Open Call: Fresh Milk International Residency 2015 or 2016

FM International Residency Poster_Aug 2015

FRESH MILK is seeking proposals from artists working outside of Barbados to apply for our international residency programme in late 2015 or Spring 2016. Available dates for the residencies to take place are between November 2 – 30, 2015 and February 29 – March 25, 2016.

This residency aims to support visual artists, writers and curators by offering a peaceful working space for a minimum of 4 weeks for creative production, the opportunity to interface with contemporary practitioners living and working in Barbados, access to the on-site Colleen Lewis Reading Room, the chance to broaden understanding of the work being produced locally and regionally in the Caribbean, and to strengthen international networks and relationships. For more information on the residency, application process and associated costs, please visit our International Residency Opportunity page.

The deadline for applications is October 2, 2015.

To see the blogs kept by our past International resident artists, click here.

FRESH MILK Announces its International Residency Opportunity

FRESH MILK's International Residency Announcement

On the heels of our recently begun Local Residency Programme for 2013, FRESH MILK is pleased to announce the launch of its International Residency Opportunity, inviting artists worldwide to apply to spend 1-3 months developing their work on the Fresh Milk Platform in Barbados. Expanding the platform to include international creatives allows FRESH MILK to increase its networking capabilities, embracing those working in the English, French, Spanish and Dutch Caribbean as well as those functioning beyond the region, widening our possibilities to build even larger conversations and facilitate more dynamic collaborations. FRESH MILK is delighted to be part of a global community, allied with creative minds on the ground and in the ‘cloud,’ opening up all kinds of amazing possibilities for us to connect through the arts. There are currently openings for residencies in April, May, June, and September, October, November for 2013. Applications can be submitted on an ongoing basis.

The establishment of the international residency included registering with the Res Artis worldwide network of artist residencies, an association of over 400 entities – the largest network of its kind. FRESH MILK is honoured to not only be a part of such a vital association, but also to be one of the only Caribbean organisations listed on their database. View FRESH MILK’s profile on Res Artis here.

For additional information, including costs, accommodation options and the full application procedure, visit our newly added International Artist Residency Opportunity page.

Announcement of FRESH MILK’s Local Resident Artists for 2013

FRESH MILK Local Resdiency Announcement

FRESH MILK is pleased to announce the selection of contemporary creatives taking part in its 2013 Local Residency Programme, sponsored by support received from the Arts and Sport Promotion Fund, Ministry of Finance, Barbados.

The residency programme was first launched in 2012, beginning with a short but successful 5 day local residency in March, and has since included projects with artists who have been based abroad, visiting from overseas and from other Caribbean islands.

The latest call for proposals was once again for local participants, and five artists working in a variety of media were selected for the available residency slots.

The creatives are:

  • Visual artist and animator Versia Harris;
  • Photographer Mark King;
  • Playwright and actor Matthew ‘Kupakwashe’ Murrell;
  • Filmmaker Cabral ‘LARC’ Trotman, who will be collaborating with spoken word artist Adrian Green.

The dates of these four-week long residencies are to be announced. The programme kicks off with Versia Harris, who is in residence from February 25th – March 22nd prior to embarking on her international residency at the Vermont Studio Center, USA in late March.

About the Artists:

Versia Harris

Versia Harris

Versia Harris is a Barbadian artist living and working in Weston, St. James. She graduated from the Barbados Community College BFA in Studio Art programme in 2012, with an award from The Leslie’s Legacy Foundation for the most promising student, and will be taking up a residency at the Vermont Studio Center in March 2013. She created a narrative of an original character to address the perceptions of self, as it compares its image with unrealistic standards. Her primary media includes pen and watercolour on paper. She also uses Adobe Photoshop to manipulate her drawings and create animations.


Mark King

Mark King

Mark King is a Barbados-based photographer. In 2011, he participated in a screenprinting artist in residency at the Frans Masereel Centrum in Kasterlee, Belgium. In the same year he was selected by Lucie Foundation for their E-pprentice program and paired with acclaimed photographer Roger Erickson for a six-month apprenticeship. Mark recently was artist in residence at Alice Yard  in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

Mark has called Barbados, The Bahamas, Brussels, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. home. His international experience directly informs his projects. As a constant outsider, Mark’s work examines the people he encounters during his travels as well as his relationship with an ever-changing environment.


