We are sad to say that the HeadSpace artist residency is now closed. It’s been wonderful having so many amazing artists stay with us over the years, but it was time for us to move on from Kayamori House. We hope to restart the residency at a new location in the not too distant future, so if you are interested, get in contact and we’ll keep you informed about any future developments.

Anrick is an interactive director and artist who makes web based stories, ads with unit9, and installation artwork as part of Tango & Hawaii.

“The project I created during my time at Headspace is simple in it’s premise and execution. In fact it’s a literal translation of my experience. It is the product of simply taking a moment to myself every day and observing one thing. To stay in one single place for a small period of time. I wanted to capture some of those colours and sounds I saw around me, and I wanted to use them to spell out what they gave me. Literally.”
~ Anrick Bregman

1_HHH 2_EEE 3_AAA 4_DDD 5_SSS 6_PPP 7_AAA 8_CCC 9_EEE 10_NNN 11_OOO 12_WWW

Aileen Hamilton is an Irish artist who is currently living in Spain. In her work, Aileen makes paintings, drawings and likes to play between 2D and 3D

While at Headspace, Aileen explored the residency’s rural environment and drew on the noises of wildlife, weather conditions, natural patterns and trees and plants. She made drawings and paintings on paper and also developed several installation pieces that she installed throughout Kayamori House – she used local bamboo to make a series of paintings, tatami mat to make a relief drawing, paper and thread to construct a rain cloud and a teacup and paper to make the “storm in a teacup”

Blog: www.aileenhamilton.blogspot.jp
Website: www.aileenhamilton.eu

Anna Francis is an artist whose practice examines private histories, public space and civic languages; using forms of intervention, mapping, performance, consultation and photography to investigate the impact that artists can have on their environments. Within Anna’s practice she creates situations for herself, the public and other artists to explore places differently: often experimenting with leading and instruction by creating manuals, kits or leading guided tours.

Anna is a Director at AirSpace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, UK’s contemporary, artist led exhibiting space, where she has particular responsibility for the education and outreach programmes.
Anna Francis is course leader on the BA Fine Art at Staffordshire University.
For more information and images of work please go to:

About Headspace Residency: 3 hours after arrival.
Like many busy artists, juggling a job and art career plus working with AirSpace, I find time to reflect and think hard to come by. Much of the time work made is made specifically for an exhibition or performance, and so the opportunity to come to the mountains of Nara and spend some time thinking, looking, listening is a luxury.
While here I intend to document the bugs I meet, record the sounds I hear, spend some time thinking about what I do, and see what happens.
In 2012 I have been making ‘How To’ Kits, for other artists to use, and so by the end of the residency I want to know how to make a ‘How To Retreat’ Kit, which will be left at Headspace for Future Artists Use. Ganbaremasu.

It’s our great pleasure to introducing our next artists in residence, Bill Will & LeBrie Rich (Pen Felt) from Portland, Oregon, USA. Bill and LeBrie will be in residence at our rural headquarters, Kayamori House, during May 2012.

LeBrie (AKA. PenFelt) is an artist with a love of textiles, paper and pattern. Her work has been featured in American and international publications, for print and web. LeBrie regularly teaches felting workshops to adults, and crafty classes to teens in public libraries.

Don’t miss LeBrie’s felt workshop at Kayamori House on 20th May! Click here for more info.

LeBrie: “I am looking forward to immersion in a culture with such a venerable history of aesthetics and hand crafted art forms. I think that Japan will give me context for myself as an artist using traditional craft media in a high-tech world. And I love cute things!!!”

Bill Will is a sculptor and installation artist who has exhibited extensively for more than 25 years. In addition to sculpture and installation art, Bill has also completed more than 30 public art commissions. He is a professor at Oregon College of Art and Craft. Bill lived in Japan for 2 years in the 1970s as an exchange student. In essence, his career as an artist began in Japan, and during his stay he wants to revisit some of the historic installations he remembers, and find out about what contemporary work is going on.


HeadSpace is monster mad for the next month with our latest artists in residence from UK, Felt Mistress and Jonathan E. Felt Mistress AKA Louise Evans is a UK based stitcher who creates a range of one-off bespoke creatures with her partner, illustrator Jonathan Edwards. Originally trained in fashion design and millinery, Louise has brought many of the skills learnt through years of work as a couture dress maker to the world of character design. Amongst many other high profile commissions, last year they created a display of their work for the Christmas window at Selfridges (a prestigious London department store).

Felt Mistress & Jonathan E will be headlining this year’s HeadSpace Arts & Music festival on 4th June 2011.


Our 6th artist in residence and final Daiwa Foundation funded artist is Ann-Marie James, a fine artist from London, UK. Ann-Marie will be working at HeadSpace Studio from 5th ~ 29th April 2011.

AM: “At Headspace, I would like to produce a body of work in response to imagery found and experienced during my stay – drawing upon both historical and contemporary imagery from Japanese culture. As all of my work appropriates found imagery, I would like to engage with the visitors, asking them to bring along images which I may appropriate in my drawings and paintings.”

If you’d like to submit an image to Ann-Marie, please email it to photo@headspace.jp
Imagery she is especially interested in receiving include the human figure, images from Japanese culture that depict the human form in any way – images from art history, manga, fashion, advertising, or pornography. Images taken on your mobile phone are fine too. The deadline for submissions is 17th April 2011.

New work by Ann-Marie will be on show at Soho Gallery, Osaka, from Friday 22nd ~ Sunday 24th April, with an artist talk and party on Saturday 23rd. All welcome!


