Artist-in-resident programme

As part of our ongoing residency programme, workshops and talks are opened to all our students as well as the wider community and our partnership schools. We encourage the students from the very first instance to react, question and engage with the visceral experience of standing in front of, or in the case of ‘Interview – prototype’ (see below) within the fully immersive performing installation. Our residencies are a way of supporting new and emerging artists as much as engaging our students in the first-hand experience of viewing artworks which are site specific.

We are no stranger to innovative practice, embracing new technologies and promoting risk taking that challenges our ideas and ideals of what art is and what it can be. In our 400th year we are reflecting on our creative heirs of the past and marrying tradition with the current zeitgeist of contemporary art. We are promoting the value of not just making art great, but also making great art. The art of craft meets the craft of art, reminding us that in a world where so much is instant and immediate, taking time to create and make is irreplaceable.

As part of our 400 celebrations Anne Desmet RA joined the department imparting her wealth of knowledge and skills as one of the UK’s most renowned wood engravers. Anne's mark making is highly tuned and extremely refined, this all clearly the result of hours of drawing and practising. Anne is quietly tenacious with incredible perseverance, this combined with her passion and talent resonated with students and teachers alike, who have worked with her. Anne brought a blanket of calm, methodical concentration and awe inspiring outcomes which we look forward to sharing with you.

Anne Desmet is one of seven wood engravers commissioned to produce a response to Dulwich College, 400 years and a very special OA Thomas Sturge Moore, a wood engraver, poet passionate creative. The ‘Unicorn and Phoenix’ exhibition will open in September 2019 with the unveiling of the commissioned prints and an accompanying exhibition of art and artefacts by TSM.

"Working with Anne Desmet was such a great way to celebrate Dulwich 400, and it was brilliant to learn to use such a fun, but notoriously tricky, new medium. We not only experimented with printing and different tools, but learnt about the history and culture of woodcarving here at Dulwich College. All in all, an incredible two days."Aristou Meehan, Year 7

"I was so honoured to attend this enjoyable workshop. I was inspired by the valuable experience of being tutored by such a famous Royal Academician to learn how to engrave on wood. I really enjoyed using all those various types of tools in the workshop to create a detailed wood engraving." Michael Wong, Year 10 

Further residencies have included Luc Nonga’s haunting paintings and mixed media sculptures as part of ‘In Transit’, Anita Kontrec with her interactive ‘Houses and Dreams’ exploring concepts and conditions of refugee status and where home is in a world of transient states and more recently we presented ‘Evolving Spaces’ in our contemporary creative space ‘The Store’- a former disused pump house – which has been given a new lease of life over the past four years as a creative hub for art, performance and music. alma-nac an award-winning London-based design studio, fell in love with the space and the idea of how it could be developed without losing its ‘rough magic’. They invited students and visitors to have their say and experience how spaces can be evolved rather than replaced, disposed of or misused.

"This show highlighted the whole architectural process, you could see the conceptual projects right through to the final product. The layout was not only clear but you could see so much that went on behind the scenes, the context, the process and the talking point at the end through forum. The unconventional way of displaying work sparked conversations about space, this allowed you to move through the exhibition and go along with the journey. The Store itself is tucked away but the show was like a clam with a pearl inside, a hidden gem, with an unassuming exterior." Year 13 Student

Our resident artist program has also welcomed Harrison Pearce – Interview Prototype.

"‘Interview (prototype)’ is as beautiful as one of Brancusi’s semi-abstract forms, and as unpleasant as one of Giacometti’s `Disagreeable Objects’."

Read the full review of Pearce’s show in the Store ‘Conflicting Forces of Desire and Menace’ by Richard Dorment.

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Mrs Mary-Jo Doherty MA(RCA)

Head of Art
dohertymj@dulwich.org.uk