Ronald Williams’ Fresh Milk Residency – Week 3.5 Blog Post

Barbadian artist Ronald Williams, the recipient of the 2018 Fresh Milk ‘My Time’ Local Artist Residency, shares his blog post for the three and a half week mark in the studio. This part of the residency was largely focused on production, taking the research and influences of previous weeks to experiment with pattern-making and digital collage. On Tuesday May 22nd, Ronald also led a collage & portrait workshop with a group of Class 4 students at Workmans Primary School as the community outreach component of his residency, where the children looked at African masks for inspiration and got creative and expressive with materials. Read more below:

Week 3 Monday saw me start what I fully intended to be a productive week in solitude. Both Katherine and Daisy were out at the Barbados Museum and the Jewish Synagogue respectively, so I took advantage of my little alone time and was a DJ for a while. Side note: K. O. D. and Without Warning are hard and I’m a lot late to the party but Migos’ two albums are better than I thought they would be. Judge me.

So, first order of real business was to create the pattern I had in mind. The base design is actually the amalgamation of various prints, cut and pasted together in Photoshop and laid on top of a photo of a piece of black fabric. Took much longer than I needed it to. That base image was then flipped, duplicated, pieced together and the process repeated until I got what I wanted. With that, the day was almost up.

I worked on this piece for the rest of the week, getting lost midway, questioning what exactly I was trying to say with the piece and if I could properly translate how I felt without the reading of it going very left. We’ll see.

Week 4 Monday was spent preparing materials for an African mask inspired portraiture collage project that I, along with Katherine and Daisy, would conduct  with the Class 4 students at Workman’s Primary School the next day. This project, which was my community outreach portion of the residency, was my personal highlight of the last week and a half. Daisy, Katherine and I all ended up making one. It was fun.

All things considered, a relatively complicated week and a half where everything didn’t go to plan, but an ultimately satisfying one.

Ronald Williams’ Fresh Milk Residency – Week 2 Blog Post

Barbadian artist Ronald Williams, the recipient of the 2018 Fresh Milk ‘My Time’ Local Artist Residency, shares his second blog post. In addition to catching up on his research using publications in the Colleen Lewis Reading Room, Ronald made site visits to the St. James and St. George Parish Churches as part of his interest in religious iconography and the relationship between spirituality, decadence and materialism. These visits, while awe-inspiring on the one hand, also prompted further thought around the role of organized religion in Barbados’ colonial history. Read more below:

Since week 1 didn’t go exactly as planned, week 2 was spent playing catch up on the research I wanted to do the prior week. In my mind that leaves me square with where I wanted to be at this point when the residency started. In reality, I’m probably quite a ways off the mark, but I won’t realise that until later when I can’t do anything about it. No sweat, right?

The highlight of the week was definitely my field trips to the St. James and St. George Parish churches. I intended to do St. John’s as well but time didn’t permit. Maybe I’ll do that this weekend. Those spaces felt like an alternate reality; the contrast from the draining heat outside to the refreshing chill inside, the various sounds of life outside to the deafening silence of reverence.

There’s something to be said, for me at least, about the energy in the Parish churches when you’re completely alone. There was a pressure I can’t quite describe; I felt small, like who I am was insignificant in the light of those grandiose stained glass renderings. Maybe I am.

I understand the effect those structures are meant to have—and boy do they work—but it’s my knowledge of this that makes it hard for me to ignore the fact that the churches were built in the 1600s, that in their pomp and circumstance are enduring symbols of colonialism and imperialism.

The architecture, which carries specific elements which have endured through every great period of history was also very interesting to me. That led me to do some research on sacred geometry and the symbolism of shapes.

As it is, I believe I’ve got enough pieces to play with so it’s time to make this work. I think this week will be good.

Ronald Williams’ Fresh Milk Residency – Week 1 Blog Post

Barbadian artist Ronald Williams, the recipient of the 2018 Fresh Milk ‘My Time’ Local Artist Residency, shares his first blog post. Fresh Milk is by no means foreign territory for Ronald, as he has volunteered with us and participated in a number of our projects in the past, but as this is his first residency within the space, the focus of his work while here has shifted – leaving a familiar platform open for new encounters & experiences. Read more below:

A new old space. That’s how this familiar environment feels. I’m used to the wind chimes, the mahogany pods licking shots on the roof intermittently and the moo-mooing along with the rest of nature, but something‘s different in this country atmosphere. It’s not a sense of purpose, as I’ve always felt that here, nor would I call it pressure; but maybe it’s an accountability/responsibility to get cracking and produce as much as possible in these four weeks. This is perhaps/most definitely driven by the fact that I’ve got a certain goal by the end of the year. More on that later.

