Thursday, 5 September 2013

My residency has begun!

I arrived in Iceland on Tuesday, and in Skagastrond yesterday to start my residency! I really am so happy to be here, and just having a proper studio space again after quite some time is inspiring me to get working. As soon as I arrived yesterday afternoon, despite being exhausted, I got started on my work, and already I've manged to get a few things done. This is exactly what I want, as my time here unfortunately is limited, and therefore I don't want to waste a moment.
So far I've done a few sketches in preparation for the first two paintings I'm planning, and have made several abstract pieces on paper, which have been left in various locations in the village to become weathered. Already, after less than 24 hours, I've noticed that most of them are becoming damp, and hopefully this will have an affect on the surface. Working in this manner is also giving me an opportunity to gauge which locations work best for what I want to do.
As I was walking back from the studio last night I unfortunately found that one of the pieces had been torn up! It would appear that this was done intentionally by an unknown person, as the conditions have certainly not been extreme enough to cause this naturally, and none of the other sheets have been affected at all. This morning I gathered the ripped up pieces, and got to work. As I stated in my proposal for this residency, I'd be keen to look into embroidery as a means of repair where necessary, and this was certainly necessary. The paper may not have been weathered naturally, but there was certainly an effect. I suppose that's a risk you take when leaving work in public.
I've spent a good few hours today reassembling the paper - working out which piece went where was surprisingly challenging. I find the result quite interesting, even though it was not what I had initially had in mind. I'm looking forward to seeing the progression of the other five works that are outside, and looking forward to getting canvasses outside too. I'm planning to start the background for one or two pieces this afternoon, meaning that I can complete the portraits soon.
All in all, I've been here a very short time but I'm already so glad to be here. Although I wouldn't choose to live in Skagastrond on a long term basis it really is beautiful, and I'm really enjoying myself. The other artists here are all really nice, and I'm so grateful to have this time to focus on my work, and to think and reflect more generally. I hope that my whole trip is as successful as the past couple of days have been.
For more images of the work I'm making here please visit my Facebook page.

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