Artist Residency at Hawkwood: Temi Wilkey
"This is a real passion project for me, something I’m not being paid to do, so it can be hard to carve out the time to do it in my working life."
I was a part of the artist residency programme at Hawkwood towards the end of May 2023. It was so special to return after visiting for the first time at the same time last year. It felt like a homecoming of sorts. I was treated to such a large bedroom with an incredible view and I felt so lucky to have a week where I had nothing to think or worry about besides creating. It feels like a creative oasis. Having no responsibilities, not even to feed oneself, aside from making the things that are in your head become a reality.
While I was there I worked on the RomCom that I first came to Hawkwood to write. I hadn’t found much time within my every day life to work on this project since the last time I came which goes to show how invaluable having the time at Hawkwood is. This is a real passion project for me, something I’m not being paid to do, so it can be hard to carve out the time to do it in my working life.
The week was so productive and I was able to write the second third of the script which felt like a real achievement after so much time away from it. I’ve since found it very hard to replicate that focus and that drive. A Hawkwood week feels incredibly special because you have nothing else to think about. Your productivity comes with a real ease rather than the usual squeeze.
I rave about it to friends and I often talk about the profound feeling of being taken care of. It liberates you to simply focus on writing. It’s like being one of the male artists of the past, having a diligent wife to take care of all of the domestic matters and provide sustenance for you, so that you can focus on spending all of your time with your genius! I’m grateful that things are no longer like that, as I’d be more like to be forced into the diligent wife role, rather than that of the creatively liberated artist.
Usually, nowadays, all you have is yourself and you have to do so much work to take care of yourself every day in order to be in a position to be creative. Having that burden taken away, even just for a week, is so liberating and an incredible privilege. I’m so grateful to the staff and for all the delicious food. It’s so invaluable to be held in this way by an organisation when you’re so used to having to go it alone.
Temi Wilkey is an actor & writer from North London. She studied English at Cambridge before training with the National Youth Theatre REP company in 2014. Temi was a member of the Royal Court’s Young Writers Group in 2017 and wrote her debut play, The High Table, at the course’s culmination. It was produced at the Bush Theatre in Lynette Linton’s debut season, and won Temi the Stage Debut Award for Best Writer in 2020. She also co-founded & co-directed the Drag King company, Pecs, performing in the sell-out runs of their shows at venues including Soho Theatre, The Yard & Tate Britain before leaving the company in 2019. Temi wrote an episode of Netflix’s Sex Education S3 for which she was nominated for the NAACP award for Outstanding writing in a Comedy Series. She also wrote two episodes for Disney Plus’s Wedding Season. Temi is working on her own original projects in the UK and the US. In 2021 she was on the BFI Flare x BAFTA Crew programme mentored by Russell T Davies and was named one of the Forbes 30 under 30.