ESW/ECA Graduate Residents 2022: Christian Bajenaru, Matilda Bird, Jill Boualaxai and Isobel Leonard

Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop is delighted to announce that this years’ ESW/ECA Graduate Bursary artists are Christian Bajenaru, Matilda Bird, Jill Martin Boualaxai and Isobel Leonard. 

They will be in residence at ESW for three months from October 2022, developing new work. Residents are provided with ongoing technical, curatorial support and mentorship from the ESW team and will have access to ESW’s production faculties and training to help them develop new skills. There will be opportunities for them to connect with the ESW membership and Edinburgh’s community of artists to enable them to develop their networks and establish their career.

Christian Bajenaru is a multidisciplinary artist working primarily with sculpture and filmmaking. His work currently exists at the intersection of art, fiction, technology, architecture and design. Experimentation with material form and context is the basis of his work, often employing a playful approach with materials to generate small fragments that he can later develop and distil. By using organic materials alongside steel or concrete, where the effects of time are less visible over short periods, he attempts to uncover the complex relationships we have with others and the environments we inhabit. He is also the co-founder and director ofthebox, Edinburghs newest and smallest contemporary art gallery. Christian has just completed his BA in Sculpture at Edinburgh College of art.

You can find out more about his work here and here

Image credits: Interactive Column III, 2022


Matilda Bird seeks to reinvigorate the adult mind through the basic environment to stimulate new ideas and promote creativity in a world that desperately needs it. Her current works have been informed by the simply engineered mechanisms of vintage toys, automata, and pop-up books. The principles of which are then applied to everyday objects such as chairs, introducing new life and playful elements to their form, resulting in interactive sculptures that prioritise an embodied experience. Matilda Bird grew up in London and moved to Sussex when she was 18. She spent two years travelling and living in intentional communities/ eco-villages before entering further education. Matilda studied Art and Design Foundation in Brighton and has just completed a BA Sculpture degree Edinburgh College of art.

You can find out more about her work here.

Image credit: The Rat Trap Chair, 2022.

Jill Martin Boualaxai is   a multi media artist based in Edinburgh whoserecent research has focused on the role art can play in the development of an alternative archaeology of modern subcultures such as Rave. Prior to working in the creative industry she was an archaeologist and this early career has often  influenced her artistic practice. Her work responds to a sense of place and explores the archaeological imaginary; old maps, abandoned spaces, their histories and the archaeology of found objects discovered within them, is a consistent thread that weaves through her projects. Jill is a founding member of Hidden Door Festival and has been instrumental in the development of the festival from its early beginnings in 2010.  She is currently involved as the visual art curator as well as a board member.  She has recently completed a Masters in Contemporary Art Practice at Edinburgh College of Art.

You can find out more about her work here.

Image credit: The Archaeology of Rave, 2021

Isobel Leonard is an artist living and working in Northumberland, after recently graduating from Edinburgh College of Art. She works across an expanded field of sculpture; object making, installation and video. Through this she explores the connections between humans and materials. She is interested in psychological responses to the physical world and the ability of material to evoke emotion and sensation. Central to this is a fascination with the relationship between material and meanings and how tactile knowledge, cultural association and memory affect this.

You can find out more about her work here.

Image credit: Shedding Skin, 2022