Residency No 3: Jimmy

The Japanese Mythical Pizza Hallelujah Welsh Cake Safari Train Railway

Artist: Jimmy Church

Age: 12

Date: 10/11th April

Why would you like to be an Artist in Residence?

I would like to be artist in residence because I really enjoy sketches and doodles and like trying new things.

In preparation for his residence Jimmy had made drawings responding to his chosen brief: Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016.

After settling into the space Jimmy shared his drawings and ideas with us at our morning meeting. We shared some of our favourite projects. Then discussed ideas around the brief and made a mind map of ideas and thoughts.

These are some of the initial ideas we spoke about:

  • Making things exactly as they are drawn
  • Ouissant Sheep ( Jimmy’s favourite animal) sounding like Croissant Sheep. This led to all manner of other Mythical wildlife.
  • Messing with perspective
  • Jimmy’s and Megan’s mutual love of Japan
  • Pentel Graphgear 1000   – Jimmy’s favourite drawing tool

It quickly became clear that Jimmy is great at explaining stuff and a brilliant storyteller. Naturally this became a key part of his work. We spent a couple of hours exploring stories and drawing mythical creatures, Whales from Wales, Chocolate Crossiant sheep, Nifflers and Bowtruckles.

Thinking about how people could experience these drawings we returned to Jimmy’s love of trains, he decided to create a Mythical Safari Train, this moment was combined with a pre lunch, lunchbox opening revealing… Welsh Cakes – Hallelujah shouted Jimmy! (for these are a favourite snack of his!) More food conversations revealed that Pizza is Japans favourite food and Japanese trains are the best kind of train, and so The Japanese Mythical Pizza Hallelujah Welsh Cake Safari Train Railway orJ.M.P.H.W.C.S.T. was born…. Onwards…

A brief post lunch trip to Pound Stretcher found one lonely battery operated Train Set perfect for customising into The J.M.P.H.W.C.S.T.. Scrapstore provided cardboard, plastic camera lenses and a potential foxlike train conductor…

We made a detour on our journey back to the studio to Bristol Temple Meads Station where we stopped off for research purposes and to record some audio for the J.M.P.H.W.C.S.T. installation.

Back at the studio we began preparing for Day 2 making, Jimmy decided to continue drawing at home and to make extra train tracks ready for building the safari train line.

Day 2 began with Hot Chocolates and making a plan for the day. Jimmy drew five different Mythical Creatures for the safari tour and tapping into to his brilliant storytelling we recorded Jimmy’s audio description of them all. Jimmy made two camera viewing points on the Safari tour, one to view all of his Mythical creatures, where viewers could listen to the audio. The other camera held a scary surprise – a mythical creatures eye looking right back at you, revealed when you pull back the trap door.

We put together the train and added the extra tracks, sidelines and Jimmy’s train collection complete with Japanese trains, to create the safari’s route.

Next we set up ready for Jimmy’s preview, a chance to share his work with chosen friends and family and artists based in BV Studios. Refreshments of Apple juice and lemonade, Japanese sweets and miniature chocolate croissants were on hand to provide sustenance. Guests arrived and were invited to experience a safari tour.

Reflecting on his residence Jimmy said…

“This is completely different to anything I would have thought about doing. The private view was scary but good, I was sad it was over but really happy at what I achieved!”

Here is some of the feedback from his private view:

“Super Exhibition. Lovely ideas.”

“A fascinating trip through your brain!”

“It was really fun going on a mythical ninja train journey”

“Terrifying and terrific work”

THANK YOU JIMMY! For all your ideas, storytelling, knowledge-sharing, vision and creativity. We loved journeying together to imaginary lands with you! x

Definitely time for a Happy Dance!!


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