Vivre une aventure humaine et artistique, voilà ce qui m’intéresse.
Je suis constamment à la recherche d’un lieu qui m’aide à développer la connaissance des êtres et des choses par une rencontre. Ces expériences uniques me permettent d’approfondir mon thème de prédilection : la narration. Mon travail s’inspire directement de ma vie et de mon rapport au monde. Je transforme l’expérience vécue en une expérience poétique.
La résidence DRAWinternational m’intéresse fortement par le programme AIR qu’elle propose aux jeunes artistes. Peu de résidences ouvrent leurs portes aux nouveaux plasticiens avec un espace de recherche et d’expérimentation permettant élargir leur univers grâce à des échanges culturels, artistiques et pédagogiques, le tout dans un contexte professionnel et contemporain.
Je vois la création comme plusieurs temps qui s’imbriquent : l’expérimentation, la construction et la présentation. Ces différents temps se transforment pour moi en un processus créatif : le temps de la narration, le temps du récit et le temps de la fiction. Ces différentes étapes me permettent de transformer la narration en une émotion plastique.
L’approche de la création ne se définit pas en ce qui me concerne comme un schéma ou une préparation en amont mais plutôt comme un bricolage constant. L’échange créatif est le liant constant entre ces trois temps. DRAWinternational met en avant l’importance du dialogue, comme outil de recherche. Cette vision du travail créatif est primordiale pour moi et c’est pour cela que j’aimerais rejoindre DRAWinternational pour une session de travail d’un mois.
Dans mes travaux je ne me contente pas de faire appel à un unique medium. En effet, je travaille aussi bien le dessin, la sculpture, ou encore la photo.
Cependant, le dessin est mon medium de prédilection, il me permet de faire naître mon paysage mental. Les formes hybrides, les espaces poétiques sont l’expression de mes émotions premières ressenties lors de mon processus créatif. Ces formes naissantes dans ces dessins sont souvent les prémices de mes sculptures.
Durant ce séjour mon but serait de développer un projet de dessin - sculpture composé en deux temps. Le premier temps serait d’établir sur des grands formats, une cartographie de l’émotion fondée sur mon expérience quotidienne au sein de DRAWinternational. Le deuxième temps serait propice à la transformation de ces dessin cartographies en sculptures. Comment travailler le papier une fois rempli comme un volume ?
C’est un projet qui me tient à cœur et que j’aimerais réellement concrétiser au sein de DRAWinternational.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE - ELINA AHO (FINLAND)
I have a passion for researching drawing and painting as a medium in relation to other media, and exploring intersections with performance and dance.
My work explores the human image, especially the body image. My work is intertwined with themes of corporeality, embodiment, physicality, viscerality, movement, sensation, and perception. My work also draws from psychoanalytic and psychological thinking, for which my scientific background in psychology gives depth. I’m fascinated by empirical, experimental, practice-‐ led research, fuelled by intuitive knowledge combined with conceptual, analytical thinking. Most recently I have been researching the gestures, the action, and the traces of the mark-‐making, by developing self-‐designed multiple-‐charcoal/multiple-‐brush tools/ “machines” for life drawing and painting.
For the residency, I want to explore the proposed theme Gesture, Action, Trace : for example by setting up different conditions for the action, developing tools for drawing, and thinking of the body as a tool...
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE - DAVID GRIFFIN (CANADA)
In scientific visualisation practices, node-links have become important thinking tools, allowing views on relationships that are otherwise very difficult to grasp. Their simple graphic displays represent information and processes in the physical-metaphoric terms of sequence and proximity, becoming a kind of interface of intention, intuition and interpretation.
The work I will undertake in residence will interrogate these properties of node-links by directly engaging with things which may not be made easier to understand through their use. What are the upper limits of the denotational logic of such diagrams? Is there a space that disallows the mapping of relations by node-link graphics? Is connectivity always a knowable state? In brief, using the coherent light of LASER as a 'pure' line applied to the geometry of space, the output will be a semantic network inscribed between our planet and the others in our local space. Each line will simultaneously link us directly to our neighbours, and the "finished" graphic will thus have the absurd property of ~10 billion kilometres of length. It will be a node-link diagram in Euler's sense, but here placed in a context where its pragmatic utility is met by senselessness in what it traces, and what it represents.
