12 – 17 October 2010
Reflections on my residency at 25 Stratford Grove – ‘Belonging(s)’
What I yearned for was some time and space outside of my everyday life in London, to experiment, to return to unfettered play without the pressure of a final exhibition or outcome.
I kept my idea for the residency very simple – to walk daily around the surrounding area and make work from/in response to what I found. As arrived in Newcastle the anxiety and doubts appeared – would I find any materials or inspiration? But this soon dissipated as I set out for my first walk on day one. I had only got as far as the corner shop to buy some milk for breakfast and I already ‘acquired’ 2 objects from the street!
Over the next few days I methodically mapped out the surrounding area walking up and down streets and back lanes taking photos of beautiful configurations of objects that I came across and picking up materials.
Back at the house bit by bit in a process of exploration the found materials were combined, placed and re-placed in the project space and amongst the domestic nooks and crannies of 25 Stratford Grove. ……A curved piece of MDF was temporarily propped against the wall on the stairs on its way up to the loft – where it stayed for the duration, presenting itself to visitors……..
The unexpected development of the week was the discovery of a new material – expanding polyfilla. These initial experiments offer a new line of enquiry for me to pursue. After spray painting the smaller ones I affectionately named them my pink turds. The larger one was created by squeezing the polyfilla through a tube of lace which was hung from the attic beam.
25 Stratford Grove: It felt a bit like coming home…….. It gave me time to reflect, on so many things. The shared daily domestic routines and stimulating conversations with Carole were nurturing and encouraging. The final event provided constructive critical debate from other artists, which has given me food for thought.
This residency was my first and it felt like I had been given a gift of great value.
Many thanks to Carole Luby, and Hannah Marsden for all their support and to Arto Polus for documenting the work.