“Knowing someone was supporting the project only elevated my enthusiasm and drive to make my artwork the best it could be”
Tash Tully is a PGCE Art and Design student who, thanks to funding from the Student Experience Fund, undertook an artist residency at Glyndebourne over the summer. Tash tells us about her experience and how the residency has impacted her learning and plans for the future.
The best thing about my experience was reigniting my love for experimentation. As a teacher, I do not have a great deal of time to continue exploring my own artistic practice and the Teaching Artists Residency at Glyndebourne allowed me to do this.
The residency comes with many perks such as the invitation to every opera in the festival run, unrestricted access to much of the beautiful site, including the gardens, and up close and personal contact with the performance and staff. Most exciting for me was the opportunity to watch performances during rehearsals. I was fortunate enough to see seven operas during my residency, though one in particular sparked my interest in terms of creating artwork. I felt compelled by the dark and brooding atmosphere of The Wreckers. In the past, my work has explored themes of death, tyranny and community but not for a long while, as after graduating from university I worked as an animator on up-beat, vibrant music videos. The Wreckers reminded me of past themes and why I love mystery, uncertainty and darkness.
The darkness of The Wreckers was established through lighting and the use of shadows to cast ominous silhouettes of figures both on the sets and through projections on the backdrops. Using this idea as a starting point, I began sketching scenes which lingered in my memory including the noose falling from the tower, the masks worn by the performers and the movement of the sea from the projections on the backdrop. These stills quickly became animation and I then went on to explore how to convey the atmosphere of the production using watercolour, cyanotype and textiles.
I have now established a working relationship with Glyndebourne and have recently completed further commissioned work for their campaigns for Performance For Schools. The new skills I learnt when creating the artworks have carried into my own practice and will transfer into my teaching when introducing new techniques to my students.
The funding helped me with my travel expenses to and from the residency and contributed towards my materials costs, which gave me the means to explore and experiment with new ideas. It raised my game. Knowing someone was supporting the project only elevated my enthusiasm and drive to make my artwork the best it could be. It was humbling to know that someone else recognised the value in the experience I was presented with. It was also heart-warming to know I had support from behind the scenes from people I had never met before that seemed to believe the job I would be doing for Glyndebourne had value and worth.
To read more about Tash’s residency and see more of her work, read her blog at: Glyndebourne (tashtullyillustration.com)