Thursday, 2 September 2010

The Final Half of My Residency

I have now finished my residency at Aberystwyth....I feel that I was really able to play with ideas and experiment without any pressure. I now feel much more confident in my practice as an artist. I also wanted to say a big thank you to everyone at the Arts Centre, who made my time here a pleasure, especially to Eve, Carys, Cath, Heather, Geraint, Caroline, Jesal (and of course, Annabelle!) for all their help and support over the last 3 months.

If you would like to see further images from the residency, please look at my website

Sunday, 18 July 2010

The First Half of My Residency

The first half of my residency at Aberystwyth has been exciting and liberating. It has been great to have the space to try out new ideas. When I first arrived, the space felt huge....

I made drawings outside as a way to deal with my new environment.

I have also been working directly on the wall to make drawings.

The time so far has been great and feels like a laboratory of ideas. I am now working on experimenting with different techniques to make bigger pieces of work which I'll hopefully be able to complete before I leave here.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

5 @ Aberystwyth Arts Centre

by Lucy Harvey
Some shots of the massive gallery space at Aberystwyth Arts Centre which is currently housing a digital installation by Ralph Juergen Colmar, sculptures by Katherine Sullivan, contemporary works by Priya Chohan, paintings by Annabelle Shelton and contemporary metal work by myself.

The exhibition shows the fantastic diversity which the Artist Residency scheme at Aberystwyth Arts Centre hosts. I'm excited to showcase alongside artists of this caliber and in such an airy space. As a relatively new practitioner from a craft background I have never had this extent of space to exhibit my work and the exhibition gave me the opportunity to showcase my floor based installation as well as objects collected from the seafront during my residency last winter alongside my crafted artefacts.

Having spent the three months of my residency with Katherine Sullivan it was great to see her photo assemblages presented in their lightbox which elevated the eerie qualities of the domestic architecture and female figures which she sourced again from Ceredigion Museum. The subtley sinister lead shoes from her previous residency in Ireland and her decorative domestic sculptures from this residency hold an interesting discourse together and provide a colour palette that seemed to run throughout the show.

Ralph's animation is a remarkable feat, I find it difficult to imagine that it was conceived in the same Creative Unit that I inhabited for my residency. As ever I found the attention to detail in Annabelle's contemporary landscapes mind boggling, I know she'll find a lot of inspiration in Aberystwyth. Finally, Priya's temporal installations really inspired me; that materials so lowly as wax and sand could come together to have such presence in a gallery is quite an achievement.

Artist talks from both Annabelle and Priya both focused on this idea of time and space and it was interesting as a maker to hear Priya discuss the issue of control in the manipulation of materials and in their presentation. The exhibition gives us all this platform to share part of the residency process with visitors through three outcomes with the work of myself, Ralph and Katherine, and two starting points with Annabelle and Priya. I look forward to seeing the fruits of their residency, good luck guys!

5 is on at Aberystwyth Arts Centre until the 14th July 2010.
Further information here.

Friday, 2 July 2010

My Residency @ Aberystwyth Arts Centre

by Lucy Harvey

Hello, my name's Lucy and I tentatively title myself a 'conceptual metalsmith'. My work is currently in 5, an exhibition at Aberystwyth Arts Centre until the 14th June, alongside Priya and Annabelle (who are the current artists in residence) and previous residencees Raph Juergen Colmar and Katherine Sullivan.
My residency spanned December to February 2010 which was this year's big freeze. It was the first time I have ever stepped on frozen sand and probably the wrong season for exploring fishing but as someone who is interested in subverting the function of objects this probably worked to my advantage.

During my time in Aber I did what I always do to spark the wheels on my creative practice; that is to collect stuff. My beach combing amounted to a collection of natural and man made objects that were worn and distorted by their time in the ocean. I was inspired by how these objects were discarded and abandoned on the sea front and by the processes of wearing and tangling that detritus was subjected to by the waves.
This abuse of objects and the ambiguities regarding an item's discardment to the sea chimed in with my enquiry into the function of objects. I paired this inspiration with a direct look at the unrecognised craft processes behind the making of fishing equipment, which I found was not too dissimilar from my own jewellery background only there was less soldering (braising) and more 'cold connections' such as wrapping and riveting. I sought to use my own technical processes - jewellery and small scale metal work- to rework my collected objects into artefacts which subverted function.
This gave me an opportunity to diversify my making skills and respond directly to processes used in fly tying, lure making and weighting. Ceredigion Museum were kind enough to let me have a handling session with their collection of fishing equipment and I looked at techniques and equipment further afield with a copy of Von Brandt's Fish Catching Methods of the World (Forth Edition!) from Aberystwyth University's Hugh Owen Library. Aber Fishing Tackle on Terrace Road got quite a bit of custom from me, and I in turn got a few funny looks as I declined a copy of the tide times and left the shop with a bag full of sea fishing and fly fishing paraphernalia.

Local heritage was also an inspiration and I fell in love with Borth (or "the Munster's Holiday Home" as my residency partner Katherine Sullivan termed it). Borth: A Seaborn Village by Terry Davies painted a fantastically evocative picture of the mana like force of fish on the town in the olden days.
All of this boiled down to a desire to create symbolic artefacts which questioned function. I began making in the final month of my residency after two hugely valuable months of research and reflection. An entire log of my time in Aber can be found on my blog, which is here.

Thanks to the Arts Centre for having me, it's been an utterly invaluable part of my progression as an emerging artist and a fantastic addition to my portfolio!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

It's a few weeks now into my residency.  It's taken a couple of weeks to get settled in, but now that I have re-acclimatized and discovered where the industrial estate is (the key to my materials!), I feel free to enjoy this experience.  

Giving a talk at the private view for 5 was terrifying but glad I did it!

I've had lots of conversations with Annabelle, talking about the feeling of trying to make the most of being here and the pressure you put on yourself to make a masterpiece - a sense of not wanting to fail.  I've now decided to spend this time experimenting and playing with processes, not thinking 'outcome' but hoping that a realisation of what I'm doing will become evident.....


Annabelle and I discovered Ynyslas yesterday - I would definitely recommend a visit. Apart from a hairy moment on the winding country road negotiating uphill and a 90 degree turn, it was well worth the short drive. We'll be going back to try and find the mysterious 'petrified forest'!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Looks good! Who are the Artists In Residence at the moment? ...

AIR Blog

At last - we have our own Artists in Residence Blog!!! Watch this space for info from past and present Artists taking part in the residency scheme here at Aber Arts Centre. Have a look at our creative units website also (where Artists are based):- and for info on available residencies have a look at: