I began my residency not knowing what to expect. Yes I'd had conversations with Caroline, Head of Marketing, whose enthusiasm and appreciation for the project filled me with confidence, but at the same time not knowing or having a specific outcome was unnerving.
I had proposed that my time at Lulworth would be spent engaging with the location and the environment through making; using drawing as a way of seeing how people connect with the environment, the elements and the beauty of the landscape. A project based in research can, in theory be open ended as questions, interests and subject matter are discovered and then interrogated. As it happens Point of View turned out to be a terrifyingly large, open ended task and I quickly decided that a smaller focus needed to be sought.
The walked mile between Lulworth Cove and Durdle door was the stretch of landscape that intrigued me most and so I hoped that through engaging with those who visit and work along that part of the Jurassic coast, I would be able to offer a new perspective, a counterpoint to stretch or exercise the imagination, and collate a vast amount of information in an imaginative and responsive way.
The following posts are excerpts from my notes of my first experiences in residence. Week one first, obviously...
I began my residency with a tour of the estate which included the Lulworth Castle, Lulworth Cove, the Visitors Centre, the Boat Shed Cafe, and a long climb over to Durdle Door. The weather was cold but clear enough for me to get a amazing first impression of the place I was going to come to know very well over the next few weeks.
One of the first things I noticed was that Lulworth is made up of a range of different and disparate pieces, albeit incredibly vast and beautiful. I also discovered that it is very difficult to put into words how one feels when you see this incredible stretch of landscape for the first time. I’d obviously seen images online and in print, and recalled visiting here in my youth but I truly wasn’t prepared for the impact it would have on me. In order to focus my experience I decided to limit my note taking to making quick sketches and taping audio.
Most of my research over the 3 days this week consisted of drawings and note taking. I decided to combine methods of working: to keep a journal of my day to day experiences alongside making larger paintings and drawings in other sketchbooks. The hope being that the sketches would be useful back in the print room and the studio and help to inform making when not on location.
I walked the mile from the Cove to the Door a couple more times during this week in order to reflect, spend more time at various locations and to take notes. Apart from sending an afternoon within the Castle making detailed sketches of the interiors and learning about it's history, I spent most of this week outside.
I relished the fact that I was in the open, among the elements, the wind was incredibly cold and by the end of the week I was hampering for a hot bath and another pair of warm gloves!