Guest Blogger – Tony Keeble, Dancer

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The benefits of residency programs are enormous for artists. On a very basic level, it gives an artist time to work and space to work, away from their normal artistic means/procedures of creating material. For most of the time, we are within the confines of a studio space, using inspiration from other sources to help develop and create our work. In residence, we are inspired and stimulated by the elements in front of us, and spark ideas from things that wouldn’t usually come to our minds. The second part of the equation is that residencies place artists in new communal contexts with new peers and mentors from other walks of life. I think that all of these factors create an environment where artists can make substantial jumps in their work in a short amount of time. The art world is full of contingencies, but residency programs are proven to help artists in measurable ways – wether that is to broaden their artist endeavours, find new methodologies, or simply expose their art to new mediums. The development of my practice has expanded during my time in residency programs (such as being at the RMH) for that I’m more aware of my surroundings and how that influences my choices in creating movement. Space and atmosphere is a major part of creating art; as a dancer the use of space is vital in the execution of movement therefore the environment plays heavily on what is created. Residencies allow a means of alternative artistic flow. Which tends to translate back to the studio, formulating a different pattern of approach.