I am thrilled to be the new Chase & Chalke Artist in Residence. I’m excited that the residency is just getting underway, and with that, I’ll be sharing my progress through blogposts and social media. This first blog is an introduction to Chase & Chalke and to the aims of my residency.
The Chase & Chalke Landscape Partnership is a group of organisations working to protect and enhance the special landscape of Cranborne Chase and Chalke Valley. With Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) as the lead partner, and with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, this 5-year partnership is working with local communities to better connect people with the landscape.
One of the key aims of the Scheme is to foster a greater connection between the landscape and the people that live within it and around it, in order to inspire and invite them to play a part in caring for it. Find out more about The Chase & Chalke Landscape Partnership Scheme here.
My residency is called My Chase and Chalke and it focusses on my own and participants’ personal experiences of Cranborne Chase, being reflected on and captured using accessible, creative drawing-based activities.
My Chase and Chalke is borne out of my own creative and reflective drawing practice and will enable groups and individuals to engage with the area’s landscape and archaeology through walking over grasslands, through woodlands and alongside the River Ebble, as well as visiting museums and sites of special interest.
My role with the residency is to help raise awareness of the Chase and Chalke area and increase understanding of its biodiversity, ancient historical and physical landscape. The Artist in Residence scheme aims to engage people, communities and businesses currently disconnected from the landscape; to support people to gain skills and knowledge relevant to the landscape and area, to promote a stronger sense of place and to encourage people to actively participate in initiatives, acting as advocates for the importance of this landscape.
Over the coming months I'll be running a series of targeted workshops and my approach is for them to be accessible, engaging, creative, educational and fun. They will build confidence in participants’ drawing skills and open up new ways to explore and record the Chase and Chalke area. We will make sketchbooks and journals and make and use found mark making tools; we will walk, talk, learn and reflect, accompanied where possible by Chase and Chalke volunteers, archaeologists and scientists; we will meet new people and make new connections; we will listen, notice and see and throughout, we will use drawing-based activities to reflect on and capture our personal experiences of Cranborne Chase and our new and/or developing relationship to it.
As part of the residency, I have the opportunity to create new work of my own for exhibition. It will be informed partly by the walks and learning during the community workshops, and partly by my own exploration of the Chase and Chalke area.
I am interested in the area’s landscape, flora, fauna and archaeology and I’m looking forward to learning more about it through my work. I will walk, reflect and map my walks and in contrast, draw in situ, focussing on the micro through careful, observational studies as well as drawing landscapes and archaeological subjects.
I’ll be writing blog posts about all the workshops I’m running and about how my own creative response to Cranborne Chase evolves.
Please keep your eye out for future blogs and do send me any comments or questions!