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Meet the next New Forest National Park Artists in Residence

Meet the next New Forest National Park Artists in Residence


Sway-based charity SPUD and the New Forest National Park Authority are welcoming the next exciting artist residencies.

The first new artist, Alex Julyan, will undertake her residency at SpudWORKS throughout October. Alex grew up in London and studied painting at the Chelsea School of Art. However, she takes a fluid approach to her method using whichever medium suits the project at the time. Alex will be the fourth artist since the programme started in 2022.

She said: ‘I’m particularly interested in the interaction of humans with nature – whether that’s through visiting the Forest or working in it.

‘City dwellers often approach culture as something to be consumed, I’m interested in engaging with the different ways people experience and reflect on their natural environment.’

In a first for a New Forest National Park Artist in Residence, Alex will also be mentoring another artist during her residency, Ben Adamson.

Ben is a multimedia and sound artist based in Leeds. He focuses on the composition of soundscapes using the musical capabilities of unconventional and non-musical objects. He said: ‘My hope for my mentorship under Alex Julyan is to learn more about installation and project development and hopefully contribute field recording and sound design to the project.

‘In terms of my own residency, I’m entering it with an open mind, to see what sounds might become central to any piece or installation that I create.’ 

The New Forest National Park Artist in Residence Programme is an opportunity for artists of any discipline to work with and comment on a chosen area, idea, or community within or engaging with the National Park. It is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

The residencies are designed to enable artists to form a creative partnership between people – both inside and outside the New Forest – the arts, and the special qualities of the landscape itself, showcasing this to new audiences.

While Alex and Ben are staying at SPUD, previous artist in residence Melanie Rose will be exhibiting there between 4 – 30 October with her showcase, ‘Shadowing’.

Melanie said: ‘The title of the exhibition references the dappled light found in and among the trees in the New Forest, combined with a sense of being surveyed by something dark and unknown.

‘By researching the history and traditions of the New Forest, this exhibition aims to open a dialogue about what is happening today in this beautiful national park.’

‘Shadowing’  follows on from previous works ‘Common Ground’ by Beccy Mccray and ‘We Belong Here’ by Marie Smith.

Poster for Melanie Rose's exhibition: 'Shadowing'
Poster for Melanie Rose’s exhibition: ‘Shadowing’

A future artist to the programme will be Jasper Rouwen, who will take up his residency in May 2024 and exhibit the following October. Jasper grew up in Kent but now lives and works as an artist in Amsterdam.

He said: ‘In the summer of 2019, I cycled from Amsterdam to Dorset. I entered the New Forest National Park just over halfway through the ride. While searching for a bakery, I stumbled upon a curious scene that forced me to stop: A brown pony was standing by the porch of a large white house, completely blocking the door and trapping the residents inside their own home.

‘I’m excited to investigate and explore the intangible borders that exist between the different inhabitants of the New Forest National Park. By engaging with the local community, I will seek to learn how they deal with these comical moments of ‘mundane madness’.’

You can find out more about arts in the New Forest on our website.

For more information about the New Forest National Park Artist in Residency programme see here.

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