Action Hero’s You Can Be My Wingman residency returns

by | Feb 18, 2022 | Arts and Place, News & blogs, News & blogs: Arts School, Reimagining Performance Practice

Action Hero runs a yearly residency for mid-career artists called You Can Be My Wingman, spending a week resting, reflecting and making space for new collaborative ideas. In February 2022 the residency returned to Dartington for the second time, bringing ten artists who had not worked together before to start collaborating on new projects, with mentorship from Britt Hatzius.

Action Hero in the Hex studio at Dartington Trust

Action Hero at Dartington: Gemma Paintin and James Stenhouse

The residency is different to many typical residencies in that it is a non-pressurised experience for the artists involved. The approach is about not forcing work immediately, but creating a space for new ideas to emerge through the organic process of spending time with an artist you haven’t worked with before, trying out new things in a tranquil, supportive environment, and taking inspiration from the connections and ideas that emerge throughout the week.  

“The idea was to create a space for artists to work together in way that was very low stress, low impact and low expectation – and that there wasn’t a pressure to make anything or have a certain outcome, but just create a space for people to do what they wanted.”

“The irony is that if you can create a space that doesn’t demand outcomes, more work will be produced in the end. Because like with anything if you put pressure on something stuff will come out but is it the best that person can do? Maybe not.”

2022 participants w/ mentor Britt Hatzius
Jo Bannon & Augusto Corrieri
Hester Chillingworth and Anna Clock
Amy Sharrocks and Selina Thompson
Marlo De Lara, Natalie Hyacinth & Shanti Suki Osman
Omikemi and the River Dart

While they were with us, we interviewed Gemma Paintin, one half of Action Hero, to find out more about their distinctive approach to organising this residency, and to see what role Dartington continues to play in providing a space to host nuanced artistic enquiry of this kind. 

At Dartington Arts School we offer one of the only degrees in the country to focus specifically on artist residencies. The next iteration of the MA Arts and Place starts in April, and there are a handful of spaces open to new applicants, as well as a small part-bursary for a full time student. Find out more via the button below.