30. 05. 2019
Diary of Artist in Residence: Cynthia Schwertsik
Preparing for the residency in the Palace of Production (P.O.P) Studio:
“This residency comes in the perfect moment, as I am full of ideas that are fed through the research at Flinders University Art Museum through February and March,” said Schwertsik. “In April I am bursting to develop new work that will be presented mid-year. I see days rolling out in front of me to simply work without interruption – I am very lucky to have this opportunity and curious to immerse myself in this environment.”
April 3rd: Packing the car til it is full to the brim with materials
April 4: Arrival – I am welcomed by Catherine, we walk and talk, it is wonderful.
It is Cath Cantlons birthday – we toast.
April 5th: I install myself in the studio, I ease into the space, I can sense the years of production that this palace has accommodated. They are big shoes that I have to fill into.
No time to hesitate – I acknowledge the heritage that lingers and take over the Palace of Production – cladding the studio with paper. I created a clean slate, next I pull all the material from the car and pile it on the studio floor. I start sifiting through the ideas, nespaper articles, images and inspirational notes that have acculmulated in drawers and boxes. Revisiting, reading, finally facing the bulk of my collection. I will call it – artist research – slowly I am creating a carpet from all this stuff.
In between I walk and dance through the rounding of the studio, and venture to the beach finding interesting corners to stand on my head and climbing trees.
In the whole, a week of spreading out on the studio floor the potential that was hiding in my cupboards. Working my way towards pulling out what stands out to be most relevant.
April 9: Visit from Deb Sleeman
April 10: Visit from Kathie Stove
April 13: Studio and site visit at D’Estrees Bay, Ria Byass and Janine Mackintosh, introduction to Janine Mackintosh’s paperbark forest. Here I will return to photograph.
April 15: Artist Talk – About 25 community members attending my talk with very enthusiastic outcome.
April 17- 19: Jennifer Hoffman joins me, we work for 3 days on different sites with an office chair; in the paperbark forest of Janine Mackintosh and at Sara Hourez salt lake.
My right arm is injured so I need to pace my activity.
April 20- 23: The following four days I am alone and concentrate, make miniature drawings with ink, perform on the property and in the studio and finalising the map-carpet in the studio. I also have time to read and contemplate.
April 24-26: The next three days I spent sight seeing: Flinders Chase, Little Sahara, Vivonne Bay, Stokes Bay, Pennington Bay. Ending with a visit to the Dudley Peninsula and the lighthouse at Cape Willoughby with Kathie Stove.
April 27: Drawing and performing in the studio
April 28: Walking group exploring the coastline along Encounter Bay with a special tour by Quentin Chester and a studio visit to Janine Mackintosh – together we are drafting a project that will combine our work – to focus on the effects of salination in part of the paperbark forest in her property.
April 29: Transforming the studio work and wrapping up.
April 30: Visiting Jenny Clapson at her studio and witnessing a thunderstorm, then meeting Fred and Fleur Peters from the Kingscote Fine Art Gallery.
In the process of wrapping up the studio, I take this literally: https://vimeo.com/337429891
During the residency I have time to read, in this poetry by Adrienne Rich I found words that speak to the studio work I have been experimenting with:
– I have not theories. I dont know what I am being forgiven. I am my art: I make it from my body and bodies that produce mine. I am still trying to find the pictorial language for this anger and fear rotating on an axle of love. If I still get up and go to the studio – its there I find the company I need to go on working.
Imagine written language that walks away from human conversation. A written literature, back turned to oral traditions, estranged from music and body. So what might reminate, rearticulate, becomes less and less available.
Now I am finished: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6tFDGKe0-s&feature=youtu.be
Merilyn de Nys