Working without distraction: the sound of silence at Cove

Working without distraction: the sound of silence at Cove

Issued: Mon, 22 May 2017 16:17:00 BST

SGSAH’s Partnership Residency Programme places researchers with carefully selected partners to focus on a period of research and development in their work and to consider how the place, site, environment or experience can contribute to their PhD.

We are committed to connecting arts and humanities research with Scotland’s unique cultural resources, including beautiful and inspiring locations that offer space for creativity and reflection. We work with places and spaces that have an existing residency offer and that can provide a researcher in residence with a truly supported experience.

As part of the 2017 residency programme, Cove Park, an artist centre on Scotland’s west coast, hosted artist and PhD candidate at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) Daphne de Sonneville. Cove Park creates year-round residencies in all art forms for national and international artists, collaborative groups and organisations. It is located on 50 acres of unspoilt hillside overlooking Loch Long.

Daphne’s research investigates slapstick and abstraction and, during her week long stay at Cove, she worked on two performances currently in development.  With both a bedroom and a separate studio at her disposal, Daphne was able to produce work undistracted by the bustle of everyday life:

“I did a lot of writing, made a sound work and worked on the beginnings of a video. It was so quiet I could record my voice without any background noise. There was no wifi or phone signal either, allowing me to work without distraction.”

Although given plenty of time on her own, Daphne was able to use the Artists’ Centre to engage with the other residents whilst there; international artists working in the fields of animation, sound and visual art. On one of the last evenings, the residents participated in a jam session, allowing Daphne to experiment with some texts that she had written to see how they would sound with music:

“This helped me to concentrate and develop ideas. I don't think I would have made the same work had I been in my regular environment. The tranquillity and beautiful surroundings of Cove Park provided me with a week of no distractions, resulting in something tangible to take home with me.”

Daphne’s was one of three residencies arranged in partnership with the host organisations through SGSAH's 2017 Partnership Residency programme. Other hosts have included Hospitalfield in Arbroath, Sweeny’s Bothy on the Isle of Eigg, and Deveron Projects in Huntly. Established in 2016, the programme is open to any PhD doctoral researcher in arts and humanities at a SGSAH member HEI. Researchers are selected through a competitive application process.