An artist residency takes many forms but on a basic level it is a period of time spent by an artist in a place or organisation other than their studio. The artist produces a specific body of work during this time which responds in an interrogative manner to this new environment. A residency is often instigated by a business or organisation but private collectors might also use this format as a way of building their collection and commissioning a one-off piece. Depending on the context, Mall Galleries, with its links to a wide range of artists across the country, will help you source the right artist for the job. We might suggest the best artist for a brief or run a competition to discover new artists who will respond well.
Many of the artists we work with have extensive portfolios of residencies. A good example is Toby Ward NEAC who has over the years built a reputation for documenting, through artist residencies, the renovation of historic buildings including Royal Opera House, St-Martins-in-the-Fields and Chastleton House. In 2015-16 he was artist-in-residence at Westminster Abbey. For each Toby produced a finished painting (or paintings) which went into the institution’s collection with some being turned into high-quality prints to be sold to visitors.
A private residency on the other hand can be an extremely personal venture as Charlie Calder-Potts learnt when she was commissioned by a couple based in Iraq to produce three paintings for their residence. Her clients flew her out to Northern Iraq where they were based and drove her around the area. She visited refugee camps and historical sites, towns and villages. At the end of the experience she returned to her studio in London to produce three paintings which would eventually be transported back to the Middle East. Her final paintings drew on the experiences she had had in Iraq, featured the people she had met and the architectural motifs carved into the buildings she had seen.
Your residency could take any form you wish. It could be an invitation into a business, a heritage site or an archive. You may live in a characterful old house, be the mayor of a village or town that you would like to invite an artist to spend time in. Your chosen artist might spend a few consecutive days in this place or they might come and go over a period of months.
Get in touch today to discuss how your artist residency could work.