Ros: Enjoyed the printing very much. The food was great, the work was good and the company wasn't too bad, I especially liked the goat. It was very motivational and well organized. Thanks.
Margaret:Arriving in Nant was daunting! down a long corkscrew very steep road, you feared you might never climb up again! so with the feeling of being trapped, we cautiously approached the 3 days incarceration!
After a very short time all worries disappeared, everything was organized to the nth degree, the fellow printmakers from Wales were hands on and ready to go and we all set to and forgot time and place and the work poured out, on the walls, on the tables, on the floors, non stop, except for many gaps to adjourn to the marvelous cafe where the most delicious food awaited us.
Any fears of non collaboration moods quickly disappeared and since coming back to my studio, I realized how much was gained from our visit and interaction with everyone involved, to date 3 new prints have been started on with another one in the making!
Many thanks to Pamela and Alison for getting it all together, may we have another one please?
Pamela: Nant Gwtheyrn provided the ideal location to kick-start the next phase of the collaboration. The inspirational landscape, along with comfortable accommodation and abundance of food all combined to facilitate the creation of collaborative work.
Apart from the above, what was most stimulating was the interaction between the participants. Beginning tentatively discussing previous work and trying to find ways of moving forward, finding entrances into each other's work, the group slowing gathered momentum. Alison had provided notebooks and paper and encouraged us to start with collaborative drawings which may or may not be entered in a drawing competition. This process continued during the entire workshop.
Artists also worked firstly on their own plates and developed their own ideas. Then they shared thoughts and ideas, did some experimenting and all ended up working on each others plates, exchanging and/or working on each others prints. Original 'pairings' were abandoned and there were diverse interactions and exchanges. In some cases 3 or 4 artists worked on the same print.
Several factors greatly contributed to the success of the 4 days. Firstly Alison's excellent organisation: she thought of everything!!!... and she was ably supported by Don, especially with his provision of the photo-etch facilities. Ian and Eirian were also generous with their equipment and we really appreciated the fact that everything had been set up by all four welsh artists before us Irish arrived!!!
Secondly was the wonderful group dynamic, everyone got on well together, nobody was precious with anything and everyone generously shared expertise, ideas and tools. The good humour and banter lasted through mealtimes and later. There was wonderful ambience on the final evening when artists spontaneously recommenced printing together while enjoying the fun, frolics and celebration of a successful few days.
Thirdly it was wonderful that Andrew and Linda could come for some of the time and they also added to the sense of togetherness and collaboration, especially with Linda's idea. This involved all of us placing a print on strips of paper and which, when combined, made an attractive print. Then Steffan's arrival on Thursday gave a nice finish to the residency.
On a personal note I have found it stimulating to visit again an area that has featured intermittently in my family's life: a cousin of my Grandfather came, along with friends and neighbours from the quarries on the Two and Three Rock mountains in Sandyford, Co. Dublin, to live in nearby Trefor many years ago. They worked in the granite quarries and while most returned, two men, (one on my father's side and one on my mother's side), stayed and married local girls. The families still keep in touch. It was interesting hearing Ian speak of his great-grandfather surviving a mine explosion not too far away. The exchange of lore, Welsh, Irish and Scottish, also brought elements of our lives together.. we often realised what a small world it is, how many of us have lived similar experiences and have many similar traditions.
Arís, go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir... go maire muid beo arís le chéile in Eirinn 2010.