Introducing Mark Goss, HeadSpace’s 5th artist in residency. Mark will be working at the studio from 21st February until 25th March 2011. Mark is an illustrator and painter from the UK currently living in Belgium. This is what he has planned for his time with us…

“In continuing the work I am currently doing relating to experience, I want to produce a collection of works recreating the environments, individuals and cultural elements that I see during my visit to Japan and in particular Nara. As well as producing these clustered experience pieces, I intend to draw inspiration from Japanese and western ghost stories and create typographic pieces which juxtapose eastern and western styles of typography and design.

I would finally like to combine the themes and ideas through the experience and typographic pieces and produce a large wall painting. After taking so much from Japan in order to produce a body of work, I would like to leave something behind that I would hope inspires and influences as well.”

Mark will also be showing his work as Soho Gallery in Osaka from 15th ~ 20th March with an artist talk and party on 19th March. Click here for more info

You can follow Mark’s blog about the residency here.

Introducing HeadSpace’’s 4th artist in residence, Barry Whittaker, who wi’ll be in the studio from 27th December until 15th January 2011.

As a multi-media artist, designer, and musician, Barry investigates the absurdities of daily life through digital media, performance, and collaboration. Whittaker explores the social dynamics of food, communication, animals, exploration, and household objects. Seen through an absurdist lens, these issues serve as a strategy to convey information and further dissolve barriers between audience and artwork.

During his residency at HeadSpace, Barry plans to work on a series of prints and animations. You can follow Barry’s adventures in the studio on his HeadSpace blog (coming soon) and see more of his work at www.barrywhittaker.com

Introducing HeadSpace’s 3rd artist in residence, Ellie Doney, who’s staying with us from 7th October until 17th November 2010.

Ellie makes sculpture with a variety of materials; whether precious, ephemeral, industrial or domestic, material is integral to her ideas. Much of the work focuses on the nature of matter itself.

The idea is to find the extraordinary in the everyday; a different way of seeing things you already know.

Ellie’s process of creating work is experimental and gestural, where temporary partnerships exist. Worlds are created where dreams, illusions and reality co-habit, are destroyed and re-assembled.

During her residency at HeadSpace, Ellie plans to use the studio as a lab to invent new combinations of things, temporary objects and “drawings”, as well as collaborating with several local artists. You can follow Ellie’s adventures on her HeadSpace blog and see more of her work at www.elliedoney.com

Enter Josephine Dimbleby, the newest HeadSpace artist in residence. Since her arrival in Japan she has been hoarding superfluous packaging, and in just one week collected enough to make her own suit and accessories out of it. Resembling a biohazard protective suit with a samurai helmet, or something worn in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Josephine donned her suit at the Sento festival in Nara.

Josephine on the making of the suit and its accoutrements:

“How many times have I returned from travelling to find my bags lined with flyers, notes, tickets, plastic bags, badges, postcards. I turn out the bag and sort through the droppings, but with the exception of personal contact – a name, an email – the rest normally ends up in the recycling. Paper and plastic memories? If I need to remind myself of a journey through perforated scraps, the documentation of having simply paid for it, then surely it’s been a pretty poor sort of journey. I decided before I arrived in Japan that I wanted to make something from the flotsam and jetsam I picked up, to turn it into a memorable experience in itself.

“I knew that the impeccable service culture in Japan extended to the presentation of goods, but I had no idea. No real concept of how a shop assistant might spend twenty minutes or more painstakingly wrapping items which had already been pre-packaged by their manufacturers to a ridiculous level, and THEN place the wrapped and bagged items inside yet another, larger plastic bag. With some tape to seal it. And a sticker. A bag of Japanese sweets from the combini – a plastic bag, to cover the plastic bag, that encases the individual plastic bag of each sweet. Is our world so germy and sweet-threatening that a full three layers is required?

“From the time I arrived, I started collecting the bags and packaging from my own personal usage. The tourist part of me loved it: even the most mundane of supermarket salty crisp packs, unreadable to me, seemed to contain messages of joy and promise. I amassed an astonishing amount of plastic waste in just one week. Stunned, I started thinking, what might be the outcome of this protection mania? Followed to its logical conclusion, we’ll use up two thirds of the world’s natural resources packaging up the other third, then find ourselves in a fix.

“Imagine if you can a time when nothing can be ‘new’ any longer. All that we have, we glean from the landfills of the past with incinerator furnaces regarded as a long-distant crime against humanity. Imagine when our survival depends on our individual abilities to craft from the discards of our blissfully wasteful society. When we mine the plastic wrappings of today for some semblance of protection in a harsh and unforgiving new climate, but still finding the depth of spirit to decorate our clothes, celebrate traditional customs and maintain our day-to-day routines despite the threat of extinction.”

Ashes To Ashes, Paint To Brush

Our very first artist in residence, David Shillinglaw, has finally come and gone and left an indelible mark upon Studio HeadSpace.

The volcanic ash cloud that plagued European skies towards the end of April actually worked in our favor, as we got the pleasure of David’s company for one extra week, extending his stay from April 5th to the 28th.

We took David around some of the prime sight seeing spots in Osaka, Kyoto and Nara, not to mention the drunken karaoke sessions and the numerous nights kicking back and getting to know the locals at MR.Q.

As per usual, David was a constant ball of energy and produced some fine works during his time here. David also headlined our groundbreaking event, HeadSpace, on April 17th to much acclaim and spent a weekend in Tokyo with a visit to Design Festa Gallery, where he painted a mural outside their premises. You can read more about our Tokyo adventure here.

Many people visited the Studio HeadSpace to see his exhibition, as well as stopped by throughout his stay to see him at work. It was an utter pleasure and privilege to have not only such a talented artist, but a fine human being as our first artist in residence. We look forward to having him back.

Read David’s Japan Journal

Buy drawings done while David was in Japan

See photos of our Tokyo adventures

Read about our arts & music festival which David headlined