We are excited to announce our next artists in residence.
Malgorzata Dawidek to be VARC artist in residence at Highgreen during August 2018. Residencies to date have been promoted and open to all artists but VARC has so far engaged in only a very limited way with disabled artists. This is a pilot residency VARC wants to trial its ability to support the practice of a disabled artist from which VARC wants to learn in order to make its programme more inclusive in the future.
Malgorzata, whose artistic practice is connected with her own body condition will be working on a new project that explores how nature responds to the needs of the ill body and how the body responds to the place. The artist will be undertaking a series of lone performances in chosen locations in the rural landscape that explore notions of pain and the ill body. Each performance will express the very specific relationship between her feelings and conditions of her illness and the detailed characteristics of the chosen place using her body as language. The performances will be documented through photographs.
Forms of language as expression are key to Malgorzata’s work; both written and through the body. And the artist uses text and lettering in many pieces, powerfully bringing text and body together to some works.
This residency grew out of time spent with disabled curator/artist, advocate and consultant, Aidan Moesby who has advised and guided VARC in the process throughout. We hope that learning from this short residency, VARC will be better able to welcome more diverse and disabled artists to all its residencies in the future.
We look forward to welcoming Malgorzata to Highgreen. And I know she is looking forward to meeting people up here; both out and about and more formally talking about her work at an Open Studio event she will be hosting at the end of her residency.
In September we will welcome Megan Randall to Highgreen. Megan will be in residence until June 2019.
Megan is hoping to use this opportunity to move away from working exclusively with clay and use materials local to the area and work with local makers. She is particularly interested to explore the cracks and fissures of place and objects and actively repair them – and consider these ‘repairs’ as artwork as in the artform ‘kintsugi’. Megan is excited to make the ‘mends’ dictate the materials rather than the other way round. Clay will still be part of Megan’s art though. She sees clay as the materials of the rural landscape, connected to the land and so ideal for building connections with place and community – a Tarset willow pattern is one idea..
Having spent the last four years studying for her PhD alongside a life of delivering workshops and projects to encourage creativity in others, Megan is longing for the time and space at Highgreen to focus on developing new work of her own and in new directions, the paths of which will be formed by close connections with landscape and community.
Image (right): Megan Randall, Assemble Dissemble, 2016