Daniel Barrow, a Montreal-based artist working in video, film, print-making, drawing and known for his projection installations and performances, is on his way to work in Dufftown Scotland after winning this year’s Glenfiddich Artist-in-Residence Prize.
Barrow is one of eight artists chosen from around the world for the three-month residency. Valued at $20,000 per artist, the residency covers travel, living expenses and materials. The artists live in crofts (traditional small Scottish farm houses) and work closely together, making it an inspiring opportunity for cross-disciplinary ideas.
OCAD University’s Vladimir Spicanovic, Dean, Faculty of Art, and Lisa Deanne Smith, Acting Curator of Onsite [at] OCAD U, were involved in the highly competitive jury process for this year’s award. The jury selected Barrow for the depth of his imagination and innovative practice. Barrow was also the winner of the 2010 Sobey Art Award and is represented by Jessica Bradley in Toronto.
While preparing to leave for his residency, Barrow shared his thoughts about what winning the prize means, along with some advice for students:
OCAD U: Congratulations on the prize win! When are you going?
I’m leaving early, in mid-May because I have shows booked in Europe before it starts. I’ll be doing performances in Oslo, Brussels, Venice and Croatia. The residency itself will be from June through August.
OCAD U: What kind of impact do you think it will have on your work?
DB: I’m not sure what to expect. I’m looking forward to a certain degree of isolation and getting work done in the Highland Mountains, and I really like the works coming out of the residency. I’m hoping it will inspire me. I’d like the work to unfold organically within the context, however, I do have to ship all my art supplies. I anticipate I’ll be working on a narrative performance project while I’m there.
OCAD U: How do you keep learning and challenging yourself as an artist?
DB: I went to art school at the University of Manitoba. It was a very exciting time in the early to mid-90s, and I went to school with a lot of artists who went on to establish themselves in the art world. So my peers and professors were a source of inspiration, and it was because I went to school with so many dedicated and inspired artists that I felt emboldened to quit my day job and work as a full-time artist. The thing that people need to know about being a full time artist is that it’s a lot of work. It requires a certain degree of sacrifice and dedication. I saw that in art school and the other students offered me a path. I still keep in close touch with my peers.
OCAD U: What advice would you give to the OCAD U community?
DB: I taught at Concordia for two years and what I told my students is that those who go on to succeed in the art world are not necessarily the best, but those who establish themselves in the community. That’s so important — establishing a peer group and creating relationships with other artists.