Paul Johnson – England

Paul visited Corris just once before, in the long hot summer of 1976. He was 16 years old and about to enter his final year at school. He stayed with a school friend Bob in Bob’s parents holiday cottage, a month of unsupervised juvenile fun time spent variously riding his motorbike in the woods across the valley, door knocking, scrumping and winding up the locals. Paul’s reason for wishing to undertake this residency is to produce a piece of work to offer up to the village by way of an apology, 39 years later.

It would be easy to say that any work would be based upon memory, but the personal is something Paul is generally reluctant to pursue as part of his practice, although in this instant it might be hard to avoid. Paul guesses that the work will be part of a process, a response to the place – and to the childhood family holidays enjoyed in nearby Dolgellau and Fairbourne, to this particular part of Snowdonia which holds a particular resonance for him.

The finished work might be a cartoon, a history drawing (something extraordinary happening in an everyday place), a photograph, a film or a piece of writing. It might be triggered by a conversation or an anecdote. Or the residency might evolve into a reconnaissance mission to collect material for work to be completed in Paul’s studio back in Bath prior to it returning to Wales. What it won’t be is a painting – Paul doesn’t paint! The important thing to Paul is to not be too prescriptive and trust in the process.

The adventure of this residency will be finding out!