an artists residency by the sea


6/7th February 2024
Iklectik Art Lab

A Tranquil Haven for Creativity: IKLECTIK’s Mini Residency Experience in the Summerhouse Artists Residency.

Nestled in the charming village of Felpham, our mini creative residency at the Summerhouse proved to be an inspiring retreat in West Sussex.

Steeped in literary history as the former residence of William Blake, the village exudes a peculiar ambiance, amplified by treasures like Rolly’s Records, a second-hand vinyl shop, the 1790’s Fox Inn Pub and the precious Post-Office.

The Summerhouse itself is a cozy haven, enveloped by 2 peaceful and inspiring gardens. From the moment we arrived, Mike and Lizzie, our gracious hosts, showered us with care and attention, ensuring our every need was met. Their warmth and hospitality made us feel not just welcomed, but truly cherished throughout our stay.

One of the highlights of our experience was the opportunity to connect in depth with Mike, whose knowledge, visionary outlook, and wealth of experience left an indelible mark on us. Sharing our plans about IKLECTIK with him was not only enlightening but also empowering. His insights and encouragement provided us with the confidence and direction to forge the future of our organisation.

In essence, the Summerhouse serves as the perfect amalgamation of serenity and inspiration, fostering an environment conducive to nurturing the next chapter of one’s artistic journey. Whether seeking solace for reflection or guidance, this idyllic retreat offers the perfect backdrop for creative exploration and growth. [Eduard & Isa, February 2024]

3rd July 2023
Julia Dempsey (Art Assembly)

The summerhouse residency is the first art residency I have participated in since becoming a mum 6 years ago. The room I stayed and the summerhouse itself are surrounded by Mike and Lizzie’s beautiful English cottage garden which provided a peaceful retreat from London and the mental chaos that comes with parenting two small children.

Mike and Lizzie are interesting and lovely people to spend time with and aside from the more focused conversations I had on my work throughout the stay I found our interactions over dinner etc. and the evening very inspiring.

It was exciting to be talking about work and ideas again. Before travelling down I learned a little about the location. Mike and Lizzie’s garden sits adjacent to a beautiful allotment and that set me thinking about the legislation that formed many of the allotments in the UK in the early 20th Century. I also read about Felpham’s most famous resident William Blake who I learned was a reformer and radical. The residency allowed me the headspace to explore these ideas and begin to coalesce them into some plans for a new piece of work. This would have been impossible without the visit both due to the inspiration but also as a space to contemplate freely.

Over the course of our conversations throughout the stay Mike provided me with points for further reading, exploration and development. Mike is very experienced with tutoring artists and helping them bring out their ideas.  We then hit Felpham to do some sound recording, Mike obviously has many years of expertise in the field of sound. I was also lucky to be able to lean on Lizzie’s skill as a screenwriter and actor, for example when I wanted to record an excerpt of poetry she was kind enough to do the reading for me.

All in all it was a valuable visit, I left feeling inspired, recharged and with a new energy for future work. [Julia, July 2023]

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