Talent Development Artist Catch-up - Chris MacFarlane

In 2019, ‘a space’ awarded 11 SO based artists funding through the Talent Development bursary scheme to help develop their practice and artistic careers. We recently caught up with Chris MacFarlane, an animator and illustrator, to find out how the bursary supported his practice and creative development.

What did the Talent Development bursary enable you to do?

The Talent Development Bursary gave me the opportunity to dedicate some time to taking my practice more seriously while creating a new animated project on pilgrimage.

I used the bursary for mentoring from animation artists along with some equipment that I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to afford. The project itself changed shape a few times and the whole thing became much more an opportunity to try out new approaches and think differently. Being able to interrogate animators I admire and have their feedback on my work has been invaluable and really stretched my ideas of what is possible as an animation artist, it also highlighted where I have been getting in my own way.

Where are you now / what’s happened since?

The scheme has boosted my confidence and helped me to see my work as legitimate. Developing my project under that umbrella meant I could point and say, ‘look this really is a thing’, to interview subjects, potential mentors and myself. It also revealed to me the scale and variety of Southampton’s creative communities. It was so encouraging to meet the other people on the scheme and see their projects develop alongside my own.

What has the impact of the bursary been?

The pandemic stopped me in my tracks but has underlined the themes in my work about how important our shared outdoors, and walking through it, can be to all of us. I’m now working with that context and have just completed a material gathering trip along the West Highland Way.

You can see more of Chris’ work here

Find out more about our Talent Development bursary scheme and it’s recipients here

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