The following artists have undertaken residencies with Skimstone Arts, supported by Arts Council England’s Elevate fund.
Tezz Kamoen has been working on Sistercities during her residency at Skimstone Arts, about the twinned cities of Newcastle and Groningen.
The project evolves around the theme of relating to someone you don’t know and will result in a site specific installation at a street in an industrial area of Groningen, known as ‘Newcastleroad’.
During her time at Skimstone, Tezz has worked closely with members of Skimstone’s Young Artist Collective. Phillip Melody. a member of the Young Artist Collective, said: “Working with Tezz has been an exciting way to develop my camera skills and planning and organising skills. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being part of the project and being given more responsibility.”
What if we could be together somewhere?
Olivia Furber is a theatre director and co-artistic director of ivo theatre. Her residency focuses on multi-media theatre performance Aviatrix in which three of the lead artists were unable to enter the UK in order to perform.
Working remotely with artists in Paris and Jerusalem, Olivia is exploring methods of remote collaboration to re-examine the script, sound and video in Aviatrix.
Aviatrix tells the story of an actor stuck in a UK airport detention centre who is himself trying to perform a show which is based on the story of Amy Johnson, a record breaking pilot who circumnavigated the globe alone in a small aircraft in the 1930s. The work uses Amy Johnson’s international, borderless adventures as the backdrop for stories of migration, exile and escape.
Olivia is collaborating with Paris-based Iranian artists Sara Bigdeli Shamloo and Nima Aghiani, who form experimental electronic music duo 9T Antiope; and actor and writer Ramzi Maqdisi in Jerusalem.
Olivia said: “I was thrilled to be selected to participate in the residency with Skimstone Arts and to exist within a community of open, engaged and supportive artists for a week. My time at Skimstone has allowed me to fully inhabit the world of my project, without distraction, and afforded me dedicated time to share ideas with my collaborators overseas. I’ve made huge progress with a second draft of the script for Aviatrix. For me, writing can sometimes feel isolating, but with the support of Skimstone and my co-creators in Paris & Jerusalem (over Skype!) I’ve found a way to approach writing as a more collaborative and joyous endeavour.”
Claire Webster Saaremets, Artistic Director of Skimstone Arts, said: “Olivia and I have been able to question and explore why we create work that references ethics of production, ownership of voicings and how we work with multimedia elements of sound and visuals equally with text and performance. Skyping our sharing of practice with Sara and Nima was a particularly interesting discussion… the laptop screen gave us connection.. no visa required!!”
What if we could hear ourselves as other hear us?
Experimental musician, sound artist and researcher James Wyness completed a week-long residency with Skimstone Arts during May, supported by Arts Council England’s Elevate fund.
During that week, James created a public engagement project which investigates the attitudes, perceptions and impressions of individuals listening back to the sound of their own voices.
A conversation is recorded and then played back to the participant, allowing them to focus on their own voice. The subsequent comments and observations are again recorded with the process revealing a range of complex issues around identity, self-esteem, self-awareness, belonging and our place in the wider world.
“James’s extensive knowledge about sound and the engagement of a range of people to really focus on and value the uniqueness of the human voice was an especially poignant project in today’s Brexit led environment,” said Claire Webster Saaremets of Skimstone Arts.
James also worked with members of the Skimstone Arts Young Artists Collective, using instruments as experimental sound making tools. “Our highlight today was working with James to create new sounds. We’re going to try and use these ideas to create an intro to a song for the band,” said Ben and Carlene from the Young Artists Collective.
James said: “The residency at Skimstone gave me time, space and support to realise a project that I couldn’t have achieved otherwise. I was delighted to have been selected for the residency because I couldn’t have tested and evaluated the work without Skimstone’s input, nor could I have found willing volunteers to participate in the recording sessions. I now know that the work is feasible, that I will have a good outcome to present to the public and that I can begin to replicate it in other locations with new people, new voices. The work I did alongside Claire and Peter with the young artists taught me several valuable lessons on the power and potential that the arts have with respect to channelling the considerable reserves of energy that young people possess, how guided artistic practice can unleash creative potential, bolstering self-esteem and offering possible futures that would have been otherwise impossible.”
James’s work will be on show as part of The Late Shows 2017 – click here to find out more.