"I like the idea of being submersed in a mini wilderness within suburbia and to an extent working with or against the elements and how that might impact on my work. Having grown up in the countryside, part of my practice has been focused on reconnecting to ideas of nature particularly since taking permanent residence in Birmingham. I feel that Grasslands would present a different way to approach my practice and bring a new dimension to my work and ideas.
As a painter, I am always drawn back to this medium and felt that I would still want to paint in some capacity at the residency. I was initially drawn to the pebble dash surface on the garage, it was both beautiful and ugly. I thought it would be a challenge to paint on something so textured which might distort or effect the image I wanted to create. The time constraint and possible weather conditions could constrict and may cause accidental happenings which I will have to respond to in the moment. I think these uncontrollable pressures will ultimately impact on the work I produce during the residency which is both exciting and daunting."
- Wendy Palmer
"My current work centres around people's perceptions of and attitudes to microbes and decomposition. I have started work creating and placing microbial sculpture on/within buildings, and I'd like to compliment this with work in a more naturalistic setting, possibly related to decay. Grasslands seems like the perfect venue for this part of my wider project. I am also curious about how exhibiting outside of the gallery setting alters the impact of artwork.
I am keen to explore the extent to which I can integrate natural materials (particularly dried or dead plants) found in Grasslands into sculptural work by creating various forms of 'paper pulp' that I'll use to create the work. I'm curious about the textural effects that could be achieved, how these materials will change as they mature and ultimately, whether living creatures will interact with my work in some way. Since my visit, I have been thinking a lot about the greenhouse and how it offers numerous opportunities to create work that can be enclosed but offer viewers a glimpse of the interior of a structure, almost like a cross section.
- Matt Gale
Date: Nov 7/8 2015