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Heavy Water Collective - Research Residency with Special Collections Cardiff

Updated: Jun 22, 2022

The Heavy Water Collective - myself , Maud Haya- Baviera and Victoria Lucas, are preparing for a trip to Cardiff this summer, where we will establish a temporary base at G39 to undertake research and presentations of their work-in-progress. We will liaise with the archival team at Cardiff University and Künstlerhaus Dortmund, who will be hosting an online event in 2023 to conclude the partnership supported by the Four Nations International Fund. During the short residency, we will concentrate on researching archival material to make new work back in our Sheffield-based studios.

We began working together at SITE gallery Sheffield as part of Cohort 2 of the Freelands Artist Programme and formed the Heavy Water Collective to develop a supportive and sustainable method of working on a long-term basis, focusing on the reclamation of narratives in response to artefacts and remnants associated with human activity. Contemporary rituals are created from imagined past rites, symbiotic sorrows are conjured as a way to resist colonial capitalism, cultural artefacts are reformulated to reveal brutal truths. Accepting that there is no comfort of truth to be found in history and its past rituals, their work explores the creation of new histories as a way to address the reality of what humanity has wrought upon the world, while openly confronting our new environment and our responsibility for future history. This can only come with the contagion of history - the dark matter that precedes this re-emergence.

The Heavy Water Collective is seeking to form new networks and partnerships with specific archives, collections, museums and galleries in order to unearth new ways of being-in-the-world. Respective interests are tied to the materiality of the land and humans' engagement with it culturally, economically, politically, socially and spiritually. Interpretations of specific archives and collections will generate new insights that seek to create stability and stillness amidst the turbulence of global uncertainty.

All images courtesy of Cardiff University Special Collections

With many thanks to:

Special Collections at Cardiff University,

Kuenstlerhaus, Dortmund @kuenstlerhaus_dortmund

Anthony SHapland (G39) @anthonyshapland

Sara Huws, Special Archives, Cardiff @sara_huws

And the Four Nations Fund:

Arts council England, @aceagrams

Arts Council, Wales, @celfcymruarts

Arts Council Scotland, @creativescots

Arts Council, Northern Ireland,

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