The Gibraltar 2019 NatWest International Island Games Art Residency is well underway with the artists involved describing the experience as inspiring, stimulating and exciting. The group of 14 artists from numerous participating islands, Gibraltar, and others, have been working on a variety of concepts in a multimedia environment. There has been site-specific work and exciting ideas developed over the last 10 days.

Residency Director Alan Perez says the event has proven to be “an important cultural side to the games. The work produced in the first week has been linked closely to Gibraltar’s, social, political, cultural and historical influences. The identity, culture and practice of the different participants from the Islands have fused and fostered creative thinking with the values of friendship, hard work and positive outlook for future developments and projects.”

Writer Donald Murray, representing the Western Isles, says, “There are few experiences in life more inspiring than spending time in the company of a group of wonderfully creative people in a new and fascinating location. This short period in Gibraltar has more than fulfilled my expectations. It has been a stimulating and astonishing time which has enabled me and others to look at the world anew.”

The sentiment is also echoed by Bridget Spinney from Guernsey: “It is a great privilege to be one of the artists invited to take part. Working with so much talent, imagination and vision has been an inspiration. I have been made so very welcome with such kindness and hospitality shown by our hosts. The facilities provided have been excellent. I hope the relationship made with Gibraltar and the other artists during this residency will be long lasting.”

Cristina Rodriguez, who’s just completed her PGCE after graduating with a Fine Arts degree, says “Working collaboratively onsite has enriched my practice with a range of art disciplines such as performance, film and poetry. Our time together has also raised interesting discussions on the notion of identity, investigating the similarities and differences of an islander which might enhance art practice.”

Oliver Canessa, this year’s Spring Art Competition winner, has been blown away: “A magnificent collaboration and delicious opportunity. More, more, more please. Let Gibraltar after this week continue to be an enabler for artists and thinkers to come together and cultivate a community against the tide of atomisation, all at the bottom of Europe.”

An exhibition to showcase the work produced will launch today (Thursday 4th July 2019), open to the general public on Friday 5th, and will run daily at the John Mackintosh Hall until Friday 12th July 2019 from 8.30am to 9.30pm.