‘Caravanserai’ Residency Programme
May to September 2017
The ‘Carvanserai’ Residency Programme provides time and space for artists to focus exclusively on their own practice with an emphasis on research, experimentation and the development of new work, within the context of a vibrant artist community.
2017 Programme of residencies
Theresa Harrison. 15th May – 10th June
For the Caravanserai residency I would like to spend the time to develop a series of photographs and paintings about intimacy and closeness by turning the caravan into an installation space and playing with it as a changeable hangout in variable locations. Caravans are interesting and curious spaces with endless possibilities for personalisation. Add their ability to place them anywhere a car can get them and it just keeps giving with possibilities.
But instead of taking the caravan on tour, I would like to make backdrops outside the caravan transforming the view from inside.
To create my artwork I observe, document and reconfigure events, locations and pastimes to find new value and purpose in how we use our time, how we share it with others and how we interact with our society and surroundings.
Reflecting on our contemporary culture of mass imagery and overloaded documentation of experience, where we both preserve and disregard images of the everyday more than ever before – through social media, advertising etc. My work re-addresses such imagery, drawing attention to the easily dismissed and looking for what may be found through the process of extended study rather than the instant gratification of the snapshot.
Jane Watt. 12th – 24th June
Jane Watt is an artist based in East Anglia who has made work and exhibited in the public realm for over twenty years. She is inspired by everyday materials, situations and spaces. She tries to create extraordinary and delightful interventions that uplift and challenge the viewer’s usual perception of that object or environment.
Past projects include changing the skyline of Shoreditch, East London with a flock of one hundred artificial birds on a city roof, trying to make a straight rainbow on the Pentland Hills in Scotland, creating a taste of summer in mid-winter on the streets of Helsinki and getting hundreds of people to dance under magenta spotlights in forgotten corners of north London.
For her Caravan Residency at Artworks she will continue to explore her fascination with projection, photographic processes and imagery in this unique studio space. In the past she has transformed north London business windows into lightboxes, back-projected footsteps onto a medieval hunting lodge turret In Suffolk and created an archive of over 300 cyanotype images of curious objects from the people of Cambridge.
Jane is currently developing an interactive artwork for the Loom to the Moon project at the Children’s Hospital at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford using the world’s longest loom band, which measures thirty kilometres. She is Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at University of Suffolk and teaches on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
Jane Watt spent her time during the residency making a life-size impression of the caravan in white muslin. This shroud-like presence will be suspended in Artworks Gallery to act as a screen for projections of short films that capture glimpses of dancing light across the surfaces inside the caravan.
Robert Good. 26th June – 8th July
Off The Road
For “Off The Road”, I hope to take the caravan to places it has never been to before. I am struck by the absurdity of a caravan going nowhere, so in homage to Jack Kerouac’s famous road trip “On The Road” I shall also take a life-enhancing journey and document it via a stream-of-consciousness travelogue. However my journey will be a fictional exploration of inner landscapes and unknown terrains. Each day of the residency I will lock myself into the caravan and “take a trip”, metaphorically and descriptively, typing it up in a frenzy of unmediated reportage. At the end of each journey I shall emerge and share the results. As well as writing, I hope to explore some other aspects of travel and caravanning. I will add some custom-made, text-based Go Faster stripes to the outside of the ‘van, and perhaps make some road signs and send some postcards. I might bring a fold-up garden chair to sit outside in if the weather is nice.
My work wrestles with words – normally other peoples’ words. This residency will be an opportunity for me to explore instead my own voice and my own words.
Theresa Harrison. 10th – 16th July
Luce Choules. 17th – 30th July
I am a visual artist with an international practice, working in still and moving image and the intermedia between performance and sculpture through my practice of fieldwork.
My art deals with an exploration of the Earth’s surface – unfixed topographical features and fluent spatial dynamics, envisioned as the activated spaces of landscape to be surveyed and mapped. Travelling between object and situation, expeditions form a framework for my itinerant practice of fieldwork – where a performance takes place, artworks are made and documents are generated.
I am a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and coordinate the CYD panel presentations and workshops for the annual ‘Explore’ event. I am Founder/coordinator of the itinerant artist network TSOEG (Temporal School of Experimental Geography); and currently present a series of talks and papers on the subject of fieldwork in artistic practice, to develop new research models in peripatetic practice, itinerant working, outposts and datasets.
Grace Harvey. 31st July – 12th Aug
My practice centres around playing with the architectural details of familiar spaces in order to unsettle and study them. I am interested in singling out sections of architecture and replicating them in form, so that they can be examined away from their original context and imbued with new possibilities, as an expression of the ever-changing landscapes we live amongst. These interventions are often created within my living spaces, in an effort to explore my relationship with the architecture of the home as a psychological space. Continually, I try to capture and occupy a feeling of liminality within my work and my choices of stripped down, anonymous materials help to channel this. For the Caravanserai residency I will work site-specifically, responding to the unusual and temporary nature of the caravan space with simple, ephemeral materials, at odds with our vision of the grand and enduring architecture of Cambridge.
Vic Dawson and Julie Sleaford. 14th Aug – 2nd Sept
My practice focuses on the field of expanded printmaking; incorporating participatory journeys into the landscape as guided tours and creating print based responses to these events in the form of maps, guides and archived images.
Using a multi-disciplinary approach to exploring heritage, preservation, changes to landscape I explore how militarised landscapes and geographies impact on our relationship with the environment and spatial understanding. My research combines field observation, geographical approaches and documentation of historic sites to explore issues such as time, place, power, ownership and surveillance.
