Emma Critchley’s Residency – Week 1 Blog Post

British, London-based artist Emma Critchley shares a post about her first week in residence at Fresh Milk. A mixture of familiar and unfamiliar experiences have coloured the start of her residency, as she has returned to an old love of diving and the ocean, but doing so in Barbados, which is new territory for her. She has been exploring shores and wrecks, collecting film and photographic material above and below the sea’s surface which she will continue to develop over the coming weeks. Read more below:

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This week has been a week of acquainting and reacquainting
Acquainting myself with this beautiful island
Recceing on land and in the sea
Finding places that inspire me, where I will return to make work and finding people who will get me there:
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Reacquainting myself with the sea; a place where I feel at home, happy
Although I’ve not dived Bajan waters before there is something about being in the ocean that’s like an old familiar friend, a place I already know, have always known

Twice to Carlisle Bay – a walk off the beach into the blue where wrecks await us. Cement, wood, steel. Un-wanted vessels, chambers of histories that have been laid to rest; Barge (16 years), Corn Wallis (16 years), The Bajan Queen (14 years), Ellion (20 years), Ce -Trek (40 years), Berwyn (87 years)

Another shore dive off the coast of Speightstown to trim the weighting for my new underwater film equipment. A test that turned into a dive … for 70 minutes … in search of a wreck that we never found …

Sunday’s ‘two wreck challenge’ with “Badass’n”, the Barbados Dive Association. An opportunity to recce two more wrecks

Off the side of the boat 18 divers descended over a small wreck like predators picking over a carcass. Photographing, catching, probing …

Together we headed out into the blue in search of the Pamir – a sunken 170ft freighter that was to be our destination. After 30 minutes swimming headlong into the current its majestic figure finally emerged out of the darkness. But we had reached the end of air. Our time was up and we had to return to the surface. A wreck to be explored again

Animal Flower Cave, a beautiful coastal cave with sea pool over looking the rugged north coast. A natural limestone chamber carved out by the Atlantic elements … another place to return to

Helen Cammock’s Residency – Week 1 Blog Post

British interdisciplinary artist of Caribbean heritage, Helen Cammock, shares her first blog post about her Fresh Milk residency. Starting by exploring the island and being introduced to the physical and cultural climate in Barbados, Helen has been using her time so far to take in the details of a new place, appreciate the openness of the experience, and embrace the beginnings of ideas as she starts to collect material to work with as things unfold. Read more below:

There’s been an Animal Flower Cave, the crashing waves and precariously poised rocks at Bathsheba, coral, sugar cane fields, potholes, sunshine, rain, buffeting wind, cows, geckos, an affectionate cat, dogs accompanying (well shepherding) us, swimming with a turtle, the impending birth of a foal…

There’s been meeting representatives from the office of the Cultural Industries Development Act and the National Cultural Foundation, and understanding a little more about the cultural landscape in Barbados….And there’s been Annalee, her family and colleagues at Fresh Milk giving us the most wonderful welcome.

I have spent this week trying to concentrate on detail – what I see and hear around me – making space for thoughts, questions, ideas and stories to emerge.

This is the beauty and the basis of this residency – it is an opening, an aperture, an opportunity to develop these new ideas and thoughts – somewhere new, different, alien – somehow reassuringly unknown – and to find space to be in my own head.

On the second day I began filming – extracts, fragments – and by the fourth day I began to write – just the beginnings of something – but that’s the point. It really feels like the beginning of something – and this is why I’m here – for these very beginnings of something.

Next week I’ll visit the museum and its library – I’m not sure what I’m looking for or what I’ll find but I’m starting with the production of sugar on the island. I’ll shoot a closed sugar factory and the tempestuous coast at North Point. I’ll deliver a photography workshop in a local primary school and give an artist talk at Barbados Community College. It’s busy yet at the end of this first week, the feeling that the beginnings of something are with me…and that I have been offered the space to do something yet unknown with these beginnings, is palpable as I await the imminent birth of a foal here on Prendoma Stud.

 

The Art of the Book: Book Binding Classes with Sonia Farmer

Fresh Milk’s upcoming resident, Bahamian writer and artist Sonia Farmer, will be offering a series of four workshops on different methods of book binding and design at Fresh Milk in March, 2016. This four week course will examine the intersection of text and the book form. Covering a range of book structures, participants will be encouraged to consider the book as an active part of their storytelling practice rather than as simply a vessel. Each class will build upon the former to provide students who wish to take all four classes with a thorough beginner knowledge in making handmade books and book objects and fresh ideas on how to approach narratives.

