The Glenfiddich Artist-in-Residence Prize is an annual award given to eight artists from around the world, providing them the opportunity to live, work and interact with each other at the distillery in Dufftown, Scotland. For Canadian artists, a jury panel from OCAD University and Andy Fairgrieve, Curator of the Glenfiddich Artist-in-Residency Prize, come together to choose an artist to represent Canada at the three-month international residency. The 2013 Canadian winner of the Prize is Winnepeg-born, Montreal-based artist, Daniel Barrow.

OCAD, Canada’s “university of imagination”, has long been known for developing young talent and championing cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. Their participation in the Prize shows their dedication to fostering Canadian talent and their leadership in advancing Canada’s cultural reputation abroad.

The Prize was created by William Grant & Sons, an independent, family-owned distillery, which distils some of the world’s leading brands of scotch whiskey, including Glenfiddich, with the goal to invite artists from around the world to live in Scotland. Artists are sent to the distillery for three months and are encouraged to find inspiration in the incredible Scottish landscape. The Prize includes the cost of travel, living expenses and working materials during the three-month residency.

Daniel typically creates a series of drawings that come together within the context of an installation, an animation, or a very unique projection performance. Some of his pieces have an interactive component, which allows the audience to move the projections and activate gestures within his projected vignettes. Often, Daniel will sit behind an overhead projector and tell an original story while layering hand-drawn images based on patterns, pictures and real life characters.

After going to school for interior design/architecture, art history and then finally, a studio design program, Daniel began his career as a distributions coordinator at an artist-run centre called Video Pool in Winnipeg. Although he initially created his art on evenings and weekends, he left Video Pool after receiving a provincial government grant that allowed him to become an artist full-time. The grant enabled him to follow the freedom of his imagination, and he began responding to calls for submissions and eventually got invited to exhibitions. He has now been featured in hundreds of exhibitions around the world.

By living in Scotland and engaging in dialogue with other international artists, Daniel believes his inspiration and point of departure will come from “narrative ideas that use the Scottish Highland – a landscape that epitomizes the melodrama of natural beauty as a plot device.”

The Glenfiddich Artist-in-Residence Prize has been awarded to other notable Canadian winners such as Damian Moppet, Dave Dyment and Jillian MacDonald, who have all gone on to have amazing careers in the arts. As a fantastic opportunity for all artists, Daniel hopes that his residency in Scotland will be as richly rewarding. This incredible award demonstrates Glenfiddich’s commitment to the arts and the communities it serves, giving Canadian artists a chance to succeed and be recognized on an international level. Maybe next year, the winner will be you.

WORDS: BRIAN SWEIGMAN
PHOTOS: ALEX BROWNE

LOCATION: THE SPOKE CLUB

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