Talent Development: 3 Months On

It’s now 3 months since we announced the successful recipients of this year’s Talent Development bursaries following an Open Call for proposals in May.

Here we give a run down of the projects each visual artist is currently developing thanks to the funding provided by ‘a space’ arts through the Talent Development bursary scheme:

Jackie Eksi

‘House/diorama – story and film’

I am a visual artist working across different mediums including: drawing, painting, model making and installation. My work draws upon family history and my own experience of mental health. Through making my artworks I aim to open up a window of opportunity to help others understand how certain conditions might affect someone’s basic navigation through life. My project will develop skills in 3D construction, digital filming and editing in order to grow the ambition of my artworks and secure future exhibition opportunities. I will produce a new diorama of my childhood home, which will exist as a new artwork in its own right, but also form the content of a series of new films. This way of working will be a departure from my existing process and I will seek mentors to support the technical development of the 3D construction and films.


Nathan Evans

‘COTF 1217’ 

Nathan Evans is an illustrator and mural artist specialising in lettering and typographical works. Over the years he has accumulated professional experience working on an array of commissioned projects for an eclectic range of clients in various sectors. More recently, Nathan has explored how the typography he creates interacts and engages with the physicality of the environment it occupies. This has involved experimenting with the tactile aspects of his work and how he can introduce three-dimensional elements to create more physical and tangible installations. His COTF 1217 project will be a sculptural typography intervention, investigating the age-old tradition of Commoning in the New Forest. Nathan aims to push his practice in a new direction, exploring the juxtaposition of three-dimensional contemporary typography in a rural context.


Stacey Heale

‘Silver Boots Super Club’

I am a freelance artist, curator and writer whose work considers notions of how humans process trauma and in particular, post traumatic growth. Recent work has included curating interactive events where the group dynamic becomes the art. My project is based on developing an existing work called ‘The Silver Boots Super Club’ which was first held as part of the exhibition ‘Everything is Now’, which I curated at Solent Showcase Gallery. I will curate three more supper clubs with new participants in order to experiment with the format of the event and develop a set of instructions so that others can run their own supper clubs. Alongside this I will also have mentoring in order to develop and support my emerging curatorial/ artistic practice.


Pearl John

‘My full-colour holographic family: training to use RGB lasers.’

I am an artist working with the medium of holography, exhibiting my art internationally. My art practice expands the creative medium of holography by using the structure of 3D space to represent time. Through my project I have created a personalised training programme to enable me to make full colour holographic artworks, combining red, green and blue lasers to produce white laser light. My current work in analogue holography only uses one laser and combining lasers is technically complex. In order to access this learning I will get mentorship from members of the Modern Holography Research Group at De Montfort University in Leicester. Alongside this I will also be exploring how I can shift my work from a purely holographic context into the broader visual art world.


Chris MacFarlane


I am an emerging/semi-submerged animation artist working primarily in 2D hand drawn animation, creating surreal and absurd imagery sometimes using photography and digital animation. My project will involve making a new animation artwork based on walking from Southampton to Canterbury on the Pilgrims’ Way. On route I will interview other walkers, which will form the basis of the film. Through the process of making this new animation film I will broaden my horizon as to what is artistically possible as a moving image artist, develop a more rigorous and focused way of working with the aid of mentors and aim for the work to be accepted into a large scale festival or exhibition.


Sarah Mander

‘Research to Present’

I am an artist printmaker who takes inspiration from industrial and technological heritage. Focussing on objects such as aircraft or spacecraft or early computers in order to explore how they were made. My Project entitled ‘Research to Present’ explores materials and methods of working in Printmaking. Over the next few months I’ll be meeting with artists to explore and develop different ways of producing my work and developing my practice. I plan to produce new work experimenting with new techniques and working methods.


Harry Meadows

‘Critical Zone Observatory’

I explore how we visualise future landscapes by challenging the pervasive, deterministic quality of big data and digitally rendered visualisations. Working with moving image, textiles and sculpture, my practice develops methods of visualisation and sonification that aim to extend our visual vocabulary of the environment beyond a computer-generated image. My project will focus on developing a sculpture that uses climate sensors to capture climate data. This information will then be used as material for musical and theatrical performance. Working with a specialist art fabricator, we will test materials and develop a weatherproof outdoor design for the sculpture. Through this process I hope to develop a new area for my practice by working in public space and bringing my work to new audiences.


Jacqueline Rolls

‘Weaving in the raw re-imagining in space and time’

I am a visual artist that works in a range of media, but predominantly work using willow creating a variety of sculptures that are often representations of animals and birds. This way of working has enabled me to develop a successful career working as a teacher passing on my skills and experience working with willow. My project is focussed around developing my practice so that I am able to create more experimental artworks and develop my work independently from my career as a teacher. I will undertake a self-directed residency at Furzy Gardens in order to develop a new body of work to enable me to secure future residencies and public art commissions.


Chris Townsend

‘Why the Fish Face?’

I work across a variety of mediums including: wood, metal, clay, plastic, paper, wire, mud and stone. My work explores symmetry as well as the revealing of the unpredictable and the unrepeatable. My project is based around developing a full time artistic career after decades of working in outdoor education. I have chosen to focus on clay in order to develop my skillset and explore new areas of working with the material. I will use clay dug from beneath the mud of the River Itchen to make large-scale pieces depicting faces of different animals and mythical creatures. I will seek mentoring in order to advance my skills in clay work and to be able to make this new work. Through this project I will also gain new skills in budget and time management and how to set myself up as a self-employed artist.


Kate Watkins

‘Shelters: Printmaking development and framing tuition’

I am a fine art printmaker who has been producing prints for over 15 years. My work often combines multiple print processes such as etching, monoprint and collage working towards an exploration of texture and location. My project involves developing a new body of larger scale one off abstract prints exploring transparent coloured layers reminiscent of shelters and architectural forms. Alongside I am also receiving picture framing tuition and researching potential galleries and exhibition spaces for my new work.


Kye Wilson

‘Empathy Machine’

I am an award-winning visual artist and filmmaker who uses moving image to create films, video art and installations. My works have been performed, exhibited and screened internationally. My practice is research-based, exploring space, self and other, my artworks challenge notions of absence and presence, and real versus simulated. My project will advance my arts practice exploring Virtual Reality (VR) as an art form, as opposed to using it as just an emerging technological tool. It will enable me to undertake professional development and mentoring with Kristina Pulejkova, a multimedia artist whose work is informed by science and technology.