Sandro Setola: Camden Arts Centre and Delfina Studios Trust

Sandro Setola: Camden Arts Centre and Delfina Studios Trust

January 2006. Sandro Setola was selected for the 7th European Pépinières Programme and was invited by both The Camden Art Centre and The Delfina Studios in London to work and stay there for three months.

I was generously welcomed by both Karin Eklund at Delfina and Oliver Sumner at CAC. They introduced me to everyone I should know and regularly checked in to discuss the residency. I felt a bit spoilt to be honest, since I'm not used to this much attention. The financial agreement was very generous and enabled me to make maximal use of technical and material resourcesand assured a very good quality of life throughout my stay. I visited a lot of museums in London and got good advice from both hosts about places of interest I should visit. In terms of technical suport I have to say that I got a lot of support from fellow-artists at Delfina like Gary Webb, Guy Bar Amotz and Toby Ziegler. At CAC I got support from Oliver Sumner and the People in the Ceramic Studio.

I had no clear intentions as to whether or not I would be able to establish any lasting contacts with gallerists, curators or other artists and since my working period was rather short I did not think there would be much time left to spend in bringing my work to the attention of other persons who would be interested in it, but this turned out to be partly a misjudgement since I was not fully aware of the difference in artistic climate between The Netherlands and England (or London, I should say) the latter having a very open minded interest in artistic production of all sorts. Nevertheless the summmer period did mean that a lot of galleries I was interested in visiting, unfortunately had their summer recess. When finally they all did open again in September I was dragged from opening to opening resulting in an almost numbing overkill of possibilities for networking. Since I had by then managed to arrange an exhibition at CAC I was dividing my time in the most efficient way possible to be able to both finish works for the exhibition and make contacts, but I put my priority in finishing the works and making a good show. The public interest and turn-up at the exhibition itself however, exceeded all my expectations and made up for the lack of self-presentation during the rest of the period.

My intentions were to make use of the ceramic studio at CAC and probably to make use of some of the facilities at Delfina. However, I had no clear idea as to what extent I could be able to use these facilities, all I knew was that they were there and that CAC was enthousiastically suggesting me to make use of them through their application form. On arrival I found that they were not urging me to make use any specific medium but rather leaving me free to make use of whatever medium I preferred or needed, which I took to heart. The traveling distance from my living and working space at Delfina to the facilities of CAC, meant that an intensive, ongoing use of the ceramic studio at CAC was mildly obstructed. I did however manage to make use of it for a sculptural installation, but eventually I spent most of my time working in and around my studio at Delfina. In terms of technical development, the above mentioned time-efficiency had a very positive side- effect namely an enormous accelleration of my working speed and a very clear goal meant that I made choices in my working process with greater ease and self confidence. Especially in my drawings this led me to work in quite a different style, using for the first time, shadow, a true to life type of perspective, naturalistic renderings of materiality, and I am now beginning to research the possibilities of background and landscape settings as an integral part of my (drawn) ideas.

Sandro Setola, 2006

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