In April 2020, I took up a fantastic virtual residency with Cel del Nord based in Barcelona, Spain. The exercise was to connect with people across the world during the pandemic as artists were facing a lot of difficulties while creating or trying to create work. Cross-pollinating our ideas and our emotions, my task was to create a piece towards the end and I chose to archive the conversations as a part of the work accomplished. Taking from the writings on WhatsApp, the sentences are shown below with their respective anecdotes. Who spoke what and when. The most incredible part is that the dates aligned so perfectly with the progress of our own conversations. As staged as this seems, the whole conversation is in fact purely coincidental. That was the true beauty of it all - the serendipity of community.
Jill Mueller, a fellow artist at the residency spoke to us of her own experiences with hospitals and how she was using her art as a way to express all that she had viscerally understood and experienced. The words 'function', 'private', and 'wonder' are highlighted as we all tried to discuss our practice more openly and accept new perspectives given to us. 14/04/2020
Seong Ju from South Korea wrote this and the lavander in the text signifies how her persona and her lightness in her art practice came through. She pointed out that the confines of the home often limited productivity but also seemed to put a certain pressure. The need to be productive is universal and so easily conveyed here. 16/04/2020
Jill's words towards the end of the residency made so much sense as we came to the end of an incredibly productive time. Whether we healed, or we worked or rested - it did not matter. We were artists who truly wanted to change so much of what we saw everyday. The residency was a space to do that and understand how much our practice had been impacted by the pandemic. 18/04/2020
Odette's message for us at the start of the residency. The word 'helps' is highlighted and stretched as it was used a lot over the course of the week. 13/04/2020
Rohan wondered aloud about his art practice and as the week went by, his perspective lightened considerably. Thus the blue in his sentences get lighter as they progress. The word 'structures' is stretched to indicate the clarity gained over the week. 15/04/2020
Avirup wrote about 'Rafookari' or 'Rafoogari' - is the specific process of darning to 'heal the fabric. In this instance it was like merging many artistic worlds and 'healing' together. 17/04/2020
The last line was one of my favorites and came from Rohan, whose piece had this line written in it. Making us all truly wonder about the nature of our practice as well as the way in which we were'buying' time, the line truly completed the residency as well as this piece. 20/04/2020