Drawn from a ground of technical questions related to orientation, distance, and other matters, this enormous graphic will give us a view on the inconceivable, pushing our understanding of drawing as a thinking tool to an extreme. While there will be lines made on surfaces, just as in any drawing, the sum and substance of those lines and surfaces will be decisively uncertain; it will be a graph writ large, and an object-lesson about irresolvable scales, encouraging multi-disciplinary interactions in support of a gesture whose existence is equally a matter of time and space.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE - DEBORAH BOUCHETTE (USA)
The highs and lows of life are similar to the ebb and flow of the tide. We call these periods “cyclical,” but they are not circular: if one drew a line depicting calamity followed by tranquility, it would look more like a simple sound wave. My work appears abstract, but it incorporates sound, beat, wave, and reverberation as metaphors for life itself. Using line and repetition, I attempt to extract the conceptual energy peaks from maps, photographs, and diagrams of sound. The negative spaces left are the calm, restful, in-between moments that I call “mezzanines.”
When I layer sets of lines, I create a visual density reminiscent of a cacophony of noise, “white noise,” or the kind of din that we suppress as we try to listen only for that which we deem important. Sometimes I use silk gauze loosely layered over paper to build drawings that appear differently depending on one’s point of view, alluding to how each of our differing perspectives colors our perception of the same sound, sight, or event.
A residency at DRAWinternational would provide a new well-spring of energies from which to work: new sounds, sights, maps, and topography to explore. I plan to walk the area, taking photographs, mapping my routes, recording sounds, and writing in a journal. Then I will respond to my research and create a series of drawings specific to the energies I gather through my stay.
2011/2012 - dates pending.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE - MANOHAR CHILUVERU (INDIA)
I have been involved in international live art events since 2002 during these events I experienced a different approach to the canvas that began with drawings and ended with painting. The whole process and approach is different from art production in one's own studio.
I am currently initiating a project to explore and give a more interactive context & occasion to the idea of live art & drawing in action.
During my residency I want to develop a series of drawings related to my early live art events, and also related to my ongoing project "Global Gracious " (women as earth and beauty)
The works will be a series of study drawings of sculptural ideas and larger than life size drawings.
Action, performance and spontaneousness are key elements, as is drawing sourced from within the local environment and life drawing.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE - ASTRID ALMKHLAAFY (USA/SINGAPORE)
As a designer I sift through my life bringing the personal into my practice and finding visual solutions to express where i am. My practice includes historical research, site specific performance, GPS writing, photography and video. I use the data generated to create artist books and mixed-media exhibitions. For the last three years my works have revolved around the mountain as metaphor, which recently culminated in a three floor three room installation on the nature of the pilgrimage in relation to two of the five sacred Taoist mountains in China.
The location of Caylus and DRAWinternational is essential in the piece I hope to create. For the last few months I’ve been working around circles; sacred and poetic, magical and natural. Somehow I’d like to
fuse the circle possibly with the Frost poem and ideally the location of Caylus.
The history and location of DRAWinternational does intrigue my curiosity in regards to courtly love, the Troubadours, the Cathars and inspires a desire to create an image text performance statement on actual historical ground that addresses my roll as woman and mother and artist. I will use GPS (in writing, drawing and/or marking location) and react on site to create a live art piece documented with video and photography.
The footage and data will be translated into a mixed media installation to be shown internationally.
'A SATURATED meadow,
Sun-shaped and jewel-small,
A circle scarcely wider
Than the trees around were tall;
Where winds were quite excluded,
And the air was stifling sweet
With the breath of many flowers —
A temple of the heat.'
A Boy’s Will. 1915
Astrid Almkhlaafy is currently assistant professor of art design & media at Nanyang technological university, Singapore.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE - BARBARA KENDRICK (USA)
My recent works on paper move in two directions: collages and paintings in watercolor and ink. The process of collage liberates me, opening up opportunities for surprise, for visual puns and analogies, and for giving me new ways to think about illusion, deception and representation. I am interested in that moment in which we identify a thing precisely and with the slipping away of that moment. In the watercolors I blur boundaries, dissolve edges, erase, layer and veil. The collages and watercolors are similar in the way they assemble disparate parts into a whole.
