In 2008/9 Smith had residencies in Sri Lanka and in 2012 in Sweden as part of Connections North, a project supported by Chrysalis Arts and the Arts Council. Whilst in Sweden Smith used the opportunity to travel to the far north visiting the Sami people to better understand a way of life more directly connected to the natural World.
In 2013 Smith had funding award from the Arts Council International Development Fund to return to Sweden which gave her the opportunity to build on previous work and deepen her connections across northern Europe. In 2013 she was successful in her application to the Ruwenzori Sculpture Foundation for a residency in Uganda, this residency helped shape her understanding of our relationship with land.
These international residencies strengthened Smith’s appreciation of our environment, one that had already been strongly formed by living and working in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Walking the land is an important part of her practise.
Following on from these Smith applied and was granted an Arts Council Award in 2016 – this award supported her activity to explore our changing and deep rooted relationship with the natural world using a variety of new materials to create a series of sculptural installations. Collaboration was central to this project, Smith extended her creative vision by collaborating with two Manchester based artists – a sound artist/engineer – Caro C www.carosnatch.com and lighting artist Elisa Artesero – www.elisaartesero.com The realisation of this work was an exhibition at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Museum in Hawes – the Dales Countryside Museum – in October 2016 – www.dalescountrysidemuseum.org.uk
There is a film of the project available on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdQX2gankdk and a short preview of the work produced as a result of a collaboration between Smith, Caro C and Elisa Artesero exploring our deep-rooted and changing relationship with nature can be seen below. This project was supported by Arts Council England www.artscouncil.org.uk
PRESS RELEASE – May 2013
The sculptor Sarah Smith is the only Yorkshire-based artist to be funded in the recent round of funding applications to the Arts Council England, International Development Fund. This is a very competitive fund, Cluny Macpherson, Regional Director, Arts Council England, said:
‘The Artists international development fund enables artists to spend time travelling, exploring and collaborating with other cultures. I’m delighted we are supporting Sarah Smith to build on her links with artists in Sweden and to create a large-scale sculpture whilst working there. This fund supports artists to build upon their artistic practice and broaden their perspectives through working with others. Each artist will be able to bring their experiences back, share and hopefully influence their future work here in the UK.”
Smith will be returning to Sweden in July and August 2013 following an initial research visit in 2012. Smith stated “This is a fantastic opportunity and I am grateful to the Arts Council England in supporting my application – it is a major step forward for my work and it will enable me to form collaborations across northern Europe”.