Residencies – Carolyn Lefley

Following on from last years lecture by my lecturer Carolyn Lefley. This week there was a follow up based on the work she has done in the past months. This residency was based in Helmsdale, Scotlands highlands about the history of the area. How people had been moved out as clearances so to give the land to the sheep farmers 200 years ago as it was seen as being more beneficial to the wealth of the area. Making it that people lost their homes and livelihoods. Which even til now created angst in the area as some still feel angry about it while others see it as a good thing that happened. Even though the detail about what happened has drifted the remains of the ruins are still left. So Carolyn documented them alongside archaeologists. This was done as a residency that was created based on the people at Timespan Museum knowing what past projects was like. Plus seeing how this would fit in with the from of the work of what they were creating.

For this Carolyn was given an open brief based on the area. Here she spoke to people of the area, the ancestors of the people who was moved out, worked alongside the archaeologists. Documented what they were doing and created her own prints in her style. These prints were of abandoned homes like with her project Realm, Belonging and Empty Homes.

However, here they were based on the homes that the residents mentioned visiting them using the Freedom to Roam act in Scotland so to access the locations she needed. This along with research of the history formed the basis that she captured. Then from working alongside the archaeologists she formed her images using the Canotype process using liquid emulsion on stone and other materials. Fitting her images in with the work and introducing the visitors of museums to the idea of artwork found in galleries. While


This I found interesting as I didn’t know much about residencies so I had never considered them as an option before. Meaning I was missing out on a route I could take alongside/after university. As for the project itself it was interesting to see how the one project could link in with future works, the way in which networking helped and how important research could be. Plus that research is not just about google or a book from the library but also the people around you, the ones who it affects and their ancestors. They are an important resource in creating such a project.


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