My sources for collage material currently consist of: Sotheby’s and Christies’ catalogs of objects for sale, an atlas of human anatomy, books on astronomy , architecture and coral reefs, fashion and design magazines, images of insects, fossils, reptiles and jewelry. My system for filing the images breaks down and categories leak into each other, leading me to unexpected juxtapositions.
While in residence I want to expand my ideas about combining drawing and collage, utilizing source material from Caylus and surrounding towns. I am intrigued by the opportunity to draw and photograph both plant forms and architecture unique to the region. It will be a particular pleasure to seek out collage material that will add to a sense of place.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE - POLLYXENIA JOANNOU (AUS)
Initially, I will gather visual material/drawings for a body of work that will lead to a fresh perspective and direction. This body of work will be based on the interior and exterior of the Institute du Monde Arabe.
My intentions are to concentrate on the repetitious, grid-like squares that face onto the courtyard and from the interior view: How these squares are then broken down into further shapes emitting filtered light within the building of the Institute. I am particularly interested in the contrast between the lights and darks that are reflected against her interior walls and stairwells etc.
My work revolves around a subdued palette in contrast with sharp shafts of light and dark tones and, the distortion of angles & shapes. I also deal in a variety of materials that can result in the work being neither a conventional painting nor, a conventional view of a 3D object. The finished or what may be perceived as a finished work is a hybrid of the two. My art practice has evolved from works that originally dealt with pure gesture and immediacy to a broader and considered language of ascetics. I have chosen the Institute du Monde Arabe as a springboard for the simple reason that it is a marriage…a hybrid of Moorish elements behind a stark modernist façade.
When at DRAWinternational I would like to explore my environment and bring elements of it to my work.
As a printmaker, one of the main conceptual preoccupations of my work has been the metaphorical dimensions of the matrix itself. My medium is mokuhanga or Japanese woodblock.
Currently, the ideas I'm exploring have to do with concentricity and what happens when one creates imagined interruptions to concentric formations.This has every sign of being a very absorbing and rich theme. What elements hold things to a centre? What effects does this have on the objects/creatures that hold to that centre. Some academics believe that the concentric model of social organization is crumbling - I would like to explore this in my work - perhaps by cutting up a circular matrix and playing with it as an object that leaves traces (printings) of being other things.
I would also really value the freedom to just explore.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE - CHRISTINE MCMILLAN (AUS)
My practice encompasses drawing, construction, performance, animation, and collaboration with other artists and the community. Devising structures within which to improvise is at the heart of this practice.
At DRAWinternational I plan on having an initial focus on drawing as a means of gaining a deeper understanding of the concepts I am exploring in my work. I want to move from installation and the creation of objects to interpreting my work, concepts and ideas through making marks.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE - MEGAN EHRHART (USA)
I am an animation. I am a caricature of myself. Breathing a distinctive life into this organic shell in which I currently reside, I consciously create a vibrant personality and endless stages of emotion through the mechanics of live daily human animation. I advise my stop-motion puppets to follow my lead, but they often prove too obstinate to be trained properly. They have a life of their own. I have only myself to blame for that – I created them that way.
Embracing surreal imagery that haunted me in my youth, the work I create searches for peace within the nightmare, where beauty and humor exist in the grotesque and the extraordinary. In worlds where a two-headed circus monkey can merrily parade around on a rusted bicycle and dead animals consume their own flesh, these animated environments grant physical presence to disturbing, almost sinister material. By creating charming diminutive monsters and scenes of violence masked by humor, I reduce elements born of childhood fears into manageable
Grounded – Media Installation
Grounded is an interactive sensory environment enhanced by five intertwined chapters of stop-motion media. My proposal for a summer residency is to make and complete the second film of this series. While working in sync with the final installation as a whole, each chapter is designed to stand alone as a film for individual screenings.
The inspiration for this installation stems from an animation that was literally unearthed as I roamed around the French countryside for eight weeks and reflected on life. Working in a remote village without mechanical transportation forced me to slow down and adapt, and turn inconvenience into an opportunity for innovation and self-reflection.
