A model of an elephant on a window sill

It’s all about processes for me this month – I’ve just finished a months unexpected studio residency here at Blast Theory.

I generally work in video, with an initial background in photography and an increasing focus on installation. I’m interested in text and the role of language and different forms of story telling and histories and am currently working on a project Carte de Visite that’s curated by artist Lubaina Himid. Because of access to a beautifully resourced and staffed print room at the University of Central Lancashire, I’m working with old, but for me, very new processes. I hope to build a new body of work that will be installed with my latest video piece Changing Room in two planned exhibitions in London and Plymouth. It uses text based lino cut and wood block prints, drawings and screen-printed images.

But as someone with a background of working in photography and video I have not really built a practice that has prioritized the use of a studio. In neither my BA or MA were photography students offered studios to work in – and so when having decided to take a studio soon after finishing my MA I just didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t really prioritise getting there between my many jobs – but when I did use it, I did work, and I did enjoy space to just think – but it somehow didn’t embed itself into the way I work generally.

But for this piece of work it is important for me to make sense visually and thematically of the relationship between the text based pieces and how I will build conversations to and with the objects, labeling system, a projection and images. I really needed a space of my own to imagine both what to make and how it would work in and with a space – not just on a screen, through a lens or in my head.

So this residency has been about new processes for me – not just in the medium and processes I work in, but with my own approach to my practice.

Guest blog written by Helen Cammock

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