Matthew 'Kupakwashe' Murrell

Matthew ‘Kupakwashe’ Murrell

Matthew ‘Kupakwashe’ Murrell is an actor, playwright, director and poet with special skills in film, photography and singing. He has successfully completed his BA in Fine Arts, with a special in theatre arts and a minor in film. His first national play debut ‘Precious’ came in 2005, written by Sir. Hilary Beckles and directed by C.M. Harclyde Walcott. He has done several plays such as ‘Yellowman’ directed by full bright scholar, Meredith Coleman Tobias, ‘Dutchman’ directed by famed Nigerian director, Dr. Esiaba Irobi, ‘Odale’s Choice’ directed by Sonia Williams, and ‘Looking Back at Sodom’ directed by Winston Farrell, amongst many others.

 In addition to winning several awards regionally and locally, Matthew is also the founder of emerging Barbadian group Yardie Boy Theatre, which is dedicated to showcasing Barbadian/Caribbean stories. Their works are focused on social and political issues, and seek to be the voice of a generation.

Yardie Boy Theatre’s Facebook Page:

Cabral 'LARC' Trotman

Cabral ‘LARC’ Trotman

Born in Toronto Canada to Barbadian parents, LARC as he’s affectionately known to most is a filmmaker, arts educator and community activist. After the year of the gun in Toronto (2005) LARC decided that it was critical to play a small role in creating safe spaces where young people could acquire skills while discovering positive outlets of expression. He started by designing and facilitating filmmaking workshops in low-income, inner-city communities where he began to link many of the current issues faced by youth to a lack of leadership/mentorship in the community. He also noticed a real lack of ancestral/family values and connections with the many gang related black youth he worked with daily. His community work intensified, spreading out to various public housing communities across Toronto from Community Centers to Elementary, Middle School to High Schools.

LARC is developing a feature documentary entitled Hidden Bruises: HIV & Violence in the Caribbean, a documentary and awareness campaign contributing to the national and regional effort to reduce the prevalence of both HIV & violence against women in the Caribbean.

He continues his arts education and filmmaking work in the Caribbean at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados; coupled with his independent company Skylarc Pictures through the First Light Project Arts Education program.

Adrian Green

Adrian Green

Adrian Green is a Gold Award winner in Barbados’ National Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA), a three time Barbadian Slam Poetry Champion, and two time winner of the Emancipation Roots Experience Show. Green represented Barbados at CARIFESTA X in Guyana and has performed to audiences in several countries, including the USA, Ghana, Grenada, St. Vincent, Dominica, Nevis, St. Thomas and Tortola. He has released two albums of poetry, “Random Acts of Conscience,” and “Hard Ears.”

As the co-founder of Iron Sharpen Iron, Green has been instrumental in producing the longest running and most successful open-mic show in Barbados.  These open-mic shows were designed to help emerging performing artists develop and have been instrumental in the uncovering and propelling of a number of young artists to the national stage.

Reflection on Week 2 of the Fresh Milk residency by Malaika Brooks-Smith-Lowe

One of the most incredible aspects of this Fresh Milk residency is the solidarity. This past week not only have  I been able to engage with Annalee Davis, the Director, and Katherine Kennedy, Assistant-extraordiniare but also Holly Byone, Founder and Editor-In-Chief of ARC Magazine, was here collaborating on a grant proposal. The internet offers endless opportunities to build connections but there is something invaluable about sharing physical space with these dynamic women, who are each wells of knowledge and experience. In the midst of all the work that each of us was engaged in, we were able to find moments of pause (and venting and laughter) together. In a world that is focused on productivity, but also requires so much time out of us in order to manifest sustainable change, it can be so easy to downplay the value of taking the time to enjoy the company of the people who help to keep us going.

It has also been a blessing to collaborate with Varia Williams, a brilliant actor and Managing Director of Mustardseed Productions, as the character in the film that I’ve been creating while here in Barbados. I am not sure that I can even begin to articulate what the process of working with Varia has been like. We fell into a really natural rhythm, connecting to the film’s concept in unique ways that often overlapped. I started with an idea and went into a way more experimental direction, which only an actor with her ability to work in a more subtle and bodily way, could have carried. It has truly been a collaboration, her experience as an actor and her vibrant energy brought elements to the process that I couldn’t have conceived.

