As part of the BCN Residency Programme 2023/24, Quennie Lim, artist in residence during November 2023 was interviewed by Project Co-ordinator Rene Francis-McBrearty. Read the interview in full below.

Rene: What are you up to for your BCN residency?

Quennie: “I’ll be exploring archives that are living in the family albums of some members of the Filipino West Bromwich Community, specifically from the matriarchs who migrated to the area in the early 2000s through the NHS. The residency is my opportunity to begin archiving the history of the Filipino diaspora’s presence in West Brom and Birmingham.”

Rene: What got you into making art?

Quennie: “There’s many things that have led me to making art.

Storytelling has always been a vital component to the way a lot of us make sense of the world – to come to understand the world that lives outside and inside of ourselves, individually and as a collective. 

School catalysed my interaction with glue sticks, paper mache, and glitter. Then came theatre and photography.

Theatre was my first love. It still is. The physicality of storytelling on stage – and world building on stage – ignited me when I was younger. Theatre helps me visualise worlds from the imagination, to see and think beyond the boundaries we’ve laid out for our own lives and each other – it is a beautiful space for empathy.

Photography has always been a quiet presence in my life. I just found that the camera and the physical photograph print in my hand felt comfortable and intimidating – once I began to really bring my thoughts alongside it. Photography, especially archives, continuously reminds me of looking towards the resources and stories that we currently have.”

Rene: Who or what is inspiring you right now (other artists, people, music, food, a book, land, nature… anything!)?

Quennie: “The Rehearsal room. Emotions. Connection. Trust.” 

“In the past few months, I’ve been engaging with more rehearsal rooms. I’m inspired by it because of the people and the energy that creates the space the way it is. The concept of the rehearsal room is something that I’ve been thinking about in its wider capacity, both for and outside of theatre and performance. MAIA has inspired me a lot into thinking about this. The rehearsal room has allowed me to practise being an active person in narratives – showing up in whatever capacity that may be. To practise different thoughts and ideas. To trust the process, to trust the connections, to trust the falling and the rising. To breathe.”

This interview took place on 2 November, 2023. Find Quennie Lim on Instagram.

Untitled, 2023 © Quennie Lim

Photography, especially archives, continuously reminds me of looking towards the resources and stories that we currently have.”

Quennie Lim

The BCN Residency Programme is a funded artist residency held in partnership between Multistory and The Wolverhampton School of Art. The programme provides Sandwell and Black Country artists with focused time and support for; development, research, testing out ideas, making new work and sharing it with audiences. It provides artists with structured support from the Multistory team, 1-to-1 mentoring with Multistory’s Arts Council England’s Relationship Manager, focused time and financial resources to reflect on and develop their practices. The Wolverhampton School of Art provide studio and an exhibition space for the end of programme group show.

Residencies will take place in October and November 2023, and January, February and March 2024, culminating in a day of presentations and the launch of a group exhibition at The Wolverhampton School of Art on 11 April 2024.