Artist in Residence
December 2019 - February 2020
Jack Wansbrough is an artist from Boorloo / Perth. Working collaboratively, he has made works of research and fiction for art spaces, radio and text. His recent projects include an exhibition at Private Island in collaboration with Oliver Hull, a performance lecture for Critical Animals 2019, and Wet Courage, a research/pop album, released by GLARC. Jack has also undertaken residencies at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow, and Market Gallery, Glasgow.
My time at Heathcote?
The residency space at Goolugatup Heathcote was incredible space for making, reading and planning. With my desk facing the window I constantly found myself looking out of the window, trying to spot dolphins across the surface of the Derbal Yerrigan / Swan River. (Every ripple is a potential fin!). Goolugatup’s assistant curator Guy put me onto the Swan Canning Fin Book : a working document tracking all of the dolphins living around these waterways, and explaining how to recognize them by their fins. Local dolphins make paper trails.
My plan for the residency was to develop methods to make lamps. This is a part of my ongoing practice - testing how furniture and domestic objects can describe social practices and affective states.
This meant that a lot of my time in residence was spent trying skills for the first time. I enjoyed feeling like an amateur - making small stained glass tests, bending pipes, and wiring lamps. At Goolugatup I figured out how to use cast pewter objects to turn lamps on and off when they come into contact with skin. This little trick became part of 'Oranging Rainglow', a collaborative exhibition Oliver Hull and I created later in the year.
As part of the residency I organized a workshop along with artist and electrician Alan McGrechon. We asked participants to come to Goolugatup with their own object or artwork that we could convert into table lamp together. The brief was deliberately open-ended, so it was exciting to work with each person and the strange and precious objects they brought along. Unfortunately the second workshop we had planned was cancelled as Covid restrictions were introduced, but even from the one session I got a lot out of working with all of the participants and from the knowledge and creativity that Alan brought to the group.
By Jack Wansbrough