KIRA – Kingsbrae Residency for the Arts, Canada
I’m (well, I was when I wrote this two days ago) in Halifax (not that one, the one in Canada) waiting for my flight home to the UK after a month spent at Kingsbrae Residency for the Arts in St. Andrews, New Brunswick. Time spent in such a beautiful place has had a profound effect on my soul, whilst I’ve also had the rare chance to dedicate a complete month to my printmaking practice.
Alongside four other artists, I was selected from over 250 applicants to spend July here housed in a restored New Brunswick mansion with a dedicated studio on site and next to Kingsbrae Botanic Gardens, of which I had full access to, to develop my artwork.
Whilst spending a whole month solely creating monoprints has been intense and hard work, it has also allowed me to have a continuity to my practice which has meant my technique has improved, I’ve been able to experiment with different styles and have been re-inspired to ‘do’. I’ve also had the chance to connect with the St. Andrews art community, which is an extensive and engaged group of people.
The best and most special part of the residency has been the chance to spend time with and get to know the four other artists – generous, talented, funny and wonderful – I have made four new friends for life – thankyou.
Oh, and seeing over 20 humpback whales surrounding our boat, blowing air, tail-slapping and breaching was pretty amazing too…
Printout at The Point, Doncaster
My monoprints are currently part of an exhibition called ‘Printout’ at The Point in Doncaster. Alongside three other artists, the exhibition looks more closely at some of the different print processes and how you get from the initial idea to the finished piece. Other types of printmaking included in the exhibition are linocuts, collagraphs and etching. The linocuts by Graham Firth are a particular favourite – the detail in them is amazing.
In the exhibition I included the glass I use for inking on (you can see it on the extreme left of the above image). It is a very messy and ‘covered in ink’ piece of glass but beautiful in it’s own right. I now use the clean side to ink on but have the pattern from previous leaves showing through as I work.
As part of the exhibition, I have done a couple of workshops at the Gallery – one with a group of adults and one Saturday drop-in workshop with children and their parents, where we created a big leafy tree as part of the exhibition. Here’s a close-up of some of the prints the children made.
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'Being a Freelance Artist' is me, Jacqui Symons; a Manchester-based artist and designer, who creates public and community art alongside her own work and practice.
Being A Freelance Artist aims to give readers an insight into me and my work whilst at the same time providing advice and support about becoming and surviving as a freelance artist.