Exhibitionists·Video

What could you create if you had the space, time and tools? An inside look at one artist residency

Svea Ferguson spent five weeks in the heart of Banff National Park with only one goal: making art.

Svea Ferguson spent five weeks in the heart of Banff National Park unlocking her creativity

Svea Ferguson works in her light-filled studio at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. (CBC Arts)

What is it like to spend five weeks in the heart of Banff National Park with only one goal: making art? Sculptor Svea Ferguson is one of 75,000 professional artists who has participated in an artist residency at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity since 1933. The artist residency is a critical program that provides space, tools, inspiration and — maybe most importantly — time for artists to experiment and create.

CBC Arts: Exhibitionists host Amanda Parris sat down with Ferguson to discover what it's like to be an artist in residence at Banff. Ferguson works with everyday flooring materials like linoleum and vinyl to create sculptures that look like delicately knotted and draped textiles. But her time at Banff allowed her to experiment and discover a new medium: photographing and printing cyanotypes.

Watch the video:

Sculptor Svea Ferguson shares her experience of her artists residency at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity with Amanda Parris 5:47

Ferguson showed Parris her cyanotype process in Banff Centre's darkroom — one of the many facilities available to artists in residency. Those selected for the program come from all over the world, but Ferguson resides not too far away from Banff National Park in Calgary. Artists live on-site at the centre for the five weeks of their residencies.

"Because you're away from your home, you're really able to focus and kind of shut out your other life," she says about dedicating these five weeks away to her practice. "It's great to be here and be able to play and just feel unfettered — just have your time and do what you want with it."

Sculptor Svea Ferguson tells CBC Arts host Amanda Parris about her experience as an artist in residence at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. (CBC Arts)
Artist Svea Ferguson sits between two of her sculptures and a cyanotype in her studio at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. (CBC Arts)
Svea Ferguson and Amanda Parris in the Banff Centre's darkroom. (CBC Arts)

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