Winter Session 2024

Sophie Cundale
Carly Breame
Sofia Haapamäki
Baldwin Giang
David de la Haye
Bebe Ashley
Jonathan Monk

 

In partnership with King’s College London, our 2024 Winter Session hosted the three awardees of the Ivan Juritz Prize: Sofia Haapamäki (Visual Art), David de la Haye (Sound) and Bebe Ashley (Text). We were also joined by artist filmmaker Sophie Cundale and composer Baldwin Giang who, in partnership with the American Academy in Rome, is developing new work for the Festival dei Due Mondi. Visual artist Jonathan Monk also participated this winter. The work he is developing will be presented at the festival in the Torre Bonomo. Finally, Carly Breame returned to Spoleto to continue her Materia project.

As a visual artist facing the challenges inherent in the artistic journey, the existence of the facilities and opportunities provided by the Mahler & Lewitt Studios is remarkable. Accessing a studio and living space without the usual burdens of everyday life frees the mind and provides the necessary space to focus on one’s artistic practice. For me and many of my peers, this freedom is vital for striving to achieve the highest levels of artistic expression. My experience at the residency is one I will cherish for life. 

— Sofia Haapamäki, Artist in Residence

 

Waking early every day, knowing I was being supported and encouraged to work solely on the writing, temporarily freed me from many of the distractions and concerns that so often betray my concentration. The residency gave me a sense of renewed devotion to the work, carving out a space which will expand and carry through to the next period of writing and research.

— Sophie Cundale, Writer in Residence

 

To feel so closely connected to the sights and sounds of Spoleto, with such a rich art history, leaves a lifetime memory. I’ve returned home with a renewed faith in what it means to be an artist, inspired by the conversations and experiences we forged over the residency.

— David de la Haye, Artist in Residence

Sofia Haapamäki (b. Åbo, Finland, 1991) is a visual artist based in Helsinki. She was awarded the Visual Arts Ivan Juritz Prize for her project Traces of Existence a group of interactive installations which – using devices such as drawing plotters, 3D body scanners, and electroencephalography sensors – pit technologically determined notions of identity against traditional ideas of self-expression.

She says:  “During my weeks at the Mahler & LeWitt Studios I’ve explored the transformative potential of my newly developed oil paint without pigments, alongside my handbuilt pen plotter (both pictured above). By blending technologies and digital data with traditional art methods I have investigated how these materials mutually express and influence each other in an ongoing effort to further develop both mediums. Additionally, I’ve taken the opportunity to collaborate with fellow residents, collectively delving into the synergies that emerge when our artistic practices intertwine.”

 

Sophie Cundale (b. London, 1987) is a multi-disciplinary artist based in London. Her film work and writing explores states of extreme emotion, spaces of intimacy and points of personal transition through narrative. During her residency at the Mahler & LeWitt Studios, Sophie continued to write her first novel, Half-Life, an erotic science fiction about a woman who falls in love with nuclear waste. Her psychodramas are often drawn around the complexities of a central protagonist or relationship and she creates performances using these personas and excerpts from her texts (Sophie is pictured above performing at our Open Studios). In February 2024 the first act of Half-Life will be made available as an audio recording through the Castello Di Rivoli Digital Cosmos online platform. 

 

Baldwin Giang (b. Philadelphia,1992) is an internationally-performed composer, pianist, interdisciplinary creator and educator. He won the Samuel Barber Rome Prize and is in residence as a fellow at the American Academy in Rome from 2023-2024. He joined us at the Mahler & LeWitt Studios as composer in residence to develop his new work Scenes from the Post-Diaspora : cast in multiple movements and each accompanied by a film, the work explores the ideas of post-globalisation identity and hybridity in urban environments that have shaped the composer’s personal background. The American Academy in Rome, in partnership with the Mahler & LeWitt Studios, will premiere the new work at the Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi 2024.

 

David de la Haye (b. Jersey, 1981) is an award-winning ecological sound artist, composer, bassist, and music technician. He is interested in how sonic arts can raise the cultural value of aquatic environments.

In Spoleto he developed his work Baptism of Sound, which he presented at our Open Studios: “By listening underwater we access a world of hearing beyond the human and explore how it, in turn, might access us through the visceral nature of urban music production. We start with a deconstruction of Romantic repertoire, an era which held nature with highest reverence. Slowly we transition to a complex rhythmic musical language based on hyperactive pulses made by plants during photosynthesis. I call these études, playing on the idea of musical studies/botanical studies. All these sounds are made possible due to water, equally significant to life, religion and, in this context, music-making. Our journey takes us over the liminal divide between the pastoral and the urban, each piece moving further from observing nature to enter a wild and transcendent dialogue through technology. It explores the role of the ecological sound artist in sharing awareness of the natural world.”

 

Bebe Ashley (b. Stevenage, UK, 1995) is a writer and lives in Belfast, Ireland. She was awarded the Text Ivan Juritz prize for her work [have] [have doubts] [harbour doubts] – a poetry collection that charts the author’s desire and progress to qualify as a British Sign Language interpreter.

In Spoleto she developed a new body of work titled Wordsign, which explores notions of creativity: “In Unified English Braille, a wordsign is a type of contraction where a word can be represented by a single letter of the alphabet. This collection replaces the original and functional wordsigns (but/can/do/every… ) with new contractions focused on encouraging creativity and ambition.”

 

Carly Breame Ceramicist, materials designer and researcher Carly Breame joined the Mahler & LeWitt Studios Materia program in partnership with the University of the Arts, Art for the Environment residency initiative. An advocate for environmental integrity and sustainable materials production, she develops tools to measure environmental impact and – combining research and craft – designs usable materials which represent local environments. Following her initial residency, she has been commissioned by local restaurants to develop tableware using locally sourced clays and with glazes developed from by-products of the winemaking industry.

Jonathan Monk also joined the winter session, accompanied by curator Vittoria Bonifati. Monk is developing new films, an artist book and a series of ceramic sculptures for an exhibition curated by Bonifati at the Torre Bonomo during the Festival dei Due Mondi 2024. Read more>>

 

Thank you for reading. We look forward to sharing details on our Spring Session with you soon.