Council residencies to Dhaka (2008), Tbilisi (2010).
Artist website: Instagram: @claremitten


Working in our individual studios, we meet three times throughout the day. Here are our individual reflections and thoughts from the day’s actions, thinking and events.


Louisa Chambers: 

The sharing virtual group walk this morning set a productive day ahead. Visual observations from each participant’s own separate windows on my phone showing their outside worlds included- lines, pathways, roads, expanse, streets, unfamiliar, objects and details.

A coffee next. Then off to the studio.

Looking. Painting. Looking at the shapes on top of shadows. Pausing. Looking again at how I’ve applied brush strokes, colour and tonal arrangements. Trying not to think too much and just paint.

Lunch social. The subjects meandered in and out – art making, labyrinths / mazes, topiary, bonsai trees to letting going / about process and not knowing.


I think the painting is finished.


Julia Wenz-Delaminsky:

It is not possible for me to dissect artistic work. All aspects are important. One can’t produce without thought or think only without ever doing a thing. The idea itself needs a realization. But there’s also the aspect of an audience. As a group of artists I realize there are a high-speed audience, because we are trained in looking, thinking and reflection. The actions and thoughts of all of us are working as a multiplicator. A mushroom of understandings starts to grow and it is covered with chocolate.


Tamara Dubnyckyj:

Group virtual walk to start the day, zoom split screening the streets of Stuttgart, London, and east Midlands; road lines, path lines, close ups of flowers, glimpses of blue sky and breath and voices. Fun!

Back to the studio, engaged in a pondering session, the wall arrangement work in progress, a starting point, but still not quite right.

…thinking about past series of work, how everything fits together, zigzagging in and out of times and places, all of the hours doing and thinking…

I read some of the book about pioneering sea divers: Stars beneath the sea – lovely watery imagery, chapters entitled ‘The cuddly cactus in the chamber of horrors’ ‘The delights of dangling’ ‘Thinkers and sinkers’, then remember the Poetics of Space (Gaston Bachelard), first encountered at art school. I can’t find my copy, maybe being a student I borrowed it from the library, so I postpone the reverie, and order a copy online.

Back to the BBC Sound Effects No. 3 and the ‘Background atmospheres’, more settings for the imagination to do its thing…maybe that is the key.


Traci Kelly:

Day Three: Clusters & Instability

Fixing a cluster.  Introducing the colour I have, thinking about the colour I prefer…

Taking a fall/ Unwalking – ankle like a balloon, balloon unlike an ankle.

Mesmerised by a drift, an uplift and a ripple. Letting things settle, but they twitch. Nothing is fast, but the slowness is untame, wild and demanding. I know these materials a little more and a little less at the same time.

It’s been a rare and beautiful space, thinking new, sharing experiments, finding the practice of others.

Thank you to peers who feel their way.


(images from our joint morning walk)

Danica Maier:

A day being (rather than considering) fallow-ness.

“ ‘Fallow‘ periods were traditionally used by farmers to maintain the natural productivity of their land. The benefits of leaving land fallow for extended periods include rebalancing soil nutrients, re-establishing soil biota, breaking crop pest and disease cycles, and providing a haven for wildlife.”

How can one plow the field of one’s practice and then leave it to rest – not seed it. The importance of leaving one’s practice ready, open, accepting, but not seeded. Resting, re-establishing and breaking pest cycles. In consideration of this, I have to slightly fight my natural instinct to ‘consider’ fallow, to research it, read about it, think about it, do about it, etc.  This would be counter to just being fallow – so, books remain closed, cerebral thinking was put on hold, I drew while listening to a narrative, resting happened, even a nap was called for today.

I now consider how to carry on resting, preparing the ground, being fallow – while in the corner of my eye – the wave of a new academic year is coming and will begin to break on land soon.


Clare Mitten:

An energising start to the day with a communal walk around our local areas, connected via our phones. It was as if taking multiple routes concurrently: snapshots of people, traffic, flowers viewed through Zoom rectangles, as we navigated our local streets in Stuttgart, London, Nottingham.

I switch my routine today, beginning with assembling a cardboard laptop shell.

After lunch (a lively conversation of coffees and bakeries, etymology, topiary and labyrinths), I begin with a layer of papier mâché over the cardboard model. The repetition and smoothing down of strips of newspaper allows digestion of lunchtime talk, and headspace to ponder next moves. Ideas and possibilities are beginning to mushroom now, and much like the maze with its multiple pathways, dead ends, doubling-backs, and routes through – I’d like to have multiple versions on the go, to allow different options to play out, to fail, to move forward.

It’s been an intense and nourishing three days, each with its own beginning, middle and end. Key take-aways: the power of listening, of community and thinking through while talking. Intentions for the work: little and often, enjoy the back and forth.

Thank you fellow Bee Eaters!


