To give after having received: Why an artist's residency?
Our life having been enriched for a long time by art and by durable and profound friendships with several artists, we have gradually become aware of the fact that it was possible for us to give back some of what we had received, materialise our support and take a modest but active part in the process of artistic creation.
We had the chance to become able to build a place to organise alternately exhibitions see « Archives »
) and to offer a residency, allowing us to discover, host and support artists, young and promising or with already a degree of experience and notoriety. This residency is materialised by us making available a house, for a duration of two months, to an artist selected by a selection panel (see « The Residency »
). Our goal is to offer a place that is suitable for working, researching, making encounters, and potentially exhibiting. This house communicates with the home we live in through the common garden, both facilitating contact and allowing privacy.
Understand and take part in the act of creation
In such context, what we are mostly looking for is to become close to, and if possible part of, the act of artistic creation. Amateurs wishing to remain so, we see ourselves neither as curators or collectors in the common sense of the term, but rather as experience seekers, looking for discoveries and encounters, and who sometimes buy art. The pleasure we are looking for is made of contact, exchange, empathy with the artists. We deem it important to perceive intentions and to understand, if not participate, in the process of creation through discussion and understanding. Making available a place to live in and to create, we periodically live with the artists and watch them at work. We like to spend time discussing around a family meal. In this way, we get as close as possible to the act of creation and the artist's reflection feeds our own.
The freedom of the amateur
Another advantage of our situation is the perfect freedom it provides us. Providing our own house and committing our own finances, we are not accountable to anyone. We have no responsibility on our shoulders, beyond the one to promote honestly, and to the best of our ability, the artists in which we believe. However, as we meet more and more people and organise more exhibitions, new questions, new ideas arise. Unlike our comfortable amateur approach, artists, and in particular young ones, have a legitimate desire to bring out their work and increase their visibility. This is why we gradually become aware of the need to be and remain coherent, and to establish and make visible a continuity in our choices, likely to truly support and promote the artists we believe in.
These new responsibilities need to be exercised in good intelligence with the friends and artists who support us, accompany us, and stimulate our thinking.
— François Huet and Odile Repolt