Victoria Shennan – Artist in Residence

Victoria at work
Victoria at work

From today until 12th of August Six Foot Gallery will be showing works by our Artist in Residence, Victoria Shennan. We asked her a couple of questions about her art and how working as an artist in residence has affected her practice. Have a read!

How would you describe your work and your practices? 

I am an interdisciplinary maker. I think through making. Exploring the visceral nature of materials allows my thoughts to percolate as I connect materials, processes and ideas. 

I am interested exploring perception and the ineffable, capturing materials in flux and expressing this in-between state through objects we are most familiar with jewellery and everyday items.

Since taking up the Artist in Residency it seems you’ve been doing some interesting things. Could you explain to us the techniques you’ve been employing in your work lately and what you’ve been doing throughout the residency?

I set out to explore different avenues of making and translating ideas, capturing everyday, ephemeral moments and translating them into something tangible. Experimenting with different photography techniques such as double exposure photographs, boiled film and making filters for my camera allowed me to explore the border line between interior and exterior realities. These created another dimension to the images; the results were multifaceted and unexpected as everyday images became unfamiliar and shaded into the extraordinary.

Translating this into materials, I experimented with wax to create distorted, malleable, unfamiliar forms. 

Did you have an idea of what you wanted to achieve through the Residency and if so, what?

The residency was a fantastic opportunity to focus on new ways of attuning to my environment, recording information and trying out new materials and techniques. I thought of it as an intensive short period to explore and dive into something new.  

How has the Residency experience been for you?

I have thoroughly enjoyed the residency, it has been really refreshing to be able to focus solely on making work without all the everyday distractions in the peripheries. It is a luxury to have such a huge workspace to yourself and to be located directly opposite the workshop!

Both the gallery and hotel staff have went above and beyond to help and accommodate me. 

Do you feel the Residency has affected or developed your practice in any way?

Time spent at the residency has been really valuable as it has allowed me to return to my intuition. It has also happened at a time when I am linking different avenues of my practice, recording and translating ideas into objects and experiences in different ways, such as sound recordings and photographs, writing, material studies and altering objects. Much of this has not made its way out of my sketchbook yet as I was only able to explore a fraction of my ideas in this time, so it has given me much food for thought about future work and possibilities. 

How have you found Glasgow as the location for the Residency?

I’m originally from Glasgow but have been in London for the past year while undertaking a Masters Degree and it has been a joy to return and have the opportunity to stay right in the heart of the city centre to get to know Glasgow in a whole new way. Glasgow is a multi-layered and diverse city but this was amplified by the Commonwealth games, so I think I am really lucky to be here when there is so much vibrant activity going on.

As part of the residency you stay in the Menzies hotel, across from the studio – how has it been living in a hotel for a month?  

Living in a hotel was initially a bit surreal but it has been a wonderful experience. Highlights include being able to go out for a walk along the Clyde in the morning to take some photos and coming back for a great breakfast. The studio is directly opposite the hotel, so being able to nip back if you forget something or work late into the night when the mood takes you. Also there is a pool and a sauna, which is a great break if you have been working away all day!


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