Helen Scalway writes: St George’s Arts is based in an ancient, beautiful and curious church in Esher. It offers a residency inviting artists to respond to the building, its locality or history. I applied early this year and wrote in my proposal:
‘I am interested in making multiple drawings specific to place, seeking to work outside the frame, inviting the viewer in, sometimes to participate. I explore the way patterns in a place can overlie and interact with each other, suggesting movement between different layers of time, interlacing rhythms, memories, meanings. Drawing is a way of thinking and responding, so exploring through sketch books is important to me.’
In the week before the launch of the residency I spent time just being in the site, before beginning to draw anything. I also took numerous photos as these often yield up different and surprising treasure. Creating an initial display from the images to try and communicate my visual concerns to the visitors who attended the launch event has been a very good way of getting into the residency. The warm welcome and interest of the many people associated with St George’s Arts has also helped greatly.