Canary Wharf Artist Residency
Time management, Site responsive work, Collaborating, networking, professional Practice.
Fellow Classmate Andrea Coltman secured an Artist residency for a group of us that ran from the 6th of July until the 30th of September 2016 and I took part in Canary Wharf's first ever on site Artist Residency. It was a valuable learning experience where I got to participate in a three month residency at Bank Street Construction site offices. These spaces were very kindly offered by Canary Wharf Construction.The space was available with the criteria set that any work produced should be in response to Canary Wharf itself.
This was a fantastic opportunity, a testing ground for new work and a new space providing ample learning opportunities, collaborations and skill sharing.
We held weekly discussions and group crits which provided an opportunity to flag up any issues as well as to check in and interact with our peers. Everyone contributed no matter what stage they felt they were at. We discussed our ideas, concerns and feelings about Canary Wharf as individuals and as artists. Although our topic was the same and our work had many links, often overlapping, there was still plenty of differences in our approaches and the work we actually made. Our individual practices and the different stages that we were at, the different perspectives in thoughts and research made this a valuable learning experience. We also spent some time talking about sharing skill sets, knowledge distribution and what assets we could help others with, alongside the things we may need help with ourselves, our possible weaknesses or struggles.
This residency was hugely important for me and just what I needed. usually over the summer period I take a break from creating any Art work and then when it comes to starting back at college I struggle to become motivated again, however having attended the weekly discussion groups, actively taking part in the project and with the option to create a final piece, this combination gave me something to work towards and kept me thinking and moving towards creating a final piece.
As this residency was a first, I didn't really known what to expect, so I went into it quite open, I had proposed to go in every Tuesday and once a month on a Wednesday for the group discussions but as it turned out I only went in four times in total on a Tuesday but nearly every week for the group exchange. The few times that I went in on the Tuesday there was nobody else in so I'd go off exploring and find a spot to people watch. I learnt from this experience that I work better creating work by myself but that I also need the contact and regular check in's as well as the feedback to keep me motivated.
Overall This Residency was a fantastic experience, it was great to share thoughts and ideas as well as to hear other peoples views on the same topic. It was a wonderful opportunity for networking and there was a lot of talk about future collaborations amongst the artists.
We have met up again since to discuss our work and the development of the ideas we had during the residency, how we might take things further, there has also been talk about another exhibition and the possibility of future community based projects in Canary Wharf and the surrounding area. The future for this residency is looking promising!