Paula Morison, Artist-In-Residence

Over the last few weeks we have had the pleasure of welcoming Paula Morison to West Dean College as Artist-in-Residence. Based in the Fine Art studios, Paula worked alongside Graduate Diploma Fine Art and MFA students on a daily basis. Here, she talks more about her residency:

I'm a conceptual artist that uses a variety of media within my work. My plan for the residency at West Dean College was to research legacies of craft in my family and look at ways to incorporate some of these ideas and processes into my own conceptual practice. I'm generally interested in systems, archiving, collecting, hoarding and preserving things for posterity, and this is the framework through which I approached my work during my time.

With some advice from the book conservation department, I have been conserving 'accidental collages' that my Granny made whilst pressing flowers in layers of newspaper. Inspired by these collages, I've been collecting and pressing new leaves and flowers which, through the use of the Victorian language of flowers, I plan to use to critique contemporary news stories.

My Grandad made rugs whilst he was in the navy and in relation to this, I have been researching the colonial histories and gender associations of specific materials and processes. I have been dyeing cotton yarns with indigo and am looking to make these into rugs that reference the history of textile making in the navy.

Whilst on this residency I have also been introduced to The Ruinette, West Dean College's indoor constructed ruin used to teach students studying building conversation. I really love The Ruinette, both physically and conceptually, and it links very well with much of my research. Towards the end of my residency I took rubbings of this structure, which may be the start of a new project.

In addition to continuing my own research, I have also given a talk about my work to the fine art department and have been doing one-to-one tutorials with students from the Graduate Diploma and the MFA. Both students and staff at the college have been incredibly kind and welcoming and I have had a fantastic time at West Dean!