One Mans Treasure... (Limitation is Inspiration!)
Much of my work is about consumption and waste. In 'Paper on Paper', I printed discarded packaging to explore the beauty and complexity of waste material. 'Outsourcing' uses cast off clothing to consider the excesses of the fashion industry, and its practise of outsourcing garment manufacture to poorer countries.
In Spain I arrived with no fixed idea of what I would do and almost no art materials, thrown onto my own resources and what I could scavenge from the environment. The skip and rubbish pile at the winery where the residency is based, provided rich pickings.
I lay my found treasures out on a large table in the bright, clean, empty studio space (so unlike my own hoarders space at home). Overnight they foment in my mind along with the local kava wine and warm Catalan hospitality.
The next day I cut, play, work, think and write...and see what happens; how I respond to these waste materials on the other side of the world, in the physical, cultural, and political environment of Catalonia.
As well as a beautiful environment, great accommodation and studio spaces, the best thing about this residency are the people. The other artists, the lovely effervescent Meryl Custers from Australia (without whom I wouldn't have been here), Femke, and Wouter from the Netherlands . Femke is so wise and teaches us about food and journeys. Wouter creates the most fantastic installation for the Folk Foix festival and all the local children (and adults) play in it. Vicky from Canada sadly leaves shortly after I arrive, and Arnout and Iris amazingly manage a young energetic family along with the residency at Mas Els Igols and the Estudio Nomadas art school in Barcelona. There are the local people we meet at the monastery dinner, and then again exhibiting at the Folk Foix festival. The day is organised by an impressive young man no more than 18 years old I think, and his friends. It's refreshing to see the young Catalan teenagers looking after all the younger children, enjoying the culture, dancing, and demonstrating the incredible cooperation required to make the traditional 'human towers'.