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 Artist Residency in Lasalle, France. An old silk factory.

Artist Residency in Lasalle, France. An old silk factory.

I am getting ready for a big three month art excursion to new and exciting places. This photo is of La Filature du Pont de Fer, an old silk factory in Lasalle, France where I will be undertaking an artist residency in July.

I have just heard that I have been granted a NAVA NSW Artists' Grant to support my project, "Field Notes" (notes de terrain ) which is very exciting. This project is close to my heart, it will be about birdsong and language, the interweaving of sounds from daily life in a small rural village, with birdsong of that area. These will take the form of sound recordings and accordion fold artist books, a structure which references the former textile factory and becomes a metaphor for the threads connecting humans to the natural and built environment.

Connection with other artists is a great advantage of artist residencies, and I will be fortunate to work alongside French artist Isis Olivier whom I met in Taiwan and who has made beautiful artist books about birds. As she also has a studio at La Filature, there will be opportunities to learn about her associations with barn owls and vultures. These much maligned birds have been reintroduced into areas of France and other parts of Europe where they once were prevalent.  I hope to be able to watch a feeding session and capture some audio footage.

Birdsong/ bird language is vibrationally uplifting. The songs of birds were originally a footnote to my university research on sound and light waves. Having accidently captured birdsong trills during my recording of the hand papermaking process; these small beads of visible sound became a symbol of environmental collaboration. 

Our common humanity as the species of homosapiens means we use language to communicate. The cadences of languages other than English is like music when you do not understand the meaning. It forms a 'sound bath' and in this respect, has similarities with birdsong, forming sound marks of an environment which elicit memories and emotions.

I feel very honoured to be undertaking "notes de terrain' which will springboard my research into resonance in an exciting direction.

 This project was assisted by a grant from Create NSW, an agency of the New South Wales Government. The NSW Artists' Grant is administered by the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA). 

#CreateNSW #NAVAgrants