Image of the week… I predicted a cabin nestled deep into the forest

27th June 2023

I predicted a cabin nestled deep into the forest. I dreamt of early morning winter fog bleaching out the trees and a log fire welcoming me home from cold reflective walks.

Instead, I found myself with dodgy WIFI in a village with nothing but a church, an ATM and a Netto . I was a 40-minute drive from the main access to the forest. But what the reality lacked from fantasy it made up for in unforeseen ways.

“So, what IS a residency?” people often ask me.

My interpretation is that it is an opportunity for an artist to reflect on their practice with space in a fresh environment in the way they choose void of distraction.
There is sometimes an expectation to create work by the end of the stay. Residencies vary- paid, unpaid, lodging usually covered, group, individuals etc.
Personally, I decided to use my time with @passageresidency to explore what a residency could be for me and to reconnect with my creative self. Annoyingly only to pick up the Artist’s way about a year later. Addicted to my phone I wanted to use the time to hibernate and connect, to focus and to let go.

Packed with a dummy phone only containing maps and messages and a bag full of cameras and books I felt excited to conquer possible boredom and find serenity.

After six weeks in the winter, I returned feeling like I wanted to just do residencies for the rest of my life; like leaving university and realising you don’t have all that time in the darkroom.
More so, I wanted to return and continue where I had found inspiration on this trip with Jan, who had become not just a patient accomplice in my project but a great friend. I saw his generous commitment to wanting @passageartresidency to grow.

As the @passageartresidency guinea pig, I am more than happy to assist him in this legacy.


Returning last summer self-funded I remained indebted to Jan’s support giving me his time, energy, and invaluable camaraderie on two ideas I have for projects. However, this time (as mentioned in another post) the region was painted with sunlight and the days lasted forever. The new season unearthed a stunning lake simply meters from my abode. This vast man-made reservoir is just one example of how the environment has shifted from open coal mines back to nature. The 8km round loop becomes a haven for locals, tourists, families, naked swimmers, bathers, and many of those travelling through the region in need of a rest.
I spent much of my time at the lake and gradually built-up ideas I was gaining from more translated folk tales of what I wanted to create. One tale was – ‘The Walled in Virgin’ where a princess remained trapped with the destiny of becoming a statue. Like most of the images from this series I merged this tale with a few others to concoct a vision of two sisters as statues (with the golden feather featuring).

After a few weeks scouting the lake, I found these two sisters and proposed the idea to the family. Weirdly I feel like I shared this image on Instagram but looking back I can see it was my imagination. Like all of my work I have so many stories attached to just one image so perhaps the recall plays tricks on my brain.
Hopefully I can find the funding and a way to return to pick up where I left off and kidnap Jan so that we can continue to read stories and attempt to make them.