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My first objective was to prepare, to regulate all the problems of material and practical order. Thus, I could fully focus on the project. I had little time before the residency launch. I therefore needed the first week to install a workshop in the gallery.
I finalised contacts with Eogan.
The art team from the County Council were very helpful at this early stage in helping me become established in the work environment there.
As I use a lot of photocopied material, it was good to have a shop close to the gallery. I worked at the gallery from Monday to Friday. At the weekend I needed to work at the KCAT building on the County Council project because the County Council offices were closed. This constraint became a work method.
I begin a series of paintings, size 100cm x 100cm. I worked on the project on my laptop. A drawing series, photograph and collages. On returning to Ireland, I applied for an artistic residency to the Kilkenny County Council Arts Office of which Arts Officer Mary Butler is the person in charge. She kept my candidacy and the residency began on May 21st 2007 and continued until June 30th 2007. Six weeks of work, of exchange and of collaboration. The goals were:
• To make real 10 paintings (format 100cm x 100cm)
• To collaborate for a part of the paintings with Eogan O’Brien, an artist in KCAT, an art and study centre for people with special needs based in Callan, Co. Kilkenny.
Artist’s residencies are extremely important as they tend to have a lasting impact on the artists ranging from substantial shifts in their work and or in the direction of their practice. They often enable artists to develop new networks and meet others from different backgrounds. Overall they also offer artists that much needed period of contemplation and reassessment. Residencies allow the Arts Office to support Arts Practitioners ‘assisting artists in realising their artistic ambitions’ (Arts Council of Ireland).
Stephane Kiszak is currently undertaking a residency at Kilkenny County Councils Arts Office, no. 72 John Street. Stephane’s intention is to create a series of paintings developing a new technique of his incorporating collage, computer manipulation and paint on canvas. It’s important for him to have time and space to explore and experiment with these techniques and materials in order to continue developing work he has started. He has already created two paintings which are an important starting point and will inform the work he will produce over the six week duration of his residency at no. 72. The primary benefit for him to work in this residency is to focus on this body of work and to meet people and talk about the project. As Stephane is a Belgian artist currently based here in Kilkenny this opportunity will also enable him to be involved in the Kilkenny community. He is also involving Eoghan O’ Brien, an artist based in the KCAT studio in Callan. His technique is to collect images before painting and Stephane and Eoghan will exchange drawings. He considers his own painting technique to be really raw, directly influenced by l’Art Brut (raw art) and artists like Arnulf Rainer who did a lot of works in collaboration with disabled artists from Haus der Kunstler.
These activities enable the Arts Office to expose the general public, third level students, other artists and community groups to the working processes of artists as both the artist, Stephane and the Arts Officer welcomes visitors dropping in to chat to Stephane who is working in residence until Friday 29th June.