Pontio: Syria Art Collaboration

Nov 2018: Update: Unfortunately I was unsuccessful on this occasion, however the panel did pass on this message to me which instilled some hope for the future.

The panel wishes to share the following feedback: Although this artist is early career, it was a strong application outlining a relevant and appropriate approach to the project. However, we received several strong applications which allowed us to explore pairing different artists together, and in the event the panel decided to award the commission to the collaboration they felt would offer the greatest potential.

October 2018: I decided to apply for the Syria Art Collaboration taking place between November 2018 and January 2018 at Pontio.


Proposal for SYRIA.ART + CARN: Wal Wen (White Wall) Commission

For this collaboration I foresee many online discussions using the online tool best for both artists that will enable the proposal for the work to be developed collectively and enable communication for both artists online with Pontio, while the artist in Wales will be able to visit Pontio in person when required. This process will begin with some initial communications that enable the artists to establish a way of working that is appropriate and suitable for both people, taking into consideration the time difference of 2 hours.

A collaborative project between two cultures that has the intention of building bridges between those cultures has the potential to examine the similarities in our every-day lives and the environments and the landscapes that we live in.

The need for a sense of belonging and identity is inherent in all of providing security in knowing who we are and where we came from. As we grow the landscape around us changes, our impression of such and our memories also become fuzzy and altered.

Significantly, massive change in an environment can be brought about through the influence of the governmental decisions of the time. In their wake landscapes are destroyed for the greater good and all that remains are clues that allude to the environment that once was. The way that we view and interpret the landscape and environment around us can provide us with a metaphor that represents our identity and the loss of associated memories through the passing of time and changes made in the name of progress. Our understanding of the history of the land that we inhabit also affects our interpretation of our environment.

In reflecting on the changes in the landscape as an analogy for those memories that might be lost forever, we can reflect on the beauty of what remains and the strength that keeps us in our human experience moving forward in life.

Similarities can also be drawn between collective memory and personal memory in relation to world affairs. Our perceptions of world affairs are likely to be similar but different given our cultural differences and the fact our exposure to media is different. Yet I imagine our perceptions to be not to dissimilar given that we are still two people living a human experience in the world today.

Footage can be gathered from both Syria and the UK and amalgamated to become a cohesive collaborative artistic effort that demonstrates the building of bridges between the two communities.

Digital Media is a constantly expanding industry sector that provides an effective method for visual communication and can be used to represent the shared experiences of communities across the world in the internet age that we live in.

Having successfully used Skype Messenger to communicate with people all over the world and pre-recorded video loaded to YouTube for people in countries where Skype video is not available, this provides the advantage of saved chats in Skype and video content to reflect upon collectively when required.


The following images were also supplied in support of my application:

Below is the supporting information I provided by email.

Currently, I am in the early stages of a Masters in Fine Art Digital at Camberwell College. I completed my Bangor University degree at Coleg Menai in July 2018 with a First Class*. Primarily focussing on photography, video and projection.

Since 2016 I have spent time producing digital artwork that hopefully provides an empathic reflection on diaspora, displacement of community and the reasons for this displacement and the effects on the community as a whole. During this time, I produced work relating to these issues in a variety of contexts; the evacuation of children from Liverpool to Caernarfon in World War 2, the effects of war on the Syrian population and the displacement of a community at Tryweryn in North Wales.

In my own practice, I am currently moving from the subject matter of displacement to reflect on issues of collective memory and personal memory where I am looking at changes in the landscape through building and progression and how these might reflect our inner experience of memory and how these may fade or alter over time, a displacement of an inner kind.

Unfortunately, I am only English speaking – having been taught Welsh to O level many years ago, lack of use has meant that I cannot say I speak Welsh fluently, only a few words. Born in Scotland and raised in Wales has given me the feeling of being Welsh without actually being Welsh. Although I cannot say I speak the Welsh language I am fully supportive of the continuation of Welsh speaking throughout the community.

I have attached a current CV and a proposal for the collaboration project along. Three images are attached and the following links are also provided as part of my supporting visual material.

The following websites all provide examples of my work.

I am aware that being in the early stage of my career you may require a supporting letter. In lieu of this, I can ask my degree tutor to provide a reference if required.

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