In September of 2019 I travelled first to Florence, Italy, then the Tuscan town of Greve to complete an Artist Residency with La Macina Di San Cresci. The purpose of this residency was to allow myself the time and freedom to create in a unique space and completely foreign environment and to produce a new body of work. Ultimately I was able to take the time to experiment with variations on my style of work and complete a body of work which was exhibited at La Macina on the 24th of September 2019. This exhibition will form the basis of a larger body of work to be exhibited at the SALA Festival at the Hahndorf Academy in 2020.
La Macina di San Cresci , established in 2001, is a place for creation, presentation and documentation of contemporary art in all its forms, learn more about this residency location at http://www.chianticom.com The La Macina Mission: "We believe in art and offer artists an opportunity to work for an extended period of time in a social environment that is quite different from the urban milieu that is the usual context of production and distribution of the contemporary arts. This new experience provides artists with a major stimulus to experiment with new ideas, approaches and modes of production, encouraging artists to rethink and renegotiate their role in such unfamiliar social contexts. It also invites communities to be receptive to creative practices that don’t conform to traditional expectations.
Our mission is to encourage the mobility of artists interested in exploring their ideas in a well appointed studio far from home; to develop a cultural exchange at local, national and international levels through the involvement and participation of foreign institutions, both public and private; to be a laboratory of experience where artist-teachers and young artists can work together" From http://www.chianticom.com
ARTIST STATEMENT “The collection of drawings I have completed whilst in residence at La Macina Di San Cresci represent the beginnings of a larger body of work which continue my study of the classic poem by Dante Alighieri ‘Inferno’ , from ‘La Divina Commedia’. It was the aim of my time in Tuscany to be in proximity of the famous poet who has inspired much of my work. The eight works here depict only a handful of the many circles within Alighieri’s vision of Hell. Rather than aiming for direct representation of these sins I wanted to interrogate the nature of the sin depicted.
The larger installation piece references the development stage of the work, where I take ideas from my own imagination as well as the time and place in which I create the work to form the final images. These background images are akin to the DNA of the final work, invisible but completely controlling the outcome. In my research I have found that many monotheistic religions viewed various body parts as responsible for committing specific sins (for example; tongues committing blasphemy) . I have used this as an alternative mode of expression of the narrative and in this way, the images become physical manifestations of the sins the body commits. The graphic style of illustration I work with is a method of ‘domesticating’ imagery that can be overwhelming and, at times, upsetting. In my use of almost comedic figures that are simultaneously grotesque, I am responding to my own experiences with religion that left me with a lasting feeling of being both repelled by and attracted to its darkness.”