Amy Sharrocks: Blog before arrival



only ever almost there

I don't do residencies.

But I was very taken with this offer from the Sidney Nolan Trust, from a man I have never met, to wander the land of an ice shelf no longer there … whose life connects the two countries I am working in now, UK and Australia … a kind and open-ended offer of time and presence, landscape, animals and farming community … and did I mention a disappearing ice shelf …

So here I am, my first residency.

A short one, just a beginning, really.

I’ve recently returned from 5 weeks in Australia, beginning to build a Museum of Water in WA, and after so much work and time there, I still feel like I am straddling continents (or as my son said the other day, “your soul is still swimming back across the Indian Ocean”).

In some ways I am hoping this residency will help me adjust: thinking through making is always grounding. And in other ways I am looking forward to the possibility of making new works: l have been returning to making things after a long time concentrating on live work. How can you hold onto something that is evaporating before your eyes, that you cannot hold in your hands, and that was only ever almost there to begin with? These words have been hanging around me the last few months, their alliteration leaving me teetering on a repeated gasp of a gap not quite understood. All my work has to do with the natural world - my studio is full of water, feathers, clay, thistledown, hair and bird’s nests – so this residency is timely. But of course, things can be elusive.

I am making no plans before I meet you, Sidney Nolan Residency.

But I am really looking forward to what might happen.