Artist Led-Exchange Residency

The first of our new series of Artist Led-Exchange Residencies started last month with artists Fiona McCubbin and Kirsty Russell.

Over the month of May, Fiona McCubbin and Kirsty Russell, organised a number of participatory activities for residents and the local school, and also spent time learning from local practitioners about their specialist knowledges.

Fiona and Kirsty have written the following post about their Artist Led-Exchange Residency.

Self Care//Shared Care
By Fiona McCubbin and Kirsty Russell

Self Care//Shared Care is an on going conversation between Fiona McCubbin and Kirsty Russell that developed into research material for a month long Exchange Residency at SSW. Since graduating from Gray’s School of Art we have informally supported one another as we have each continued to develop our practice and begun to form choices about the artists we want to be. We understand this supportive structure to be invaluable to emerging artists and have previously worked together within larger groups to formalise and shine light on this value. We were interested in using the residency as a space for dialogue surrounding maintenance and care in relation to community.

Both of our separate research and making practices relate to care and maintenance and we wanted to develop and further understand this conversation throughout the exchange residency. Whether this is a question of how facilitation and care can translate into a tangible form, or an interest in how relationships form and how we exchange ideas.

We developed our research on how we set foundations both individually and collectively, when working in temporary environments. We did this by spending time connecting with the local community including individuals, some of which were already connected to SSW, the local primary school, residents and staff.

These workshops ranged from informal wanderings to instructed workshops. We met with Murdoch Adams, a local Land Worker who employs a practice in water searing within his work with the land. This interest in the performative nature of such ancient practices and belief systems, which seem driven by intuition and sensory impulse, was a driving force in connecting people not only with the land but also with their inner self. An act of invaluable self-care.

We also spent some time with Norma D. Hunter, an artist based locally who through her practice creates quiet meanders whist encouraging wild foraging and sharing her knowledge of wild botanicals and their uses and health properties. The knowledge we gained from Norma informed a workshop we led with the pupils at Lumsden Primary School. Our workshops with the children were designed as an insight into self-care by making with them a hand made massage compression ball filled with foraged plants and botanicals. We also shared techniques of mindfulness and meditations through breathing and listening exercises.

This month long period was a time to experiment and play with these collaborative ideas in an attempt to make intangible acts of care tangible through object making.

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