ArtHouse Jersey offered our fourth Artist Lock In residency project between Sunday 1st October – Tuesday 11th October 2017.
The residency took place for the third time at Elizabeth Castle and was facilitated by Sue Hill, Associate Director of WildWorks Theatre Company, and her Assistant Connie Crosby. After a wide call-out campaign for participants we received over 60 applications from international artists to participate, and from that 12 were selected, including 3 with links to Jersey. The group was deliberately composed of a diverse range of artistic mediums, ages, and levels of experience.
The structure of the residency followed a similar pattern to previous years with initial days designated to exploratory exercises designed to facilitate creative collaboration across mediums and engagement with the site and its’ resources. Physical, vocal and mental warm ups in the morning were followed by short tasks including ‘playing with the wind’, mapping the castle, making islands out of found materials and writing riddles, were expanded upon into longer sessions in which small groups developed scratch work for spaces in the castle.
As the residency progressed the artists were given more freedom to choose how they work and where, as well as which artistic partners they wished to collaborate with. The artists created a wide variety of scratch work as part of their tasks working across mediums, including sculptures, dance pieces, films, theatre performances, sound and visual installations and original music. The artists were encouraged to not only play to their strengths whilst creating, but to also consider new and unfamiliar ways of working. Towards the end of the residency groups were able to dedicate more time to creating longer, more developed pieces of work. The final day of the residency was used as an opportunity to recap over the 10 days and evaluate what had taken place.
The twelve 2017 artists were as follows:
Alexandra Zevin - Brookyln, New York - Interdisciplinary artist working with visual art and animation.
Aneta Panek - Berlin, Germany - Filmmaker and Performance Artist
David de la Haye - Durham, England - Musician, field-recordist and studio experimenter
Elisabete Sousa - Porto, Portugal - Theatre maker and Visual artist.
Ffion Taverner - Pembrokeshire, Wales - Visual artist.
Hayley Youell - Barnsley, South Yorkshire - Musician and composer.
Jacqueline Mezec - Jersey - poet and playwright
Henry Lambert - London - Performer and Theatre maker.
Laurence Cook - Edinburgh, Scotland - Director, Dramaturg and Performance maker.
My Johansson - Malungsfors, Sweden - Contemporary dance artist and actor.
Melanie Young – Cornwall, England - Visual artist and performance maker.
Nelson Holtz - London - Performance and Design artist.
Also included in the crew were resident documenters, Photographer Holly Smith and Filmmaker Todd MacDonald, who were responsible for capturing the residency and assisting the ArtHouse Jersey Producer Alice Bravery, and private chef Claire Allenet of Nourish Dining.
‘I had been looking for unusual, adventurous places to explore within an artist residency. I was hoping for an experience challenging my own limits and experimenting with any other artistic disciplines than my own. I was also very interested in enacting the landscape of the island, in performing in natural environment and in playing with fire – in both literal and metaphoric senses. Yes, my expectations were more than fulfilled. I was thrilled about it!’ - Aneta Panek, Filmmaker, Germany.
‘I loved exploring the castle finding great spaces and seeing which were best to create certain works in. Although they all didn't work, they were the most interesting in my opinion, although most of the tasks were to do with this exploration. But also spending time with the tribe, getting to know everyone, the parties were obviously lots of fun. Also spending time in the evening, eating. Having the opportunity to play with fire in the evenings, going up to the top of the castle all together, playing around with sound and creating work for everyone to view as they walk up to the top of the castle. - Ffion Taverner, Visual Artist, Wales
‘Elizabeth Castle is such an amazing location. The layers of histories and centuries still at the castle; it being a living thing rather than just from one century and kept like that, gives the possibility for so many layers of enquiries and exploration. It is really interesting to be surrounded by and have the possibility to dig into and explore its rich history and everything that the walls have been through and seen. Being surrounded by the sea and all of the lovely natural parts makes it a wonderful place to be in and also gives a very rich and resourceful investigation and exploration. It seems like a completely inexhaustible place for ideas and creativity to spark, thrive, grow and develop. So gorgeous- so, so gorgeous. ‘ - My Johannsson, Dancer and Choreographer, Sweden.
‘I've taken away fresh perspectives, new ideas and better understanding of where to start when creating outdoor, site-specific work.
I've taken away lifelong memories, new friendships and blossoming connections.
I've taken away clearer understanding of how I work as an artist and how I want to work in the future; both in my own practice and collaboratively.
I've taken away renewed confidence and trust in myself, my instincts and my ideas.’ - Hayley Youell, Musician, Yorkshire.
‘I used this really awful analogy to describe it to a friend the other day which I think accurately reflects my experience: it was a bit like a deep tissue massage where it’s nice but also a bit painful, you don’t think your bones or muscles move that way but someone just pulls them before you can object. And at the end you not only feel loose and free but you can’t understand how and why you lived with all that tightness for so long.’ - Laurence Cook, Dramaturg, Edinburgh.