Everything is transient. People come and go, emotions and personal attachments whirlwind around in a tornado of intimate international social interaction. My work has thrived in these conditions, surrounded by artists with such diverse backgrounds, cultures and talents, nurtured by a strong community built from cooperation and creation all within an old stone house. This experience has changed me, how I think and reflect on the world, on art, and on the value of living in the moment and allowing my work to follow suit.
The film relies heavily on immersing myself in another very specific regional culture, developing the narrative as I absorb the world around me though personal experience and interaction with the local population. I will only use materials native to the region for the creation of this animation. The theme will be relevant and crucial as the second chapter to the final Grounded installation.
Megan is currently Assistant Professor – Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH
T.I.M.E. Department of Digital Arts
Drawing has a certain flexible responsiveness that records the traces of my responses and thoughts across time and leads me to new ideas and ways of seeing the world.
While I have explored the notions of space, time and relation, I still have much to understand about the body in drawing. In my time at DRAWinternational I am keen to explore all aspects of the body/drawing relationship in the drawing process. What is the experience of the body in drawing and how can we represent this?
I am hoping to link this studio work with my academic research work on young childrens drawing. I have noticed that when young children draw, kinesthetic and theatrical movements are often an integral part the process. Just as our ‘self talk’ goes underground as adults, so too do we learn to ignore our body. Body awareness, like thoughts, can become fossilized. I would like to explore what happens if we dig them out?
‘Fingers have a memory, to read the familiar braille of another’s skin. The body has a memory: the children we make, places we’ve hurt ourselves, sieves of our skeletons in the fat soil. No words mean as much as a life. Only the body pronounces perfectly the name of another.’ (from, ‘Words For The Body’, Anne Michaels)
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE - ALEX O'NEAL (USA)
“The idiosyncratic community depicted in my work has been focusing on a fictional town, Delta City, where isolation gives greater opportunity for local superstars and homegrown fashion. It refers to my native Mississippi Delta, but has nothing to do with any existing Delta City found on a map. Visually, Delta City is kind of a dumping ground of - for lack of a better term- high and low styles and refers to self-taught aesthetics (as far as that is possible). It has taken me awhile to naturally arrive at making what are essentially “portraits” of the characters of my work. Visually, each subject’s style has a shrine mentality or aesthetic.
In Delta City, nature is always present - even in one’s personal style- keeping old mythology and superstitions alive. There is so little interest in what’s happening in the world that the town’s Donut Day is overpowering. Candy-striped donuts are talismans. Also, jail is just another aspect of community like school or church. 24-hour, unlimited phone calls are included. The Delta Citizens dress up for jail and whatever else is happening in town.
I think the shedding of tears and other falling drops that occur in recent work are influenced by the mourning theme imagery that is prevalent in earlier 19th Century American needleworks and watercolors.”
“I have been invited to make an installation at "Festival d’Art Singulier" in Aubagne, France (Provence), 31 July- 29 August, 2010. The festival is a bi-annual event, founded by Rocquevaire artist Danielle Jacqui, that displays art singulier, (art brut, Outsider Art and self-taught art).
I am invited to participate this year as an artist who is influenced by art singulier. I have been given the large gallery space that was formerly the Chapel of the Black Penitents (Chapelle des penitents noirs). I am going to develop a site-specific piece and will have several weeks before the festival’s opening to work in the chapel space and better combine my ideas with the environment.
During my month at DRAWinternational, I will develop works on paper that will be elements/points of departure for the larger installation in Aubagne.
The wonderful thing about working in an artists residency program in Europe is that I usually tap into greater essence and unfamiliar treasure that does not happen the same way in my usual studio space.”
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE - RUTH TROTTER (USA)
Inspired by the intersection of art and psychology, my work builds on early twentieth century art movements, particularly Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. Artists in both of these movements, heavily inﬂuenced by the psychoanalytic theories of Freud and others, used access to the subconscious as an important working method. References such as a Rorschach inkblot or the autonomous gesture of the Abstract Expressionists, become icons of modernism with an almost primitive association. Indeed, the intuitive brushstrokes of Abstract Expressionism, once full of the promise of truth and authenticity, now appear antiquated in the digital age.
I am investigating these forms with an archaeological curiosity, taking a stratigraphic approach and forming new representational strategies.
For this residency, I propose to further develop these ideas in a series of drawings and small paintings that will explore these investigations and their aesthetic possibilities.
