Artist Residency at Hawkwood: Temi Wilkey
I was a part of the artist residency programme at Hawkwood in the last week of May 2022. I felt a really unexpected and extraordinary sense of calm when I arrived. It was really special to have a large room with a gorgeous view as my dedicated working space and then another lovely room, with a desk, as a bedroom. I think, before the trip, I’d underestimated how revitalising it can be to spend time in nature and that was a wonderful part of the retreat. The grounds are so beautiful and going on a walk at the end of the day or in the middle of a difficult patch when I was stuck on what I was writing was a real boon. I feel like I breathed different there! It was a very spiritually expansive time.
While I was there I worked on a passion project of mine that I’d been wanting to develop for a few years. Being at Hawkwood gave me the time to be creatively productive but also to go inward and examine why I wanted to write what I was writing, what I wanted to say and what I was offering to the world. It was a really holistic experience.
I’m a real extrovert so I expected to find it difficult to spend so much time alone but it actually ended up being very therapeutic and I also had really edifying chats with another person on the residency, during our meal breaks.
The most profound thing about it for me was the feeling of being taken care of. It meant that I could simply focus on writing, rather than having to think about or plan where I was going to work or what I was going to make myself for lunch or dinner. This might sound trivial but, as a freelance artist, 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. The food at Hawkwood is absolutely delicious and I genuinely think that really helped my creative process. Feeling nourished and held by an organisation like that for a week was truly invaluable.
Words by Temi Wilkey.