The 2019 Artist in Residence: Katie Surridge, a mixed media artist specialising in metal casting.
The Residency will take place at the County Museum, 23 September – 18 October, and the exhibition will open on 9 November.
Applications were invited from established studio artists wishing to develop their creative practice by working with the Bucks County Museum collections. The artist selects items from the collections in store and responds to them through their own medium to create new readings and interpretations.
After a visit to the museum and the resource centre, Katie tells us :
‘My current thinking and starting point for the work I will be making on this residency starts with the Archaeology department. I studied archaeology for a few months before changing my degree to art and so I have always had a deep interest in the subject. I’m looking forwards to working with the museum and developing my own take on this unique collection.
I will start my investigations with the ways in which some archaeological items in the museum are stored. Each precious piece has its own specially labelled and numbered container, where the object is protected and held secure in Plastezote , a type of storage foam. I am interested in the abstracted shapes cut into this foam to support the items and will be using these negative spaces to inspire a new series of castings and drawings.
I plan to set up a small scale foundry in the museum garden and I will be casting new relics based on the shapes I find in the plastezote, with a new categorisation system set up to record the items which I use in the commission. I will also be developing interactive ways in which visitors to the museum can then dig up these items themselves, and experience finding hidden items using tools I have made by hand.’
Katie’s ideas will develop further in the next few weeks as she prepares for the residency. She is passionate about involving our visitors in the artistic process and sharing the drama of casting with molten metal.
Katie Louise Surridge (1985), was born and raised in London. She studied for her art foundation at Chelsea school of Art and her BA at the Slade, UCL (2010.) Upon graduation she was selected as one of four finalists in the Saatchi’s New Sensations competition, and later as a Royal British Sculpture Society, bursary winner (2011).
In 2013 she spent four months in China as Swatch Watches artist in residence, where she started Little Victories gallery, which operated from a converted waste recycling bicycle. This gallery allowed artists to display what they want, where they want, an interesting concept in a society where art is still heavily censored. This has now been remade in London.
Other residencies include ‘The Observatory’ in Lymington where she worked with locally collected coloured sand to create work which responded to the Victorian fad of sand art in bottles. During another residency at Gerfail Yr Ynys, a forge in North Wales, she researched local folklore and stories which inspired large scale hand forged iron work. In January 2019 she went to the Scottish sculpture workshop for a month long residency to develop ceremonial drinking bronzes and sculptural furnaces.
Recent commissions include the B-side arts festival where she ran a mobile bronze foundry casting live for an audience and a permanent piece of public art for an Iron Age hill fort in the New Forest.
In 2016 Katie finished three years training as a blacksmith in Hereford at the National School of Blacksmithing. Most recently she received a bursary from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust allowing her to research smelting her own iron from ore. The trip which started in Ireland and moved on to Japan is a major new area of exploration and will culminate in a project with the British Council.