There are a number of self-funded residency programmes worldwide, but we don’t have many multi-disciplinary residency programmes here in New Zealand - yet. We do, however, have the New Zealand Pacific Studio, a not for profit artist residency centre in Mt Bruce (just out of Masterton) that accepts artists working in a number of disciplines, and has a wonderful range of living and working spaces.
Why self-fund your residency - wouldn’t it be just as good to book a bach?
I’m coming to the end of a two-week stay at the New Zealand Pacific Studio. Two weeks has given me the time to write the first draft of a new story, make some headway on another (longer) piece, finish a new zine, read three books, catch up on ‘writing admin’ and even write a poem!
Having time away from work in beautiful surroundings hasn’t been the only great thing about this experience. There are advantages to undertaking a residency programme that I hadn’t even considered when I applied - and they're what’s made my stay so valuable. Here are six reasons why undertaking a self-funded residency is a great thing to do:
- Meeting other artists. I’ve been staying with a poet and a visual artist. Seeing their work and having conversations about their creative process has been inspiring.
- Meeting artists in the local community. The Wairarapa is a hotbed of creativity, and I've had the opportunity to meet a wide range of creative people in settings ranging from a book reading to a pot-luck dinner.
- Being welcomed into the local community. The New Zealand Pacific Studio is well-regarded by the local community. People have been keen to learn more about me and what I’m working on - I was even interviewed by the local radio station!
- Getting the insider’s guide to the region. Having knowledgeable people around me has given me a greater insight into the region than I would have had if I’d simply booked a holiday home. I’ve also had advantages such as free entry into the nearby bird sanctuary.
- Tapping into new networks. The New Zealand Pacific Studio has had a long line of talented people pass through its doors. I’ve been able to meet some of these people, find out more about their work - and follow them on Twitter!
- Having the support of other people. The creative process can be daunting, difficult and filled with self-doubt. Having the support and encouragement of the other people doing the residency has been incredibly motivating. We’ve also had ‘show and tell’ evenings where we’ve shared our work with one another.
They're my six reasons why doing a self-funded residency is more valuable than simply booking a holiday home. If you'd like to undertake a residency, visit the Res Artis website to check out the range of self-funded opportunities available worldwide.