GO West Residencies
2 to 29 September 2013
2-29 September 2013
The New Art Gallery Walsall
In 2013 Extra Special People (ESP) and The New Art Gallery Walsall (TNAGW) teamed up to offer GO West, a group residency for one ESP member, one Spike Associate and one user of G39’s WARP programme. Working in the Artists’ Studio at TNAGW, Sophie Bullock, Freya Dooley and Sebastian Jefford were in residence together for a month in September 2013. GO West provided artists with critical input, time and space within a mutually supportive group context in which they could develop new work. Artists were grouped together according to their practice, interests and approach to the residency, encouraging a useful dialogue and possibilities for working together to develop.
Sophie Bullock, Birmingham based ESP member, took her residency at TNAGW as an opportunity to combine some practice-led experimentation with research into psychogeography and perception of space. When she began to work in the gallery Sophie was struck by the buildings’ interior. She worked mainly with photography, capturing and removing elements of the image to highlight shapes and aspects of the space. With this work Sophie intended to illustrate overlooked elements of the building’s architecture. She then projected the architectural shapes and images back into the walls of the building and experimented with the different formations and 2D/3D shapes that could be produced.
‘For me the Walsall residency was the start of a longer line of research. The ideas I brought into the residency were fresh and I had read and researched but not done much practical work. The work I made was not resolved during the residency, but I began to really think about what in particular about the broad subject of psychogeography was of interest to me. I realised that I am still very much concerned with the power of the cinematic image and how it has the ability to induce anxiety in the viewer with the combination of cinematography and sound. The most beneficial part of the residency was capturing my own material. Most of my previous work has relied upon me obtaining images from online sources, so it was refreshing and inspiring to get my own material and footage. This is something I am continuing with to date as I am filming ‘cinematic’ spaces of my own.’
During her residency Freya Dooley, user of G39’s WARP programme, worked closely with the Beth Lipkin Archive at TNAGW. The archive documents the professional and personal lives of Jacob Epstein, his lover and eventual wife, Kathleen Garman, their children and extended family. The archive includes countless letters between the family, notably, love letters between Jacob and Kathleen. During her research at the archives, Freya became fascinated with Beth Lipkin, a close friend of Kathleen’s, about whom a distinct lack of information is available despite the fact that she controlled and managed the entire family archive after Kathleen’s death. Freya was interested in the figure of Beth Lipkin and the loss and sadness prevalent in the family’s complex history.
‘During the residency I developed work collaboratively with Sebastian and Sophie for Flatfile at Eastside Projects. In this I explored instructional language and presented an alignment of a written script and audio piece based on a hypnotherapy script for developing photographic memory. I was interested in the nature of this particular type of language and conversation- the intimacy of listening and the power of instruction. I’m currently working on a project which investigates the private and unique language of letter writing. I have been exploring this in collaboration with artist Cinzia Mutigli, documenting my residency through letters to her. This generated material for the project ‘UnsungSongbook’, a publication created just after returning from Birmingham alongside ‘In Conversation…’ a a scripted radio broadcast.’
Bristol-based Spike Associate Sebastian Jefford used the G.O. West Residency as an opportunity for focused research, to catch up on some reading and as a space to think. He was interested in thinking about play as an activity, and trying to develop new ideas for works that centred around the possibility of generating fictional performance or activity. As the residency progressed he became aware that it was less the idea of physical engagement that excited him and more how peripheral objects and ephemera can generate traces of activity, as a kind of performative residue.
‘Sophie, Freya and myself were lucky enough to be asked to work on Flatfile at Eastside Projects, so a proportion of our time at The New Art Gallery Walsall was spent developing this project. We were interested in turning Flatfile into a half museological-interactive toolbox, with instruction and action, and subsequently the gap between these two poles, as starting points. I made a set of obliquely functionless tools that appeared to be hybrids between Neolithic hand-tools and contemporary household objects, in response to Sophie’s videos and Freya’s texts.’