Testimonials ARTLAB KETTINGE
Tea Popovic (NL) Resident at ArtlAB Kettinge May 2019:
Kettinge ArtLab is an exceptional workspace with all necessities of modern living in great scenery, opening all the possibilities for stress-free, uninterrupted work. Absence of distractions actually leaves spare mental resources , so trying new techniques let one reconsider the meaning of the image and the way it interacts with the audience as well as with its creator. One big advantage of residence is that the space is huge compared to Dutch standards, with a lot of natural light thanks to well thought architectural idea. Having a break from a daily routine and obligations works very fine and sometimes help establish internal inconsistencies which often prevent a good work of art to be born regularly. Kettinge seems like a physical and mental space absolutely free of any kind of conflict, reminiscent of a Monastery without imposing any ideology or a religion.
Casper Johansson (SE) Resident at ArtlAB Kettinge May 2019:
I was invited by Galleri Heike Arndt as an Artist in the Artlab residency in Kettinge. It was a great experience for me to have the opportunity to experiment with my own expression – especially since my work usually is grounded in memories and experiences, which needs to be marinated for years before it develops into a piece of art or projects. At the Artlab I chose to create ideas out of the existing situation and the tools (i:e equipment) I had at my disposal. It meant that the art I was doing was very much attached to here and now, rather than recreating the past. I think this is very visible in the art I made during my stay at the residency. Especially forms and colours became central in my art, which was a quite new and interesting perspective on my creative process. Working alongside with Tea Popovic was a great pleasure, since our art and background are in many ways were complementary. I think that staying together working, at that time a with a stranger, formed a new language in my art based on new unexpected experiences. With a lot of time together and endless discussions, we had a really great and funny time together. An interesting relationship which I hope will continue in the future. The Artlab was a great experience for me. Located in an island in the middle of the fields, it made me feel totally calmed, free and focused on creativity… An experience, I hope, that every artist gets to chance to experience at some point. Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to be part of the Artlab experiment.
Jean-Baptiste Monnin (FR) Resident at ArtlAB Kettinge July 2018:
I am a french visual artist working and living in Berlin for the last 8 years. After my studies of architecture and fine art in France, I moved to Berlin to take advantage of the artistic opportunities that the city can offer. Since 2016 I have focused my work on a series of large format drawing inspired by modern and contemporary architecture.Since June 2017, I have been working with the gallery Heike Arndt DK, and in July 2018 I had the opportunity to make an art residency at Artlab Kettinge in Lolland-Falster. This experience definitely had a beneficial influence on my artistic production.
Before starting the residency, I had a precise idea of what I was going to produce during my stay in Denmark. I intended to continue the series of drawings in which I am currently involved, however, after a few days of the residency, I started to feel inspired by my environment and decided to take advantage of being in another place to develop a new project. This project started with a drawing related to the surroundings of the residency: I first drew the outlines of the Fuglsang Museum of Guldborgsund on a big piece of paper. I then went next to the beach with this drawing looking for large, flat stones to work on it. By using a pencil, I rendered the impression of the texture directly from the stones on the different surfaces of the drawn architecture. This first attempt is the beginning of a new series of drawings. I would now like to develop this project by taking the texture of the walls of the buildings by literally drawing on the architecture. I do not think I would have initiated this new project if I would have stayed in the confines of my own studio in Berlin.
During my stay in the residency, I had the opportunity to share the space with the artist Chloe Grove. Our common interest in the medium drawing and the connections between our works created easy interactions between us. It soon became clear that we had to start a collaborative project and we produced three large format drawings during the month. Working on common projects with Chloe was a very enriching experience. It gave me a new view on my creative process and a more spontaneous approach in my way to work.
Artlab Kettinge includes three studios with bright and open spaces, one of which has the advantage to offer printing facilities. I never had the chance to use such equipment before and found that working in this studio was a great opportunity to develop old ideas by discovering a new technique.
Since I am working as a professional artist, I have always worked in my apartment as I don’t have the possibility to rent a studio. My concentration has been often disturbed by my environment and the agitation of the city and daily life. After this opportunity to stay one month in a quiet and peaceful place that has been specially elaborated for artists to work without being disturbed, I realise how important is it to stay focused and the impact this has on my work. I was far more productive and ideas came faster.
Artist residencies are definitely necessary to help creators working in all disciplines to find the time, space, materials and community they need to simply focus on their art. I think that all of these factors create an environment where artists can make substantial jumps in their work in a short amount of time. It was my first experience as an artist in residence and I was not expecting to make such a big step in my artistic production. I will definitely search for other residencies and I hope that institutions will continue to support artist in this way.
Chloe Grove (GB) Resident at ArtlAB Kettinge July 2018:
After my brief visit to the Artlab for the exhibition, Opdagelser 2017, I was completely captivated and, when made aware of the available residency, was determined to take the opportunity to return to this serene, inspiring place. To be able to make the most of the specialist apparatus in such tranquil surroundings was a privilege. I found it immensely beneficial to my work, allowing me to tap into different facets of my artistic language. When considering a project to undertake during my stay, I wanted to incorporate aspects which are specific to Lolland-Falster, and more broadly to Denmark in order to more qualitatively reflect the location of production beyond my own attitude and actions. I feel that this has helped me to contextualise the role that my habitual surroundings, and my day-to-day existence, has on the work which I instinctively produce.
A residency like this gives an artist time and space to breathe. When the pressures of modern life and the stimulus of a city: the fashions, trends, people, transportation, advertising, lights and noise are at a distance; it facilitates a special kind of focus on the core of what motivates an individual to produce artwork, allowing reconnection with the notion of play and perhaps a chance to follow an unexpected tangent into the unknown. This program is unique in the fact that there is not the customary obligation to have a completed project ready to be exhibited at the end of the residency period. The emphasis is on simply being there, on working freely and allowing ideas to evolve in a natural way. When the emphasis is placed on the final product, there is often little room for experimentation. I think this freedom is vital for any artist to evolve and progress with the work they produce, but nowadays it is a rare opportunity beyond the academic art institution. Instead of a final presentation, an artist talk is held at Galleri Heike Arndt during the residency, which is an excellent way to connect with professional artists and art enthusiasts from the local area and beyond. I found it constructive and enriching to explain my work to people there and interact with creative practitioners who are part of the local community.
The availability of affordable studios in the most important centres for art in Europe is diminishing rapidly and many artists are restricted to working wherever they can. Artlab Kettinge has the advantage of large, spacious, fully equipped studios that are conducive to the development of processes and ideas which is often much more difficult when space is limited. To be able to utilise these spaces alongside another artist; to discuss projects, collaborate, cross-pollinate and inspire one another was another great advantage. In the case of my stay there with Jean-Baptiste Monnin, this lead to a series of collaborative drawings which opened us both up to new ways of working.
There is an increasing prevalence of costly opportunities, which flood almost all residency listings; essentially elite artist retreats which appear to benefit this growing industry more than artists themselves. In the blossoming years of this project, the costs of the stay have been subsidised by the generous support of Integra Law but is fundamental that more organisations are found which can provide this kind philanthropic support. It is immensely important that projects such as Artlab Kettinge are nurtured and protected to ensure they can continue to support and inspire further artists in the future.