Daniel Barrow, a Winnipeg-born visual and performance artist best known for using overhead projectors and other antiquated technologies to bring comic-book narratives to life, has been named 2013 Canadian Glenfiddich Artist-in-Residence.
Barrow, 41, is one of eight artists from around the world chosen to live and work at the famous scotch distillery in Dufftown, Scotland, for three months. He was among 150 applicants vying for the prestigious prize.
The Glenfiddich brand, founded by William Grant in 1887, is known for its single malt scotch whisky, began its artist-in-residence program in 2002. Once in Dufftown, the artists live in "crofts" (traditional little Scottish farm houses) and are given about $20,000 worth of resources and materials and encouraged to find inspiration for new works in the pastoral setting of the Scottish Highlands.
One of the highlights is the opportunity to work in an international artists' community, Barrow, who resides in Montreal, says during a phone interview.
"It's amazing. You're living in a community with all these incredibly talented, successful artists who are divorced from their personal lives, and even to a certain extent from their active career lives, so you become instantaneous best friends," he says.
And there's just so many opportunities to meet different curators and programmers."
Barrow was recipient of the $50,000 Sobey Art Award in 2010 and also represented Canada at the International Studio & Curatorial Program in New York City that same year.
He has a few shows booked in Europe in May and then will participate in the Venice Biennale contemporary art exhibition before heading to Scotland in June.
The former Winnipegger, whose work -- he also does video, film, print-making and drawing -- has been described as "wry," "politically astute," "virtuoso" and "strangely heartbreaking," says he has visited Scotland, but never to its highlands.
Any fringe benefits associated with living at a scotch distillery may be lost on him, however.
"I'm a bit of a cheap date, so it wouldn't be my first choice," Barrow says of the malty libation. "I'm more of a wine person."