Art at Glyndebourne

Artist in Residence

Our Artist in Residence scheme for ‘emerging’ visual artists supports those who are in the first 5-10 years of their careers.

In 2019 we launched our Artist in Residence scheme for ‘emerging’ visual artists, which aims to support those who are in the first 5-15 years of their professional careers.

The Residency gives an artist the opportunity to develop their skills, build on their creative practice, exhibit new work and gain a behind-the-scenes insight into our work.

The purpose of this Residency is to produce new work in response to the buildings, history, stories, music, stagecraft or productions at Glyndebourne, to make interdisciplinary connections between art and music and inspire visitors with their artwork.

During the three month Residency, the artist is given the opportunity to live on site at the Glyndebourne Manor House for three weeks. After this time, the artist produces work in their own studio or place of work, with ongoing access to Glyndebourne for research and development.

Christopher Gilvan-Cartwright

Glyndebourne’s current Artist in Residence is the painter Christopher Gilvan-Cartwright.

Gilvan-Cartwright, who splits his time between his home in Glynde and his south-London studio, has always been fascinated by opera. Calling Glyndebourne, ‘a jewel in the forest’, his father was a principal singer at the Nationaltheater Mannheim and Christopher was an understudy for the fox boy in the 1977 Glyndebourne production of Cunning Little Vixen, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.

These early experiences of being at the theatre can be clearly found in Gilvan-Cartwright’s paintings, from the gesticulated application of impasto oil paint on the canvas, to the leitmotifs of stage floors, parapets, curtains, flats, fleeting weather and artificial landscapes that he returns to iteratively. In many of his paintings, there are spaces or apertures, inviting us to pause and look closely at the painting’s surface and question what kind of pictorial world we are looking at. Figures shift in and out of focus and often tangled bodies group around a central figure, mimicking what Gilvan-Cartwright calls ‘chorus groups’. He also paints motifs as if props left behind – bowls, ladders, skulls – in a frightening disassembling of the theatre miscellany.

Works-in-progress in Christopher Gilvan-Cartwright’s studio

For his Glyndebourne series this summer, Gilvan-Cartwright has created a series of large-scale paintings which wrap around the ground floor of the auditorium, inviting a dialogue between the building and the garden beyond. Gilvan-Cartwright sees the Residency as an opportunity to, ‘immerse myself in the unique world of Glyndebourne, its operas, history and extraordinary setting. Pushing my practice to explore painting as a playground between reality and illusion, contemporary and classical, as a platform on which a human landscape plays out its myths and fairy tales.’

Christopher Gilvan-Cartwright will also be a judge for this year’s Tour Art Competition and a mentor for the two recipients of the Artist-Teacher programme in conjunction with the University of Brighton.

All work by the Artist in Residence are for sale through the Glyndebourne Shop.

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