Viewing single post of blog Swifts: A Virtual Residency

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

Louisa Chambers:
Stopping all distractions today by turning off all digital devices (including the radio) and focusing on painting. And it worked! Time has gone fast. I entered the painting ‘zone’.
Trying not to perfect brush marks and over work – always challenging to achieve. Rub off and reapply.
One conversation that came up from the beginning of the residency was about space and the different examples of. For me, I think ‘head-space’ is most appropriate and that I am in constant battle with. The mind being fragmented due to demands from work (teaching / university), life (being a parent) and AOB – not helped by addictive technology.
Next time I am in the studio I intend to turn off my devices. If you are trying to contact me, you know where I am! Thank you for your suggestion Vic Lucas.

Victoria Lucas:
Technology connects society in a way that makes it hard to let go. A mediated mindfulness walk provided an intimate connection this morning, as six explorations of respective local terrain were experienced at the same time via video link. The enjoyment of this collective action was heightened by the silence that followed, as phone and laptop were purposefully disconnected from the internet for the majority of the working day. This residency has gently reminded me of the benefits that these moments of complete solitude bring, particularly when interspersed with meaningful dialogue, listening and reflecting with others. Slowing down the processes undertaken over the past three days has opened up new methods of thinking through materials.

Danica Maier:
As Joanna Colenbrander comments in her Author’s Note and Acknowledgement section of Fryn’s Biography. ‘It has since taken me almost as long to diminish as it took to collect, echoing, a familiar dictum of Fryn’s to would-be writers that the art is not in what you put in but in what you take out.

Portrait origin: mid 16th century: from French, past participle (used as a noun) of Old French portraire ‘portray’.

My time during the residency has focused on drawings and writing – both connected to the same body of work. They intersect but are divergent – both a portrait but of who?

Whose story am I telling Fryn’s or mine or …

Lucy Renton:
Testing, testing….

The silent walk today with all of us on video WhatsApp was a great start to the day and a new sensation of online interaction and community.

After 2 days of studio work that focussed on repetitive production, today I was ready to start manipulating some of these elements, and also sort through some disassembled elements from previous installations and unfinished works, seeing them afresh after months of being packed away. It was slower and more thoughtful day for me, punctuated by a lunchtime discussion with Livvy and Danica around Provenance and Process, with each of us recounting the ‘ghosts’ in the past lives of a ring we own. By the end of the day I had made several some physical ‘sketches’ which have enabled me to plan the next steps for various works.

For me, the experience of this residency has been incredibly positive and supportive, with a great structure developed by Danica and Louisa to encourage active listening, digging down into our individual processes and practice. It feels different from, but certainly not less than, a physical residency and something I’d love to repeat in future.

Livvy Penrose Pennett:
I go into the fog and trust something will be there.
Robert Altman

Today I found something, not an epiphany or a hallelujah, but something good in a more grounded way.

The mornings residency began with a collective mindful walk which I brought back with me. In the field I looked for the corner, then went to discover it. What was there was hedge, wire fencing, grass cutting or hey, a brick or two, a tire and, another threshold out to the next field. The process of walking toward, getting there, discovering and being there was so gratifying after having been looking at my collected images of the same thing through time. In the studio I played with the multiple realities and hybridity’s co existing in different mediums, layering and reflecting them back again.

Trust, faith, and collective art practice have all been important these last few days but also a more feminist relationship to authorship, I think. I’m looking forward to thinking about this more.

Sue Withers:
Thinking about all the things I’ve been avoiding thinking about, and realising how necessary it is to just play with materials for a few days. A strategy to avoid over-thinking, a time for discovery.

This time spent with other artists has been a time to cherish. Many conversations revealing shared interests or concerns, and provoking new possibilities. As the world outside begins to intrude, I struggle to articulate how much I needed this time.
Prolonging the playfulness for a while longer, a basketball hoop bedecked with a once luxuriant feather boa. The pleated foil ‘collar’ is more promising with the chrome hoop, although perhaps leans too far towards a budget 1970’s sci-fi aesthetic, than the glamour of the Met Gala.
Seeking elements of the natural world, I planted some cuttings, one in a balloon, one through the hole in a stool. Fingers crossed, hoping for growth.