Cuckoo Farm Studios
Studio Space for Artists in Essex
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Lisa Temple-Cox is awarded an Arts Council 'Develop Your Own Practice' grant.

Visual and research CFS Artist Tenant Lisa Temple-Cox is delighted to announce that she has been awarded an Arts Council 'Developing Your Creative Practice' grant, for a new body of work entitled "Archipelago".

Her statement:

I own an original edition of 'The Malay Archipelago' by Victorian naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace. Printed some 100 years before I was born, I will use this book as a catalyst to unpack both my Malay/English heritage and visual research in museum collections, and to explore decolonisation as a structure for artistic experimentation.

As an archipelago is a nation comprising many islands, so my practice has previously comprised separate artforms: recently this has been mainly drawing, but I've previously used sculpture, collage, assemblage and installation. I plan to experiment with combining these, while applying personal history to museological research.

Some of the human remains I've drawn within the museum have been from the Malay peninsula, which incites in me a contradictory mixture of fascination and discomfort. I want to re-interpret their stories through the lens of my own experience as a mixed-race person from a post colonial childhood in the tropics. 

My aim is to develop a way of working which for the first time brings together not only my research interests and artistic skills, but my cultural heritage. This will open up insights into my life and artistic practice, and inform new work which I hope will offer other ways of looking at both museum collections and our own bodies and identities.

My project proposal includes working with three museums, academic research, uncovering personal histories, training in new techniques, and cross-mentoring sessions with artists working in similar fields and/or different materials. Although the outcome of the aforementioned processes is as yet uncertain, there will be a body of work at the end of it: perhaps incomplete, perhaps a series of experimental objects and images that can be assembled into an archipelago of sorts. A geography of discovering.