I left Terra Nova Park for St. John’s today as I will meet Joan Ritcey, Head of the Centre of Newfoundland Studies, at MUN tomorrow morning. So, it’s a good time to draw some sort of conclusion.
The six weeks certainly went by very quickly, which is good as it proves it hasn’t been boring. But it was actually not only exciting but sometimes also stressful: The work I was doing depending on such inpredictible things as the weather and people finding time for boat trips or voice recordings, I had to be always on the go. But in the end it all worked out well and I have already managed to put together a raw version of my video and I am actually really happy with it.
But there was actually nothing contemplating about this residency. Writing this blog was the only time I took for reflection.
Commenting on the residency program and its particularities, I already mentioned the fact that there is noone around who is explicitely dedicated to it. But I also want to emphasize that the actual support by the Park staff was in fact much stronger than I could ever have expected under these circumstances.
Another aspect of this particular residency is the fact that there is always just one artist at a time which sometimes made me feel quite isolated: even though everybody has been very kind and open, of course they all have a life there and cannot be aware of what it means to be a stranger. It is always good to be able to share the new – may it be good or bad – with someone who is in the same or a similar situation.
But I appreciate this experience – one reason why I do residencies is the wish to be exposed not only to new surroundings but also to new social situations. And it also makes me think about the residency program we are running at Kuenstlerhaus Dortmund (www.kh-do.de) and that we too usually have just one visiting artist at a time. I have been suggesting before that we should make an effort to be able to offer two residency places at a time and will definitely come back to this subject when I get back.
I miss the Park and the people already… I had almost begun to have a life there myself.