Northumbria University Master of Fine Art graduate Siân Hutchings has been announced as the 2019-20 Tyneside Cinema Graduate Artist in Residence.
The Graduate Artist Residency at Tyneside Cinema is an opportunity for recent graduates from Northumbria University to realise a new moving image work over a three-month period, supported by curatorial, technical and academic staff across both institutions.
Following the format of the Projections Commissions which, like the Graduate Artist film are screened before mainstream features, the residency is a unique challenge for artists to respond to the context of the cinema.
Designed to support the artistic development of Northumbria University graduates working with moving image from disciplines across fine art, animation, design and film, the Graduate Artist Residency provides graduate artists with an artist’s fee; a production budget; mentoring; studio space; and one year’s Associate Membership at The NewBridge Project– together with the support to create a new work.
Recent graduates were invited to apply for this year’s opportunity in May 2019 and the selected artist was chosen by a panel representing all partners.
The scheme takes place within the context of the wider Projections programme of commissions, events and practice development activities around artists’ moving image, which aims to reclaim the cinema as a space for artists.
As with the other commissions in the Projections programme, the finished film will launch at a special event at Tyneside Cinema, and then screen before feature films at Tyneside and partner cinemas around the UK.
One key concern for all commissioned films is that they take into account the specific presentation context of the cinema, and make use of it to articulate concerns or ideas that mainstream film practice might ignore or be unable to pursue.
For the Graduate Artist in Residence programme at Tyneside Cinema, Siân will expand the aural boundaries of painting through her film.
Speaking about the synopsis for her film, Siân said: "Thinking of painting we often relish its visual allure, becoming consumed by colour and texture, our eyes sinking in. So much of our language is governed by our eyes but our experiences go far beyond looking.
"Through the residency I will consider painting for its voice, opening the cracks behind the seemingly mute surface. The cinema poses an interesting dynamic to this problem. How can we begin to expand upon a sonic understanding of painting?
"The film will suggest painting not as a static work of art but rather as a live material with its own agency."
Adam Pugh, Creative Director, Artists’ Moving Image at Tyneside Cinema, said: “Siân’s proposal stood apart for the originality and depth of its central premise, and in terms of its relationship to the context of the commission: where better to create and present a work about the sound of the image than in the cinema?
“The captivating and persuasive way in which Siân presented her ideas, and the force of her commitment to them was remarkable, and we’re very excited not only to host her to make the film but to be able to work alongside her for three months.
“There’s also something strangely satisfying about the prospect of presenting an artist’s film about paint drying: to prove the old cliche about artists’ moving image wrong!”
Siân Lyn Hutchings is an artist currently based in Newcastle. She recently completed her MFA at Northumbria University as part of the BxNU programme. Siân’s practice is grounded in understanding environments through ‘active listening’. Her work approaches experience through an equality of the senses, working on sites as an aural architect. Her ambitions for the film presented as part of the residency programme is to engage with the Cinema as a space for listening and to leave her audience more attuned to their auditory surroundings. Her work is presented through performances, writings, workshops and discussions. A recent series of podcasts by Siân can be found on sonicstudies.org.
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