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Works in Progress: Updates on Residency and Collaboration (For Rituals and Visuals)

Updated: Jun 21

Ivilina and I arrived at the South Porch Artists Residency in Summerville, South Carolina about ten days ago (June 10th) and dove right into our project. Thus far in our collaboration we have been responding to each other’s creations. Our hope at the residency was to experiment with the integration of text and image. Working apart and together, we have generated ideas which are taking shape. Naturally, we are drawing on the mythology and culture of the area, all of our senses open to our surroundings.


What we hear: the charm of the Southern drawl, cicada symphonies, cardinal choruses, the pulse of waves at the beach on Edisto Island, lively conversation and stories shared at our communal dinners.


What we see: rows of pastel houses, 200-year-old architecture, Spanish moss suspended in the trees, lush vegetation, Low Country marshes, palmettos, bamboo, magnolias, azalea bushes. And we see historical maps of South Carolina and Africa, handwritten 19th-century recipes for “cold slough” and pickles, women weaving baskets with sweetgrass and palm leaves, local art, American flags, churches galore in what they call “The Holy City,” Charleston and its environs.


What we feel: the heat of the sun in 92-degree temperatures, soupy air, the warm waters of the Atlantic, the sting of mosquito bites, cool white wine trickling down our throats, smooth shells in our hands that smart under our feet.


Everything that we’ve assimilated since our arrival at South Porch has influenced our work, which will be displayed in an installation on the last day of the residency (which will include some new photo poems I’ve made here), part of a community salon showcasing the fruits of all of the residents’ labours over their stay.


As I write in our upstairs, barn-like studio, Ivilina is painting and cutting and inserting my poems into her visuals. Our process is complementary and intuitive, and there are moments when our work overlaps organically without the need for speech. To me this is the sign of the shared themes of our art, our shared sensibilities, and the success of our collaboration. Stay tuned for further updates on our project.



Images by Ivilina Kouneva

Text by Jaclyn Piudik


South Porch Artists Residency: https://southporchartists.org/

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