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Participants can also take individual classes to explore a particular structure or group of structures that appeal to them. Included in registration for all four classes will be a book-binding kit to continue their practice outside of these workshops.

You can learn more about each of the sessions below. Spaces will be limited, so please email freshmilkbarbados@gmail.com to register your interest. Applications should include a brief bio and reasons for wishing to participate in the course, based on which Sonia will make the final selection of participants. Please indicate when signing up which sessions you wish to attend.

Registration is now closed.

Number of participants per class: Up to 7

Preparation: All materials will be provided for binding, but students are encouraged to bring any decorative papers, magazines or found materials they may want to explore and include in their practice. Each participant will get a basic book-binding kit with a bonefolder, awl, needles, thread and materials/suppliers list if they wish to explore the medium further. Students will also receive how-to worksheets to reference later at home. Other special tools that will be used together in classes, and the correct PVA adhesive will also be provided.

Tea, coffee and drinks will be available during the short breaks, but participants should bring their lunch as the workshops will be 3-4 hours long, depending on the content of the session.

Participants must understand that if they register for Week Two, they must provide a poem by February 15 to include in the class anthology so it can be laid out and printed on the pages that will be bound together before the session. It can be a poem you wrote yourself or just a poem you like.

Week One: Experimental Poetry and Folded Structures
March 4, 10:00am – 1:30pm

Participants will be led through simple binding structures using only folds and adhesives. Considering the “exquisite corpse” exercises of the surrealists, we will explore the accordion book through a collaborative poem and collage, while use of found text will drive an examination of folded books using a single sheet of paper. Participants will leave with two book structures to reference at home and a variety of new approaches to storytelling.

Week Two: Limited Editions, Zine Culture & Chapbooks
March 11, 10:00am – 1:30pm

Moving into book structures using needle and thread bindings, participants will explore simple softcover books and their many applications. Everyone will be encouraged to share a poem of their choice before class (by February 15) that they would like to appear in a class anthology, bound into a limited edition chapbook using the elegant Japanese stab binding. Then, we will explore zine culture through collecting found language and materials into a pamphlet stitch book. The technicalities of edition bindings will be discussed so that participants will be encouraged to explore making their own editions at home in the future.

Week Three: Hardcover Notebooks & Leather Journals
March 18, 10:00am – 2:30pm

In this class participants will leave with two small blank notebooks to fill with their written inspirations. Utilizing the basic cross-stitch, participants will build two multi-signature textblocks to use in two different casing-in methods: a hardcover notebook wrapped in decorative papers with an exposed spine, and a fully cased-in leather journal with rounded spine.

Week Four: Book Sculptures, Objects & Alternative Narratives
March 25, 10:00am – 1:30pm

In this final class, participants will think about how books can challenge their traditional form and become three dimensional storytelling objects. They will explore playful and alternative structures such as simple pop-up techniques, the tunnel book, and the flag book, and consider how alternative materials and unconventional processes can open up new possibilities in narrative structures.

Price: $150 BBD for all four sessions, which includes materials and a personal book-binding tool-kit.

* Persons may choose to sign up for individual classes rather than the full suite, but there is a base cost of $70 BBD for the book-binding kit, and an additional cost of $10 per chosen class (with the exception of Week 3’s session on hardcover & leather bound journals, which will be $50).

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About Sonia Farmer:

A Bahamian writer who uses the crafts of book binding, letterpress printing, hand papermaking and printmaking, Sonia’s work is intimately tied to the Caribbean landscape and identity. Often her work engages with contemporary Bahamian society through the lens of history and mythology, specifically in the realms of feminism and the tourism industry. She is the founder of Poinciana Paper Press, a small and independent press located in Nassau, The Bahamas, which produces handmade and limited edition chapbooks of Caribbean literature and promotes the crafts of book arts through workshops and creative collaborations. Her artwork has been exhibited throughout Nassau including at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, Doongalik Studios, The Hub, & the Central Bank Art Gallery. Her poetry has won the 2011 Prize in the Small Axe Literary Competition and has appeared in tongues of the ocean, The Caribbean Writer, Poui, The WomanSpeak Journal, and Moko Magazine. She holds a BFA in Writing from Pratt institute. Visit poincianapaperpress.com to learn more.

Fresh Milk welcomes Helen Cammock and Emma Critchley to the Platform

Fresh Milk is excited to welcome our first resident artists for 2016, Helen Cammock and Emma Critchley, who will be travelling from London to be in residence with us between February 1 – 26.

