I applied to StudioBook’s open call in April 2017 having moved up to Manchester from London six months earlier. This relocation was largely to enable more focus on my artistic practice – something that was never fully possible in the capital – barely being able to afford somewhere to live, never mind a studio and time to actually think and make.
Having had a little time to settle into the north once more (I’m from near Manchester originally so it was more of a homecoming than the unknown), I realised how needed some external input into my practice was. Additionally, to meet arts professionals and other artists – thereby developing my network alongside my practice.
A good friend and fellow artist, Sophie Lee had completed StudioBook the first time MDP put it on in 2015-16 and spoke so highly of it, when I saw the opportunity come up, I knew I wanted to apply.
The programme began in May 2017, with a one-to-one mentoring session with Jack Welsh (of MDP) – I don’t know what I was expecting, but Jack’s outside perspective on my practice was incredibly insightful. For the first day afterwards, I was so inspired, with all these new ideas and possible directions coming from the meeting… and then quickly after, I felt really overwhelmed and that I actually didn’t know where to begin. So if this is what an hour did, who knows what state I’ll be in at the end of the two weeks!
The StudioBook two-week intensive programme begins on Monday (17th July) at Old Granada Studios, Manchester. I haven’t had quite as much time as I’d have liked to prepare (in a calm manner at least – finishing my day 1 presentation at 2am on a Friday night wasn’t exactly ideal!) However, this coming two weeks I’ve dedicated to solely to focus on StudioBook, so hopefully a more concentrated approach to come.
That all the selected artists are women artists is very interesting to me. I do know Lucy May Schofield from when I was a student and she taught me at Manchester School of Art, so it will be great to reconnect with her. Also, Anna Columbine and I have been in touch and writing to each other in the run up to StudioBook which has felt really supportive before I’ve even met her – so a lot, but not quite all new faces (or voices).
Mostly, I’m excited to see what the next two weeks brings, but, of course, I’m a little apprehensive too. As with all new things and the beginnings of change, this is expected and a healthy part of growth.
To have my artistic career progress and develop in a sustainable way that is true to my work and myself is, I suppose, my main aim. Also, to grow my professional and artistic support network and gain insight into areas of the art world I find daunting or intimidating.
Lets see!… Updates to come…