Trans Artists facilitates international art connection through residencies – artist resource

INTERNATIONAL ARTIST RESIDENCE SKILLS CROSSOVER

In an economy of “knowledge transfer”, with businesses and industry looking to cash in on creativity in ever more immaterial forms, the artist’s workplace – the place where knowledge is put into practice – has become harder to locate. As the crisis in the global financial markets is prolonged and funding for artistic initiatives is being drastically reduced, the community within which artists network and demonstrate their skills may be disappearing before our eyes.

Transartists project logo, Image Courtesy of Transartists.nl

Transartists project logo. Image Courtesy of Transartists.nl.

Yet there may be more opportunities to put knowledge into practice than meets the eye. Trans Artists, an internationally accessible centre for artist-in-residence schemes, provides such a resource. More than just providing want-ads for artists-in-residence, their website is becoming a hub of up-to-date, reliable information on where to find and how to apply for artists’ residency positions worldwide.

Rather than directly supporting those who wish to work “for art’s sake,” those who find work through Trans Artists currently provide useful feedback on their experiences, ranging from work in North America and Europe to the Caucuses, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific. Working from the Netherlands, this web-based centre is also instrumental in getting arts projects set up, helping procure funds and matching artists’ needs to residency programs.

Groups and individuals who are offering and looking for studio space are already taking advantage of this knowledge base. Thus, the project is becoming an actual place of contact for various artists, regardless of their practice or persuasions. Some of the stories produced through the exchanges fostered by Trans Artists reflect this diversity.

Featured projects like those of the Chiayi Railway Warehouse in Taiwan, show that many have seized the chance to engage with the otherwise overlooked potential of everyday life. After venturing out on a 3 ½ hour train ride from Taipei, one former resident Jane Ingram Allen recorded her experience conducting an art workshop which drew in volunteers from the local community.

'Hanging Paper Lanterns Dry' from Chiayi Railway House project, Colour Photograph, Image take from janeingramallen.com

Jane Ingram Allen, 'Hanging Paper Lanterns Dry' from Chiayi Railway House project, colour photograph. Image taken from janeingramallen.com.

'Making Paper Lanterns' from Chiayi Railway House Project, Colour Photograph, Image taken from janeingramallen.com

Jane Ingram Allen, 'Making Paper Lanterns' from Chiayi Railway House Project, colour photograph. Image taken from janeingramallen.com.

'Paper Lantern House installation' from Chiayi Railway House project, Colour Photograph, Image taken from janeingramallen.com

Jane Ingram Allen, 'Paper Lantern House installation' from Chiayi Railway House project, colour photograph. Image taken from janeingramallen.com.

Photograph from Seoul report, Image Courtesy of Transartists.nl

Photograph from Seoul Reports, SSamzie Space. Image Courtesy of Transartists.nl

Another project at SSamzie Space in Seoul, South Korea, focuses more on the transience of residency than its lasting environmental impacts. Dutch artist Heidi Vogel’s account of her three month stay gives week-by-week examples of the changes in alternative studio space since the economic crash of 1997. And so, the artists’ reflections on the situations in which they have become immersed are as valuable to the project as the work that they are doing.

Since its launch in 1998, Trans Artists continues not only to offer a launch pad for residencies but also for numerous fringe projects and sources of productivity. As well as promoting research grants in art and education, their international workshops take in literary seminars, glass making and craft training. Moreover, their direct funding programmes allow new residencies to be started all the time in Asia, Africa, Europe and the rest of the world. In addition, Trans Artists has run research seminars on the value of residencies and published reports on their findings.

HG/KN/HH

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