Artists in Residence at the V&A

With an exciting and ever-changing programme of artists and designers, there’s never a dull moment in our residency studios. We will give you an exclusive look into what it’s like to be in residence at the world’s leading museum of art and design.

We have a thriving and exciting programme of artists in residence here at the Museum, with at least two practitioners inhabiting our studios at any given time.

Here we show the process of being an artist or designer in residence here at the V&A, with behind-the-scenes insights and stories from Residency Co-ordinator, Laura Carderera, and the artists themselves.

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Behind the Scenes

I was able to study and handle more of the jewellery collection. I am absolutely fascinated by so many of the things I see. Strange constructions, unusual ear wires, great side snaps, exquisitely simple rings of beautiful proportion that have been worn for so long they have become thin and tell of the passage of time and the hands that wore them.I feel like a visual voracious beast, consuming information about everything I see.

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Wire Works

I had the pleasure of working with ten talented resourceful people who came to the V&A for three days to engage with me on a project called ‘WireWork.’Using simple tools and various wires, I structured the class to cover a wide range of approaches and I was delighted by the diverse results everyone produced. Hannah Simpson one of my graduates from Edinburgh College of Art came in to the class and showed her work.

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Guest Post by Lynne Curran

From time to time I intend to invite a fellow artist to write a guest post.
I am very pleased to welcome Lynne Curran as the first in this series.

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Sackler Centre Jewels

This first collection of jewellery I decided to call ‘The Sackler Centre Jewels’ I found the recycled packaging very responsive to manipulation.

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A Day at the Bench

I spent a most pleasant sunny day at the bench in the studio making jewellery from the rescued material. The studio is a lovely space and it has resonance, an echo due to the height of the ceiling and the concrete floor.

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V&A Contemporary Tapestry Collection and Lynne Curran

I am in the middle of weaving my tapestry for the V&A’s Collection. It’s taking a long time! The piece will be around five feet in height. Frustratingly, there’s been very little that is easily photographable as it’s very pale and quite minimal – the first half, particularly so. I will publish images of the progressing subtleties in future posts. A few weeks ago I was in the textile galleries with V&A photographer Peter Kelleher.

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Opening & Recycling

The Image and Identity exhibition that was mounted in the Sackler Centre outside the two residency studios was opened on Friday 18th July by Margaret Hodge the Minister for Culture and Sport, she also took time to visit the residency studios.As equipment arrived I had the problem of assembling the various parts with limited tools and I struggled, but managed to lift an extremely heavy set of rolling mills.

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Moving In

Over the last 22 years I have crammed the making of my own work into weekends and evenings as my job as Head of the Jewellery and Silversmithing Department at Edinburgh College of Art took up a huge amount of time.When I did get access to the lovely room that is my studio I very rapidly had to earmark tables, chairs, showcases, put some things on the wall and order equipment and materials for the classes.

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The hand at the edge of the world

Since I have been at the V&A I have been following a kind of trail. I have always been drawn to the curious or odd aspects to inanimate objects and their stories. The prospect of finding starting points for film-making was daunting, there are 4.5 million objects in the museum and I could make a film about anything. A random walk through the galleries became potentially hazardous, often resulting in yet another object apparently clamouring for attention from it’s display case.

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Scale & Symbolism

The highlight of my six weeks was the time I spent with the jewellery curators looking at and handling pieces of jewellery in the collection.

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