The three-week joint residency was used to build on research and documentation taken by Jessie Blindell and Mary Flower during a series of short stays together on Flat Holm in the Bristol Channel. Both artists produced work independently of one another but used the residency to explore connections and overlaps in their practices based on the shared experience of staying on the island.
Jessie and Mary were able to adapt the space over the three-week period to support different ways of working, using the tables and walls to spread out, discuss and share information, and the large, open space to test work practically on a larger scale.
Both Mary and Jessie invited a number of artists and researchers to visit the space during the three-week period to discuss their individual practices which was really valuable in helping consolidate ideas and identify new ways of working within the space. These conversations provided a really useful insight into how different themes within each artist’s work could be extended and how ideas were being articulated visually, in addition to finding ways to take the work forward in future.
The residency culminated in an exhibition and talk focusing on geology, movement and permanence, human and interspecies communication and the island as object.
The residency was a valuable opportunity to review my research and documentation of the island and begin testing ideas for new work. Having a dedicated period of time to focus enabled me to pull together research and explore new approaches to working, including testing ideas through a combination of ceramics, sculpture, writing and photography, with the work produced during the residency forming part of an ongoing series looking at navigation, systems of communication and interspecies relationships. Undertaking a joint residency with Mary was a really positive and productive experience in terms of both the conversations this model supported and the experience of physically making work within a space next to each other. Through ongoing discussion, we were able to identify areas of overlap within our practices and support each other in pushing ideas forward.
My approach to the residency was to be reactive to the experience of working in conversation with Jessie at the same time as responding to the material and data that I had collected during the short stays on Flatholm. The work I produced is part of a wider body focussed on the geology and geography of the area surrounding Bristol. My interest for this project was concentrated on a particular erratic stone on Flat Holm that evokes notions of migration, a sense of place and human narratives. The residency allowed me to develop new ideas within my practice as well as drawing on previous ways of working. The conversations between Jessie and I allowed us to explore the ways in which our practices overlap.