What did your stay at Messen mean for your artistic work?
It really pushed a better quality of art to be produced. This was due to many things including the time and space provided in a residency environment and the inspiring interaction with other artists and practitioners. The facilities were great in particular the space to spread work out. Personally I found I was finally able to let go of my self consciousness and create work with a new level of freedom due to the detachment and distance from ‘home’, friends, family and colleagues.
To be there for a whole month meant that I was able to work through some particular concepts to a higher level. I was very pleased with ‘Under’, an exhibition I organised in the basement of Messen, at the end of my second residency. I am primarily a painter but this show consisted of installations which I felt were more expressive, visceral and effective than much of my drawing and painting.
What were the results? (Here we would like to know of direct artwork results, written texts published or not published)
I had a major solo exhibition ‘Bailigh’ http://susanhughesartist.wordpress.com/about-2/exhibitions/bailigh-october-2013/. This was my most successful exhibition since graduating from art college 9 years ago. Most of the work on display was created during my 2 residencies in Messen.
A forthcoming exhibition in Dublin will be dominated by work created in Messen, May 2013.
My website consists mostly of work created on residency and inspired by the residence.
What, if it did, did your stay mean for you in your artistic work and development?
It meant: amazing experiences, time and space for development, supportive environment – all resulting in more confidence as an artist, better and more intersting artistic work.
What did your stay do for your knowledge of Hardanger and Norway?
My interaction with local people and places was the particularly effective in inspiring more interesting and developed work. Through playing and learning local folk music I was able to learn about local land and history in a way that would have been impossible otherwise. The music itself was imbedded in my mind throughout my time in Messen and had a subtle effect on the work I made. I was lucky to attend Messen in different seasons – Winter and Spring – so I was able to get a broad picture of the country.
How has the stay influenced your contact with other artists?
I found my stays in Messen particularly valuable regarding my interactions with local artists living in the area – Simone, Hans, Aud, Solla, Erwin, Felike, Wim, Judith, Ingunn etc as well as visiting artists; in particular the Palestinian and Norwegian artists visiting in May 2013. I learnedfrom each artist in terms of technique, thought processes, experience; I got a lot of support and encouragement from them and valued their opinion of my work.
I particulrly profited from contact with musicians in Norway as well as artists.
Susan Hughes (Ireland) stayed at Messen twice 2012/2013