Art & Development, Travelogue

Breathe Residency: Reflections

Flowers bloom in a distant field. On the rail from MCR to LDN, journal resting open, collecting my thoughts after three months of living in England.

Flowers bloom in a distant field. On the rail from MCR to LDN, journal resting open, collecting my thoughts after three months of living in England.

Last week, the Breathe Residency concluded. I de-installed the works from the Open Studio, packed my bags, boarded a train for a weekend in London, and cried when I saw the farm fields covered in yellow flowers. It was May; I had been in Manchester for three months. My time was filled with travel, meeting people and so much generosity.

I’ve documented my development as an artist on my website. Read Everyday Ambition, Forays into Optimism and Pessimism.

But the experience was intensely personal and emotional too. I think the most honest way of sharing my post-residency thoughts would be to post a few passages from my journal, below.

feeling in between past and future, manchester and london. where am i? macclesfield? midlands? too much in my head. i have to do some writing so i don't take breathe for granted, so i don't forget this feeling of love and generosity and goodness and integrity that i've been fortunate enough to enjoy in manchester. remain grateful. preserve the memory of this feeling as a source of happiness.

everyone said that three monthis is just enough time to get settled and then you have to leave. most of the time i disagreed with people. after the first 4 or 5 weeks, i had a routine. i had a place for my groceries, my gym, my time roughly structured. my things had each places to live in the studio. i thought i had manchester figured out pretty good. been to the places on my list more or less, nont too bothered about the onces i missed. but the last fee weeks, maybe... that's when i started to feel like part of a community, not just a visitor passing through... but most importantly i started to feel like me. i was aprt of manchester. i think i've become a ilttle bit, just a little, mancunian: comfortable in my skin in MCR. CAC was my home. Manchester was the city i lived in.

profoundly grateful. i'm a different person. three months older. maybe a modest step in becoming a better artist. but i hope i am a better person after all the benificence i've received. gratitude for kindness, hospitality, generosity. for new friends.

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