Nikky Morgan-Smith was artist in residence at the Suzanne Bastien Foundation in Vanuatu in April / May 2019. The places, plants and creatures Nikky visited during the residency inform her new exhibtion The Darker Garden, in their own subtle ways.
"The legacy of Madam Suzanne Bastien, one of Vanuatu’s most prominent patrons of the arts. Called ‘The Mother of Contemporary Art in Vanuatu’, she was determined that her passion for the arts would survive her and created a foundation for the arts to which to entrust her life-long legacy.
In 2006, the Suzanne Bastien Foundation was born. The Foundation includes all of Suzanne’s estate; over three hectares of land in Pango on the beach front with beautiful gardens, her house which is now the artist in residence, a huge gallery space and a workshop.
The community that run the foundation have all been there since Madame Bastien and lovingly keep her visions alive, one of which was her passion for protecting the environment. Environmental awareness exhibitions are held regularly at the gallery.
Vanuatu is forward in some environmental issues including banning plastic bags and single use plastics... no straws!
This residency experience has been the best of my career. Thank you to everyone who helped this happen, from the fund raising to the foundation itself. I look to forward to sharing what comes out of this experience with you in my forthcoming show Lone Goat Gallery".
Nikky Morgan Smith 2019.