The Gallery’s Artist in Residence for May and June, Zanne Andrea, talks about her experiences so far and what she hopes to achieve throughout her time in Swansea.
“I started my residency with a few ideas of things I wanted to research. After arriving in Swansea I decided to spend the first few days wandering around the city, purposely trying to clear my thoughts and see what called out to me. I started, as usual, by collecting things; objects found in local shops, items rescued off the street, litter scooped up off the paths along the beach, books from the wonderful free bookshop. I came back to the studio and carefully arranged these items next to ones I had brought with me from Bristol and started playing. It began simply as an investigation of the city around me, and has been a useful process to help me consider where and how my practice might intersect with this particular city. Synchronicity plays a role in my process and often leads me to interesting connections. Right before being invited as artist in residence I had picked up a book written by an anarchist who had been very active in Swansea during the 60’s and 70’s. I had also started to read an autobiography of Abbie Hoffman, a well-known and often mythologised U.S. activist/revolutionary figure. Last year I found a book in a charity shop titled “Terrorists and Freedom fighters” but before finding this I had come across a small lot of 35mm slides on ebay of various dictators, including a one Fidel Castro. The other day I spent some time in the Richard Burton archives at SwanseaUniversity reading letters between Emma Goldman, a famous anarchist, and her Welsh husband and friend Jim Colton. I discovered she lectured throughout south Wales, including Swansea in the 1920’s and 30’s. All of these things, discovered at different times, have been slowly leading me to questions of autonomy, memory and the romanticizing/mythologizing of revolutionary figures and struggles, and potentially the fine line between terrorist and freedom fighter. On my next visit I will start making and see if any of these ideas start coming together!”