Cross Currents – Residents Announced

Bothy Project, Fogo Island Arts and Fogo Island Workshops are pleased to announce that Florence Dwyer, Clare Robb, Nicole Travers and Larry Weyand have been selected to participate in Cross Currents, a residency and professional development project for craft-designer-makers based in Scotland and in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

In this first edition of the Cross Currents residency program, Scotland-based practitioners Florence Dwyer and Clare Robb will undertake residencies at Bothy Project’s Sweeney’s Bothy, Isle of Eigg, and Nicole Travers and Larry Weyand from Newfoundland will participate in a residencies with Fogo Island Arts and Fogo Island Workshops, on Fogo Island. The outcomes of the project will be shared when the project is complete.

Florence Dwyer is a maker whose work is informed by embodied research of social and cultural histories most commonly related to craft, industrial manufacturing and domestic design. Dwyer’s sculptural yet functional work often finds form in the domestic; through ceramic tableware, hand tufted woolen rugs and furniture. Using craft as a medium through which to make her thought process visible, Dwyer explores how domestic object design sheds light on misrepresented histories. Of particular interest to the artist is the study of experimental material processes and how these can provide a contextual grounding for the produced work. While on Eigg she plans to explore the contemporary and historical positioning of sheep, wool and textile production.

Clare Robb is a jewellery practitioner for whom objects trigger memories, transforming recollections into palpable experiences. In Robb’s work, pieces of jewelry, conceived as retainers of memory. Working with bone is especially significant for the artist as it is a material that is often overlooked in contemporary design despite its use over many historical periods and across a diverse array of cultures. Robb’s wearable and sculptural pieces encapsulate the link between the viewer of a work and the intended narrative behind it. Each piece is conceived to reconnect its audience with notions of place, nostalgia, and the human body itself. While on Eigg she will gather found objects and work with fellow residents to do the same with a view to exploring the biography of place.

Nicole Travers is a Mi’kmaw artist and a self-taught beader. Beginning her practice in 2015, Travers has a deep admiration for the intricate detailed beadwork of her Mi’kmaq ancestors. Influenced by the traditional Mi’kmaq double curve, petroglyphs, and hieroglyphs, Travers’ work marries historical styles of beadwork with modern day techniques, producing a unique and contemporary form. Most recently, Travers has begun tanning various animal pelts and skins into leather by using traditional teachings and has started to embed home tanned fish skin into her works. While on Fogo Island Travers plans to complete the extensive process of soaking, softening, drying, and re-smoking a hide

Larry Weyand is a rug hooker whose work defies the established properties of traditional floor décor, domesticity, and gender. Fueled by the complex history of processed food, emotional trauma, autoethnography, queerness, and domestic spaces, Weyand investigates how difficult narratives can occupy space within the soft, fluffy boundaries of textile-based craft. While on Fogo Island, Weyand plans to research the connections between food processing, colonialism’s effect on diets, island-based food sovereignty/food regimes, and food nostalgia as conceptual underpinnings for the production of a line of functional and cozy rug hooked pillows.

The four selected practitioners will connect digitally to build professional networks with each other, and to participate in a series of sessions with invited mentors. At its completion, the project will be shared widely through an online event.

Cross Currents builds on work undertaken by Bothy Project in The Pioneers (2016), where six artists and makers designed unique and innovative products in response to off-grid living, and Fogo Island Workshops, which has forged collaborations between designers and local makers to create furnishings for the Fogo Island Inn (2010-). Both organizations are committed to excellence in design practice which is informed by place-based artisanal knowledge and skills.

The Cross Currents jury included Heather Igloriorte, Concordia University Research Chair in Circumpolar Indigenous Arts; Irene Kernen, Director, Craft Scotland; Nicolaus Schafhausen, Strategic Director, Fogo Island Arts; Katrina Tompkins, Production Manager, Fogo Island Workshops; and Lesley Young, Program Coordinator, Bothy Project.

Fogo Island Arts is a contemporary art and ideas organization that supports research, production and exchange for artists, filmmakers, writers, musicians, curators, designers and thinkers from around the world. Since 2008, FIA has brought some of the most exciting emerging and renowned artists of today to Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada to take part in residencies and to present solo exhibitions at the Fogo Island Gallery. FIA also produces publications and presents programs on the island and in cities across Canada and abroad, including the Fogo Island Dialogues interdisciplinary conversation series, as part of its international outreach. Combining contemporary art, iconic architecture and social innovation in a singular setting, FIA is a world-class organization that is uniquely rooted in community.

Fogo Island Workshops is a social enterprise based on a regenerative business model that employs only local makers and artisans who make things by hand using local materials. One hundred percent of the net surplus is returned to Shorefast to support Fogo Island, one of Canada’s oldest settlements. Our approach, first applied for the furnishing of the Fogo Island Inn, is to partner local makers with designers who collaborate closely to create design-conscious and joyful furniture, homewares, and textiles. Fogo Island Workshops is a division of Shorefast, a Canadian charity whose mission is to build cultural and economic resilience on Fogo Island, a small outport community off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.

Cross Currents is a residency partnership conceived and organized by Bothy Project, Fogo Island Arts, and Fogo Island Workshops. It is part of the Connect and Collaborate program by British Council Scotland and Creative Scotland, with additional support from Shorefast.

Florence Dwyer, wool dyed from plants and vegetables grown, foraged and collected from within Glasgow; onion skins, hawthorn berries, blackberries, rosehips, dead daffodils, madder, pomegranate skins, fermented Ash bark, elder berries, dock leaves, gorse and nettles, 2020-21
Clare Robb, Buried in Red Ring, silver, bone and coral
Nicole Travers, home tanned codfish leather with beaded Mi’kmaw double curve petroglyph, 2020
Larry Weyand, Babybels (5 of 6 pack), hooked yard on burlap, 2019
Cleadale Crofting Museum, Eigg. Photo by Graham Niven.
Sweeney’s Bothy, Bothy Project, Eigg. Photo by Johnny Barrington.
Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada. Photo: Steffen Jagenburg.