Raffle Tickets and Midges: A Visual Arts in Rural Communities Residency

By Janet Ross and Imi Maufe.

Published by The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Visual Arts in Rural Communities (VARC) is based in Tarset, a remote location,
40 miles north-west of Newcastle, UK. The moorland landscape is beautiful and
bleak, dominated by hill-farming and forestry. Tarset doesn’t appear on any
Ordnance Survey map, but describes a large area; the parish of Tarset and
Greystead is the largest and least populated in England. The community amounts
to no more than 100 scattered households. Despite this, it is alive, makes its
own entertainment and celebrates the richness of its past whilst actively
seeking ways of adapting to a new economic and environmental climate. Tarset
is probably the opposite of most people’s idea of a western community and place,
especially in overcrowded England. Each year VARC invites an artist to spend a year living and working in Tarset and has two aims: to provide the artist in residence with the opportunity to make new work in response to the place and for the artist to engage with the community and visiting groups for a contracted number of days during the year. It is dependent on the artist as to how involved or integrated in the community they become. Imi Maufe, artist in residence 2007/2008, is one artist who combined the two aims, engaging the community in several projects and creating a body of work that documented and interacted with the calendar of events during the year. This presentation looks at the impact of this style of engagement on the community and on the artist and her work.

Keywords: Rural Communities, Community Participation, Visual Arts, Artist’s Residencies

The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.39-50. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 16.072MB).

Janet Ross

Liaison Manager, Visual Arts in Rural Communities, Highgreen, Northumberland, UK

Janet Ross has been a freelance Arts Consultant for the past 18 years specialising in initiating and managing arts projects in community settings and public art projects and in independent evaluations of similar projects. Currently, Janet is manager of the arts charity Visual Arts in Rural Communities and is responsible for developing and managing the charity’s work, supporting artists in residence, initiating and overseeing arts projects, setting up community engagement projects and producing the artist’s catalogue. Previously, Janet obtained a degree in Art History and has 8 years of experience in curating contemporary art exhibitions in a gallery context.

Imi Maufe

Visual Artist, Bergen, Norway

Imi Maufe trained as a landscape architect before returning to art school to complete a Master’s Degree in Multi-disciplinary Printmaking at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Imi has experience in creating work for residencies, exhibitions, commissions and workshops and interactions with the general public and selected audiences. Imi Maufe is a British artist, currently based in Bergen, Norway working from an artist run studio “Bergen Ateliergruppe” in Bergen container harbour.