ENCOUNTERS: DIY 15 PROJECT

Encounters was a 6 day residency in August 2018 led by Helena Hunter at ArtHouse Jersey, situated in Chateau Vermont in Jersey UK. The project was supported by Live Art Development Agency and ArtHouse Jersey. It brought together artists working with geologies, environments and organisms as part of their creative practice including: Hermione Spriggs, Fiona MacDonald, Natascha Nanji and Judith Sonnicken. The aim of the residency was to share methods through practice and to work with sites in Jersey that offer a range of encounters with mineral-vegetal-animal worlds. Each artist led a short session that shared their methods practically at a specific site in Jersey.

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The artist-led sessions included:

  • Speculative Geologies: a session led by Helena Hunter in Bouley Bay that involved iterative writing exercises with rock formations in the bay. The exercises explored methods of listening, noticing and writing with ‘affects and flows’ that occur within encounters with rocks.

  • Shifting relation to nonhuman nature: led by Fiona MacDonald in St. Catherine’s Woods, performative exercises rephrasing how we encounter vegetal beings. The group engaged in a fictional art crit looking at ‘nature’ as if it were ‘art’.

  • Interdimensional athletics with Judith Sonnicken on an ancient Dolmen site -  La Pouquelaye de Faldouet.  A collective performance with experiential matter that was smelled, ingested, and contemplated upon followed by a series meditative drawing exercises.

  • HA HA PROTOCOL: an experiment in practical aesthesis at Jersey Zoo observing the boundaries and barriers that separate humans and animals and the behaviours this apparatus produce. Led by Hermione Spriggs.

  • Welcome to Studio Swan: an improvisation exercise set in a fictional clinic where characters such as the Shaman, the Anthropocene, Flies and Destiny check in to ‘become’ plant or animal. Led by Natascha Nanji at La Cotte de St.Brelande one of the principle Palaeolithic sites in Europe.

Around these exercises time was allocated for critical conversation and reflection, this unfolded on our journeys to sites, over dinner and in designated slots for feedback. Activities such as swimming in the sea, walking, music, feasting and drinking fuelled our collaborative sharing and experience of each other’s methods. We had a day allocated to individual practice and time for discussion of outcomes and future projects. A final sharing session on the last day enabled us to share our findings and re-perform back some of the work we generated on site to an audience of ArtHouse Jersey staff and local artists. A website documenting this project will be available soon.