On the 27 February, Studio Faire opened its doors to a new season of residencies for 2020 with excitement about what the year would hold. Just three weeks later these doors were closed again by the COVID-19 epidemic.

In these three short weeks we did have the pleasure of meeting 5 residents though! Artists Celie Byrne and Kate Corroon Skakel, and Writers Krystal Sutherland, Martin Seneviratne and Lucy Moir. Find out more about all five of them on our Past Residents page.

The early closure was especially sad for Kate and Lucy, whose residencies were cut short by the impending ‘lock down’. We are happy to say that both made it home safe and sound, without much trouble.

We had been planning an Open Studio event to showcase the multimedia work created by Kate during her residency, but instead we created a Facebook live event to show one of her planned works ‘Murmurations’ to an international audience (this event can still be see on our Facebook page).

This event was followed by another Facebook live event by Canadian Artist, Collette Broeders, who’s residency had been planned for April but has been postponed. Instead, she streamed a performance ‘Solidarity – Walking a Line’, walking upon text and stories collected ahead of her residency, in order to merge the communities of France and Canada at the same time as practicing ‘self-isolation’ and ‘social distancing’.


‘ “Murmurations” is comprised of a roughly six-minute video piece of birds flying together projected onto 459 pieces of fabric. Each piece of fabric has been hand treated with a glue mixture to give it rigidity. The fabric is light, and moves slightly with any breeze, mimicking the coordinated movement of the birds.

This piece has been in the making since November, when I took the video. While in Rome, I was struck by how Starlings would fly together, creating what looked like one large and coordinated movement, instead of a singular bird. This action is called a murmuration, and birds do it as a method of self-protection There is safety in numbers, as predators are less likely to attack a whole flock of birds; all for one and one for all.

I was taken with the movement, but I was also fascinated by what this action said about community. The birds came together because they were stronger together. Their community is what gave them power. I have always striven to have a large community so that we can take care of each other, create together, and simply be with one another. With the global pandemic, this piece has become more timely: now, more than ever, we need each other to survive.

While planning this show, I initially was anticipating having three other installations. I was going to create a fiber installation to walk through, and one to observe, and a grouping of cyanotypes of my body. All of this would have been created during my month long stay at Studio Faire. Unfortunately, with the outbreak of Covid 19 and the subsequent government response, I had to leave France two weeks early. I am deeply grateful that I was able to complete “Murmurations” before I left, and that it could be displayed digitally [in a Facebook live event].’

Kate Corroon Skakel

More about Kate Corroon Skakel:

Kate Corroon Skakel (b. 1992) is a multimedia artist currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. She is a trained metal worker, fabricator, photographer and printmaker, but is currently fascinated by fiber art. She grew up in New England, gathering inspiration and joy from the ocean and the way the light changed throughout the seasons. After graduating from the University of Vermont in 2016 with a dual major in history and studio art, Kate moved to New Orleans, LA, where she explored and fell in love with the American South. In 2018, Kate moved back north and settled in Brooklyn. Kate has exhibited in New York, Louisiana, Illinois, Vermont and Rhode Island, and has participated in the NY Crit Club, Trestle Gallery’s Critical Feedback Program, Open Wabi Artist Residency, and Studio Faire Residency.

As mentioned, Collette Broeders will be coming to Studio Faire at a later date to undertake her residency and she would still like the people of Nérac and the surrounding area to participate in her project ahead of her arrival. She is asking the question ‘How do you connect with what you internalize when you find yourself walking in your environment?’ and looking for five descriptive words. Find out more about what she plans to do with these words at ‘Project Nérac – Walking a Line’

We’ll let you know when we are up and running again!
Until then, stay safe and well.

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