The Artist Lock-In is a professionally facilitated residency project that brings creative people from a variety of disciplines, ages, backgrounds and experiences together to learn from each other and to respond to their surroundings.
About the Lock In
The Artist Lock-in is facilitated by Sue Hill, the Associate Director of WildWorks – the renowned international theatre company best known for its 2011 production of ‘The Passion’ with Michael Sheen in Port Talbot. In association with WildWorks and Jersey Heritage, this unique project is produced by ArtHouse Jersey and provides artists with the time and space to consider new ways of working and to collaborate with people of different practices and artforms.
ArtHouse Jersey first launched the project in 2012 in a private garden in St. Brelade. Eight Jersey born-artists, including Karen Le Roy-Harris and film director Michael Pearce, took part in the inaugural project. There have since been four other Artist Lock-Ins taking place at Elizabeth Castle.
The structure of the residency varies year to year but follows a similar pattern with initial days designated to exploratory exercises designed to facilitate creative collaboration across mediums and engagement with the site and its’ resources.
Physical, vocal and mental warm ups in the morning are followed by short tasks including ‘playing with the wind’, mapping the location, making islands out of found materials and writing riddles, were expanded upon into longer sessions in which small groups developed scratch work.
Throughout the residency, artists are given more freedom to choose how they work and where, as well as which artistic partners they wished to collaborate with. The artists created a wide variety of scratch work as part of their tasks working across mediums, including sculptures, dance pieces, films, theatre performances, sound and visual installations and original music. Artists are encouraged to not only play to their strengths whilst creating, but to also consider new and unfamiliar ways of working. Towards the end of the residency, groups dedicate more time to creating longer, more developed pieces of work. The final day of the residency is then normally used as an opportunity to recap over the 10 days and evaluate what had taken place.
What have past participants said?
‘I had been looking for unusual, adventurous places to explore within an artist residency. I was hoping for an experience challenging my own limits and experimenting with any other artistic disciplines than my own. I was also very interested in enacting the landscape of the island, in performing in natural environment and in playing with fire – in both literal and metaphoric senses. My expectations were more than fulfilled. I was thrilled about it!’
Aneta Panek, Filmmaker, Germany
2017 Artist Lock-in
‘The landscape, the surroundings and the architecture were great places to investigate and use in a creative way. It was like the location became a co-creator. I decided not to use my phone or the internet during my stay to enhance the sense of “remoteness”. I think if the location became less remote, we wouldn’t get the same focus, spirit and group-dynamic’
Sørensen, Faroe Islands
2015 Artist Lock-in
‘I loved the opportunity to stay in the castle and be cut off from the world, meeting new people and making friends with other islanders, which is strangely a unique experience. I don’t know why it is only sporting events which bring the islands together, opportunities like this should happen more often.’
Emma Reid, Jersey
2015 Artist Lock-in
‘ ‘I’ve taken away fresh perspectives, new ideas and better understanding of where to start when creating outdoor, site-specific work. I’ve taken away lifelong memories, new friendships and blossoming connections. I’ve taken away clearer understanding of how I work as an artist and how I want to work in the future; both in my own practice and collaboratively. I’ve taken away renewed confidence and trust in myself, my instincts and my ideas.’ ’
Hayley Youell, Musician, Yorkshire
2017 Artist Lock-in