UZ Arts has created a whole range of International Residency opportunities in Scotland, Europe and Sri Lanka. UZ Arts develop projects through offering residencies and commissioning art projects.
Sura Medura International Residency - Sri Lanka
Sura Medura is an International Artist residency centre in Hikkaduwa, South West Sri Lanka. It was established in 2011 and offers opportunities for both Scottish Artists, funded through Creative Scotland, and European Artists funded through IN SITU. It was founded to continue the artistic programme of the Chandrasevana Centre that was established by the Hikkaduwa Area Relief Fund www.chandrasevana.com
Artists from all disciplines are invited to submit proposals to create work that is enhanced by being developed in Sri Lanka. Selected artists are offered mentorship and opportunities to meet with their peers in the Sri Lankan arts community. There are also opportunities to present the resulting work in Sri Lanka and Scotland.
Click through the tabs to see all our previous years artists, from 2011 to 2014.
You will find blogs of our most recent artists in residence on the Creative Futures website, here.
The Sura Medura Residency Programme is part of Creative Futures, a Creative Scotland talent development programme which aims to promote the professional development, capabilities, connectivity and ambitions of Scotland's creative practitioners and organisations. You can find more information on Sura Medura Residencies and Creative Futures here.
The Sura Medura residencies are funded by Creative Scotland and the IN SITU Network
Email info @ uzarts.com for more information
Moving Out Sri Lanka concluded its 10 day programme with performances by Scotland's Alex Rigg, Germany's Frank Bolter, the Italian comic Adrian Schvarzstein, the Danish dancer Kitt Johnson, a film by Elisabeth Wildling from Austria and a spectacular display of traditional dance from the students and lecturers of the University of Visual and Performing Arts Colombo - the projects artistic partners. The programme had as promised presented performances on the beach, the streets, the village, the markets, the jungle, the clubs and at sea. It reached thousands of the public from every walk of life from rural fishing villagers to city urbanists and bemused and delighted in equal measure. The delight of the artists in collaborating together, once they had developed their own work, was evident in impromptu guerrilla performances and the comic film created - soon to be released on Vimeo.
The programme was created by UZ Arts and developed through residencies at the Sura Medura Centre in Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka with funds from Insitu, the Goethe Institute, the British Council and local business sponsors. The programme was further enhanced through the participation of fishing families in Dondaduwa, surfers and fishermen, Hikkaduwa and Colombo and the addition of Texan virtuoso guitarist Rodney Brannigan, Jurate Syrvite from Lithuania, Roger Ely from England, DJ Sunara and the performers of UVPA Colombo. In all there were 78 performers and over 154 participants.
"I would say it has provided an intense, uneasy, alarming, charming, edgy, humbling, annoying, astonishing, provoking, friendly, dangerous, challenging, contrasting, confusing and edifying experience and not at all easy. The work that I have made as a result is helping me to move in a new direction with my thinking and I am keen to continue the process." - Alex Rigg, Scotland
"It was a pleasure for me to find several magic moments working with my colleagues, working with artists, whose main expressions and languages is being in the present. What I found are fresh aspects of real-time, which influenced my thinking, and changed already my approaches of my ongoing work." - Elisabeth Wildling, Austria
"The residency in Sura Medura house was perfect, the room and all the space available was exactly what we needed. A great variation of experiences and tastes was the result of sharing our creativity and imagination and to adapt ourselves to any possible situation." - Adrian Schvarzstein, Italy
"First and foremost it was a very very fruitful experience. The work in the village and the whole encounter with the beautiful people there was extremely giving both on an artistic as well as on a personal level. Artistically I was challenged by the cultural barrier, both in terms of understanding of that art can be, the lack of a 'modernism' in terms of art, as well as just the basic difference between Danish and Sri Lankan reality. It forced me to approach the project completely differently. I think more culture specific than ever and I was very happy with the result." - Kitt Johnson, Denmark
"Thank you for this unforgettable dream in Hikkaduwa and Colombo. Joining the artists' group was fantastic." - Frank Bolter, Germany
"The Sura Medura residency programme provides unique experiences for adventurous artists that can have a profound positive impact upon their practise. The Moving Out Sri Lanka Festival also showed how they work created can respond to and be of value to the artistic and wider community." - Neil Butler, Artistic Director UZ Arts
UZ Arts was delighted to announce an exciting, innovative international programme of theatre and performance. There are currently Directors from 6 European countries to the Sura Medura International Residency Centre, Sri Lanka, to work with Sri Lankan performers and artists to create 6 new ground breaking shows.
The shows are being developed through residencies, which have been taking place at Sura Medura this winter. They have given the Directors the opportunity to explore and develop new work for Sri Lanka and international touring, with the 2015 programme specifically exploring current developments in art in public space in collaboration with the local artistic and wider communities.
