In late 2018 Rebecca Swan was a resident at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausilito, California, as recipient of the 2017 Fulbright NZ Scholar – Visual Artist Award. Following the residency she had three exhibitions on concurrently – one in America and two in Aotearoa. And, this month her latest video works – made during her residency in California – are included in the Auckland Festival of Photography. Here, Rebecca reflects on her Headlands residency.
When I spoke to some of the previous recipients of the Fulbright NZ Scholar – Visual Artist Award I noticed as they were recalling that time they had this warm glow about them, as if recalling a summer romance. Now I understand why.
Headlands Center for the Arts is a very special place. The location in the National Park, the dedicated staff, the nourishing meals, the temporary community that we create and get to create within. I’ve never felt so deeply valued and supported as an artist.
There are specific benefits that have come out of my time here. I’ve made a suite of 18 new art works, I’ve got a local gallery showing most of that work in January 2019 with two great local artists and I’ve made contacts within the arts community both locally and internationally.
However I think the greatest benefit is that this will change the way I make art. The complete luxury of being able to focus completely on my art work has meant I’ve tuned into those subtle threads of creativity and insight that are easily missed in the noise of everyday life.
My depth of gratitude for this experience has no words.
Rebecca has worked with composer Charlie Ha to create Osmosistem, opening Sunday May 26 at Whatespace as part of the Auckland Photgraphy Festival. The collaborative work explores the interconnection of all life in the face of climate change, wrapping the viewer visually and sonically.
The video combines footage of ecosystems 10,000 kms apart – including redwood and kelp forests of California that Rebecca filmed during the Fulbright NZ Scholar – Visual Artist Residency.
I’m excited to see how this new work “Osmosistem” is unfurling and can’t wait to see it installed wrapped in the original composition by Charlie Ha.Rebecca Swan, May 2019
All images copyright Rebecca Swan, published here with permission.
For more on the temporal body of work Rebecca created during the residency at Headlands Center for the Arts, go to her website here.
Applications for the 2019 Fulbright NZ Scholar – Visual Artist Award close on 22 July 2019. Find out more.