Freya Dooley - The more you ignore me the closer I get Three channel sound installation Wood steel 2

Dooley, Freya

Freya Dooley participated in the Enter Text residency at Arteles Creative Centre in Finland.

In November 2015 I participated in Enter Text, a residency at Arteles residency centre, in the remote area of Hämeenkyrö in Finland. The month long programme was designed for artists with writing as a core element of their practice. It was a secluded and intense working environment, alongside eleven other visual artists from the US, Canada, Australia and Europe.

The residency was fairly self-directed, giving me the space and time to experiment with ideas and develop new methods of working, within a supportive and critical environment with artists working in fields as diverse as film, sounds, painting, performance, publishing, translation, poetry and experimental prose. The work I produced included a collection of written narratives, sound pieces and short films. The landscape provided an unexpectedly inspiring springboard for the work. My work is concerned with sensory experience and so the serenity of the surrounding environment and the extremities of the weather, its dark days and cold nights, has made a lasting impression.

All of the artists/ writers were taking part in the residency for different reasons- a time for critical discussion and production, or for introspective reflection, writing and research, or all of these. We took part in group critiques and dinners and produced an informal weekly exhibition/ performance event. I also had the opportunity to perform at a local spoken word event, where the audience comprised of a mixture of Finnish and English speakers. This helped me to consider the performative potential of my writing and understand how it is communicated to different audiences. The residency encouraged valuable shared feedback from artists and writers from a variety of perspectives, languages and working practices. The experience gave me a refreshing insight into my work within wider contexts of location, gender, politics and feminism.

I’m now producing work for exhibition later this year and hoping to complete a book by the Autumn. This experience already feels as if it has been pivotal to the development of my professional practice and I’m optimistic and ambitious about what will develop in 2016 as a result.

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