We spent the first night on the Mawddach having dinner under the stars with Scarlett and Jake, discussing our lives and plans for our stay.
As a chronic planner I had researched local hikes to undergo during my first week and timetabled my days accordingly. With this being my first residency I wanted to make the most of my time and soak up everything I could. I was intrigued by this unfamiliar landscape and how it would inform my practice; would this be the catalyst to a body of work I’ve been craving?
Blue Lake, Llynau Cregennan, The Panorama and Clogau Trail to name my favourites.
I collected a soil sample from each venture holding my shovel as I walked like some kind of warrior descending the mountains which I can assure you was not the case.
Reflecting on my experience back at the studio with my samples, a portfolio of experience began emerging on the studio walls. Working in this way was a familiar process but something felt different, something that pulled me away from completely connecting to the landscape.
It made me realise how important a sense of place and experience is to my practice which was an unexpected development but one I’ll cherish. This idea of memory kept resurfacing and materialised into a series of anthotypes using rocks I collected. They presented ghostly marks on the paper which faded overtime.
I discussed this with Scarlett and she kindly offered her collection of oak galls, equipment and her copy of “Make Ink” by Jason Logan. Myself and Bethan spent Saturday night immersed in the ink making process and produced a rich brown ink that darkened over the coming days.
This folded into the second week wonderfully, spending time with my collected materials observing how they interacted with one another and the ink we made. I used shapes I found in the landscape to construct compositions and marks. Working closely with the materials I started to become familiar and a connection started to form. This process of making hasn’t been at the forefront of my practice but subconsciously I think I was inspired by working in the studio with a painter.
To conclude my stay I made an installation on a beach nearby I used fragments of bricks placed in a line, following the direction of seaweed that had washed up on the shore – not a work I particularly like but the resulting leg pain makes it notable.
Now that I’m home, I have continued working on the anthotypes and have the layered paintings simmering away on my studio walls