Gemma's the new artist in town

A Filmmaker and animator from London will spend six months living and working in Berwick-upon-Tweed exploring the current state of dairy farming in the county.

Monday, 17th October 2016, 12:42 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 3:17 pm

Berwick Visual Arts has announced Gemma Burditt, an animation director and illustrator of short films and music videos, as its new artist in residence in partnership with the Centre for Rural Economy at Newcastle University.

Gemma’s work examines human stories and how individuals negotiate their personal journeys through changes in the wider context, changes in political situations or conflict in personal truth versus societal expectations.

During her residency Gemma will work with researchers at the Centre for Rural Economy and the Institute for Sustainability at Newcastle University, to document dairy farming in Northumberland, exploring the scale of factors that depend on their success from disease and nutrients in the soil to current European policies and subsidies.

Gemma said: “I very much look forward to beginning this unique residency to explore the varied journey of dairy in such a historic and dramatic landscape. I have no doubt the opportunity to live and work in Berwick will enrich my practice enormously.”

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Now in its fourth year, the residency provides the opportunity for an artist working in any discipline to question what and who is rural, and explore rural life and society beyond idyllic representations, whilst living and working in Berwick-upon-Tweed for six months.

This year’s residency is supported by Newcastle University’s Institute for Sustainability, which is tackling global challenges in sustainability.

Prof Phil Taylor, Director of the Institute for Sustainability, said: “We congratulate Gemma Burditt on her new artist in residence.

“The Institute is pleased to support her film project that is covering a topic of great importance to the sustainability of dairy farming in Northumberland and throughout the world”.

James Lowther, Head of Visual Art for Berwick Visual Arts, said: “We are delighted to appoint Gemma as our next artist in residence. All members of the interview panel were impressed by the quality of her work and proposal for the residency, along with her commitment to the development of her artistic practice. We look forward to welcoming her to Berwick and supporting her in the research and development of this particularly relevant subject that is pertinent to many rural areas.’

Gemma’s residency runs until April 2017.