I cannot use enough words to tell you how much I am excited by this Artist in Residence post at Nene Park in Peterborough. As a back story, before I became a wildlife and environmental artist I was a professional wildlife conservationist and for many years my office was situated on the entrance road to Ferry Meadows. I spent endless hours walking my dog around the park at lunchtime and weekends as well as walking through the park to work from my home. Being young and not knowing any better(?) I talked to everyone I met (still do) including the staff and rangers and got to know all sorts of ‘behind the scenes stuff.’ Then I went on to become a board member of the Trust for a time about 10 years ago which I relished. I think I am still the first member to attend a meeting in a ball gown….not sure about the affect that had on others attending the meeting….probably the less said the better!!!
So for me its like coming home, back to a place I still walk and play in every week but with a different focus, its completing the circle of my work life. So I am so excited and happy to be the first artist in residence-may there be many more…..
So what is an Artist-in-residence? What does it mean? What do they do?
The definition from Wikipedia is “Artist-in-residence programs and other residency opportunities exist to invite artists, academicians, curators, and all manner of creative people for a time and space away from their usual environment and obligations. They provide a time of reflection, research, presentation and/or production. They also allow an individual to explore his/her practice within another community; meeting new people, using new materials, experiencing life in a new location.There is no single model, and the expectations and requirements vary greatly. The relationship between the resident and the host is often an important aspect of a residency program. Sometimes residents become quite involved in a community – giving presentations, workshops, or collaborating with local artists or the general public. At other times, they are quite secluded, with ample time to focus and investigate their own practice.”
So what will I be up to: Here’s a flavour……and it won’t be secluded as I am quite an extrovert!!
I will be looking at my existing work with a focus on the park and developing I hope new work maybe in a different style-that may come as I get into the year long project. This will be exhibited next summer in the park.
I will be talking to people using the park as to what they would like to see in the future and possibly this year-one of the hopes is that there will be other artists doing workshops and creating their art in the future after we explore the possibilities.
I will personally be focusing on seasonality, with walks, workshops, paintings and installations that will look at the differences in the seasons of the habitats and landscapes in the park. (Another blog will explore seasonality in more detail.) This is some of the fun stuff that visitors and other artists can get involved in. A lot of my previous work included people in its creation or in the actual installation. THE SKY OF POPPIES is probably my best known installation in Peterborough with hundreds of people being involved in its creation and thousands enjoying the spectacle in Queensgate shopping centre. #THESKYOFPOPPIES. This will be taken down on remembrance Sunday.
I will also be leading the creation of a felted blanket of the habitats and landscapes of the park with collaborating artisan felter Eve Marshall who I have worked with before on #THEBLANKETOFPOPPIES commemorating the life and execution of nurse Edith Cavell and #FLORALIA an installation at an international exhibition in London bringing my paintings to life in the story of the Roman goddess Flora. We will be looking for volunteers to be involved with this and learn felting in the process. So please watch out on my FB Art page or sign up to my newsletters at www.charronpugsleyhill.com for more information nearer the time.
There will also be a family art week in the summer school holidays-more details nearer the time.And Nene Park Academy students will be participating in various activities in the park around art.
My existing work is happy, energetic and colourful. I usually paint on large canvasses or create installations.I create around 2 themes usually:wildlife, flowers, gardens and the environment and then: commemorating the people, places and events of WWI, a hundred years on. The common factor in these is that they tell stories, have messages and involve people. All of which I love in the work that I create. I am so looking forward to sharing my work old and new with you in this amazing location that I have loved since 1991 and seeing lots of faces that I know and those I do not yet. Please say Hi if you see me walking or cycling, whether I am creating art, photographing or filming the flowers and landscapes or am just wandering with my head in the clouds. I am so looking forward to sharing this experience with you all.
More of my work can be seen on my website at www.charronpugsleyhill.com Sign up to my newsletter for information on whats coming up!
Charron Pugsley-Hill Art on FB and @CHARRONPUGSLEYH on twitter. Lets connect!!
Thank you so much to Nene Park Trust and The Arts Council for funding the years residence. I truly appreciate your support and am delighted to be working with you all!!