Looking back on the ISC residency at GFS: Nooshin

It’s been a week that my residency in grounds for sculpture is over. Looking back at my works in the residency, it surprises me how much my work has changes during such a short amount of time.

Working almost every night by lotus pond taking out a dead tree’s root, experiencing a different work schedule which was not based on what I decide to do in my studio, but it depended on what nature brought to me made me become a better observer.

Staying in a beautiful shed besides the pond, waiting for rain to stop to give me some time to work on the root, gave me plenty of time to think about the missing tree. The willow cherry tree was almost the same age as me. I was thinking about all the things it observed during all these years. All the people who came to visit the park, every summer that the pond became full of beautiful lotus flowers. Every birds that made a nest on the tree and every person who sat beneath the shade of the tree. How much the experience of time, movement and observation was different for this 1beautiful tree? Back and forth between observing and being observed by all it surrounding. I was sitting there, observing the unique pattern of root growth. Thinking about it is the first time the golden sun touches the root.

The harder it was to take the root out, the more encouraged I became. Half of the root was already rotten, which was the reason that it died. I wanted to take the other half out before it erodes under the soil.

Being in a great community of artists, I had the advantage of getting lots of different suggestions of how to take the root out. I ended up doing my own way, as I thought I can finish it much cheaper. And after two weeks of working every night in muds and dulling many chains in chain saw one after the other as well as dulling dozens of carbonate blades, I learned a good lesson. I ended up spending the same amount of money, doing it by my own. The only difference was I had to spend two weeks for something someone else could have done that in 24 hours with an excavator loader. But at the same time, I also had fun learning how to drive and work with construction machines.

Another advantage of being in this community is whatever I wanted to do, there were one or more artists around me that were expert in it. I had the chance of working with concrete, floor leveling and learning about the concrete structure. Also learned a lot from Autin Wright, such an amazing artist, full of knowledge and so humble.

This place is kind of a hidden heaven for sculptors. All the artists who work or used to work in Johnson and digital Atelier are one of the best in their profession. And so open to pass on their knowledge.

When I came to this residency I never expected to learn so much about different techniques and tricks of ceramic shell, mold making, patina and etc.

The residency ended up with all its surprises and intense working times with Shawn in and out of studio. I have to confess I never felt confident to show my drawings to anyone.  I used to hide my drawings in corners of my studio. In this residency thought, for the first time I put four big drawing in the show while I was super self-conscious waiting to see people’s reaction. The most rewarding time came when I saw the excitement in Johanna and Jeannette’s face when they came to see the show. They both screamed from excitement and hugged us.

I am excited to explore more with drawing in my work and feel so lucky for having such a unique experience and getting to know so many amazing artists. After getting my master, I wanted to try two different type of residency, one completely open and one with structure to figure out which one will suit my practice better. Many thanks to Jeannette and Johannah who supported me to explore my own way in such an open structure residency that opened a new door to my art practice.

Nooshin Hakim Javadi

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