Clémence Hémard-Hermitant has been selected as the 2017 AER Bow Arts-RawLab Resident!

Born in London in 1986 and studied Fine Art at the University of East London, Clémence currently has a studio at the Bomb Factory Art Foundation in Archway, London.

Clémence‘s practice has always had a strong narrative quality, focusing on characters and their lives within specific settings. In 2014 Clémence started working on larger scaled sculptures recalling the story of villagers who have disappeared, through time, in a small village in the south of France.

The Villagers 2014

The work questioned how tight communities are struggling to survive in a changing world and how important these human ties are in coping with life’s adversities. Clémence re-used fabrics and clothing that gave a second life to these characters and enabled the stories that she had been told to come to life. Clémence  graduated in 2014 and moved on to having a studio at the Bomb Factory Art Foundation where Clémence shares a space with another artist. She has continued his research into communities and have taken a special interest into the ageing process, of its effect on the mind and body and the precariousness that goes with it. The work touches on people’s vulnerability, heightened by poverty and the solitude that seeps through our cities.

Clémence has spent some time sketching in different care homes in London to further the research into how we cope with an ever-ageing population. The sculptures developed into shells of clothing, ethereal presences, hinting at the ephemeral presence of life. Their power lies in what we project into them and how we read them. It made her question the powerful qualities of objects, items, clothes left behind. Through a collaboration with dancer and choreographer Ellen Johansson they brought these sculptures into movement and performed as part of Resolution 2017 at the Place Theatre (Link in pdf). They were working on how Sculpture and Dance could converse on ideas of growth, alteration and erosion. All of the sculptures were made using clothes sourced from charity shops working on the idea that these carried their own stories and we were only adding a narrative to them.

Through lack of space Clémence has moved on to making lighter sculptures, more effervescent and smaller in scale but is looking for an opportunity such as this one to pursue her artistic research and be fully able without restriction of space to create through different mediums (especially plaster) and dig deeper into questions of identity, belonging and interactions.

As a French artist, born and raised in London, Clémence’s solo show ‘Intimacies’ was in part a reflection on his own mixed cultural identity in these turbulent times and her overwhelming feeling that people increasingly believe in the need to be defined into categories. Clémence would like to push this further and be able to work with different communities.

Clémence applied for the Bow Arts residency opportunity because she is eager to move away from the comfort zone of her studio, work in a different environment but also immerse herself in a different area and its community. She has been running workshops at the Bomb Factory Art Foundation from its start, overseeing life drawing classes and crafts workshops with children. For this residency she would look to running adult workshops inviting people to come and interact over a cup of tea. Clémence plans to make a series of sculptural portraits made out of the stories recorded. Most of Clémence‘s research has come to the same conclusion: people are lonely and not listened to, I would go as far as saying that Western societies are uncomfortable with their ageing folks and what they project back to them. How does one make sense of one’s existence? How is it recorded? What stays behind? The work has an underlying touch of humour, it is about being sensitive, listening and hearing what needs to be heard. Clémence would like to invite people to gather together and to discuss these subjects, have a debate, see what people would like to see change and in the process, get to know people. The proposal is 2 to 3 meetings a week with the possibility of running a crafts workshop to get people to feel comfortable and interacting and at the same time enabling me to collect enough material to create a new body of work.


Founded by Professor Lucy Orta UAL Chair of Art for the Environment – Centre for Sustainable Fashion, the Art for the Environment Residency Programme (AER), in partnership with residency programmes across Europe, North America, and India invites artists and designers to explore concerns that define the twenty-first century – biodiversity, environmental sustainability, social economy, human rights – and through their artistic practice, envision a world of tomorrow.

Through personal research, studio production time, critiques and mentoring sessions, the AER at Bow Arts will provide a platform for creative individuals to make an impact on how we interact with the environment and each other.

The 9-week residency opportunity at Raw Lab Bow Arts is exceptionally available for UAL and non UAL artists of all levels living and working across London. The programme will run in conjunction with the exhibition Art for the Environment at the Nunnery Gallery, showcasing works which present different perspective on environmental issues from previous AERs.


AER 2018 Residency at the RAW Lab, Bow Arts, London

25 January – 17 March 2018

Visit the Bow Arts website

Applications now closed

(Open ONLY for London based artists)

Bow Arts Trust was established as an educational arts charity in 1995 and supports a community of over 500 artists with affordable, secure and creative workspaces. Bow Arts also runs the Nunnery Gallery, a contemporary art gallery which supports a diverse range of local, national and international exhibitions and events.

In 2018 the Nunnery Gallery will host the first exhibition of works by participants of the Art for the Environment Residency Programme (AER). To celebrate this showcase, AER are partnering with Bow Arts for a special nine-week residency at the RAW Lab, in their Royal Albert Wharf studio site.

Bow Arts is committed to providing affordable and sustainable spaces for artists in urban environments. With the growing challenges of space in London, paired with the task of making old buildings sustainable and new buildings work for artists, residency proposals should respond to the idea of ecologically aware space.

On a site that would have once been at the hearts of London’s industrial Docks, the RAW Lab looks over the Thames and sees the planes take off and land from London City Airport, which, having just increased its capacity, is just over a mile away from the Royal Albert Wharf residential development – that will shortly house over 800 people.

The Proposal

The RAW Lab is an activation space, part of Bow Arts’ community outreach programme. While exploring social and environmental concerns, the resident is expected to develop a project which incorporates community interaction. The proposal must present ideas of how this could work within the practice – e.g. residency open days, workshops or sharing events – so please indicate how you might approach this in your proposal.

AER at RAW Lab, Bow Arts provides:

  • 9-week residency (for a minimum commitment of three days a week)
  • studio space
  • curator/critique feedback
  • stipend of £1,985
  • up to £800 for production and travel expenses

Applications were only from London based artists.

AER