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For me, it was important to celebrate the end of the residency while showing the produced works. For several reasons:
• I think that the end of a project must be celebrated.
• This is not only ‘what if’, its real, on the walls.
• To see the work in a perfect environment with people around gives another dimension to the work and allows taking good pictures for future files.
• It is important to take advantage of that kind of event to thank people involved in the project. I think about all the people around Eogan for example.
At first there was no time for a celebration but Mary and the Arts Office staff managed something and we organised an opening. This was a really good occasion.
What the residency brought me?
• I realised 10 paintings 100cm x 100cm and even if I find some weaknesses in one or the other, it was important to finish the project.
• To have the time and the budget to dedicate myself to only a single objective.
• Process rationalisation.
• Perfected techniques of collage and colour.
• Clarification of the concept and objectives.
• The collaboration with Eogan was very beneficial. After the first of his discourses, he thanked me for helping him to realise his vision but I think that I learned more from him that the opposite.
• Professionally and personally it was very good.
The escape was perfect for my work. The dimensions are sufficient to install the different workshops I needed: computer work, collage work, painting work.
It is rather difficult to talk about the diary of the residence for this in repetitive work. I tried to structure my day to allow me to advance more quickly. It was always the same subdivisions in the work. Even the time spent scribbling was planned. This apparently wasted time was essential for the elaboration for the paintings.
The gallery is well situated in the city centre. Lots of people enter and come to discuss the work in a simple way. The exchanges and contacts are very fruitful.
Eogan is an artist. He is also a person with special needs. Once a week, we collaborated on a painting series. The result is a diptych about his mother’s souvenirs. And a gunman. Three paintings but this is not a triptych. I had asked Eogan to bring pictures to launch the project. He came the first time with old photos of his mother on the platform of a train station and… James Bond.
I wondered how to work with him. My scruples concerned the respect for his work, how to exchange ideas without me imposing my vision on him.
I was concerned that he would agree with how all the work was done and be involved in every stage of the process. He himself brought e response to the issue in the very first session. I had prepared a canvas the day before. This canvas was not foreseen for the collaboration. This was for me only. I left the space to get coffee and when I returned with drinks Eogan had partially covered this canvas with white paint and began a drawing on it. This was good. I realised that I didn’t need to worry so much about this issue of respect. We simply had to do what seemed to us to suit to complete the painting. I have therefore also covered certain parts of his work. I would say that we practised a form of palimpsest to the improbable result.
This week I prepared my drawings on computer, the collages and the photocopies. Over the weekend, I did the actual messy work (colour spray, painting)
1. Elaboration of my drawings by computer, doodling, photocopies… that constitutes the first stage.
2. Collage of this assemblage on canvas.
3. Black and white paint to unify the picture and create the composition.
4. Add in colour.
For me, it is important that the placement in colour intervenes finally when all the elements of the composition are in place. I wanted to take at the residence advantage to perfect a new technique of placement of colour. The varnishes and oil colours I used make me ill. It was necessary to find a solution with watercolour. Without returning to the details, I found an ink mixture that compares well with the varnishes and even allowed new perspectives.