Doug asked: Is this retreat the kind of gathering where everyone shares what they have created, or does that kind of interaction happen on an informal basis only? I’m really curious to know what some of the other artists are up to, that’s why.
There are a lot of people here for different programs. I’m here on an independent, ‘self-directed’ writing residency…which basically means that I’m given studio space to work. I’m really left to my own devices, which suits me just fine. I’ve been dividing my time between working in my studio and the library.
There are a number of musicians and composers here on career development programs. They’re given a free-standing hut to work in (seriously – they’re called huts) and they have access to a support team in the music program. Some of the musicians are resting between tours, others are working on performance pieces, and some are here to record.
The visual artists in residence include potters, painters, photographers, and performance artists. There’s a big show opening tonight for the Alberta Biennial, and there are a number of sound installation artists putting their pieces up. There’s also a thematic residency program that’s wrapping up, and it was focussed on walking.
Everybody is really working on their own thing, I guess. There are various programs that brings groups of artists together, but at this time of year, it seems to mostly be independent projects. They make us sit together at dinner, though, so we’re able to interact and meet each other.