One of our Artists in Residence for 2017, Mandy lane looks back on her projects, how they developed, and what has happened since. Throughout 2017 artists, including Mandy Lane took a leading creative role in what Wales Arts Review publishes, centring their skills on a challenging project over the course of a month. We were inundated with applications, receiving hundreds of emails about the positions, and it was no easy task whittling down all that talent to this final eleven. Our team of six editors debated long into the night, and in the end, we decided on a collection of people who we most want to work with, and whose work excited us.
I was extremely excited to be offered a residency with W.A.R. I used this opportunity to highlight the life and fiction of Amy Dillwyn.
One of the pieces to come out of the residency was Iron On The Dress, a response to Amy Dillwyn’s first steps of divorcing societal restraints and expectations.
During my research into Dillwyn, I contacted the leading expert on Dillwyn – Professor Kirsti Bohata. She gave me access to Swansea university (Richard Burton) archives which held Dillwyn’s personal diaries. This, and the ongoing expertise of Professor Bohata, offered me a real insight into this amazing radical and queer woman.
This led to the Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea asking me to talk about my work created during the W.A.R. residency. Iron-On The Dress was also selected in Fringe Arts Bath, Group 56 and the Swansea Open 2017. I have also been selected for my current residency in Arcade Cardiff. The work is to highlight ‘herstory’ regarding Welsh mining history and the work of Elizabeth Andrews.
The W.A.R. community and fellow W.A.R. residents have played an important part in my practice. Clare Potter has been a major inspiration and has helped me on a current project.
Undertaking the Wales Arts Review residency has massively benefitted my art practice. I have collaborated with experts in their field and made long term connections with archives that continue to inform my work. I feel that I have helped to readdress history, inform and visually communicate a story that had been mis-sold. I have found the confidence to continue on this creative path with Elizabeth Andrews and my current residency.