Each year the Sidney Nolan Trust awards residencies to a student graduating both the BA and MA Fine Art Programmes at Hereford College of Arts. The residencies are a special opportunity for reflection as well as a time to explore The Rodd estate and the life and art of Sidney Nolan. The residencies are awarded on the merit of the work presented in the final graduate exhibitions and the relationship between the student’s practice and the scope that the residency will provide them.

In 2021, we awarded a joint residency award to Isabel Draper and Gemma Moore for their BA exhibition and to Sorell Matei for her MA exhibition. Read more about their work below.

  • Isabella Draper with her BA Hons exhibition

    Isabella Draper

    Denial of function, domesticity and sexual division has been the focus of my most recent project. However, my artistic practice involves a wide range of materials and processes to explore an array of themes. I have experimented with drawing, digital imagery, sculpture, and installations. Repurposed and found materials, my body, and personal experiences have all been used as materials and inspiration for many of my works. Viewer interactivity runs throughout my work and appears in various forms. None of my work is restricted by ‘do not touch’ signs!

    For this residency I will be continuing the theme of denial of function, taking the shape of cups and saucers. I will be challenging myself to create artworks influenced by underlying themes as well as taking inspiration from my stay at the Sidney Nolan Trust.

    Instagram - @isabelladraperart

    Works made during Isabella's recent residency

  • Sorell Matei - children of the war

    Sorell Matei

    My current work engages with iconography in a way that seems to move between iconoclasm and a more nuanced form of engagement with their forms and symbolic power.

    I use distortion: faces, identities, ideas to create a personal narrative through my paintings.
    There is a soft line between figuration and abstraction in my work, deliberately moving from one to another, using distortion, blurring, and glitch effects to make expressive gestures. The hemp material I use in my work has the hair like quality and gives another dimension/layer of expression through the texture, my intention being to weave a story inside a story, the more you look the more you discover, in such a way the viewer is able to create the story himself. This material offers me the possibility to exaggerate inside the canvas, creating sculptural surfaces, something that I am very keen to explore further.

    Meeting Nolan…
    I am so much intrigued by the way my work will resonate and respond to such a unique space and experience. My intention is to investigate and explore, to experiment, connecting multiple bodies or mediums in my work and to discover if something new, something special can be brought to light. I have plans and I don’t: for example, I want to see how my work Stratum will evolve at The Rodd or how my portrait painting will evolve…but I keep the space open…all I know is that I intend to use everything that it will be given to me at maximum.

    Instagram - @sorell.artist