In the run-up to our multi-disciplinary conference TRUE NORTH: Recording the Past, Present and Future, Timespan is hosting four artists for a two-week long development residency considering the theme of documentation.
The True North mini-residents are Hannah Imlach, Moira Jeffrey, Ruth Maclennan, and Amy Todman and they are each working on personal projects that relate to issues of documentary, documentation, and documenting in a northern context. Read on for more information on each of the residents and the projects they are working on during their time in Helmsdale.
Hannah Imlach is a visual artist, working predominantly in sculpture, creating site-specific and transient works that are documented with photography, drawing, in artist books, and more recently using moving image. Her practice is shaped by a desire to explore wild places and engage with the impending threats posed by climate change. She is interested in the nature of our perception of the environment and how an artwork can be inserted into some of the simplest, most elemental interactions with nature.
Creating sculptures that change in, or relate to, their environment, or which are animated by a viewer or performer, documentation is an integral part of Hannah’s work. She will use the residency at Timespan to consider more closely the role that documentation plays within her practice and the communicative role that documentation has in relation to her sculptural work.
Moira Jeffrey is a fiction writer, critic and independent researcher based in Glasgow. She is currently art critic of the Scotsman and is a prominent features journalist in both print and broadcast media. She teaches arts journalism at Glasgow Caledonian University and her fiction has been published in the periodical 2HB. In 2009, she received the prestigious Fairbairn Residency for Critical Writers at Cove Park, Scotland.
Moira will use the residency to develop Sonsiquoy, an experimental written work blending fiction, memoir and historical documents relating to a croft at Freswick Bay, Caithness to which she has family links and from which the project takes its name. The work will emerge not from primary research onsite but largely from the documentation available. The attempt to evoke a place without revisiting it is constructed as a deliberate evocation of historical, geographical and emotional remoteness and as an implicit examination of accepted notions of site specificity, evidence and authenticity.
Ruth Maclennan is an artist whose work includes video installations, photography, bookworks, drawings, live events, and curatorial projects. Her work begins with an encounter with a place and focuses on overlooked moments, material remains and fragments of stories of unresolved conflict and suppressed realities. Projects include Sea Change, with Cape Farewell; Anarcadia (FVU and John Hansard Gallery, Ffotogallery, Stills, Castlefield, catalogue); Interspecies (Arts Catalyst); Archway Polytechnic; State of Mind (LSE). Her recent film Theodosia, shot in Crimea, was screened at ICA, London, and in a solo exhibition, The Faces They Have Vanished, at ICIA, Bath.
Ruth’s current research centers on changing perceptions of the sea in the context of climate change and the geo-political shift northwards. She plans to use the residency to walk, film, and research Helmsdale and the surrounding area, considering the histories of the coast as a liminal, shifting space between land and sea, and its capacity to throw up traces of the past, as well as wash them away. The residency also offers an opportunity to work with and reflect on the film, sound, and other materials already gathered in addition to developing new work.
Amy Todman is the Referendum Curator at the National Library of Scotland, a post with the aim of building a representative collection of the 2014 Referendum on Scottish Independance to ensure that a comprehensive and inclusive record of this pivotal historical event is preserved and made accessible for the benefit of the people of Scotland, as well as historians and researchers. The collection includes archives of campaigning groups and organisations, published material (printed and digital), websites and social media streams in various digital formats.
For Amy, the two-week mini-residency is an opportunity to further explore the geographical and digital aspects of collecting the Referendum. With a national remit, but but situated in Edinburgh, it allows for a shaping of the collection northwards, and an opportunity to examine futher the complex landscape of contemprary collecting. The residency will be approached as an exchange of ideas around the referendum as documentary experience, opening a dialogue around the role of digital culture in relation to local experience.