This spring, the CPVA is launching a new initiative that aims to allow artists to develop their practices with the help of access to academia. These mini-residencies will be small-scale, with artists being invited to join lectures, seminars, or meetings that have specific relevance to a project or a body of work. The mini-residency programme will be ongoing, on an ad-hoc basis, and will – for now – be granted by invitation only.

The first artists to be invited to a mini-residency are Melissa Franklin and Cheryl Simmons. They will be welcomed to King’s later this spring, and will take part in a joint presentation with our other artists in residence towards the end of 2017.

Cheryl Simmons writes: “The idea of history being reliant on the act of looking and the exclusion of the one who is looking is the central focus of my practice which documents and problematises my interactions with an archive of old family photographs, letters and objects which have been stored in an attic for over thirty years. I work primarily in video but also use collage and drawing to investigate the fragmentary and unreliable nature of memory in connection to the photograph as a paper object (when printed) which is itself subject to decay, like a memory.”

Simmons’ recent video I never recognised them except in fragments questions the relationship between mourning and forgetting from a personal angle. The CPVA invites the artist to attend Christopher Hamilton’s lectures on the works of Primo Levi. Through these, Simmons will further explore the status and (questionable) reliability of imagery and testimony from the past.

Through her dual backgrounds in fine art and industrial design, Melissa Franklin has developed an interest in both the vernacular and the aesthetics of the design sector. Her mostly sculptural works seem to exist on the intersection of art and interior design and as such they generate a subtle critique on both of these worlds. She identifies, for example, a tendency towards pre-modern and disorganised systems that have – ironically – increased hand in hand with an increased embrace of technology in the design sector.

The diptych Sonel / Heira (see image) for example, was made with the use of a partially digital loom that was specifically designed to allow for increasing numbers of ‘flaws’ to emerge in the finished product. This strategy of in-built obsoletion is increasingly common in the digital economy. It disrupts both production models and aesthetic developments in design – often in unexpectedly chaotic ways.

We invite Franklin to attend Christopher Hamilton’s lectures on Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, through which she will explore her interest in Woolf’s portrayal of the seemingly banal world of interiors and the anxiety that such ‘bourgeois normality’ can engender.