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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The Artist Jeweller Residency I applied for over a year ago is based in a studio in the new Sackler Education Centre within the V&A.The Residency is the joint initiative of the Crafts Council and the V&A and I will be based in the V&A for 3 days a week for 6 months. I am expected to think up ideas for and be involved with various teaching projects, to hold open studios for the public while also contributing to the Maker Development Programme for the Crafts Council.I have been living in Edinburgh since the early 1970s and my life and …

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I first heard about “okoshi-ezu” when I visited an elderly book-seller close to the Heian Shrine in Kyoto. That was over three years ago now when I was making a large-scale installation, “Shift”, based on an 18th century folding paper teahouse. The book-seller told me that once he had seen a series of volumes which contained folding models of teahouses – something between origami and popup models and difficult to find. Dating from the Edo Period, they were used as architectural designs.

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Canberra: Tapestry 2008

My sojourn in Australia was the result of two invitations to take up Visiting Fellowships in Canberra and Melbourne. In April and May The Australian National University in Canberra hosted major International Exhibitions and Symposium: Tapestry 2008. Canberra School of Art building. This event “brought together practitioners, educators, students, collectors, critics, theorists and historians from around the world for exchange of ideas, interaction, practical l

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Back in Japan again… In Praise of Shadows?

Back in Japan again… I stepped into the workshop of one of the country’s most respected lacquer artists, National Living Treasure, Shosai Kitamura. The walls were lined with shelves on which were placed examples of his workmanship. Draped across the length of one wall was a knotted straw garland sent by Ise Shrine – to bless the artist’s current inlaid mother-of-pearl lacquer work. He opened drawers slowly to reveal cut shells.

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Richard Kidd

Towards the beginning of this web-log I wrote about close friend, Richard Kidd. I touched upon his drive in creating a fabulous studio near Newcastle, his dynamic paintings and the great night to celebrate them.

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Notes on Urushi/ Japanese Lacquer

A translucent material – but innumerable layers create a surface of seemingly impenetrable darkness.The tiniest speck on the skin capable of causing violent physical reactions – yet of extreme beauty.Images are ‘trapped” between layers – like forms in amber, prints in ice.Used to illuminate dark spaces – damaged by the brightness of natural light.

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I’m back! Would like to say it was yesterday, then it would look mildly impressive to be here on the case the next day. But it wasn’t. Six weeks and lots to tell. It may not come out in any coherent order but I’m working on it. This was a professional and research trip part funded by the Arts Council. Thank you Arts Council.

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No. 100

‘Oakura’ Jerry Morris, 2008 World Beach reaches the landmark point of one hundred published entries. And in what style! Jerry Morris on North Island, NZ hits the spot with this beautifully crafted work. The attention to detail in this piece is stunning.

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Layers of Lacquer and of Ice

The stacks of Renaissance prints that were held in the Arctic ice for three hundred years (see previous posting), led me to think about the possibility of using of Japanese lacquer (urushi) as a medium for new drawings. This was for a number of reasons -At about the time that the attempt was being made to carry the prints to the Far East, cultural artefacts in the form of export lacquer were being brought from Japan to Europe.

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Metal and Mica

One of the greatest pluses of a project such as Cloth & Culture Now is getting to meet the artists. From Finland, Japan, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia,UK; 31 of the total of 35 of us made it to the opening weekend. From formal lectures to conversations over the cornflakes, we learnt of each other’s cultures and practice. The creative connections that might join us around the globe felt a little more tangible.

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