Art and Islands was originally a research initiative and part of the International Artist in Residence Programme. The residency programme was established in 1996 to give students studying art and design at Guernsey College, the opportunity to work alongside professional artists, while simultaneously aiming to increase the level of debate about where art sits in today’s society. In 2008, in an attempt to open up that dialogue and to ‘celebrate the islands’, Eric Snell the co-founder of the IAIRP (International Artist in Residence Programme Archives) decided to take the programme out of the art school environment and place it in the heart of the public realm.
Building on the earlier Antony Gormley IAIRP installation at Castle Cornet in Guernsey in 2008, Alderney Stones is effectively the first major Art and Islands project. Over two years in the making, it is the very essence of the initiative. Alderney Stones is a direct response to Alderney – it is of Alderney, in Alderney. Keen to celebrate that sense of place, the Art and Islands initiative aims to develop a wider understanding and appreciation of our visual language in today’s ever-changing cultural landscape, while at the same time looking to enrich the texture and quality of island life’.
Eric Snell, Founding Director