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Bucks Mills Artist in Residence.

Bucks Mills cabin blog.

Today is the final day of my residency at Bucks Mills Cabin. I feel a huge sense of privilege having been able to be here in this place for this last seven days. And also quite sad this morning that it has come to an end. The creativity and beauty of this place are captivating. I feel strongly drawn to the story of the women who lived here and a beautiful connection to their creativity and affinity to the Landscape. It has been delightful showing people into this space, though very tiny it is hugely powerful and utterly beautiful. I wish that I could have the privilege that they had, of coming here so regularly. I have painted here at Bucks Mills quite often, particularly in the woods. But to be in this space, to watch this coastline for seven days, to see Lundy pop in and out of the clouds and atmosphere, to connect with the people who live in this village and to hear the stories of its past, that has truly been inspiring.

The cabin is sorely in need of attention and care. It has fallen into a state of collapse inside that is dishonouring I think to the women who lived here. It is important to maintain it as a museum but I don't think that means it can’t be cleaned or tended to or even repaired. The collapsing shelves in the bottom room run the risk of falling, putting all the objects on them in such jeopardy. If the dampness over the winter completes the collapse of those shelves every single item will be smashed to bits. I know that the cabin is rather charming in that it feels slightly abandoned, but it’s also very much a space that artists work in and in some ways sitting there is almost too depressing as it is so grubby. I come to the end of this week feeling hugely grateful and with a deep sense of wanting to champion the space, connect to this space more and to be back for another residency as soon as I’m able to be here.

There are only eight homes that are lived in full-time by residents of Bucks Mills, and those households have been extraordinarily generous and kind to me. The Cabin has no facilities, and people have been so generous in offering coffee, teas and bathrooms! It has been an absolutely wonderful and extraordinary part of this residency to get to know the people who live here. I guess it has added to the sense of feeling so privileged to have been in the space. Much of my time here has also included having the cabin open to the public. Over 250 people have come through the door so far and it has been brilliant to watch them enjoy the space and to talk to them. Today the door is shut. I want to spend time in here being creative, doing my thing, heading out down to the beach and up into the village drawing and painting what I see. Recording this special and unique location.

How amazing to be in the space of two such accomplished and creative women and to hear more of their story as the week has passed. To open the door of the Bucks Mills Artist Cabin to so many people who s

eem so thrilled to have access to it. There was an amazing moment when a visitor came in and talked about sitting at the same table I was working at with Mary Stella. He was about seven at the time and she was by them an older woman who was being quite grumpy about the noise the children were making on the beach! So many people have different memories of the space, many of peering through the window to see what was going on inside. One visitor had been peering through the window for 40 years and had never managed to coincide his visit with when the cabin was open, so it was amazing to see his reaction as he finally got to be inside. it has been an amazing week, I have been describing it a little bit like the children’s program from when I grew up called Mr Ben. It was almost as if, as I put my overalls on and went through the door, I arrived in a different kind of world, an almost magical one! It has been truly inspiring and wonderful to be here and I do hope I get a chance to do this again…

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