© Copyright Ellen Mulcrone

Artist residency @ the walled garden


I am staying as an artist in residence at the Walled Garden in Mells. There is a beautiful cottage tucked away to the side of the garden where I am resting for a few moons. Here I can settle in to myself and explore my creative practice with fewer distractions.





Immediately on arrival the reality over rides my expectations of what I would be doing. I had idealised diving immediately in to mark making. But of course, that's not how it works when you arrive somewhere new, well when I arrive somewhere new at least. I need a day or two to settle; To unpack my bags, work out a little how the house works, and for some reason almost always rearrange the furniture to some extent, such that the layout works for me in that moment. Only then can I begin to find mental clarity from which I can create. It's always the same – why do I never remember?



So today - after having spent a day not only settling in but also celebrating my brother's birthday in the gorge at Cheddar - I begin to reside. My original intention for this week was as follows:


“To use the surrounding environment and the space away from the chaos of every day life to commit to fuelling the creative furnace. I will be zooming in and zooming out of elements within the garden, drawing out colour pallets and patterns and marking these on paper and canvas in a mixture of different mediums.”


This is what has been published on the Mells Walled Garden website. Unsurprisingly, I already have other ideas that I would like to pursue, but if there is anything I have learnt in my life thus far, it is to keep the intention and outline simple, and then stick to it. Especially when working within a timeframe, which I am here. So despite other inspirations since arriving, I am going to stick to my original intention.


I spent some time writing down some additional intentions for my time here, along with a daily checklist. This may sound militant but otherwise I find the days just slip by, which is lovely, but not very productive and may leave me feeling disappointed at the end of my week here.


I have two main focuses: The external and the internal.

The external is the making:

  • the art, the creating

  • the witnessing of form, texture, colour, pattern

  • documenting, photographing, writing about my experiences 

  • uploading pictures and blogging to online platforms


The internal is the inner work which I would like to explore along side the more practical, external study. This includes:

  • early nights and early rises 

  • writing down my dreams each morning

  • daily yoga/ dance/meditation

  • walking, foraging

  • clean meals

  • reading


I wrote down these focuses and checklists this morning whilst sitting in the garden in the sun. Doing this really helps me to have clarity for the week ahead.






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Ellen Mulcrone
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