Working in our individual studios, we meet three times throughout the day. Here are our individual reflections and thoughts from the day’s actions, thinking and events.

Louisa Chambers: 

Day 2: Shadows

It’s been a tough day (life getting in the way) and as such, has been difficult to focus.

I’ve been thinking about and trying to paint shadows – metaphorically and actually – on one of my paintings.

The day has bought about sad feelings, made me reflect on the challenging year so far and how unexpected life challenges crop up when you least expect (similar to what happened in the morning).

The lunch social took me out of my studio, from inside my head and into a supportive (virtual) space. Thank you, Clare and Traci, for listening and sharing.

I’m back to painting again and making the most of this long studio day.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Takeaway: and remember flexibility – to cope with the unexpected!


Julia Wenz-Delaminsky:

I do wonder what (as a group) we are. I am thinking about the character of the virtual residency itself all the time. The principle is new and exciting for me. My first idea was a network but I don’t think so. I tend to think of mushrooms (funny the ‚rooms’ in the fruit). Rooms within the art-mycelium, we inhabit and are all connected in different ways too. Even though we don’t know from each other. Suddenly we pop out and we are visible for the others. If we are cut off, the mycelium just nourishes the other heads (just thinking).

As a metaphor for this I just went out and bought some brown mushrooms to start a fermentation experiment. I sliced all the mushrooms very thin and put them in a pickling jar, added some water and salt. The bulk still resists to dip (after hours!) but the water is a nice color now. The timeframe for the residency is also a very peculiar thing for me. It makes me realize how much time my actions need, I wasn’t aware of this before. My practice is more familiar with process: one has to be patient and just wait. As in letting things sink in and don’t stress it.


Tamara Dubnyckyj:

Lots of thoughts and reflection after the group sharing sessions. The discussion pace is calm, honest and thoughtful, very much appreciated after a non-stop few months with fleeting opportunities for creative endeavour.

My intentions for the day are to be active, re-acquaint myself with the ephemera from yesterday. I put on my denim utility apron. Somehow time is being eaten Pacman style…I start speed reading, looking for the seed of the next set of work. There is too much.

Yesterday, there was arranging by surface, work on walls, work on the floor, and in the periphery. Diagrams and non-heard sounds described in words. Maybe I could extract those words, use those sounds? Veer off painting? Strange to think the need for these physical pieces of ephemera is obsolete – 2021 sound effect libraries and ladybird survey results would exist as zeros and ones.

Lots more thinking and clearing out to do!

I turn some existing paintings face to face and stack them away out of the periphery, leaving some space for wall arranging…


Traci Kelly:

Day Two: Skins & Membranes

Helium, only visible through the skins that contain it. Image making as a membrane between self and world. Ephemeral sculpture which exists and shapeshifts in short moments. Thoughts that exist in the same way. What do my materials do? How to attach one balloon unit to another and avoid a dissolve where one invisible gas would meet another and become something different. Perhaps that would be the most interesting. How long will ‘pearls’ of helium be on the ceiling before they lower to my head height. When do they become alive with their own unruliness. Herding cats. Drapery and release… shutters and escapes.

Reading a few words on haunting.


Danica Maier:

A wonderful focused day of drawing. Doing one thing all day. A revisiting and reflection on a series of drawings I thought finished a few months ago yet have come back to anew. I’ve been thinking a lot on the importance of time within creative practice. Not the time ‘doing’ but the time away, time between ‘doings’ – distance to come back afresh – perhaps it is the necessary fallow moments. Enabling new viewing and experience, letting go of previous and perhaps limiting (unknown) constraints.  The reworking, redoing, reexperiencing and remaking – all an important part of the process.


adj. Plowed but left unseeded during a growing season.

adj. Characterized by inactivity.

n. Land left unseeded during a growing season.

Further thoughts on: Conversations on conversations, the bells of Stuttgart, maps that ‘map’ the edges of land show mostly water, fermentation, cabins with no electricity, metaphorical outdoor swims, the universe’s continuous reminder to let go and with the flow, connectivity though distanced, don’t think – embody, connect, be.


Clare Mitten:

The morning ‘screen’ watercolour suggests battery bars/energy levels (a little bit low). Floating shapes and fragments suggest a platform game. There’s space for things to move around and this chimes with the listening focus of the residency. I project myself into the drawing and imagine hitching a ride up and along on a flat salmon-coloured cylinder to reach the rounded orange zoom camera square, now suggestive of a goldfish, among green spikes of aquatic screensaver plants. I need air and go for a walk before meeting online for lunch.

I papier-maché over some cardboard shapes. There’s not enough of them. The start of a slow accumulation.

I begin a drawing; abandon it to begin a collage. Frustration at my stop-starting becomes beneficial as tentativeness gives way, and shackles to remaining truthful to the object are finally loosened.