At some point before arriving here, I was considering what type of project to work on during this residency and set my sights on a narrative short film. As anyone who has ever proposed a project of any kind knows… things rarely go as planned. The more people responded to my initial concept the more I wanted to create a piece that was open and allowed people to interpret it in a way that spoke directly to their experience and so, started to feel myself drawn away from the narrative I had begun to create. Of course, openness is possible within the plot of a narrative. In fact this was recently demonstrated in the Fresh Milk space at Saturday night’s screening of A Hand Full of Dirt. Director, Russell Watson, and Producer, Lisa Harewood, engaged questions after the film and spoke about the ways that plot has connected with people across the globe in diverse audiences. As I watched the film for the first time that evening, I was struck by the nuanced way that they were able to weave together an engaging story that touched on so many things that were both unique to a Caribbean experience but also experienced in similar ways by other people as well: migration, corruption, tourism, masculinity, property ownership and cycles of violence, just to name a few. It was wonderful that an audience of people, who were mostly at Fresh Milk for the first time, were able to talk with the filmmakers afterwards about their own experiences of the film.

As for my piece, I’ve jumped head first into the pool of the experimental. Shooting is complete and the quality is incredible thanks to the equipment I rented through Andrew Jemmott at Caribbean Webcast. Now it is all about editing.

Follow Malaika on Instagram @malaikabsl

Reflection on Week 1 of the Fresh Milk residency by Malaika Brooks-Smith-Lowe

I have been at the Fresh Milk Contemporary Art Platform in Barbados for a week now. This is my first experience as a resident artist and I don’t believe there is a better space for me to be incubated at this stage of my journey. As someone who usually spends endless hours moving about to the yoga classes I teach, meetings for The Goat Dairy, interviews for my research on contemporary perspectives on the Grenada Revolution or helping my family with some errand…. it feels incredibly refreshing to spend my time between the Fresh Milk space and the apartment I am staying in just a short walk from here.  This little nook in Barbados is offering me solitude that I have not embraced in a while. I love connecting and sharing with people, it energizes me, but I also know that I deny myself necessary alone time in the midst of nurturing others. Here I’m finding balance, building connections with incredible artists, activists and critical thinkers in Barbados while also carving out space for myself.


The challenge that I have set for myself in this residency is to create, in essence, my first short film of this nature. This is the first time I am phrasing it this way, probably because acknowledging the monumental nature of that task has the potential to scare me into inaction. But, I am past that stage. Sure, I have manicou in the headlights kinds of moments, however, as I continue to grow, I can snap out of those moments sooner and meet these beautiful challenges head on. A wonderful friend recently reminded me that often times when we are faced with things that, for whatever reason, arouse fear or anxiety, our instinct is to lean back. But consider the power of leaning in. What happens when we quiet our inner critic and open ourselves up to the risk of utter miserable failure? Well, realistically we are also making ourselves available to the possibility of utterly blissful success, in whatever ways we define success.


This week at Fresh Milk has been a lot of brainstorming as I begin to take this film from concept through the stages of development to a final piece. The last time I did this was under extreme circumstances but was actually also in Barbados, at the Caribbean Tales film festival in April 2012. I collaborated with B.l.i.p productions from Jamaica to participate in the 48 hour film challenge. It was such an intense experience to have to conceptualize, script, cast, shoot, edit AND render out a film in exactly 48 hours. On top, of that I didn’t know Henry and Adjani, the creators of B.l.i.p, at all before the festival – but the processes brought us together in the most powerful way. In an experience like that, the time is so tight that you just have to give yourself over to the creative process and we did. People felt it and the film was honored with the award of best director and screened as one of the top entries.  This experience is different of course. I have the time to let this film develop in a unique organic process. I have the support of Annalee, a contemporary artist and director of Fresh Milk, and I am reaching out to my creative colleagues as well. One of the values of this experience is being able to get feedback and critiques. I miss that deeply from my days in the Studio Art program at Smith College. So, this week has been a process of building on previous experiences of ‘leaning in’ and I continue to give myself permission to ‘lean into’ this opportunity that I have been presented with.

Follow Malaika on Instagram @malaikabsl