Monday, May 23, 2016

A few photos from my time

As a follow up to my other post, I also wanted to upload a few photos. The property is lovely. And the weather has been very nice--sunshine with a light breeze. Warm during the day, it is a bit chilly in the evenings--but I never needed to use the heating unit in the Guest House.



I reread Lydia Davis's The Cows in the presence of these fine creatures. The goats are often available as well, and they like to be pet. The two cats on the property were also welcoming. 





The Alder Creek Nature Trail was a favorite spot--a little place to pause and write awaits at the end of the walk. I took the journey several times during my stay.



(Posted by Janelle)

Greetings from the Guest House

I'm in my final days of my three week writing residency at the Rensing Center. I am grateful for the dedicated time to work on two book projects, one of which I have had in mind for years. That manuscript has been transformed during my stay here in Pickens, SC.

The other manuscript had only a few sample pages to its name when I arrived here, and it now has a full arc. I have appreciated the time to immerse myself in what the two manuscripts have asked of me. The Rensing Center is a place of few distractions (aside from the cockroaches that come on the stage just after dusk), and one gains a different sense of time here. Being able to make all hours of the day about the work was a gift.

I enjoyed looking up from the pages too. A plant walk with John was especially nice. I enjoyed listening and learning about the flora on the property.  It was a delight to meet the goats too!

In case future residents might be using this blog the way I did when I was preparing for my visit to Rensing, I want to say a few words that may help with the packing and preparing process:
-A mosquito net is good to have if you are going to be staying in the Guest House; there is a hook already available above the bed for you to hang a net. It took me some time to evict all the moths and mosquitos, even with the place closed up in the evenings, so the net was a good solution. I also found it helpful to plug in an Ultrasonic Pest Repellent device to keep the roaches away.

-You might also want to consider bringing a bright flashlight. There is a flashlight available in the Guest House, but I would recommend bringing something a bit brighter, as you'll be walking on the Center grounds at night after a bonfire or Sunday 7pm dinner.

-The weather can get quite chilly at night, so I was glad to have sweaters available.

-I also packed several blank notebooks and journals as paper is not supplied (though I have left a couple of new notebooks in the bookcase for the next residents).

-I was also thankful to have saved a bunch of website clippings to Evernote in advance of my stay and to have downloaded a range of pdfs to my hard drive so I could have them without WiFi. The internet connection in the Guest House can be weak, depending on a range of factors, and it can be interruptive to walk down to the Library each time you need to look things up.

Best wishes, all.
-Janelle Adsit


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Preparing a Narrative Installation on Pulsars


I took a little break today and went on a walk down the trail at the Rensing Center. I have started my second residency here and I'm already halfway through it. I completed one painting yesterday and have started working on 2 new ones this morning that need to dry before I go back to them so I thought, it's the perfect time to enjoy a bit the wonderful surroundings and then write this post. 
When I sat there next to this waterfall and listened to the tinkling sound of water and the soft murmur of the leaves in the trees, I felt pretty lucky. My 5 weeks residencies have been partly financed by a fund and by private patrons who support me on this platform https://www.patreon.com/FromTheEdge?ty=h. I thought about these people, some I know, some are strangers who just appreciate my work and greatly encourage me. 
I am here working on a project for the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, it is a small science museum based in NC (USA). The exhibition is a narrative installation I have been thinking about for awhile and finally the project was accepted, and then I started looking for fundings and then, now, the work is happening. 
The installation is made of a story I wrote at another residency called Wildacres not very far from here, it has 11 chapters and each chapter has part of the story, a painting, and some LED lighting. All the technical parts will happen back in Europe and I will hopefully be able to set up the work in September. During my stay at Rensing I am focusing on creating the paintings for the show. I can't do 11 paintings in 5 weeks for sure but I hope to complete 8 by the end of my busy time here. I am putting here a photo of the detail of the one I finished yesterday for the Discovery chapter. 

I am glad to be at the pottery where the floor is so easy to clean because it creates quiet a mess to do those things!
Being here, alone, with only my work to focus on has been really helpful. No interruptions, no social strain as compared to real life, peaceful time, no noisy neighbors, just the goats, and the cows munching on the grass, and the work. This one is probably the best one I have done so far for this show, I am starting to find this consistency I have been struggling to find between creating a work that is specific to this exhibition and its scientific / educational voice and the rest of my research which is mainly based on the study of the state of flow through landscape contemplation. 
I am very grateful to have been given this time, and I hope in the 10 days I have left, I can complete 2 other works that will be as good as this one. 

-Amelie Beaudroit