Deep Time Together. Here and Now | Residents and contributors

Deep Time Together. Here and Now | Residents and contributors
(For more information on the programme go here)

This year, we are pleased to welcome Nashin Mahtani, Aaron McCarthy, and Joanna Peace to Helmsdale to participate in Timespan’s annual group residency. Taking the environments and technologies of Scotland’s Far North as a rich context for practice and research, Timespan’s group residency offers resident artists the time to develop work and research within a thematic framework and a convivial and discursive group setting. 

We are also pleased to be working with artist Sarah Rose and goldsmith Patricia Niemann who will each develop one-day workshops for the residency programme which focus on an aspect of the theme, explored through the lens of their practice. 


Nashin Mahtani is the Research Director of anexact office in Jakarta, Indonesia, where she leads the office’s exhibition-led inquiry The Architecture of the Brain. Through a practice of investigative design, and experimentation through exhibition, film, writing, and artistic representation, she studies the co-production of the human mind and environment, especially as mediated via the digital interface.

Nashin also works as the Project Co-Manager and Lead Designer of (Disaster Map Indonesia), where she leads a multidisciplinary design research team in developing real-time visualisations of disaster events to support practices of mutual aid for climate adaptation, and creates data visualisation strategies and new representational forms to explain humanitarian information and communication technologies and systems. With a background in architecture, her research and design work investigates the relational complexities of urban infrastructural systems, political economies of computation, mutual aid for climate adaptation, and the neuroscience of visual and spatial cultures.

During the residency, Nashin will focus on developing the frame for the forthcoming The Architecture of the Brain exhibition, working on an introductory video that conveys a methodology of thinking across the intersections of geological and neural scales when addressing the deep ecological histories appropriated by, and deep futures inflected by, the present moment of cognitive capitalism.

Aaron McCarthy is an artist working with sculpture and moving image, focussing on the infrastructural role of language within visual, curatorial and online based practices. He has an ongoing interest in the longevity of language in relation to moving image and creation of sites; specifically he is interested in the fluidity of meaning in words, and representation of place through moving image. A theme that has continued to emerge in his practice is the creation of new imagined sites via assemblages of older materials; new sites made of appropriations and contradictions.

Recent Projects include the Emerging Digital Artist Residency with OVADA, Oxford and a solo presentation at Many Studios for the Graduate Residency Programme. Most recently he has taken part in the ØY Festival on the island of Papa Westray in Orkney and in the group show You Can Meet Me Anywhere, Aici Acolo in Romania. McCarthy graduated from Art, Philosophy and Contemporary Practices from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in 2014.

During the residency Aaron plans to unpack a set of texts he has identified as part of recent research into new technologies and their implications on landscape and place, beginning with the subject of the Arche-Fossil as a provocation to think around Deep Time in relation to a contemporary philosophical and aesthetic problem. He is also planning to revisit a work initially developed for the Oy Festival in Orkney in November last year , touching upon the significance of site identification and use of analogue and digital renderings of an ocean, creating temporary external installations and developing a short moving image work.

Joanna Peace is an artist, writer and educator based in Glasgow. Her longstanding interest in psychological and structural space and female subjectivity demands that her work emerges from direct experience, seeking to extend the sensation of particular bodies in particular places. She uses her practice to pay attention to – and heighten – atmospheres and sensorial experience, and believes that what we pay attention to, and how, can be a generative act. Joanna has contributed to exhibitions, events, residencies and publications across the UK and internationally. Entangled with her artistic practice is her work as a facilitator of participatory projects, and as a teacher she has lectured at the Plymouth College of Art and Glasgow School of Art.

Joanna’s proposed line of enquiry for the residency focuses on the agency of absence: absences that vibrate in the present and hold consequences for the future. She plans to explore this through writing a poetic text that takes as its provocation two women – writer Mary Shelley and artist Wilhelmina Barns-Graham – who were both so affected by an encounter with a glacier while travelling in Europe, that vivid descriptions of these landscapes later emerged in works that were to become turning points in their careers. In both cases, the glaciers have now shrunk, almost to nothing, since those initial sublime encounters, the landscapes depicted in word and paint now absent from any material reality, but remain in the present tense for any reader or viewer to experience.

