This was my first attempt at doing a residency with both kids and partner with me for part of the time. In some ways it worked really well, a couple of mornings the kids joined me in the studio for an hour, we had lovely days out - walks to waterfalls and Harlech Castle. But there came a point where I felt torn and it became a big multitask - I didn’t feel like I was being particularly successful at being at either - parent or artist. And my partner very much felt like the hired (and unpaid) help! Then when my family went home and I had 4 days solo and I missed them all terribly. It seemed I couldn't win...
However that being said I am very glad we did it. The residency is set within a very beautiful place and you are staying in the wonderful home of lovely people. I got started on some drawings that I know will be seeds of things to come and I don't think they would have happened had I been at home. So the residency ‘worked' in that respect. And it was actually a weirdly affirming experience to miss my family that much. It kind of reset my priorities - my art is important to me, but there is a but!
I'm now back in Bristol in my new home/loft studio with both the kids at school. Looking at the things I made in the studio overlooking the Mawddach estuary with the ever-changing light, colours and tides. I only wish I had gone out for more walks, and had not been quite so focused on art being made in the studio. It’s all the other stuff that feeds it that is just as important too - the catkins dangling from hazels, looking out for the otter, the incredibly thick moss and lichen, clambering over rocks.
I'm sure we will be back some day. Many thanks to Jake and Scarlett for creating such a great place and providing such a warm welcome.