Helen, who is of British and Caribbean descent, works with video, photography, installation and text to consider how individual and collective experiences expose structural inequality through exploring the politics of society and visual, spoken and written language and of representation. Her planned project under the working title Myth, Lie and Omission will explore the ‘inopportunity’ of acknowledgement, hidden achievements and perceptions of worth, aspiration and value, particularly as they relate to race and gender, science and invention.

Emma’s practice is rooted in the underwater environment. She is particularly interested in the way sound is perceived beneath the water’s surface, and how this affects our relationship to our surroundings. She will use the residency to explore these concepts and the idea of echolocation as a way of using sound to explore the rich natural environments that Barbados has to offer. By working with a variety of underwater locations, very different to everyday experiences, and placing them within more familiar spaces, she hopes to question notions about the role of the acoustic landscape and our perception and relationship to the spaces around us.

Helen and Emma are taking this opportunity to continue dialogues that they have already begun about filmmaking. Both their concerns and work are very different, but they see a real value in some of the conversations that have emerged, and view this residency as a prime chance for a peer development discourse that is already proving productive for both of them to further evolve.

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About Helen Cammock:

Helen Cammock graduated with an MA from the Royal College of Art, London in 2011. Her work spans photography, video, poetry, printmaking and installation.

Helen says about her work: Using installation, video, photography and text, my practice considers how individual and collective experience exposes structural inequality through exploring the politics of society, of visual, spoken and written language and of representation. I often use archival material and historical points/events that are connected to my subject position. I am invested in the relationship between the individual lived experience and the connection to the wider post colonial context. In constructing narratives that in general pivot around historical or contemporary events the viewer might recognise particular dates, events and speeches, but they are woven into a narrated if fragmented story. I am interested in the idea of authorship – and something I call ‘the audible fingerprint’. I will always be drawn to the question Who represents whom, and for whom?

Recent screenings and exhibitions include:  Hmn4, London, 2016, Carte de Visite, Hollybush Gardens, London, Dec’15-Jan‘16 Transform, Tate Artists Moving Image Screening Programme, Tate Britain, 2015, Changing Room, in Common Place, Brighton Photo Fringe, 2014, Scene, Pitzhanger Manor Gallery, London, 2014 You don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows, Hollybush Gardens, 2014, Reach out and Touch Me, Hollybush Gardens, London,2013, London Art Now, curated by Armesden, Lodge Park National Trust, 2013 Oriel Davis Open, selectors Ben Borthwick & Ann Jones.

Her writing has appeared on photoworks.org.uk and Aperture Magazine and she was shortlisted for the Bridport poetry prize in 2015. Helen was Co-Director of Brighton Photo Fringe 2008-12 has has run projects for The Photographers Gallery, London, Open School East, London, Photoworks, London and PhotoVoice, London.

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About Emma Critchley:

Emma Critchley has worked as an underwater image-maker for over ten years. In 2011 she graduated with an MA from the Royal College of Art. Through working with a combination of photography, video and installation she explores the human relationship with the underwater environment. Emma has developed works funded by The National Media Museum, The Photographers Gallery, The Arts Council England, The British Council, the Singapore International Foundation and INTERREG IVC (financed by the European Regional Development Fund). Awards include the Royal College of Art Sustain ‘Moving Minds’ award, winner of the British Underwater Image Festival, finalists in the Saatchi Gallery & Channel 4’s New Sensations, the Saatchi Gallery & Google’s Motion Photography Prize and most recently the Firtish Foundation & Saatchi Gallery’s UK/RAINE award. Her work has been exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at The Australian Centre of Photography, the ICA Singapore, Gerhard Marcks Haus Germany, The National Portrait Gallery, The Photographers Gallery and the Royal Academy. 

Season’s Greetings from FRESH MILK: 2015 in Review

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FRESH MILK exists because of the tremendous support we receive from artists, our volunteers and the wider community. This has been a great year, and we are pleased to share our newsletter highlighting activities we undertook in 2015.

We wish everyone a wonderful season and all the best for the upcoming year. We look forward to continuing to engage with you then! Fresh Milk wants to kick off 2016 by learning more about what young artists and filmmakers in Barbados are doing. Graduates of the Barbados Community College (BCC), Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination (EBCCI) and all creatives: share your practice with us by sending in a CV, 200 word bio, 500 word artist statement and 5-10 images and accompanying  image list or links to your video files. Send all information in one email to freshmilkbarbados@gmail.com by January 29, 2016.

In the meantime, we invite you to take a look at our 2015 in review newsletter!

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