ASCETIC

The bitter cold of a Nordic Winter was a fertile space for the creation of ephemeral works, inspired by silence, presence, and dematerialisation. Working with drawings, photography and video, the artistic residency at the Arteles Creative Center in Finland, culminated in a pop-up exhibition and performance inside my studio.

What does it mean to produce art and what happens when life and daily living is also a performance? The entire undertaking was underpinned by a spiritual and ascetic quality. The residency turned out to be a transformational experience of introspection, retreat and renewal. A routine of long walks in the Finnish forest, communing with wood spirits and even seeing a troll.

The time at Arteles Creative Centre gave me an opportunity to inhabit an ascetic role and its responsibility. I wore robes for an entire month and with little speaking or interacting with the other artists, it reinforced the importance of artistic solitude and studio production.