Erin Rickard-Tongeren Residency-2014 2

Rickard, Erin

Artist In Residence Tongeren, Belgium

Visual artist Erin Rickard received support to undertake a month residency in Tongeren, Belgium. Upon her return, Erin said:

"The International Opportunities Fund facilitated my participation in an Artist Residency at Pentagoon Academie, in Tongeren Belgium for the duration of a month. Delivering a public exhibition that was built up over the duration, being open with the development of artworks showing initial sketches and notes through to the final results, allowing new influences to have a visible impact on my practice, finishing with an artist talk and sharing event.

This residency enabled me to reflect, and with the support and mentoring from the staff and director of the Academie, while focusing on key continuing themes within my practice. Having dedicated time to gain insight into my practice enabling me to focus on future project development. The partner organisation Pentagoon Academie provided me with accommodation, access to equipment and studio space. Without the support from Wales Arts International I wouldn’t have been able to travel to and fully utilise the opportunities this residency has provided.

The partners involved and the support I received during this opportunity enabled me to stretch my skills as an artist. Challenging me to create intuitively with ideas generated by my time in Belgium. Working in such a fast-passed and free manner helped focus and strengthen my practice. Tongeren is a heritage town proud of its Beguinage, on further visits to other nearby Beguinages I started responding to the idea of home, community and female-solidarity. The concentrated and uninterrupted studio time acted as an incubator for productivity and new sources of inspiration for continuing work back in Wales.

Through this partnership and the support from WAI I was able to forge new relationships, including a number of artists who were working as staff as well as the adult photography class in the Academie, I attended workshops and assisted in the installation of their artworks in an unused area of the local shopping centre."

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