In August I had my last mentoring session with Rory Pilgrim, which along with a discussion day for moving image was funded by an A-N Artist Bursary.
This is what happened next.
I moved to Glasgow to start an MLitt in Fine Art Practice at Glasgow School of Art. I took with me Rory’s advice to experiment and enjoy the time without feeling pressured. I began the course in September with no particular direction and found that I am now making work that looks and feels different to what I have previously been making.
Yet at the same time as making new work I kept editing a film and remaking an object that had been the focus of the conversations I had had during my mentoring sessions. This time I felt I was applying direction to them, which had been lacking when I first spoke about them during the mentorship.
I started drawing again and realised that not everything I make has to have a reason. I now like making things as a way of thinking and playing around with ideas. I don’t feel the pressure so much in making. This is Rory’s influence from chatting in our mentoring sessions and also from looking around his studio. It’s great seeing other studios. It reminds me that they’re fun places.
I stopped wanting to always film other people. During the moving image discussion day I felt the full responsibility of filming other people and relaying narratives that then made me question how I was using people in my work. I will film other people again, but I need to be more considered in it than in previous projects.
I am keen to run more artist film screenings. In the evening of the moving image discussion day I showed artist films and loved having people drop in to watch films that they had never seen before.
2018 is about to end and 2019 is full of possibilities good and bad. I feel more confident and better equipped than I did a year ago thanks to Rory and the moving image discussion day participants. None of which could have been possible without A-N. Thank you!
Earlier this year I received an A-N artist bursary. I used the bursary for mentoring sessions with the artist Rory Pilgrim and to run a moving image discussion day at Rame Projects (Cornwall) for artists working in Devon and Cornwall. This post is a refection on using artist led spaces as event spaces.
One of the reasons I wanted to hold the moving image discussion day was to get to know new artists, so it felt important to hold the event outside of Plymouth, which was until recently my well trodden stomping ground. I chose to hold the moving image discussion day at Rame Projects, a new artist led venue in a rural location on the boundary of Devon and Cornwall. The event was kindly supported by Beth Emily Richards, artist and founder of Rame Projects. Holding the event in a rural location was symbolic, as I wanted to encourage attendance of artists who are working in Devon and Cornwall, but outside of Plymouth. Just as it can feel in provincial cities that art funding and exhibition programming revolves around London, so too can it feel in rural areas that everything art related revolves around cities.
Something I hand’t much thought about beforehand, but which became apparent during the event, is that the majority of the event participants did not know each other and had never visited the newly founded Rame Projects. So holding the event in this space added to the feeling that this was an event where new conversations could be had and relationships could be made, rather than expanding the existing networks of an established venue.
Rame Projects is versatile as it is a studio with space. It does not have to be used for events every day of the week, but events that are held there help fund the space. This means that in using the venue I had a lot of freedom in what could happen there, as there were no other groups using it that day or particular times I had to be in or out. It is also by the sea, so a dip in the water became part of the event. It was July!
For future events I am keen to use artist led spaces, as they allow for a degree of flexibility and understanding of running artist events. Creating studios with event spaces might be one answer to the ongoing question of making artist led spaces financially sustainable.
I received an A-N artist bursary 2018 that I used for mentoring sessions with the artist Rory Pilgrim and to run a moving image discussion day for artists working in Devon and Cornwall. Here I reflect on the impact that the mentoring sessions have had on my practice.
It is quite a moment when someone asks you to tell them what you were making before art school.
You really want to know?
To then spend hours with you going through everything you have made up to now (9 years later), whilst pulling out common themes and words through gently probing questions.
We talked, whilst munching sweet potatoes, about gut instinct in filmmaking, voice, narrative, and combing through mountains of footage in order to create visual edits, silent edits, only audio edits and edits that just focus on cuts. Rory gave me practical advice mixed with critical thinking, but it was the time Rory took to examine everything I have been making that has had the greatest impact on what I am making now, as he helped me to see links between different bodies of work.
The time I spent reflecting on previous work during my mentoring sessions has led me to a point where I feel firmer in what I want to make now. I think it’s going to look different to previous work, as I become truer to ideas that have been quietly running through much of what I have making for the last nine years.
Mentoring allowed me to check in with someone who has experience and the benefit of asking questions and devising solutions with someone who has done it before is massive. This is my second experience of mentoring and it is something that I now see as an integral part of my development.
So, don’t go it alone all the time.
I am lucky enough to be an A-N artist bursary 2018 recipient. Here is an introduction to my practice and what I am doing with my bursary.
I am an artist who makes moving image and installation through research periods spent working with individuals, small groups, or unknown Youtube subscribers. I am currently working with a birdwatcher to think about how different knowledge shapes what can be seen and making magpie charms in a bid to control the uncontrollable.
After months of writing applications and going to interviews with fully developed projects (always unpaid), which often came to nothing, I decided that I’d rather just work as a bar tender one more day a week and put this money into making new art and look for self directed ways to progress my practice. I was aware that I needed to increase the critical dialogue in my practice, so I applied for an A-N artist bursary for mentoring sessions by the artist Rory Pilgrim and to hold an event to encourage peer to peer critique with artists who make moving image in Devon and Cornwall.
For the next four months I will be attending mentoring sessions with Rory and organising a peer to peer event to take place in July. I’m really looking forward to reflecting on my practice, making the work which has been sat in my head for so long, and organising a banging event.