In October 2019, the British Council in collaboration with the Department of Industry and Tourism Ise City invited six UK-based artists that span the artforms reflecting the current diversity of UK creativity to travel to Ise City for an artistic research residency. This was the first time Ise City hosted an artists-in-residence programme and the open call attracted over 600 submissions.

Ise City is the home of Ise Jingu, one of the most important and prestigious Shinto Shrines in Japan. During the two week residency period, the artists had the opportunity to visit hidden parts of Ise Jingu which are not generally opened to the public; travel to other cultural heritage sites; and meet with Japanese Shinto priests, craft makers, local residents as well as Japanese contemporary artists. The residency provided the UK artists with an unique experience to encounter the beauty of Japanese culture and its tradition, explore its relevance to the 21st century and build new cultural relationships with Japan.

Group of seven people standing with the sea and Wedded Rocks of Futami, Ise City behind
The visit to Ise Jingu started at Futami, the base for pilgrims to the Jingu ever since the Edo Period. Artist twins Jane and Louise Wilson were interested by the Meoto Iwa (wedded rocks), revisiting them many times during their stay. ©

Ise City, British Council Photo by Hakubun Sakamoto

Grace Boyle

Artist and storyteller working at the intersection of art and science. Since 2015, she has focused on a multisensory, immersive medium, focusing on developing how to write, ‘shoot’ and perform stories that are multisensory from first concepts. She is the founder and director of The Feelies, which serves as a vehicle for this work, and a congregation point for collaboration with other artists of a wide range of fields. 
The Feelies website

Season Butler

Writer, artist, dramaturg and lecturer. Her writing, research and performance practice explore the opportunities and traps of hindsight and hope, coming-of-age into unprecedented change and what it means to look forward to an increasingly wily future.
Season Butler website

Matthew Rosier

Installation artist whose work seeks to augment our environment with memories of our past, distortions of our present, and visions of our future. Having trained as an architect, place is central in Matthew’s work; how it is used, by who, it’s history, it’s future, and what this communicates about society today.
Matthew Rosier website

Duncan Speakman

Artist and composer who trained as a sound engineer at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and is now based at the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol. Often working with mobile audio and locative media, he creates narrative experiences that engage audiences emotionally and physically in uncontrolled spaces.
Duncan Speakman website

Nicole Vivien Watson

Director of Surface Area Dance Theatre, and for over twelve years, she has contributed to the artistic community by presenting a vibrant, repertoire of engagement, that encompasses performance and socially concerned activities. She is presently working toward an MA in Japanese Studies, from the School of African and Asian Studies, University of London.
Surface Area Dance Theatre website

Jane and Louise Wilson

Identical twin sisters working as an artist duo in collaboration for over two decades. Since 1990, they have gained a national and international reputation as artists working with photography and the moving image, installation in an expanded form of cinema and lens-based media. In1999 they were nominated for The Turner Prize for their multi-screen installation Gamma.

This residency forms part of the cultural programme for UK in JAPAN 2019-20 jointly organised by the British Council and British Embassy Tokyo.

See also

External links