During the summer of 2020 Caraboo Projects initiated ‘brb…’ an open call for an online mentoring programme which paired six emerging artists with six mid-career artists or curators to have conversations offering support and advice around their practice. There was specific encouragement for those that had found a way into art making via a non-traditional route, as a consequence 50% of the mentees had not been to art school but were all making significant strides in their work.

This year brb… has teamed up with The Garage a dedicated space that offers artists the freedom to explore, experiment and test out their work & ideas through individual residencies.  With the support of The Garage we have been able to offer each mentee a micro-residency lasting a week. Running Monday – Friday of the last week of each month (beginning in March) each mentee will have a week to use the space in whatever way they see fit, with the chance of a presentation on the Saturday. They will be supported by brb… programme leader Phil Root to explore their practice.

We would like to thank Arts Council England for supporting the first phase of brb… and to Helen Acklam Director of The Garage for facilitating the residencies.

During each residency the artists will also be invited to take over the Caraboo Instagram.

brb… participating artists

Dan Guthrie is a Gloucestershire-based artist, researcher and programmer whose work often explores facets of Black Britishness through the lens of moving image. He was a participant of AMPlify residency at Wysing Arts Centre and has shown his work at ICA, London, International film festival, Rotterdam as well as being featured on BBC New Creatives. Dan Guthrie is paired with Nella Aarne the Co-Director of Obsidian Coast, Bradford-on-Avon, and the convener of the Of Animacy Reading Group. Envisaging feminist and environmentally sustainable practices, her work considers ethical encounters, collaborative learning and redefined notions of productivity

Nella also works with Visual Arts South West, and has worked on projects for ICA, London; Arnolfini, Bristol; Glasgow International; Art Licks Weekend, London; and Science Museum, London and was the recipient of the Curatorial Junior Fellowship at Goldsmiths in 2015–16.


Image: Dan Guthrie, Still from Three Young Men on a Bench, 2018/2019

Image: Sonia Levy, For the Love of Corals (2018), installation view at Obsidian Coast

Language is at the forefront of Kelsey Cruz–Martin’s practice. Ideas materialise across a variety of disciplines including sculpture, printmaking, textiles, drawing, text and sound. Her work challenges the potential and limitations of communication, semiotics, human behaviour, and the familiarity of language. Kelsey has been paired with Harriet Bowman, a Bristol based artist working across sculpture, text and performance, Harriet’s work is informed by an ongoing fictional narrative which evolves through materials and their site of production. Solo exhibitions include: All Round-er (sad sale), Spike Island, Bristol (2018); putting my foot down, Outpost, Norwich (2018); Desktop Residency, Online (2020): Exeter Contemporary Open (2019).


Image: Kelsey Cruz-Martin, Conductor (Detail) Earthenware clay, glaze, cassette tape, Dimension variable, 2019

Image: Harriet Bowman, Installation view, All Round-er (sad sale),  Spike Island Gallery, 2018

Madeline Rolt’s work takes the form of ‘mobile clusters’ which jangle, bounce off each other, intertwine and expand. Sculptures, paintings, moving image, bookworks and sound which are anchored by knocked up plinths, wayward stories stumble into space. The work is a celebration of both dark and light moments which are thoughtful, melodic and personal. Madeline has been paired with Savinder Bual who makes moving image works and kinetic sculptures. Imagining herself as a cinema pioneer she explores the interplay between the moving and the still, creating works that sit between the pre-cinematic and the digital. By discovering lo-fi ways to add movement to single images and commonplace objects and materials, her intent is to ignite wonder at the illusion of cinema. Bual studied photography at the Royal College of Art, London and has exhibited widely, including Bloomberg New Contemporaries; Turner Contemporary; Wimbledon Space, Focal Point Gallery, Peer Gallery and CCA. She was recently awarded a Jerwood bursary.


Image: Madeline Rolt, Diddle and sass and the chorus of faff (Detail), mixed media installation, 2020

Image: Savinder Bual, Installation view, Javasu, Caraboo Projects, Bristol, 2019

Zoe Brennan is a multi disciplinary designer and artist from Bristol, whose work is spatially and socially conscious, exploring new and playful ways to see and interpret information. Sometimes she makes work with other people, sometimes she doesn’t. With experience designing installations and performance, creating publications and public art, the experience of the viewer, participant or audience is always at the centre of her work. Zoe has been paired with Rachael Clerke an award winning Bristol-based artist working across many mediums. Her work can usually be described as satire and is often explicitly anti-capitalist, queer and feminist. She is interested in changing the world by creating alternative narratives and realities. Rachael is currently developing Working Model, a modern-day city built by children, and Shared Ownership Businesses, a shared ownership business. Rachael is a proud member of: Interval artist collective, Artist Union England & ACORN and is a Jerwood Foundation Artist Advisor.


Image: Down on Patience, Bristol, 2020


Image: Rachael Clerke, Shared Ownership Business, Bristol, 2019

Jack Hardy is an Australian contemporary abstract painter influenced by mid-century abstraction and automatic painting. My objective as an artist is to observe the modern world, delve into my own psyche and from this create images that evoke either a sense of serenity or uncertainty. Jack has been paired with Martyn Cross, who is an artist based in Bristol. Since graduating in Fine Art from Bath Spa University in 1998, he has developed an expanded art practice that is rooted in painting yet also encompasses other art forms such as sculpture, performance and writing. He has exhibited widely, most recently at The Garage (Bristol), Peter von Kant (London), Mostyn (Llandudno), LIMBO (Margate), Kettles Yard (Cambridge), and Ceri Hand Gallery (Liverpool). In 2014 he won the inaugural Angelika Open.


Image: Jack Hardy, Three Chairs, Acrylic on paper, 21x30cm each, 2020

Image: Martyn Cross, Installation view, Fresh Hell at The Garage, Bristol, 2019

Ellen May Pye is an interdisciplinary artist with a background in co-creating community projects. Previous work has used collaboration to express shared concerns and desires in playful and joyful ways and thinking about how using play can dismantle established hierarchies. After years of working with other artists she is beginning to establish an independent practice. Currently I’m experimenting with sculpture and animation to look at the history and mythology around plants and their significance to us in the everyday. Ellen is paired with Laura Eldret, an artist who explores social forms and works across art forms including installation, textiles, performance and video. Select exhibitions include Gods House Tower (2020); Karst and The Box, Plymouth (2019); Firstsite, Colchester (2018); Turf Projects, Croydon (2017); CCA Derry, NI (2016); Fig-2, ICA, London (2015); Focal Point Gallery, Southend (2015). Laura is a visiting tutor in Fine Art at Arts University Bournemouth and has guest lectured at RCA, Goldsmiths and UAL. In 2019 she established More Than Ponies, an artist-led programme of contemporary art for and/ or about the New Forest.


Image: Ellen May Pye, Still from The East Street Martian, Happynings, 2018
Image: Installation view, Those Who Look Out & Those Who Look Back, Laura Eldret & Paul Vivian, God’s house tower, Southampton, 2020
Pro, fabric, fringing and thread, 260 x 100 cm 2017 @cahoonashairhub Photo credit @danweillphotography