As the title suggests, following my MA and the beginnings of a new academic year, I have been offered to take up the position of artist-in-residence at UCA Rochester. Strange title, you're probably thinking, which is why I'm here to explain what exactly it means.
The residency takes up two forms. Firstly, a commitment to engage with the student body for one day a week. Which typically will involve offering technical advice where required and generally offering support on their projects. On top of this I'm hopeful of adding some extra responsibilities into the mix, but as a new university year brings its own unexpected challenges and the need for time to settle, it''s yet to be determined what form this could take. Thinking loosely, I'm hoping to produce online showcases of films and animations, building up a reasonable library of written work for course, which will be useful for the students and further improve my own research skills in the process. I'm going to start this off with some early cinema showcases, and later move into public screenings, as I've always felt the lack of extra-curricular cultural digestion, is one of UCA's weakest points.I aim to fix this.
The second part of the residency is the expectation that for at least one a day a week I will continue with my professional and personal practice within the university. The terms of the residency are so open ended for this aspect, the work I produce could be almost whatever I desire it to be. Whether it means taking on commercial freelance work or continue developing work independently. With access to UCA facilities and equipment, working within the university comes with extra benefits which at this early stage in my career will very helpful. Furthermore - and perhaps what I'm most excited for is there's more room now to take an experimental approach to my work, and open upon some new avenues of creativity as well the opportunity to further refine and push forward my current methods
If I was slightly melancholy about ending my time at UCA, then a couple weeks later I'm now once again excited to be returning into the fold. How this will effect current my projects is to be decided, since I've now got the space to maneuver and open up and flex some muscles, but this will become much clearer as I begin to settle into the role. Since the residency requires I write a report at the end of my contract, it could be I set me myself a number of creative briefs which I ultimately fulfill throughout the year..
I suppose the biggest danger of post-university life is attempting to create work in an environment which no longer fosters your creativity as a necessity. I'm very thankful then to have been offered the opportunity to take up this role in the university which is brimming with activity and happenings. What awaits next is anyone's guess, but it's sure to involve a lot of blogging, and plenty of onlinecommunity shenanigans!