Testimonials from previous 2017 participants:
I would recommend this residency to other artists for the place, the isolation, the helpful and lovely staff at Alchemy and Tissardmine. It was a truly inspiring experience and I feel like I was really fulfilled artistically being there for those 25 days.
I felt that the first week, where participants in the residency shared their work was a good touch. It allowed for a little bit of introduction into our peers practice, and learning about other peoples work is always interesting and of course helps build an environment for constructive critique sessions later on. I actually like having some structure and the comaradery of the other participants in the residency was really nice. I think one can get a lot from peer input and discussion of ones work, and this really is something that is not a given in daily life -to have people devote their time to sit around and discuss your work in progress with you, that I thought that was a nice element to the residency.
Amazing location and facility and such a great opportunity to meet new people and talk about work and get outside of your comfort zone. It exceeded my expectations in the fact that I felt like I came up with and created a lot of new, interesting ideas while on this residency.
I enjoyed the open-ended nature of the whole thing. The dedication to supporting emerging filmmakers… I think this is really great and something not offered to filmmakers at that point in their career so this is really great and helpful. I found some of the writings and contextualizing of work really helpful and interesting. Karen and Youssef and all the staff at Cafe Tissardmine really went above and beyond to help us not only on our day-to-day life there but also to achieve our creative projects better than we could ever imagine. Huge thanks for all of their amazing efforts.
I think that the length of the residency in this amazing, unfamiliar environment gives you a real opportunity to step back and reflect on your practice afresh; the input you get both through staff and fellow artists is stimulating and supportive and the place itself is really fascinating and magical.
We were shown a wide variety of work – the talks were always interesting and definitely made you question your own practice. I liked the fact that there was no pressure or competition to partake in any of the tasks or discussions and felt that there was always a generous, nurturing atmosphere to work in. I loved the trips into town with Karen too- really special- and the camel ride!
Such a unique location to be based in for a substantial period of time. Cafe Tissardmine provides just the right level of comfort and familiarity to feel at home and able to focus on your work. Whilst having a group of artists specifically interested in moving image work means there was always someone to discuss an idea, figure out logistics, help with shooting, give feedback, recommend a film or text or opportunity. It’s the sort of community and support you seek out as a practitioner from studying or institution programming but it is rare to find this concentrated time and generosity.
Having now been on a few residencies with different structures, outcomes and expectations I have to say that I found this one particularly supportive and felt it struck a good balance between practice led inquiry, response to environment and critical discussion and feedback. So very grateful for all the time and support given in terms of discussing ideas, helping produce the work, lending equipment and figuring out logistics.
I valued the location, the timing, the staff, the cost. This opportunity came at just the right time for me and was affordable enough to self fund, meaning that I did not have to go through the rigmarole of funding application or feel the pressure of meeting outcome expectations. I feel very grateful for the in-kind support put in by Richard and Emily as well as all the staff at Alchemy and Tissardmine. It was a truly supportive, encouraging and generous environment that you created.
For me, this residency was memorable and fruitful, both artistically and personally. It was also more relaxing than I had expected despite the physically challenging environment. The experience was valuable and memorable, and also made me feel more confident about working with the unknown.
I found the artist ’sharing work’ sessions helpful in fostering a better understanding of the approaches adopted by other artists and in giving me an opportunity to evaluate my own work more objectively. There were also plenty of opportunities to talk to other artists outwith the scheduled sessions.
My bedroom was larger than I expected and had good views. The communal spaces are very comfortable and colourful, and offer a cool haven from the desert heat, and there are many quiet corners I could go to if I wanted time alone. The studio is spacious with a large wall for projection. I also like the outside space with the trees, animals and the objects in the garden.
The staff were extremely friendly and helpful. Karen really made us welcome and gave us all the help and advice we needed. The other staff worked to provide us with a comfortable stay and also helped us in ways beyond their normal duties.
I recommend this residency for lots of reasons, including the place and the fact that no outcome is demanded or deadline is to be met. A rarity today. I can see now coming back that the experience has made a significant impact on me. I have already recommended it to several people…
The opportunity to get away to the desert is unique in itself, but to be around artists and Alchemy people for a month, with a strong focus on the art of filmmaking, was a privilege. It was an amazing experience and in addition to developing my knowledge and skills, I developed as a person.
It was such a productive experience, it’s really changed how I’m looking at Moving Image, and the subjects I want to tackle in my work, and I think it would be a fantastic opportunity to so many other artists I know.
The staff were always helpful, friendly, kind and hospitable. I felt at home and welcome immediately. Really liked that I was encouraged to share work in progress, but not pressured to do so.
It’s an opportunity to embrace that broadens the mind and feeds creativity. Always interesting to meet other artists and see work being produced. It not only provides a platform for sharing but also for learning. Every session had a usefulness. An experience like this continues to live with you and not only effects how you might develop as a filmmaker but also enriches you as an individual.
Jane Houston Green
It’s a real down to earth place which calms everyone down. What an experience… just go and enjoy the atmosphere with lovely people and surroundings.