Olivia Irvine : MERZ residency diary #1

Thanks to Creative Scotland for awarding a Vacma Bursary to part fund my residency at Merz, Sanquhar in March 2021. Thanks to Dave Rushton for editing the video.

“After a brief visit to Merz around Hallowe’en I thought this is definitely the place for me – because of the amazing location within a friendly town offering direct access to the countryside and because of the connection with Kurt Schwitters and Hannah Hoch. Not least because the accommodation and work-spaces are self-contained, Merz offers a residency that is possible during Lockdown.

I am fascinated by collage but have rarely used it. I thought it would be good to concentrate on collage for a month, as something new, and see how this affects how I use space and scale in my paintings. However, I have now decided to collage time as well, as much as that is possible! I have brought some old drawings with me and plan to mix these with current ones.

I also relish being free to work all day and set my own timetable, away from my usual commitments. I love being on my own, but I also love meeting people. So far, everyone has been so friendly and I am enjoying getting to know the neighbours, shop keepers and even a few passers-by”.