Paul Daly and Adele M Reed reflect on their recent Nest Residency.

For me, the sense of liberty that TB’s residency offers is the foundation to why it deserves most of its plaudits. It’s been so refreshing to focus on practice without expectations and time pressure, I gained so much from exploring without any sense of anxiety or stress. 

Sharing the space with Adele elevated the experience tenfold, allowing for a constant dialogue and reflection on both our practices. We staggered our days at the space, on reflection this actually benefitted us with further mental prep and insight before fully sharing our thoughts and aspirations to one another. Adele brought a playful impulsive energy to proceedings, something I have lost to a degree with my own work, this is likely one of the main things I wish to reintroduce to my practice in some form. Just revelling in a fully rewarding experience with our Adele, especially considering how each of our compulsions and obsessions are delicately interwoven into our work. So pleased we had this opportunity to dive in together. 

Other main takeaways are a refreshed confidence with my main creative focuses, a plan of action following the completion of a 7 year project, more undying love for analogue, and some of that bountiful optimism which is to be cultivated and injected into the next career phase. 

To top it all off, we were seen off with an in-kind chippy tea. This should speak volumes of the generosity and earthly nature of the Talking Birds team, a constant calm presence that made the experience that much more enjoyable. This is a golden opportunity for local artists.

By Paul Daly

Dear readers, apply for a Talking Birds residency! Rare is this kind of supported opportunity, a deep level of trust is gifted to you with respect for the artist, at its core. This treasured period of time affirmed many things – the cruciality of open space and time, the importance of dialogue with like minded souls, the joy of art in its myriad forms, the necessity to rest between heartening, powerful moments of revelation. 

I went into the residency with Paul with one particular commitment in mind – to chronicle our eclectic shared interests and fast-moving insightful conversations. We play off each other in a very organic, uncontrived and playful way, and therefore decided to name our documentary blog ‘Rapide 40 Slideout’ – the title of a drain we walked over on the way to Daimler Powerhouse on our first day. Rapide 40 Slideout evolved into a collaborative, thriving breathing beast (in other words it became an obsessive tendency for me) of 122 posts in 10 days. Please explore it, if you’d like to delve inside the flying sparks of our minds, via emailing us to request link – adelemreed@yahoo.co.uk or pdalyphoto@gmail.com 

Polaroid making and manipulating became a notable focus, each day of the residency creating one new image each to either tamper with or keep as is. Audio play featured heavily also and Derek lent us Janet’s father’s condenser pencil microphone which taught me that my cheap cassette player is capable of far more satisfying analogue recording than I knew possible. I read gothic art literature and local historical crime and watched a plethora of international films on Mubi. And we spoke about the key themes within our work. I found these sessions particularly fascinating, unearthing parts of our motives that perhaps go far too often unexplored, unprobed. Many motives lie in politics, religion, upbringing, and so forth. The question was: why do we do this? What are the roots of our respective compulsions? 

I was surprised by the residency, for just how much it supported me, and as I first proclaimed: will be shouting about it and Talking Birds ongoing! 

By Adele M Reed


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