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Artistic retreats are havens for artists to flourish, experiment and work alongside the like-minded to fine-tune their work. 42 Acres was home to ten artists for a two-week period in late August; the retreat welcomes those who are unafraid, possess a great deal of energy and thrive in a natural environment. Amidst the rolling topography of Somerset, The Culture Trip spoke to Kristin Gaudio Endsley—a resident abstract artist at 42 Acres—about her artistic tools, completing a new series of works and where the future leads.
Kristin made the leap across the Atlantic from Washington, DC, to Somerset to accept the invitation she received from 42 Acres. She quickly adapted from an urban to a remote setting because of the expansive beauty and natural power surrounding her. The large group ethos was inclusive and welcoming—exactly what Kristin was looking for. ‘My main objectives were to experiment with my new series, find inspiration from a new setting and to collaborate with other artists.’
Throughout her working day, Kristin was mostly free to do as she wished: create, journal, collaborate or seek inspiration. There were a few organised activities for the artists, to be used as an ‘opportunity to expand our practice through organised walks around the property, mediation and yoga classes… tours of artists studios in Frome and a trip to Hauser & Wirth.’
While most Brits wish to escape the rain at any cost, Kristin utilised the wet climate to complete her newest series of work; she had been hoping for some time to include rain in her pieces, so Somerset was pivotal to her process. ‘In my new series I incorporate organic water and movements into my paintings. Somerset was the perfect spot to utilise the rain as a tool in my work.’ Kristin was thrilled with the outcome of fantastic fluid patterns created on her pieces and has since been jotting notes in her journal about what she associates with her unfinished works in order to further develop them. Over the retreat period, Kristin completed between 8-10 works.
Kristin was nothing but positive forabout the group dynamic involved with being surrounded by fellow artists and felt very lucky to have established professional and personal friendships with the incredible crew of artists at 42 Acres. ‘The group was amazingly supportive and collaborative. The artists were another wonderful “tool,” as well. We all bounced ideas off one another, and I gathered so much inspiration from them.’
For a short period of time, a residency allows artists to immerse themselves in the creative process, far from the shackles of their daily routines. Many artists struggle without being given the opportunity to express themselves freely, day to day. Kristin told us, ‘[Residency] allows artists to address what [their] needs are… Everything else is put on hold so that you have the freedom to create and be inspired.’
Artists either prosper in or withdraw from the noise of the outside world. With the lack of internet and the Somerset hills clouding her phone signal, Kristin found it easier to detach while at 42 Acres. She reaped the benefits of concentrating on her work. ‘I think this is why artists look for a residency—to tap into that creativity that can sometimes be lost in the busy world. We were not made to leave anything behind but felt a sense of abandoning our daily attachments to technology.’
When seeking an art residency, the selection process requires research. 42 Acres was specific to Kristin’s genre of art; however, it can be specific to most genres, and Kristin found it particularly opportune to blend with other artistic realms. ‘There were several visual artists, a woodworker/sculptor and a mixed media artist with roots in sound. All of us were taking risks outside of our comfort zone… and attempting different artistic endeavors.’
Kristin claims it would be hard to beat her first long-stay residency at 42 Acres. From it, she has taken the rich experience of Somerset’s ambiance, and she will continue to integrate what it fed her throughout her future practice.
Kristin continues to build her works in London by revisiting a past connection with British artist Hannah Adamaszek. The pair met four years ago while falling under the same representation at Curious Duke art gallery in Shoreditch, London. Kristin loves merging her style with Hannah’s strong female figures.
Learn more about 42 Acres on their Instagram.
Follow Kristin’s artistic advances at her website.
By Danielle Wood
Danielle is the Art Editor for the London Hub of The Culture Trip. She has a fascination with living a life full of creativity. Theatrical soul. Cinematic admirer. Champion frolicker. Avid foodie. Sunset enthusiast.