By Féline Minne, PhD Researcher at Chelsea College of Art
I spent one week at the Artist Residency in Trélex, Switzerland (8 January – 16 January 2018), where I made 28 drawings in which I appropriated my sketchbook imagery.
Every time I go to an artist residency, I learn something about human encounters and communication skills. What I learned at the Artist Residency in Trélex, Switzerland, is how to remain positive while deferring a question about my work. Nina Rodin, the owner, is very helpful and generous. She loves looking and talking about other people’s work. This has been particularly helpful to me, because I like looking at my work together with other people. I believe this reveals a lot about the person who is looking rather than facts about the actual work. Before I came to this residency, when asked a question that isn’t relevant to me in relation to my work, I was used to answering: ‘No, that’s not what it’s about.’ That’s an honest answer, but people don’t like hearing ‘no’ or that they got it wrong. Thanks to Nina, I learned that it’s better to say: ‘That’s a very interesting question. Thank you for bringing that up. However, I haven’t thought about it in that way, so I don’t know. Maybe it will come to me later. In the meantime, can we talk about…’
No one is born a good communicator. This is something one has to learn. By writing this blog post, I wish to share this tip with my peers. Hopefully, it can be helpful to you.
Now that I am back home in London, I’m looking for a studio to rent, so that I can translate these images onto a larger scale and with different materials in order to further explore the mingling realms of fantasy and reality, invention and observation.