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Sunday, March 10, 2013

About the Residency

Anglian Water: Artist In Residence at Grafham Water, April 2013-March 2014

What's it all about? 

The Residency post is a self funding role which I wanted to take partly as an opportunity to produce artwork but also to get people involved locally. I had long thought that there was so much scope here for much more in the way of creative activities and with the support of Anglian Water I really hope we can make them happen.
It is a wonderful opportunity to make a body of work about an area I already know quite well, as for the last two years I have been sketching, walking and cycling the paths around the reservoir and the nearby countryside. Through painting, drawing, printing and writing I will endeavour to reveal some of the fascinating and little known aspects of the reservoir and celebrate some of its activities.  What will I do? It is impossible to say at this stage what the final work will be. That is the intriguing part of a long term residency. Anything can happen in year.

I know the first few months will be spent walking, drawing and researching. From the writing and sketching I have already done, I can see certain ideas and motifs recurring and I am happy to let the work evolve. But I also know that the natural world, history, archaeology, geology and literature will all play a part. Water, earth, sky and their inhabitants will be represented. 

The area surrounding the reservoir is quintessentially English. The flora and fauna of middle England, historical remnants of ancient woodlands, Saxon settlements and Roman roads. It´s a quiet and bypassed place but lies only three miles from the ancient Great North Road. The nearby towns and villages of Huntingdon, Buckden, and Kimbolton have important historical pasts. 
There are old through ways and grassed over drove roads, there are footpaths and the old railway line there are remains of moats and fishponds, old and descriptive field names and of course, under the water, the ghosts of drowned fields and farms.

People come here to walk the dog, fish, cycle, picnic, sail and windsurf but underpinning everything is the working reservoir. A great body of water collected, filtered, pumped and distributed to give us one of the few real essentials of life, clean water. 

This all gives me so much material to work with. I can indulge some long held loves; of the English countryside and its inhabitants, of its narratives, its emblems, folklore, patterns and design; and of stories, books, paper, language, print and paint. I hope you will join me on the blog in this year long exploration. 

During the residency I will be offering workshops and tuition based at either Grafham or Perry. Please email me for details


  1. Hi
    It was good ton hear that someone has got through to Perry fishing lodge as myself and other Artists were told they were not interested last year.
    I would like to say that it is a shame that this seems directed at beginners and that perhaps other local Arts and Crafts groups or individuals could be supported and exhibited.
    Grafham and Perry have a wide variety of talent and should all be celebrated.
    Local Artist/Ceramicist

  2. Hi there Nic
    Great to hear from you and your championing of local artists. I do know quite a few. I am not sure what you have read or heard but it is ALL about ALL local artists, beginners and professional and hopefully trying to make more provision and exhibition opportunities for all. As I said above, "more creative activities". It would be good to hear from you. Do drop me a line or give me a ring and let's see what we can do!