Karen Lois Whiteread
Artist in residence at Wysing Arts in Cambridge.

More about project

Karen Lois Whiteread Wysing Residency 2003/2004
May 2003/Sept. 2004 Artist in residence at Wysing Arts in Cambridge.
Capture was an Exhibition of work conceived during an 18 month residency at Wysing Arts in Cambridge. Funded by East England Arts, The Regional Arts Lottery Fund, Gunpowder Park/ Landscape and Arts Network and Arts council England. An eighteen-month research based residency that explored ideas around life cycles, with the brief to explore the idea of physically linking two sites with diverse histories.

Prior to the residency at Wysing, I was beginning to explore new ways of working. I had undertaken a public art residency as part of Year of the Artist 2000, which enabled me to extend my practice and move into digital image making. This project culminated in the production of work on a very large scale for Lee Valley Regional Park Authority. 'Pregnant in Lee Valley' is still to be shown.

Being awarded the art and science residency at Wysing has allowed me to investigate further new areas of working. Spending a year at a rural idyll with funding to produce work was an exciting and occasionally overwhelming prospect. The emphasis on professional development and the brief to create some sort of link between two sites was challenging, and doing all this sixty miles from home in an arts centre with other artists looking on was daunting!

The project started as a science/art residency but during the course of the year it became evident that I was engaging significantly with my surroundings and their influences. I drew from the two different sites and their diverse histories, making connections between Wysing Arts and Gunpowder Park.

The content of the work has been coloured by events in my personal life. The sudden loss of my mother was overwhelming. Meanwhile, my children were approaching new and significant milestones.
My time at Wysing Arts gave me the opportunity to be more reflective and become absorbed in a new way of working. I spent two days a week at Wysing, plus countless hours at my studio in London exploring ideas around vegetal growth and the life cycle. I became interested in time lapse video making and the idea of speeding things up, watching plants germinate, grow and die in moments was fascinating. This became the starting point for 'capture'