“2 Rooms Artist Residency is an opportunity for artists to live and work in a small outport community on the east coast of Newfoundland. The diversity of art practices and the exchange between artists, residents and the local art and culture community is an enriching experience for all who participate. Creativity seems to thrive in the rich cultural and natural environment.” - Catherine Beaudette
I was recently lucky enough to attend the 2 Rooms Artist’s Residency in Duntara, Newfoundland for a two-week period in July 2016. Before leaving for Duntara I researched both the location and my area of investigation, however the actual experience reached far beyond my expectations. A three-hour drive from St John’s, the 2 Rooms Artist’s Residency, run by artist and OCADU faculty member Catherine Beaudette, is situated in a tiny town of about 40 houses on the north side of the Bonavista Penninsula.
As a media artist, I was not sure exactly what my creative material might be. I was hoping to film medicinal botanicals however, the day I arrived an enormous glacier floated into the small bay and stayed. Perfect! I had an awesome subject and so set about recording its every shake, rattle and roll. And roll it did! Also melt, move, break and shudder. Because it was so close at hand, I was able to observe, film and photograph the iceberg in a variety of weather and lighting situations. My other area of investigation, medicinal botanicals, also proved to be rich in raw material. While I had brought books as research material, the proximity of so many natural medicinal plants inspired me to film, photograph and draw. As a bonus, with a drive to Gros Morne Park on the East Coast of the Island, I was also able to connect with a Mi'kmaq elder who took me on a fabulous, educational walking tour of medical plants in the region.
My experience at the residency was vastly enhanced by the support offered by Beaudette. She assisted with both practical and theoretical challenges. A warm and welcoming powerhouse of a personality, Beaudette offered a welcoming dinner of freshly caught fish, took us for hikes, introduced us to locals, and generally advised on all manner of issues ranging from where to see whales, caribou and foxes to which plants were best suited to my research needs. The locals were super friendly and welcomed us into their little community. I took advantage of this by hiring a fisherman to take me out in a boat to film.
The area abounds with the sights and sounds of nature, spectacular vistas, and an abundance of local talents in the form of small town bakeries, home made jams and preserves, and lovingly knitted crafts.
More information about 2 ROOMS CONTEMPORARY ART PROJECTS and the residency program can be found online: http://www.2roomscontemporaryartprojects.com/
- Written by IAMD student Annette Mangaard
For more on the IAMD program: http://www.ocadu.ca/academics/graduate-studies/interdisciplinary-masters-in-art-media-and-design.htm
For more about Annette's work: http://cfccreates.com/alumni/1148