For Joanna, this raises a series of questions: Does this suggest that we are going to have to rely on such creative documents in the future? Is this how we will remember such environments? What kind of encounter, what kind of relationship, can you build with something that is no longer present?


Sarah Rose’s work is engaged in information and materials that encounter processes of translation, abstraction and transformation. Her work has engaged with ephemeral, unstable, improper, candid forms of information proliferation — in particular understandings of speech, voice, orality/aurality and sound. Rose is interested in how this information is handled, giving rise to questions of the self within a wider context and environment. Simultaneously, Rose traces the properties of physical materials derived from the shared information. From the raw to the synthetic, they create chemical reactions or decompose to form a shifting landscape which is ultimately interconnected. Rose has a research and studio based art practice, and often collaborates with others resulting in sculpture, audio installation, written, still and moving image outcomes.

For the residency, Sarah will lead a workshop drawing on her recent work for NOW at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. This work reflects upon processes of material transformation and the impact that humans have on the environment through the lens of environmentalist Rachel Carson’s letters to her close friend Rosemary, and with a particular focus on the liminal space of the shoreline.

Sarah Rose (b. 1985, London UK) is based in Glasgow. Sarah graduated with a Master of Art, Glasgow School of Art (2012) and a Bachelor of Fine Art conjoint Bachelor of Art with a major in Writing Studies, University of Auckland (2010). Exhibitions include sequins, Glasgow International 2018, (upcoming); NOW, Scottish Museum of Modern Art (2017) , Lilt Twang Tremor, Centre for Contemporary Art Glasgow (2017), Stem, Baltic 39, Newcastle (2017), Difficult Mothers, SWG3 (2016), Glasgow, L*, Darling Foundry, Montreal (2016), What We Heard, Embassy Gallery Edinburgh (2016). Rose was the artist-in-residence at Little Sparta: The Garden of Ian Hamilton Finlay (2016). She is also part of tenletters (UK) and lightreading (UK/NZ), two collaborative projects working at the intersection of art, writing and publication.

Patricia Niemann was trained and qualified in Germany, Scotland and the US as goldsmith and designer for jewellery, gemstones and studio glass. For more than a decade, she has lived and worked in Caithness, most recently in Berridale where she has a home and studio on the Langwell Estate, managed by Portland Estates who are keen to support creative practitioners alongside more traditional activities.

Alongside one-off jewellery commissions, Patricia develops research-led projects guided by her interest in the human body and its adornment in a wider sense, considering anatomy and theatre, and based on her experiences of the Far North – the drama of the coastal landscape, the relentless weather, the ancient history and themes of decay, human burial and archaeology. Her most recent work has focused on sculptural jewellery work based on the theme of Red Deer and human to deer interaction throughout history from a contemporary viewpoint, made with red deer antlers.

This project has developed from long-term research into red deer: from historic documentation and prehistoric evidence for associations with humans and the use of deer antlers for adornment, ritual and as tools, and the gendered archetypes of stags and deer in folklore, to contemporary conversations relating to population numbers, land ownership and land management issues, stalking and culling, tourism and recreation, culture, economy and commerce, ‘wild land’, as well as forestry, agriculture and road traffic statistics, and the role that antler-growth is playing in modern stem cell research.

For Deep Time Together. Here and Now. Patricia has organised a one-day field trip that invites residents into this work and research. We will begin at her studio in Berridale, before traveling to Dale Farm, the Rural Studies Centre of the University of the Highlands and Islands where we will gain an insight into contemporary educational approaches to deer management before returning to Berridale and seeing how the estate approaches similar issues in practice.

Image courtesy of, used under CC 3.0 / modified from original

Picture 1 of 5

Image credits:

  1. Image courtesy of, used under CC 3.0 / modified from original
  2. You Belong in Content – Touching Not Touching at OVADA, Oxford 2017
  3. Still Life #2, performance of text and object with live feed video, CCA Glasgow, 2017.
  4. Reproduction of Acoustic Foam, cast polyurethane foam (detail) and Reproduction of Sea Sponge, mold blown glass, liquid (detail) From Memo to Spring, three-channel surround sound audio and sculptural installation in NOW an exhibition at the Scottish Museum of Modern Art 2017-18.
  5. Hobnailed Antler Neckpiece by Patricia Niemann, photography by Shannon Tofts.