Ranura Edirisinghe will be artist in residence at Mahler & LeWitt Studios, Spoleto, Italy in April 2019.
Set up by Professor Lucy Orta UAL Chair of Art for the Environment – Centre for Sustainable Fashion in 2015, The Art for the Environment International Artist Residency Programme (AER) provides UAL graduates with the opportunity to apply for short residencies at internationally renowned host institutions to explore concerns that define the 21st century – biodiversity, environmental sustainability, social economy, and human rights. Through research, studio practice, critiques and mentoring the AER programme is designed to envision a world of tomorrow; to imagine and create work that challenges how we interact with the environment and each other.
The Mahler and LeWitt Studios is established around the former studios of Anna Mahler and Sol LeWitt in Spoleto, Italy. The residency program provides a focussed and stimulating environment for artists, curators and writers to develop new ways of working in dialogue with peers and the unique cultural heritage of the region.
The Torre Bonomo, a medieval tower once used as a residency and exhibition space by the gallerist Marilena Bonomo, is also central to the program. In the early 1970s, LeWitt was the Torre’s first resident: using it as a studio he made a seminal group of wall drawings which continue to offer a unique insight into his production.
Read a fragment of Ranura's residency proposal:
My graduate collection from Central St Martins BA fashion knitwear resulted in a body of work sitting in-between fashion and art. Through the use of found, donated and repurposed objects and materials, I developed a textile based practise that aims to revitalise old craft with improvisation, luxury with junk, resulting in the creation of textile based artefacts in the aim to challenge and inspire in our current time of over production and saturation.
My work is based on the discovery of making combined with the value of time and labour. These core elements are explored through artisanal textile techniques paired with knitting. These are at times rapid yet at other times meticulous to produce textile processes which are repeated and reimagined through reconstruction and recomposition.
The AER residency would allow me to further develop these ideas explored through my degree study. I’m intrigued by Spoleto, and would like to further research the vibrant and historic textile traditions of Perugia, In particular the ‘Giuditta Brozzetti’ and its well known hand woven artistic textiles. I’m interested in the practise and preservation of craft and the intergenerational relationship it has served in a landscape of dying textile and handicraft, responding to the themes of sustainability and social economy.