The idea of running a residency for PhD practice based/led students was the initial idea of PhD researcher Lin Charlston. She had noticed that whilst there were currently opportunities for researchers to present findings both formally and informally, and to join groups for specific activities, occasions for actually making work together and alongside each other are less common. The challenges and opportunities of combining research with practice are often faced in relative isolation because of the diversity of approaches. The opportunity of this residency would hopefully provide unique opportunities for sharing knowledge, processes and research methods with peers, as well as personal development and in-depth self-appraisal in a supportive environment. It occurs at a time when practice-based research is a growing methodology within arts and humanities research. Although this form is relatively young, there is a hunger (amongst students and staff) to exchange experiences and to refine approaches.
Here is Lin’s statement explaining the reasoning behind choosing the Sidney Nolan Trust as the residency location:
I first went to an exhibition at The Sidney Nolan Trust in 2005 and fell in love with the inspirational surroundings and forward-looking spirit of the organisation. I joined a print-making group and spent many happy days making copper-sulphate etchings and relief prints on Sidney Nolan’s press. We exhibited in the barn and took part in public events such as steam-roller printing. I led a yearly series of book-art workshops and eventually the students formed the Marches Book Arts Group, which is now well established with a regular presence at Book Fairs and exhibitions.
Sidney Nolan was an Australian artist probably best known for his early paintings of the outlaw Ned Kelly. He was a prolific painter and received numerous awards including a knighthood and Order of Merit. Nolan travelled extensively and settled at The Rodd farm in Presteigne in 1983 where he lived until his death in 1992. He set up the Sidney Nolan Trust in order to preserve the setting for the promotion of art and music.
This is an extract from the website www.sidneynolantrust.org/about/the-trust
The Trustees of the Sidney Nolan Trust are determined that, whilst striving to encourage artistic endeavour of the very highest international standard at The Rodd, they continue to reflect Sidney Nolan’s vision for this ancient place, his wide- ranging passion for all aspects of creative artistic activity and his enduring concern and care for the natural environment.
The residency will consist of eight PhD students and staff from various institutions spending five days together to write, make, discuss and reflect upon the surroundings of the Sidney Nolan Trust and the intersections within their own practices.