Garage Residency Artists

Megan Wheatley

7 – 27 August 2023

Reflecting on My Artist Residency Experience

One of the pivotal aspects of my residency was the time dedicated to researching and reading on Gutai painting and the pioneering artists of Japan. This exploration provided me with a deeper understanding of the movement’s philosophy and techniques, enriching my own artistic practice and learning from their fearless drive to create new ways of thinking and making.

I revisited books such as “The Anxious Object,” “Concerning the Spirituality of Art,” and “Zen in the Art of Painting” which allowed me to connect with the spiritual element of my paintings and think about how to make my work more personal. It also served as a reminder of the profound influence of Eastern philosophy on my practice.

One of the most exciting discoveries during my residency was the use of raw pigments. The process of working with these pigments, with their natural soil-like consistency, was really exciting. I experimented with making the pigments into stains and worked on raw canvas, unafraid to leave blank spaces. This experimentation with materials led to a deeper connection between my art and the natural world, fostering a sense of harmony and authenticity in my work.

The residency provided a unique setting for my creative process. Having the ability to hang my work and observe it in this new context was so useful. I realised that the experience of viewing a hung painting is vastly different from one placed on the floor. This revelation allowed me to explore new ways of presenting my art and challenged my preconceptions about how my work should be displayed.

Beyond the solitude of the studio, the visits from friends and members of the community added an element of connection and inspiration to my residency. Their presence and feedback not only boosted my spirits but also provided fresh perspectives.

As I reflect on this artist residency, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to delve deep into my practice before embarking on my year of study with the Turps Banana Studio Programme. This experience has provided me with a renewed sense of purpose and direction. It has been a time of growth, experimentation, and rediscovery, and I carry the lessons and insights gained here with me into the next chapter of my artistic journey.

Thank you Helen Acklam, and everyone that joined me over my time at the Garage.