Week 13

29 Nov 2015

I thought I should explain how my project title came about. There have been instances when I confused myself or people who asked me if I have made a mistake with my title. If you were an art person, understanding the term artist residency/ artist residency/ artist-in-residence is quite innate. However, if you don't really know what it entails, it simply means that an artist goes live somewhere (need not be overseas) temporarily and often result in the creation of new works. ideas in the process through new experiences/ interactions with other like-minded people/ locals. Some people say it's similar to waiting for inspiration to kickstart your work. In reality, artists don't wait for inspiration, they just get down to work. 

The new residence is usually different (e.g. culturally) from the artist's background. So, you can loosely classify it as one's artistic development. Besides, there are also writer's residency. Anyway, I was very curious about the whole concept of artist residence because from a layperson's point of view, it seems very mysterious and secluded.

There are many online blog posts about residency but they are usually sketchy or a one-off. Examples include this and this. Since I can't find more personal experiences about residency in the local context to satisfy my curiosity, I decided to start one. 

The history of the artist's residency and their art-making include places such as Palazzo Mancini and Villa Medici. Artists who were hosted there won the French "Prix de Rome1", the MacDowell artists' colony in New England USA or the Casa de Velazquez in Madrid, Spain2.

All along the term artist residence didn't appeal to me because it sounds like condominium. Initially, I thought XXX Residence sounded quite elegant. As the years go, more and more condominiums have adopted the name YYY residence. If only there were a real condominium named Artist Residence. There, I leave you with an image of an artist's impression of Artist Residence.

Choice of hammock or log cabin in the woods

1. The Prix de Rome was a prize officiated in 1666 by French King Louis XVI and helmed by French Minister J. B. Colbert. The prize awarded outstanding French art graduates from the French Royal Academy, a scholarship & 3-4 year residency in Rome, Italy. They were housed at the Palazzo Mancini and later from 1830 the Villa Medici in Rome. (Palmer, A. L. 2011. Historical Dictionary of Neo-Classical Art & Architecture, Scarecrow Press, p. 179) 

2. The Macdowell Colony for artists of various disciplines, regarded as the oldest artists' residency in the USA, was inaugurated in 1907; Casa de Velazquez founded in 1920 was modelled on the Villa Medici in Rome.  

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