The importance of Space and Place: from Coventry to Volgograd

Guest Blog by Nest Resident Artist Sylvia Theuri, reflecting on her Nest Residency.

I began this residency with the aim of further developing my artwork, in particular a project which focused on engaging with Coventry’s twin cities. The twin city that I was concentrating on during the residency was Coventry’s first twin city; Volgograd. I wanted to create new work outside of my home environment and discuss ideas with other artists. I was especially interested in having discussions with Talking Birds as they had previously created a project around twin cities with their “Twin Story” project.

The residency gave me space to think, which is so vital in being able to create interesting and insightful artwork. I was also able to spread out in the studio space, rather than be confined to the dining room table, which often happened when I worked from home. It is interesting that my work is all about spaces, yet I often have limited space to actually create the work. 

IMG_6268The residency also gave me the opportunity to talk. I talked with both Janet and Derek about the city of Volgograd, and because they had both been there, they were able to help me to understand the city better. I talked to other artists based at Coventry Artspace, my temporary neighbours. The residency became somewhat of a “third place” for me, somewhere away from my home environment where I could come and feel connected.

At the end of the 9 weeks, I felt like my work had developed, but more importantly I felt that the way in which I thought about my work had developed more. This was because I had focused time to read, and question myself and my work. Looking back on this residency what I am most thankful for is the “space” I was given to come and think about and engage with ideas about space, ironically.

Photo credits: Volgograd Photos by Nastya Tol; Studio photos by TBs; Postcard washing line and works-in-progress by Sylvia Theuri.

Link to Sylvia’s project site

For more about Sylvia and her work, see her website [link to external site].