Friday, April 5, 2024

Glenfiddich announces 2024 Canadian Artist in Residence: Julie Forgues

Slightly off-topic (though see related editions here, here and here), but earlier this week I was back in Toronto for the announcement of the Glenfiddich Artist In Residency Prize. I was the Artist-in-Residence at the Dufftown, Scotland, distillery in 2008 and I have subsequently served as a ‘consultant’ on the program, mainly helping to administer the jury process. 

The event on Tuesday was held to celebrate the work of Derek Liddington (2023) and to announce Julie Forgues, from Moncton, as the artist who will represent Canada at the international residency this summer, where she will be joined by six other artists from around the globe. 

Forgues has previously participated in residencies for Swatch (in Shanghai) and aboard a boat at the Arctic Circle. 

From the press release: 

The 19th annual Glenfiddich Artists in Residence program in Canada awards one Canadian artist an all-inclusive residency in Dufftown, Scotland.

TORONTO, ON: Glenfiddich, the world’s most awarded single malt scotch whisky, proudly names Julie Forgues of Moncton, New Brunswick as the 2024 recipient of the Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Program. The prestigious residency consists of a three-month all-expenses paid residency at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland. Forgues is the 19th Canadian recipient of the annual Glenfiddich Artists in Residence program.
Julie Forgues obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts at the Université de Moncton, New Brunswick, in 1995, followed by her MFA in Studio Arts – Photography at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. She joined the faculty of Université de Moncton in 2000 as Professor of Photography in the Department of Visual Arts and took position as Head of the department in 2016. She has participated in several artist residency programs internationally, including in China, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, and the Arctic Circle. She considers her photographic research as an intermediate between a space and a place.
“In the past few years, I have been working on photographic research about how a space can be transformed into a place but can also fluctuate between both states,” articulates Forgues in her proposal. “These in-betweens in landscapes are fluctuating states that I then render into photographic images. At every site I have photographed, I think of what was there, what is there now and what will be there in the future: spaces that are now places, but mostly places-spaces that are in limbo-ing states. My work therefore makes this process of fluctuation visible.”
During her residency at the Glenfiddich distillery, Julie plans to explore spaces and places created by the Glenfiddich craftsmen in and around the historic distillery landscape with photographic image. The project will reflect and pay homage to the people and community of the distillery incorporating the use of cast-off liquids, malt, and other natural elements found at the distillery.
“Julie’s focus on space and place is wholly pertinent to the Glenfiddich Residency, which is itself all about a particular place, the Valley of the Deer. A space made into a place by the founder William Grant in 1887,” comments Andy Fairgrieve, Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Program Co-ordinator. “I am sure the residency will be a rewarding experience for Julie and I am looking forward to seeing how she engages with the locality this summer.”
The Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Program is recognized and celebrated in global art communities as one of the world’s most prestigious of artist residencies, receiving hundreds of applications annually. The program transports winning artists from across the globe to the historic Dufftown setting, deep in the Scottish Highlands, to foster the creation of original work directly influenced by the Glenfiddich Distillery grounds, its processes, and its rich environment. Year after year, the artist pieces created during the residency are of unique tone, ambience and medium, and are displayed at the distillery for ongoing years.
"The Glenfiddich Artist in Residency program continues to capture the imagination of artists across the country,” comments Dave Dyment, Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Consultant & artist. “This year we had a record number of high-quality applications, and anyone from the shortlist would’ve made a great selection. Julie’s proposal to examine how culture shapes geography will resonate nicely with the opportunities at the residency. It reminds me of a quote from Scottish writer Alasdair Gray: ‘If a city hasn't been used by an artist, not even the inhabitants live there imaginatively’.” 
The 2024 residency marks the 23rd anniversary of the global Glenfiddich Artist in Residence program and the 19th anniversary of the program in Canada.
“Glenfiddich in Canada is honoured to support the Canadian arts community through the Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Program,” adds Claire May, Senior Brand Manager, Glenfiddich in Canada. “We are excited to award Julie this year’s residency and look forward to viewing the body of work she creates.”
Applications for the 2025 Artists in Residency program are scheduled to open in December 2024.




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