The evening check-in catches me in a kind of chaos. I’m eager for the community, perspectives and insights of fellow Bee Eaters.

Key takeaway from today: remember that the process won’t be rushed!


Working in our individual studios, we meet three times throughout the day. Here are our individual reflections and thoughts from the day’s actions, thinking and events.

Louisa Chambers:

Day 1: Lists

It’s a lists kind of day after a frantic morning which followed a sleepless night. Sometimes lists are useful (in reflection I should have written one before bed to prevent the whirring noises in my head interrupting sleep). Sometimes not. Often, I lose them or write too many, or they are too long and therefore never achievable.

I did complete one of the items on my list today – to write a list of all the paintings that might be included in my forthcoming solo show.

What else is on the list?

I think tomorrow I’m going to rip up the list and focus on painting.


Julia Wenz-Delaminsky:
To cycle to the pool and have a swim takes me app. 2 hours. This is the best time of the day, apart from the meetings with the artists.
In a way it feels familiar to switch on the computer and talk about art. I did it during residencies abroads with my partner, friends and family. But to go into it with unknown people is different. The digital detox for the second half of the day doesn’t work because I am feeling more like writing and researching then making at the moment. Tomorrow I will switch my schedule and head to the pool first, see how this works for the rest of the day. Today I went to my archive and looked for more pics for a work I am doing anyway at the moment. I’ll stop this because I want to really concentrate on the residency…

Tamara Dubnyckyj:

Opening the studio doors, seeking calm, wishing for bright skies, fresh air, a connection with the garden outside.

In preparation, I had cleared my work space, put on my new denim utility apron, gathered a pile of books and ephemera I had been collecting, and started to arrange them on the floor.

There were a selection of sound effects on 7” and 12” vinyl:

  • BBC Sound Effects No. 3 ‘Applause: Enthusiastic in theatre’ ‘Background atmospheres: Wind eerie or sinister’ ‘Baths: Water running in, & out’
  • Songs of British Birds No. 2: Side 1 ‘Fields and Hedgerows’ Side 2 ‘Riverside and Marshland’

A lot of cross sections and diagrams: depictions of flattened cargo containers, plants in domes, a placard showing the backstage at the pantomime including the spotlight angles and rotating scenery mechanisms, a minimal 3D paper cut out, a diver from the Jacques Cousteau era with a dome helmet.

There were themes of travel and learning, a swissair world route diagram, the British Ladybird Survey 1987, Meteorological Office weather advice pamphlet, another pamphlet, of poetry titled ‘The shape of bricks’

I started to note all the similarities and differences, and ponder their collaborative possibilities within my work…

Traci Kelly:

Day One: Figuring

Trying to figure presence, trying to figure object, trying to figure an invisible gas that is only known by the membrane that holds it. Taking things slowly. ‘Making do’ with breath until another day. Periodic table. Helium. Body based practice. What are their edges, where do they meet. Today’s experiments: breath, body, stool (the same age as the body), balloon, camera. A snapshot. A trial. Time spent walking across a small space, considering presence, playing with shadow. Helium:2 protons and 2 electrons, atomic number 2. Objects and their shadows making a bonded unit.

Thank you to peers who nurture.

Danica Maier:

Plans were made, to-do lists are ready but when it came to it – I just needed to sit and not think. Even sit and not think, and not do at times. Being in the studio away from the computer, not thinking, not doing much – just being. It felt wrong and hard at moments and I’m grateful for the group sharing session, listening to the group and being listened to. This has helped to re-jig my thoughts, throwing away the to-do list.  Tomorrow feels fresh and new.

I did do a drawing, embodied thinking through ‘doing’. I finished off the details for a piece of work (tick this off the to-do list). I decided I could not make a performative reading – walk by looking at google earth (erase this from the to-do list).

But for most of the day, I was just in the studio, present.

Clare Mitten:

Following our morning ‘grounding’, I have an impulse to make a watercolour of my laptop screen, as it appears after leaving the Zoom meeting – multiple windows open, a fragment of the screen saver backdrop (an epic Big Sur digital vista of orange, terracotta, purples and blues) visible between the blues, greys and whites of folders, header bars and margins of open documents. I’ve been thinking of webs, spirals, shells, labyrinths and mazes; of finding routes across and through keyboards or other surfaces. The network of tiered and overlayed verticals and horizontals seems to reflect this back to me. It takes longer than anticipated and the result’s underwhelming, but hints at possibilities ….and I think perhaps I’ll begin each residency day with a new version; reminding myself to lessen expectation…..see where it might lead.

With Mythos as an audio backdrop, I begin some ‘pattern-finding’. Space Invader motifs emerge, in what could become a PacMan-esque maze.
I cut out cardboard shapes for a 3d model; deconstruct an A4 folder; start a few different versions of components – extracting shapes from the form of the laptop, with a view to fit them back together in a reconfigured, inside-out bodywork.