In August 2018, we moved from Charlotte to be closer to my husband's work; while we searched for a home to buy, we lived temporarily in the former mill village of Glencoe, NC, in a beautiful house built in the late 1890s to house the supervisor of the mill. While at this residence, I was able to have a small studio space for the first time since I graduated from UNCCharlotte in 2016. I considered this temporary living arrangement to be a residency of sorts, in that I was constantly inspired by the history and environment of my surroundings; though I was not formally sponsored or part of an official residency, I treated it like a residency, and created several themed bodies of work, including photos that drew on the history of the "mill girls" who worked and lived in the village, photos and video documentation of the beautiful orb weavers that blanketed the house, and live illustrations of families enjoying natural space in the park. I created the tag #glencoemillresidency on instagram to organize the work that I did while at this residence into one space. There are also illustrations from that project that are available to view here.
We have since moved to what we thought would be a permanent residence in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in the historic neighborhood of Washington Park. We lived here happily for a year and I was keeping with the residency mindset, in that I was extremely connected to the community, and organized all work made here under the Southside Artist Residency tag. I created a body of neighborhood cityscapes from my porch and windows; continued with black and white film photos that I developed at home, and continued with Wandering Witness, using new technology to zoom in with a live view on people from a distance, to be able to do the same portraits I used to be able to do pre-coronavirus, from inside my own home.
A month ago, a new auto business moved in next door and began subjecting us to obscene levels of sound at all hours of the day and night. The windows that I use for Wandering Witness are no longer accessible because we have to soundproof them as much as possible, since the neighbors won't soundproof their work area and refuse to address any of our concerns. I wrote a blog post about the the situation here. I am no longer able to be connected with the community, so I have turned much more inward to cope with the stress. I have ended the Southside Artist Residency and am continuing with Recluse Residency, a body of work that will be completely inner-focused and I don't expect other people to get anything out of, but you can follow if you want.
A real community values its members and rallies around them, even ones who can't leave the house much, even disabled ones. I am so unbelievably depressed about this situation; we cannot afford to move, so we will be here for who knows how many years trying to deal with this. I performed my live drawing project for 6 years, through all kinds of challenges, only to be shut down by what is probably not even a legal business, and the people who live in my neighborhood, who claim to love the work, didn't care to help at all. My health has suffered drastically, so I spend most days in bed. I would like to move out of this house and go live in the middle of nowhere, where maybe I can finally hear my own thoughts again.