In 2019 when I walked away from UAL for the last time, I felt a sense of completion. My thesis project was done, it felt amazing to receive recognition for it, and it had culminated in the most incredible tour of Karachi. What more could I want? The Untold Edition seemed to be reaching its natural conclusion.
But, this year, it occurred to me that community collaborations don’t end. They’re seeds you plant that grow into intertwined, unexpected, vines. And then, in a very organic way, they continue to seed new ideas and new growth. I may have felt content with the trajectory of The Untold Edition at the end of 2019, but I could not stop it from evolving, extending branches that divide and flourish into myriads more projects.
With everyone and everything in lockdown since the beginning of 2020, The Untold Edition was also at a unique advantage. I had never had a base of operations in Pakistan, where the majority of the projects took place. I was always an online entity, scrabbling to arrange things through people I had never met. It would be quite natural for The Untold Edition to manifest itself in a new project during the lockdown.
So I did something I always wanted to be a part of AND offer to other artists. A residency. If we can’t go to residencies during lockdown, why not bring the residency to us? As far as my limited understanding goes, a residency is an opportunity for an artist to:
- Learn from other artists about various/specific techniques and concepts
- Introspect and reflect on their practice and emerge afresh, and potentially with new art.
That means the steps to holding a residency were simple. I needed to find the right mentors and connect them to the right participants. Voila!
I reached out to a couple of people I knew with the right skills to match the theme of the residency, waited for their confirmation, designed some infographics and an open call poster. And I’m ready tomorrow for The Untold Edition to return.