In July I travelled to Collemacchia, a tiny village situated in the National Park of Abruzzo in the Molise region of Italy, to take part in an artist residency with The Museum of Loss and Renewal.
I’ve never had the opportunity to participate in a residency before, the closest I’ve been previously was a couple of day trips to Nelson and Colne in Lancashire in 2016, so this was a fantastic new experience for me.
I entered into the situation with various to-do lists related to how I would structure my time and a vague plan to try cyanotype printing, due to the bright sunlight. I carried out very minimal research about the area and its history opting instead to enter the space quite blindly.
I had a naive idea that upon arriving in Italy, myself and my practice would transform into something else, more confident, experimental, intuitive. Even when I applied for and was offered the residency, I had outlined a proposal that involved interaction from the residents of the village, despite being unable to speak Italian and being quite a naturally introverted person.
This proposal gnawed slightly at the back of my mind in the run-up to and throughout the first few days of the residency and I felt an underlying sense of guilt that I had not prepared or even attempted to reach out to any of the residents. Thankfully I moved past this guilt (for the most part) and came to a point where I accepted what I made, observed, documented and noticed, as unique to myself and my outlook as an artist. The two weeks were important in offering consecutive days to make, think, read, draw and have demonstrated that this may be an important part of my process of making work although how I continue developing the work and expanding my research will also determine how useful the time was as a model for the future.
I’m aiming to slowly document my experiences in Collemacchia alongside the continuing explorations into themes and research topics that came out of the residency period. As I head into the second year of my MA I’ll be continuing to expand this body of work and this blog will accompany the progress.