"Art is a guarantee of sanity" Louise Bourgeois
In 2011 Tempo Arts initiated and coordinated an artists’ residency and workshop project at Romney Marsh Visitor Centre (RMVC). This was part of Folkestone Triennial Fringe and was supported by Shepway District Council. Tempo Arts invited two artists on the basis of the relevance of their practices to the site.
Nicholette Goff lives and works in Sandgate & Sharon Haward is a Hastings based artist. In liaison with Steve Humphreys, the Centre manager, both artists spent time at RMVC during the summer developing new work which had a resonance with the Marsh landscape and the work of the Centre.
Goff’s ‘Field Laboratory’, housed in a tent, continued her research into endangered plant species, native to Romney Marsh. During the residency, she collected indigenous plants from the site which are recognised for their culinary or medicinal uses. Then using an old printing press, installed in the field laboratory, Goff made a series of prints from these plants which were then pasted to the outside of the tent. Some of this work has recently been included in a solo exhibition at space Gallery in Folkestone.
Sharon Haward created ‘watchtower’, a 4m high black structure which acted as a periscope to view the landscape and the natural Marsh habitat. On the exterior of the structure, Haward installed 2 convex mirrors that reflected the landscape and human interaction. The location and form of ‘watchtower’ makes it immediately visible to Centre visitors and by grabbing the attached handles, the periscope turns to allow an unusual view of the natural environment. ‘watchtower’ is now installed permanently at RMVC and in its elevated position is seen by passers-by.
On Sunday 18 September, both artists ran public workshops at RMVC. Goff focused on printmaking & creating a large scale sun print while Haward encouraged participants to create shelters from a range of found materials (wood & branches) and tarpaulins.