Post research event at Manchester Art Gallery in November I have been crystal clear with the headline in my upcoming artist talk poster; Overcoming barriers to artists’ residencies. The University of Salford have been supporting me with providing a venue, organising the event and marketing. What I have learnt from advertising my previous event is not to get caught up in the creative and to simply communicate what it is about. Although not as many artists’ attended my last event the most surprising finding was how potentially anyone could benefit from an artist residency experience. Another lesson learnt was to use an online booking system to gage how many people will attend and for this I have used eventbrite, which is really easy to use. So far bookings have been steady with 35 in the first week my aim is for 60 although up to 90 people can be seated at the Old Fire Station venue. I had my first Skype meeting with Susan Jones, which I really needed to reflect on where I am at with my project timeline and she suggested a chair for the event. This would really take the pressure off me to focus on meeting the artists’ and my own presentation. This week I met with Paul Herrmann director of Redeye, the photography network (http://www.redeye.org.uk) who was recommended to me as a suitable chair and it was really refreshing to talk with him about artist residencies. He clearly has an interest in this area and spoke about developing a residency with Redeye with probing questions about my research. Again having another thinker around the subject and foreseeing questions that the audience may have is pushing the content of the event programme. To continue my research thread into the barriers that stop people taking part in an artist residency I intend to ask the audience to write down there responses and use these to open up a discussion at the end.
I am really looking forward to hearing the invited artists talk about their residency experiences and selected people who I think are overcoming boundaries through the work they are making. The first artist I invited was Helen Knowles and read her Santa Fe residency report here: http://www.culturalreproducers.org/2013/12/residency-report-helen-knowles-at-santa.html. After researching Knowles work more and finding out about her curatorial practice I was really inspired by how she is creating an intervention in the art market with the Birthrites collection which is located at the University of Salford (http://birthritescollection.org.uk). Jason Wilshire-Mills work came to my attention when I recently carried out a research trip to London and met with Shape Arts (http://www.bluejaywaydigitalarts.co.uk). I visited Shape gallery space in Westfield (https://www.shapearts.org.uk) and got to see the group show of work produced at the Doha, Qatar residency where I got to see Jason’s large scale self-portrait painting titled ‘Portrait of a Western Gentlemen’ which really needs to be seen first hand to appreciate the finer details that was produced on an iPad. I am a member of Pool Arts and worked with them as an independent artist/curator who co-create large scale projects. They are the only artist group I have been involved with who chair there meetings in a democratic way with no egos involved or single dominant voice. Pool Arts run the SHED based in Levenshulme that is used as a gallery/residency space on an allotment where the artist and the local community come together (http://poolarts.org). If you want to find out more about the artists’ work then you better book your FREE place at the event, Overcoming boundaries to artists’ residencies: https://weareresident.eventbrite.co.uk