Alumni Residency in Japan (KAIR 2018)

MA Visual Arts graduate Laura Luna Castillo, in collaboration with West Dean alumnus, Jonathan Turner-Bishop (Making / Conservation of Clocks), have been selected for a fully-funded, ten-week Kamiyama Artist Residency in Japan (KAIR 2018). Laura and Jonathan's unique collaboration began during the 2017 Open House event at West Dean, in which they took over a room in the historic house (formerly Edward James' bedroom) with an installation of motion sensor-activated sonic sculptures. The work, entitled Asylum of Noise, generated a syncopated mesh of sound using a distributed series of 'cuckoo' bellows, building textures of birdsong of different intensity depending on where you stood in the space. The piece was particularly well-received by the thousands of visitors that passed through West Dean house during the festival weekend.

Using this project as a basis for new proposals for their collaborative work, Laura and Jonathan aim to develop site-specific installations in Kamiyama that combine Jonathan's knowledge in clock-making with Laura's inventive sculptural practice incorporating the use of motors, servos, Arduinos, material objects and kinetic flourishes! The residency is a fantastic opportunity for them to continue their exploration of themes concerning the notion of 'home as a non-space', incorporating the agency of objects gathered from the local community.

Many congratulations to Laura and Jonathan - we're excited to see how they develop the work started at West Dean, working together as an artistic collaboration in part shaped by the unique setting of the college, the history and legacy of Edward James, and the innovative combination of disciplines, across sculptural practice, makings skills in historic crafts and conservation.

"The Kamiyama Artist in Residence (KAIR) Program is an independent project organized by volunteers who share the desire to develop art and culture in the town of Kamiyama. The program was established in 1999 to provide selected artists with the opportunity to experience Japanese small-town life while working together with local people on artistic projects. Every year for two months from September to November, three to five artists are invited to Kamiyama. Participating artists also hold an exhibition in the end of their stay, workshops at local schools, participate in cultural events, and hold open studio days."

KAIR2018 residencies: