In September we were joined by Rebecca Bloomfield as our artist in residence. Beccy was here at the turning point between summer and autumn and she claimed a space on a small beach, on the banks of the Mawddach estuary, as an extension of her studio for this time. Beccy used frottage, cyanotype, printmaking and rain drawings to explore the liminal space between light, shadow and water surrounding a chosen rock formation on this beach.
She aligned her daily routine with that of the river, starting her daily ritual with a coffee on the beach, coinciding with the local ferryman as he left for work and then greeting him again in the evening on his return. Beccy would focus on the rock formations that emerged from the river as the tide ebbed, and return to the house when the light faded.
Having such an open space to work in invited a lot of interest from local walkers and visitors and they were all intrigued by her work and process. Every day another passer-by would share a story of why this place is special to them. I encountered this when I spent the day working with Beccy, and was touched by her generosity, inviting the strangers to share in her work.
I (Scarlett) joined Beccy down at her Mawddach beach studio to work on creating some printmaking plates with her. Working from an idea sparked by a set of drawings Beccy made a few days before, we set about trying to capture the lapping of the tide using collagraph. Beccy created a set of 10 plates using variations of glues, sand, rubbings, carborundum and different matrices; some were printed at the residency and some she will continue to refine at her own studio.
On her last morning before she left, there was a definite change in the air, the weather had cooled and the wind had picked up, signalling a change in season. Beccy went down to the beach for her last coffee, and when she returned she said to me that it felt different there, like it was no longer hers, and that her time sharing that space had come to an end.