In 2018 I was invited to participate in the Artist Lock-In, a residency facilitated by Arthouse Jersey and led by Sue Hill. I spent 11 days on the island, working together closely with artists from all over the world.
“The Artist Lock-In is a professionally facilitated residency project that brings creative people from a variety of disciplines, ages, backgrounds and experiences together to learn from each other and to respond to their surroundings.
The Artist Lock-in is facilitated by Sue Hill, the Associate Director of WildWorks – the renowned international theatre company best known for its 2011 production of ‘The Passion’ with Michael Sheen in Port Talbot. In association with WildWorks and Jersey Heritage, this unique project is produced by ArtHouse Jersey and provides artists with the time and space to consider new ways of working and to collaborate with people of different practices and artforms.
ArtHouse Jersey first launched the project in 2012 in a private garden in St. Brelade. Eight Jersey born-artists, including Karen Le Roy-Harris and film director Michael Pearce, took part in the inaugural project. There have since been four other Artist Lock-Ins taking place at Elizabeth Castle.
The structure of the residency varies year to year but follows a similar pattern with initial days designated to exploratory exercises designed to facilitate creative collaboration across mediums and engagement with the site and its’ resources.
Physical, vocal and mental warm ups in the morning are followed by short tasks including ‘playing with the wind’, mapping the location, making islands out of found materials and writing riddles, were expanded upon into longer sessions in which small groups developed scratch work.
Throughout the residency, artists are given more freedom to choose how they work and where, as well as which artistic partners they wished to collaborate with. The artists created a wide variety of scratch work as part of their tasks working across mediums, including sculptures, dance pieces, films, theatre performances, sound and visual installations and original music. Artists are encouraged to not only play to their strengths whilst creating, but to also consider new and unfamiliar ways of working. Towards the end of the residency, groups dedicate more time to creating longer, more developed pieces of work. The final day of the residency is then normally used as an opportunity to recap over the 10 days and evaluate what had taken place.”