Low Residency: Patatas Guerras

These 2 days of collaboration was also a highlight of the low residency for me and I found the artists Tristan and Manuel to be particularly inspiring and I was reminded again, how unbelievably important it is to meet as many artists as possible as there are so many ways to approach your art and find a place for you within the art world.

Having been put off by not being able to secure a place on any artist residencies and little response from galleries, they decided to host their own, like, informal residency for themselves and through that they started to make work. There was an informal but very motivated quality to the way they approached their work. They use outdoor spaces in cities to put up and document work, and they use informal connections with other people in other cities across Europe as an inspiration to go make work in that particular place. I found it funny how most of their stories started with ‘so we went to the pub’ or ‘after a few drinks’ – I found that to be particularly refreshing as it made me feel the process to making art or beginning a project can be fun as well as social. I so often will lost motivation for a project as I will overthink it, whereas they have developed a good network of people to work with, they can rely upon each other to keep motivated to make work and it seems as though they just really enjoy themselves.

So when it came to my group and how we were to work I found we took an equally relaxed yet motivated approach. We sat down and spoke but in many ways didn’t over think it. I was looking forward, again, to the idea of just enjoying the nature of collaborative making as well as making something new.

One of the criteria of the making was to work in an outdoor space where you felt safe. We had an interesting experience in that regard as we were the only group to work on campus and the only group to actually face any resistance to working outside. The irony for all of us was the fact that we were working within an art college and were supposedly not allowed to make art. This galvanised us to continue working in the space we had found on site. In many respects as well that situation was overcome. Security repeatedly told various members of the group that we weren’t allowed to work, but once we had a chat with one of the security guys it was all sorted. They have a job to do and actually were doing us a favour to let us work under the radar. It is incredibly unfortunate that we were met with resistance but that’s not the fault of the security guys, it’s to do with UAL as a whole.

Once we overcame that, we all just continued to make our work. We also made something new and it was a good opportunity to start a project I had been meaning to for a while so it ended up being a really great catalyst to make work. How congruous our work was altogether i’m not so sure but for me it wasn’t about that – it was just about making work together and seeing what happened and I was particularly pleased with the results.

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More photos to follow!

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