Jonathan Arndell • Swansea International Festival Residency

In partnership with Mission Gallery, Elysium Gallery and Swansea College of Art, Foundation Art & Design.

During the Swansea International Festival in October 2015; a two week city-wide celebration of music from great orchestras, soloists, operas and ensembles, and a centrepiece of the city’s cultural calendar since 1948, Mission Gallery in partnership with Swansea International Festival was pleased to offer a selected artist a one month residency. Inspired by Swansea International Festival’s diverse programme, the artist was invited to form a response.The 2015 selected artist was Jonathan Arndell. Full access was granted to all concerts and performances during Swansea International Festival (2-17 October 2015) and the opportunity to receive mentoring and critical feedback by Mission Gallery and Swansea International Festival’s Directors, as well as the use of the Jane Phillips Award studio at Elysium High Street Studios.

The attached picture demonstrates Jonathan’s use of found objects to explore ideas around abandonment and the consequent gradual disintegration of human-made environments and artefacts. His work as an architect has involved the re-invention of old buildings for new uses.  In the process, he has often had to explore buildings that have been empty for many years.  Jonathan is fascinated by what people have chosen to leave behind when vacating these spaces.

In this residency, he will take this aspect of his practice as an architect and use it to examine the nature of barriers to the appreciation of ‘high art’.  Why it is so difficult to engage a greater cross-section of our community in the festival?

In April 2016, he will show the outcomes of this residency at Mission Gallery through its digital programming strand the [] space and the National Waterfront Museum’s Colonnade Gallery.

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