Laura Edmunds | Jane Phillips Award 2011
Laura Edmunds was the recipient of the inaugural Jane Phillips Award in October 2011. Her 6 month residency ran from 1st November 2011 to 30th April 2012.
Mission Gallery will profile Lauras work in its Maker in Focus showcase from 2nd June - 1st July 2012 and Laura will also give a special talk to Friends and Patrons of the Jane Phillips Award.
The Jane Phillips Award was awarded to me at a time that is crucial to my professional and creative development. It is easy to lose focus and concentration upon leaving university, and I felt that I was able to continue the practical and theoretical work that I had spent 3 years developing, as well as the new ideas that were coming into play as I worked by myself for the first time. The Jane Phillips Award bridged the gap between university life and the beginning of a career; and so it was an invaluable opportunity. It was an insight into the career that lies ahead of me; at times challenging but always rewarding.
Having access to funding was invaluable as most graduates struggle to funds themselves after University and this is a setback that prevents graduate artists from continuing their practice. I used the funds to purchase items that would last me a long stretch of my career; such as a textile embellisher, a scanner and a digital projector, items that I am excited to explore in my practice.
During these six months, I have taken part in workshops such as Toril Brancher’s photography classes and Keith Bayliss’ drawing workshop. The people I have been introduced to have all offered me an opportunity to develop, even by offering a snippet of advice in a quick conversation. I feel as though I have developed a relationship with the leading galleries inWales, such as Oriel Myrddin and Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre who have all been very supportive of my development.
I have also applied for other residencies and competitions, which I feel is important to do despite rejections. The experience of writing about my work and my professional achievements is something I will continually do in my career, as a way of funding my practice and being involved in exciting opportunities. In the past six months I have worked with Craftspace Collective in Birmingham, exhibited work in a group exhibition at Jamie Hill’s salon, ‘V | A Feminine Perspective’, as well as being shortlisted for the Young Artist Scholarship for the National Eisteddfod and being selected to exhibit in the Welsh Artist of the Year 2012 at the St. David’s Hall, Cardiff. I leave the Swansea Studios residency feeling excited about the prospects of my future and eager to explore new concepts and materials.
Laura Edmunds, April 2012
Image: Laura Edmunds in her studio with Keith Bayliss, Chairman of the Jane Phillips Award, April 2012