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!!


Residency No 2 – Edie

Wherever My Fingertips Take Me.

Artist: Edie Church

Age: 10

Date: 16/17th February 2017

Why would you like to be Artist in Residence?

“I would like to do the Artist in Residence because I enjoy doing big art projects, making this a great opportunity, which sounds really fun.”

This is how Edie’s residency unfolded:

We began the day the way most studio days begin, with a coffee, a chat and making plans for the day.  Edie settled in to her space and we met to hear her ideas so far. In preparation for the residency Edie made a mind map responding to the sentence: Wherever my fingertips take me. Megan and Ali told Edie about their work and Edie told them the kinds of things she likes to make. We rolled out a big piece of paper and got thinking, doodling and scribbling possibilities.

A few ideas that came up in our mind mapping session were:

  • A picture you step into/ wearing it/stepping inside the picture
  • Fingers being a key – your finger prints let you into your phone, a secret door
  • Finger prints show your identity and look like maps. A map of who you are
  • Using gloves in some way

Ideas whirring we headed to the Scrapstore. With an empty suitcase ready to fill and £10 budget in her pocket Edie explored the materials on offer…

Finding a treasure trove of thick cardboard panels, Edie’s idea of making a painting you could step inside, developed into building a small room to go inside. Other finds included old ring binders, which were spring like and wobbly, tiny plastic mushrooms, an old sweet jar, a box of latex gloves and a selection of till rolls. We headed back to the studio for a working lunch finalising ideas and making a plan, then it was on with the making.

Edie had a really clear vision of what her installation would become. Inspired by a few days over half term spent at her Grans farm, Edie noticed when blown up rubber gloves looked like Udders. Making an ‘Udder’ world filled with hands, a hand inspection point, and a mini finger puppet world were the ideas so far. After an afternoon getting started with making Edie’s final job was to print hands to make a curtain to get into The Udder World. Edie took cardboard home to draw around her families hands ready to use the following day.

Day 2 began with coffee, hot chocolate (for Edie) and a quick catch up. Edie set straight to work cutting down springs to add to cardboard hands. Next was on to building the structure. Edie used collage to make a mini scene with finger puppets in a box she found at Scrapstore.

Making the final touches to the installation, Edie added a till roll and instructions for visitors to add to a list of ‘all the things their hands had made..’. The hand print curtain went up, udders on the ceiling and spring cardboard hands on the walls. There was time for a quick break inside the Udder World before preparing for the private view.

Continuing the hand theme Edie decided to make refreshments accordingly, so guests were offered, chocolate fingers, shortbread fingers and butter fingers – Yum!

Celebrating a creative residency with a fizzy Ribena or two Edie had a brilliant turn out to her first private view, including several artists based in the BV Studios who were hugely impressed with the installation and Edie’s work. Visitors explored the Udder World, contributed to Edie’s interactions and talked to Edie about her work and her process.

‘Where Ever my Fingertips Take me” is Edie’s first solo exhibition. Here is some of  feedback we received:

“What a wonderful exhibition!! I honestly can’t believe that it was all created in only 2 days!! I really enjoyed entering the ‘udder world’ and talking to you about how you created the work. Good luck with your future projects Edie.

Edie, Congratulations! Your project is brilliant. Well done!!

Great work Edie!

I think this is ACE! I can’t believe how much you have done in 2 days.

Fantastic exhibition  – really enjoyed discovering all the different hands.”

When asked ‘ What is it like to be an Artist?’ Edie said…

I  think I have learnt what it is like to be an artist,  I’ve learnt that you have to think outside of the box (and that anything is possible if you use enough Gaffa tape !!)

THANK YOU EDIE! For all you hard work, ideas, energy, creativity, and enthusiasm. What a wonderful ‘udderly’ brilliant residency! x

Mission accomplished!!




Residency No 1 – Ciara.


Artist: Ciara Mulkeen

Age: 8

Date: 26th August 2016

Why would you like to be our first artist in residence?

‘I think it would be exciting to be the first artist in residence because being the first means you need to show people that any age people can do art.  It would be good to be an artist in residence because you’d have lots of fun creating art, you can be wild and think up anything you want and then at the end you can have a party!’

This is how Ciara’s day unfolded…

We met at the studio first thing. Ciara was introduced to the studio and settled in to her space for the day. The theme of this residency was ‘Sunshine’. Over the weeks leading up to the residency Ciara had begun some research to explore the theme as a grounding for her time in M2, sparking ideas about what she wanted to create.

Next – a brainstorming session over coffee and hot chocolates, we made a plan for the day. We talked about all the different forms ‘art’ can take, 2d, 3d, audio, interactive. Ciara decided to test out some site specific work in the public spaces around the studio. We made a site visit to the City Farm, playing with ideas for installations and performances there, before heading to the Scrapstore to source materials to manifest Ciara’s planned artworks.


Returning from the Scrapstore, Ciaras making began…

Thinking about what Sunshine means to her, Ciara documented her likes and dislikes of sunshine and of the summer, creating a tour of Sunshine through the artists eyes; an interactive exhibition to be explored by the visitors to it.

After a busy, busy making session we installed the artworks created over the day and prepared for Ciara’s first private view! Fizzy Vimto, lemonade and Mini Milks at the ready we awaited the private view guests…


‘Shimmering in the Sand’ by Ciara Mulkeen was the result of M2 AIR’s first residency and Ciara’s first solo exhibition. The feedback was great from visitors.

“Wow! Did Ciara really create all of this in a day?”

“I never thought of children as artist and curators!”

When asked ‘What it is like to be an artist?’ Ciara said…

It’s harder work than it looks! All day long you work, then at the end you get the prize of the work you’ve created.”

Thank you Ciara for all your hard work, creative ideas and for being our first ‘Artist in Residence’.