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Sunday, 9 February 2014

Mexico here I come!

The most exciting thing happened this week... Early in December I came across the idea of doing an artist's residency as a way travelling and getting to learn about other textile cultures. After a bit of googling I found Arquetopia. They had the perfect residency for someone like me who is just moving into a career in textiles – an instructional residency. This meant I could learn from experts while I'm there.

It looked like the deadline had just passed, so I emailed quickly to see if it was possible to still apply. Lucky for me they had extended the application period for a week. I filled in the forms, wrote a project proposal, organised my referees, put a portfolio together and dug out my CV. A couple of weeks later I was asked for more detailed information, so I sent that off too.

Then, with less than 24 hours' notice, I was asked to do a Skype interview! Very nerve-wracking. I haven't done an interview for over 10 years and I wasn't really sure what they wanted to know. I thought the interview went pretty well, but I didn't feel like I nailed the project section. Sure enough, another email came through about two weeks later asking for a more detailed project proposal.

I felt a bit stuck at this stage, so I did some research, pulled out a few reference books and wrote a more comprehensive proposal last weekend. I figured if I still hadn't nailed it, then it just wasn't meant to be. I mean, it felt like a bit of a long-shot anyway. I have no exhibition experience, I've never done another residency and I'm really only just starting out.

Then, on Friday morning, the email came through:
"Congratulations and felicidades!  We are pleased to inform you that you have been selected to participate in the Artist-in-Residence Programs at Arquetopia."

Honestly, if I thought I could have gotten away with doing a soccer-style victory lap around the oval in front of my house, I would have. I was THAT excited. In the middle of August I get to fly to Oaxaca for a three-week weaving residency followed by a three-week embroidery residency. How lucky am I?

You can read a bit more about the residency here and about Oaxaca here.

I've now got to do an awful lot of planning and research before I go, so if anyone out there has contacts in Oaxaca or information on Mexican textiles they could share, please let me know.

And last, but not least, a big shout out to Di Richardson and Peter Devine who provided my references – thank you!

AdiĆ³s amigos!


  1. Enhorabuena Tara (I think that is the equivalent word to congratulations in Mexican Spanish???). Thrilled for you - like I tell most of my research students .... prior planning prevents poor performance (hence the hard work put in already will only help you in the long run). I look forward to hearing, reading and seeing more!

    1. Thanks Stace! You definitely know more Spanish than me (another thing I'll have to research ;-) I'm slightly overwhelmed with everything at the moment, but I'm sure I'll get into a groove with it soon. x