Looking to take your circus practice outside-the-box or tent this summer? Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature Centre wants to help. Located in the resort town of St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, Sunbury Shores is a nonprofit that explores the connections between art and nature in year-round creative programs. This summer, they’re looking to host 6 challenge-seeking, innovative circus artists from different disciplines for their brand-new circus arts residency, “Circus Arts Residency for Creative Capacity,” in collaboration with Kingsbrae International Residency for the Arts (KIRA) in St. Andrews.
Renowned performers Jay Gilligan and Frodo Santini have collaborated with Sunbury Shores Artistic Director Joel Mason to create a residency to super-charge tangible growth in creative capacity through experimental methods.
Compared to other circus residency programs, artists in residence at St. Andrews will brave a different sort of beast along their journey. As Joel Mason explains, “The St. Andrews Residency is unique because it focuses on helping artists form new creative capacities, unlocking the tools to imagine and create new expressions.” Joel and the two program instructors, Jay Gilligan and Frodo Santini, designed activities that prompt residents to think differently and provide welcome disruptions to the typical creative process.
“The Box is that idea,” as Mason explains. “Every expression has a story, and that story is full of interruptions that transformed it during the process of creation, even though it wasn’t planned. Just like life and love, it happens when you’re not looking. But what if we, as artists, designed these interruptions to our future process? What if we planned a series of these interruptions so we could have a say in what ‘accidents’ would invade our creation, bringing it into new areas?”
The St. Andrews residency program does just this with the help of the program instructors. As Mason further shared, “Upon their arrival, the artists will open the Box and find a pre-designed series of interventions, prompts, and experiences— elements that will unveil who they are, and where they desire to bring their artistic practice. This is an entirely new way to create that blends the best in educational theory with the instruction of two world-class performers to give artists a toolbox they will never lose.”
The Box formalizes what is always the case for any artist: whatever the contours of the situation that we find ourselves in, we learn to play with them—artfully—to render something new. At the end of the month, the 6 artists in residence will box up a collection of ideas and elements for the next year’s artists! In this way, this program will be able to experiment gradually with collective creation and explore the meaning of what lives on from ephemeral work. Mason believes that this kind of approach might also help artists uncover new ways of thinking about economics, IP, and finding financial success.
This residency program is ideal for a self-probing performer who is looking to challenge themself personally as well as artistically. They should be open-minded to exploring new practices and concepts, value group work and participation, and deeply feel that making great art is about the artist’s journey, not only the destination.
While resident instructor Jay is best known for his juggling, and Santini for contortion, this program emphatically encourages applicants from all circus disciplines. Joel Mason assures prospective candidates that the instructors are most interested in “what makes YOU tick as a performer. We’re interested in the dramaturgical potential of collaborations between juggling and other circus disciplines. How do the techniques of one unlock new ideas in the other? Acrobatics, Chinese pole, teeterboard, tight wire, and contortion, as well as other disciplines, are all welcome.”
This is a month-long residency from June 4th to July 2nd, 2022.
The terms of the residency include 3 planned moments of public performance during the program,
the last of which is on July 1st: an hour-long public show developed with Jay and Frodo.
The program includes accommodation at the KIRA mansion in St. Andrews, meals, a daily stipend, pick up and drop off at the airport,
and 1 week of creative development with Jay Gilligan. Artists only have to take care of their travel expenses to St. Andrews.
Application to the residency program is open via the CircusTalk platform. Application deadline is March 17th.