In my post last month I introduced the Creating Constable exhibition at Christchurch Mansion and today I am sharing my experience as a Writer in Residence at the Exhibition!
Any long term readers of the blog will know that I am currently studying on the MA in Creative and Critical Writing and as a part of my course this year I was tasked to set up a Writers Residency. This involves establishing yourself as a writer within a community with the intention of encouraging others to write, as well as producing a written response of your own.
My project is exploring the inspiration of landscapes for writers and artists, by engaging with the public to explore individual connections to both Suffolk and Constable’s paintings in the exhibit.
For the past five weeks I have visited the exhibit for one afternoon a week to chat with the staff and visitors about the exhibition as well as their favourite pastoral places to visit.
I made a simple survey with a few prompts for visitors to reflect upon. Many visitors have really connected to my project, and have found that reflecting on the paintings whilst being in the gallery has deepened their understanding of Constable’s work.
The survey has also enabled visitors to produce a written response of their own, therefore allowing them to express themselves through their words as Constable did through his paintings.
Being able to meet with so many different people whilst in the space and connect through the art work has been a real privilege and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with one of my favourite places in Ipswich in this way.
I am now approaching my final session in the gallery and I am so sad that my residency is coming to an end, but I am very excited to begin my own written response to the art work and my connections to Suffolk.
As intimidating as it can seem introducing yourself as a writer to strangers, the experience has really encouraged me to continue to pursue my passions moving forward, as the initial fear is nothing compared to the experience the residency has given me.