I am interested in the liminality of site; the exploration of spaces on the threshold of change, which in turn is linked to memory, narrative and the perception of traces and experience left behind by indexical means.
In my practice I ask questions about how we manage and maintain heritage sites and landscapes, and enable the audience to consider ways in which we commemorate place within preservation and conservation; how we collectively create opportunities to allow landscapes, landmarks and memories to fade away with dignity. I aim to continue to investigate how the current preoccupation with memory is linked to finding an anchor in an age of insecurity and how site has meaning which goes much further than overt presence.
Using my own body as material, I engage with the psychologically divided self exploring the photographic image as a site of conflict and challenging the idealizing gaze and value system that photography inflicts upon the female body.
The representation of the female body is trapped within the paradox of the photograph as both document of truth and creator of illusions. To challenge perceived truths that arise from this seductive two-dimensional mix led me to explore the physiology and psychology of perception and the relationship between the observer and the observed.
I became fascinated with the stereoscope and stereoscopic image, the history of which links science, medicine and our desire for knowledge with our parallel desire for illusion and spectacle. The stereoscope simulates the nature of binocular vision whereby each singular eye sees a flat image that is similar but different to the other. It is then in the brain that the image is unified and we perceive depth. By disrupting the stereoscopic process in my work “The Rival, 2016’ I revealed slippages in perception, creating gateways of uncertainty in order to disturb belief systems, allowing for contemplation of the unknowable.
The participatory nature of this series of work presented an immersive experience for the audience, revealing the desires and anxieties of the viewer engaged in the act of looking.
Joe Stevens. 3rd – 16th September
My practice stems from a work called Wine Games from 2007, which was a sculptural assemblage of Wine Gums laid out in an algorithm-derived pattern on a chequerboard floor. This is the catalyst for further works resulting from and inspired by the work. Wine Games used an algorithm to generate information that was then used as the raw material for further activity By using an algorithm with the methodology of the grid I am able to redirect creative endeavour into this focused and autonomous structure to generate a perpetual guidance system that dictates this structure for each new context that I explore. Further to this endeavour, I have created what I call a cultural-catalyst computer, a 300-bit system that contains 36 groups. The system is 300-bits because I used 300 Wine Gums back in 2007. The 36 groups within are further classified into five broad sections, related to the frequency of the colours in the original 300. Therefore, in my work, I have a palette of 300 from which to draw. For example, the readymade items found within my 300 elements include certain books, films, sizes, colours, days, cities, sweets and mass produced objects such as Lego bricks.
Jessica Harby. 2nd – 14th Oct
Jessica Harby was born in 1980 in Oak Lawn, Il, USA and studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her practice encompasses drawing, installation, video, sound and performance and mixes the delicate, the brutal, the absurd and the serious. Often using humour to address uncomfortable ideas, she has recently explored the importance of cows in the history of art galleries, the overblown masculinity of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s face, and why Donald Trump exists. Jessica is co-creator of the zine Tappa Tappa Tappa and is one of six artists chosen by Contemporary Visual Arts Network East Midlands for their two-year project Document. She lives and works in Northampton, UK.
2016 Programme of residencies
The Carvanserai Residency Programme 2016 provided time and space for artists to focus exclusively on their own practice with an emphasis on research, experimentation and the development of new work, within the context of a vibrant artist community.
13 March – 20 March
For the caravanserai residency I am working for two blocks of time, over the Spring and the Autumn equinoxes. Both are periods of the year when day and night lengths are equal yet are times of great, and contrasting, change. One is at a time of growth; one a time of consolidation.
I am delighted that in my first block of time the willows are transitioning from that ‘is it there?’ haze of green to new buds unfurling their crinkled, creased new leaves.
I have repeated my journey each day, observing and recording, to then develop these on my arrival at my caravan studio.
I had expected to build a body of ‘parallel’ images from this repetition but find instead the work is currently developing as layers.
27 March – 29 April
For the next few weeks I will be blogging about my residency in the caravan. I am spending five weeks at the caravan, building a model village that, to quote myself, will ‘cosily house the precarious.’
From 6-8pm on Friday the 29th of April, when my residency in the caravan ends, there will be a private view of Little Life at Cambridge Artworks
30 April – 23 May
For my Caravanserai residency at Cambridge Artworks I experiment with different printing methods using found materials. I collect lost or discarded things I run across in the street or in rubbish bins and record them with the help of the sun or a printing press. I am compelled to physically work with these mysterious rejects of today in order to produce traces of the archeological artifacts of tomorrow.
13 August – 27 August
For my two weeks on the Caravanserai Residency, I was keen to develop new work and test out some objects I had made beforehand in the space.
These included a ceramic tea set based around the speech bubble – the idea of an object’s form indicating its purpose to start a conversation (with the artists at Cambridge Artworks and visitors to the caravan) and a series of latex forms based on fish maw shapes. Stemming from Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’ in which a fish is likened to an idea, hooked by the line of a thought, I went in search of fish/ideas along the River Cam to develop on my residency.
Using the river as a study, I photographed, drew, recorded and made studies about its behaviour. I then attempted to record the movement of the river – making suminagashi floating ink prints with both collected water and straight from the waterway. I hope to continue experimenting with how to capture the nature of a river beyond this valuable experience at Cambridge Artworks.
Pippa Davismoon and Charlotte Morrison
October 1st to 23rd 2016
Residency outcome October 2016
“My first residency – but not the last! I could not have imagined what an enriching experience it would be to work within a different context.”
Charlotte & Pippa
“Our experience of being in the caravan was thoroughly enjoyable and has had a profound and exciting impact on our practice.”