Anatomy of a Residency


Almost 2 weeks into a 4 week residency, and I thought I had better draw breath and hit the keyboard to share my joys and sorrows of my latest artist in residence experience.
Poatina, Tasmania – beautiful one day, straight out of the fridge the next! In winter, it is not a place for the lovers of climatic warmth, but the people and the facilities more than make up for it. The village locals welcome you as one of their own, cannot do enough to assist you in your journey, and are genuinely nice people. Facility wise, I have been given the use of a full woodworking space, as well as a brand new Arts Centre with individual studio benches and fully functional glass foundry.
Then you come to the pristine beauty of the Great Western Tiers literally out our back door on top of the hill. We take our country for granted way too often.
But, I’m not here to sightsee, I’m here to work – going into this residency I have a task of producing literally a showful of work of sufficient standard to be exhibited straight after I return home [Gauge Gallery in Glebe, opening Tues 26th of July]. That is a big ask, even to my standards of fulfilling impossible deadlines. The picture attached is of many of the works in progress. These shown range from small and delicate Huon Pine birds and butterflies, to multiple oversized expressive hands. Since the photo was taken the glass component of these works have been started, and with learning any new skill is often frustratingly slow. Tomorrow, the plan is to be casting multiple small bronze components of the mixed media works.
The day after, the plan is to hit the road getting my head out of the studio for a short break and head to the sawmills out west. The hunt will be on for new high end timber supplies. Last year this was highly successful, and I do not expect any different this time around.
So, I have 2 weeks to get these works sorted – ever felt like an extreme juggling act? A single piece is finished to the standard I am happy with – the rest of Huon, Sassafras, Celery Top pine, Myrtle, glass and bronze works are in a complete state of flux.
Bring on the fun, I could not think of a better place to produce.