My initial plan was to gather as much potential reading material from the Colleen Lewis Reading Room and start doing some research in this space that I’m sharing with the quiet (as far as I can tell) and quite nice international resident artist Daisy Diamond. Given her focus on Judaism in Barbados and my ideas of decadence, materialism, mortality and their relation to religion/spirituality, I think there are interesting things to come.

I must confess to veering from my plan, as Sonia Farmer’s extremely dope work and setup kept calling for my attention. As a result, I put more of my energy into working on a piece I’d laid the foundation for just before the residency started. My time since has been split unevenly between producing and research.

Then Friday came, and with it Amanda Haynes who was setting up for Fresh Milk’s reading room open day. And the critical conversations started, with it the jokes came too, and it was a throwback…no, a Flashback Friday if you will. An old face in an old space where new things are happening.

Announcing the Fresh Milk ‘My Time’ Local Resident Artist 2018 – Ronald Williams

Fresh Milk is very pleased to announce Barbadian artist Ronald Williams as the Fresh Milk ‘My Time’ Local Resident Artist for 2018. Congratulations Ronald!

Ronald’s one-month residency runs from Monday April 30th to Friday May 25th, 2018. Ronald will focus on issues currently affecting Barbadian society, exploring how the glamour associated with materialism, drugs and violence breeds a certain vanity, with a particular focus on the poorer “ghetto” class.  Inspired by the Vanitas paintings of the 17th century, he will work on contextualizing similar themes in today’s society, looking at decadence, insecurity, swagger & pretension, and their connection to religion/spirituality.

About Ronald Williams:

Ronald Williams is a digital artist, born, raised and working in Barbados. His digital collages; created through the manipulation of photographs, print and online media as well as computer generated images, investigate race, class and culture; particularly representations of ‘blackness’.

Since earning his BFA in Fine Arts from The Barbados Community College, Williams has participated in various local, regional and international group exhibitions.

Open Call: ‘My Time’ Local Residency 2018

Fresh Milk is pleased to share its fifth open call for the annual ‘My Time’ Local Residency 2018.

Thanks to the ongoing support of our generous group of donors, one Barbadian artist will be selected from this call to undertake a one-month residency at Fresh Milk, and will receive a stipend of $1,000.00 BBD towards their artistic practice. Visual artists working across a number of disciplines (sculpture, installation, painting, drawing, performance, photography, new media, interdisciplinary) are invited to apply.

We are open to a variety of projects and proposals, but are particularly interested in contemporary artists working in non-traditional ways who wish to engage with the material in the Colleen Lewis Reading Room, using the residency as a time for research, production and expansion of references & knowledge.

Duration of Residency:  4 weeks

Fresh Milk will provide:

– A $1,000.00 BBD stipend to the artist
– Wireless internet
– A 15.5 x 14 ft studio space
– A wide expanse of rural land
– Access to the Colleen Lewis Reading Room on-site
– A varied network of creatives to connect with
– Facilitation of community outreach initiatives
– The option to participate in a public event showcasing the outcome of the residency

Eligibility criteria:

–  Artist must be Barbadian
–  Artist must not have taken part in an on-site Fresh Milk Residency within the last 2 years

Expectations of the Artist:

–  Artist must come out to the studio a minimum of four days per week between Monday and Friday. Studio access is between 8 am and 6 pm
–  Artist must supply their own materials and equipment
–  Artist must complete some form of public outreach in relation to the work created during the residency (artist talk/presentation, workshop, open studio, showcase, etc.)
–  Artist will be required to keep a weekly blog of their activities and processes, and submit a report to Fresh Milk at the conclusion of the residency
–  Artist will be required to donate a piece of work to the donor who made this residency possible

Application Process:

To be considered, please submit the following to freshmilkbarbados@gmail.com with the subject line ‘My Time Local Residency 2018 Proposal’:

–   The completed application form which can be downloaded here (includes applicant’s contact information, an artist statement, and full residency proposal)
–  An up to date Curriculum Vitae (CV)
–  A numbered portfolio of 5-10 images (or 2-3 short videos as the case may be) of recent work
–  An index of the portfolio pieces in numerical order, with the title, medium and date listed

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

The deadline for submission is March 30th, 2018. The residency will take place between April 30th – May 25th, 2018.