Each of the artists taking part in the residency programme has extensive international experience, much of which involves public engagement with local communities, either in the development of the work, or in the performance of it. The programme has been created with the support of In Situ and their Europeans Abroad fund, EUNIC Sri Lanka (consisting of the British council, the Goethe Institute, and Alliance Francaise) and the University of Visual and Performing Arts Sri Lanka as well as local businesses.
The international directors are:
Adrian Schvarzstein (Spain / Itlay) www.adrianschvarzstein.com
Since 1989, Schvarzstein has been working as a clown, actor and theatre director. He studied Commedia Dell'Arte in Italy and performed for many years with Circus Ronaldo in Belgium. His award winning shows have toured internationally and he intends to create a new Street Theatre Company for Sri Lanka.
Kitt Johnson (Denmark) www.kittjohnson.dk
Danish dancer and choreographer Kitt Johnson has been developing her unique artistic universe for more than 25 years, with company Kitt Johnson X-act. She will be working with local Hikkaduwa families to create a tour of the village where, through her work, the public with be introduced to local skills and interests.
Alex Rigg (Scotland) www.oceanallover.co.uk
As well as having thirty years of practical experience in building large-scale structures in timber, steel, cloth, and stone, he has also been creating and delivering live events using physical theatre, dance, sculpture and design since 1982. His company Oceanallover as created many innovative events, bringing new audiences to physical performance. He will work with local performers to create shows on the beach, in the clubs and in the city.
The international artists are:
Elisabeth Wildling (Austria) www.elisabethwildling.com
Elisabeth is working in the fields of Visual Media and Digital Art. Her artistic work thematises altered spacial and temporal perception, by means of visual and cinematic techniques. She will be working in public space with projection and video mapping.
Frank Bolter (Germany) www.frankboeler.de
Frank is a German visual artist, working in public space to create large-scale collaborative sculptures from card and paper. For Sri Lanka, he will work with artists and the public to build a paper boat to sail back to Germany.
Rodney Branigan (UK / USA) rodneybranigan.com
Texas born and London based, Rodney Branigan is a singer songwriter with a virtuosi's command of his instruments and a stage show that has attracted international acclaim. He will be the programmes' musician in residence.
For up to date information and images of the residencies, please check the dedicated Facebook page: Moving Out Facebook
Europeans Abroad aims to create bridges with artistic and cultural partners outside Europe in the form of residencies or co-productions. Calling on its experience throughout the European territory, the IN SITU network offers its partners and artists the opportunity to enhance their practices by discovering the realities of other continents.
Visual Artist Kit Mead was awarded the Sura Medura Residency in 2013.
Kit Mead’s practice responds to the dynamics of a period of time being defined by uncertainty and transition, focusing on how technological progress is altering our response to the expectation and awareness of temporal change. Through rigidly structured processes, Kit uses time as a material to create situations where there is a collision between systems of technology, history, the cinematic and the experience of ‘lived time’.
He was working at Sura Medura from the middle of January to the end February 2013. There he developed a new project, rediscovering the film location and set of the 1957 film, "The Bridge over the River Kwai", exploring the blurring of fact and fiction of the history of Sri Lanka.
The UK premiere of his resultant work "The Other Kwai", was shown at The Briggait, Glasgow on Tuesday 16th April 2013, to an intimate, and fascinated audience.
For further information, you can read Kit's blog on the Sura Medura website.
Image from Kit’s 2012 exhibition “1973” in The Galley, Carlisle. Photograph courtesy of Max Fox.
The Sura Medura residencies are funded by Creative Scotland and the IN SITU Network
Alongside Sura Medura, UZ Arts also arrange residencies in other locations for the development and delivery of artists work.
Maria McCavana visited Sura Medura and then went on to present her work at the Colombo Arts Biennale
Olivier Grossetete presented 'La Phare' - his first cardboard box tower on Scottish soil at the 'Burns Brightly' Festival in Ayr and then again in a new incarnation as 'The People's Tower', in Glasgow at the Merchant City Festival. Both projects were brought together as part of our “Roofless” programme.
Sumit Sarkar toured his incredible hydraulic, anatomic condor 'Buzzbeak' in Lanarkshire and Shetland, again for the“Roofless” programme.
Neil Butler and Jon Biddel with Teatri ODA in Kosovo
Menikavan der Poorten at Cove Park
In 2011, Sura Medura succeeded Chandrasevana as an international residency centre. Before this, Chandrasevana hosted the following artists:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
Over the last few years we have been asking artists to write blogs whilst undertaking their residencies at Sura Medura, Sri Lanka. These blogs are a mixture of experiences, musings, and approaches and are revealing in how each artist experiences their time at Sura Medura differently.
All the blogs are posted on our dedicated Sura Medura Website here
Or for direct access to each of the artists blog series, you can click on their name below:
2013 / 14
2014 / 15