Thinking Visual

Project curator Jennie Guy proposes a new type of residency within Blessington Community College, where artists John Beattie, Sven Anderson work with transition year students to explore activities that lie between producing new artwork and developing a conceptual framework within which to present it. This residency provides a unique experience for both the students and the school to focus on this process-driven phase of contemporary art production, and highlights vital links between the artist as researcher and students as inventive learners. John Beattie gives a focus to moving image work and Sven Anderson evolves sonic frames of reference with the students.

This residency emphasizes experiments with different parts of the school (and the different communities that coexist within it) as the ʻsiteʼ of artistic production, giving the participants confidence to experiment with innovative approaches to their everyday surroundings. Activating the school as a collection of sites of research and production, this residency sets forth a multitude of approaches that are fun, that break boundaries and notions of what is (and isnʼt) art, and that might occasionally stabilize into something that resembles a finished product.

This residential award opportunity offers an exciting context for an experimental triadic approach where the creative visions of student-artist-curator shift and evolve within a secondary school residency platform.

This project is taking place as part of Thinking Visual 2014, an initiative of Wicklow County Council which is designed, co-ordinated and managed in collaboration with Mermaid Arts Centre.

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John Beattie worked on a series of experimental films, allowing the students to work as both cast and crew.

Sven Anderson worked with students to produce a sound installation integrated into an outdoor passageway. Each of the four boards overhead is fitted with a weatherproof audio transducer which causes the board to resonate, projecting sound in a linear spread along its length, faintly coloured by the resonant characteristics of the wood. The students selected different field recordings for this installation, which play back in indeterminate intervals outside of the school.