I have seen lots of really interesting and experimental residencies popping up on my social media feeds over the past few weeks and this is helping me reflect on what We Are Resident residency could be. Idle women launched an arts centre on a boat creating a moving and static intervention in different communities along the Blackburn to Pendle canal which is part of the Super Slow Way programme which aims to stage a new, creative revolution powered by art and people. In December 2015 there was a callout for an outstanding artist to join idle women for a three-month live in residency on the boat to create new work. It’s really great to see the ambition of this project aimed at a more experienced artist with a socially engaged ethos with development support from the projects live in producers Rachel Anderson and Cis O’Boyle.
I came across an article about how in 2014 the Aguilar Family where invited to take part at the Open Engagement annual conference in New York City where families stayed with local people and the children had access to on-site day care. WOOLOO created the idea HUMAN HOTEL offering accommodation to attendees with like minded people after the practical issue arose at a busy conference where all the local hotels where fully booked. With the family being accommodated meant that everyone took part in activities and collectively the Aguilar family gave a presentation at the conference. This family residency sounds wonderful and shows what can be achieved collectively and individually with the right support although it does bother me that these opportunities are piloted at big fancy conferences, the weight of the institution behind it and that the family residency was by invitation only.
The hottest residency I keep seeing and being tagged into is Lenka Clayton, An Artist Residency in Motherhood, which has some useful planning tools and an open invitation to start a residency in your own home. Sometimes I feel that artists’ may think that they have to go somewhere to do a residency and Lenka’s work is a fantastic example of how you can use your home to do it in. Although I would not want to do a residency in my small flat with a 2-year-old child nor is my work about motherhood, which can be an assumption made once you become an artist parent. The artists’ who applied for the We Are Resident residency in Finland where split between practices that related to motherhood or not at all. All of the applicants where artist mothers which identifies to me that there is a definite need for opportunities that allow family participation regardless of the theme of an artists’ practice.