Currently, my drawings consist of carefully articulated systems of pattern and repetition based on otherwise chance-driven images, such as the inkblot or an iconic shape from a famous painting. As works of art in their own right, drawings serve as the creative and intellectual underpinnings for paintings. I anticipate the work that I make while at the centre will evolve out of a more spontaneous and emotive impulse nurtured by the landscape of the region.
Ruth is Professor of Art, at The University of La Verne, CA.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE - KATHERINE BOLAND (AUS)
Walls, with their peeling, layered history and urgent covert messages represent a fascinating and tangible record of the passage of time. Beyond their functional familiarity walls provide an emotional palette which resonate with the complexities of communication and memory.
In a recent series of paintings, “Writing On The Wall’, I have responded to the bold visuals of street language and it’s contrastingly obscure messages by building-up layers of paint on blow-torched and inscribed timber panels and then stripping them back to reveal hidden layers beneath. New ‘tags’ replace the old and so it continues as the primal urge of human beings to ‘make their mark’ persists as it has since pre-history.
Now more than ever we are becoming increasingly aware of changes in the natural world. The earth’s crust is constantly converging, diverging and transforming, affecting the climate and all living species.
What was once submerged under water is now desert. What was an open plain is now a mountain range. Continents where glaciers prevailed are now sub-tropical. Earthquakes, volcanic activity, mountain building and oceanic trench formation relentlessly shape and form the planet and remind us, as Buddhist philosophy teaches, that not just geographically, change and impermanence are natural processes in every aspect of our lives.
In a previous body of work “The Shape Of Things To Come’, I have explored, in an almost geological manner, the potent forces which shape the earth. Again I gouged and burned timber panels to form fissures which allow paint to flow, settle and find its own level. I have built up layers, often scraping them back to reveal what lies beneath, exposing the timeless layering of the earths crust. Slabs of impasto represent land mass. Different media react like a primordial broth fabricating a kind of alchemy as when a volcanic eruption mixes many elements to produce unusual geological effects. Large areas of paint butt against each other to 'create' continents which slip and slide like massive tectonic plates. The grain and texture of the timber emphasizes the organic nature of the subject matter.
As I enter the second half-century of my life I perceive a heightened awareness of time passing and want to develop a body of work that encapsulates this evolving and universal sensibility
Katherine has recently been awarded the Heysen Prize for Painting 2009.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE - JEANINE VAN DEN BOOM (NL)
In 2 weeks I want to be able to work in a focussed and concentrated way to get connected again. For me painting has everything to do with senses and skin. It is a very physical process. By skin I refer to the border between the inside and the outside world with an exchange between them. Where do I begin and where do I end? Maybe I will find out.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE - KARINA KNIGHT SPENCER (UK/FRANCE)
I work on a number of paintings at once to allow the excitement to settle and prevent the stress of trying to get something right, create panic and cause me to fall into old patterns.
I find it hard to sit and reflect on a canvas and not keep working at it, changing it without thinking.
I am learning to look at the painting as much as the subject (usually I look at the subject more, still learning to look).
I am still working out what my individual statement/voice is. For this reason I am extending my time at DRAWinternational while I can.
I am learning to place subjects and compositions with more consideration, hang on to the original concept, try and let my feelings dictate the expression and not reproduction of the actual.
Being a painter I am inspired by the light, ever changing and bringing to life. I am still fascinated by the geometry in a subject and the effect of colour.
John says he doesn't give 'tips for painters' but he shares his knowledge freely.
A theme that is developing is the day - dreaming, security of inside and fear of outside, physical ease and man at ease in his space. Perhaps there is a progression towards looking at cyberspace where people feel they can be anything and anyone and heaven is there. Alone and together at the same time. However at the moment there is so much inspiration in the real world.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE - ANOOK CLEONNE (NL)
When movement is seen as continuous and not merely as additive a world will rise with a continuous stream of meeting movements which from there on will lead to new movements and new lines.
Every meeting has an influence on the already existence. Conscious or unconscious.
Movement is a continuous process which is the result of all kind of interactions between movements which sometime stiffen in shape, as well stay translucent and fluid. In my way of drawing I merely draw by this believe.
Underlying most of my drawings is the idea of landscape as a frame of mind.
I fuse both the romantic idea of a landscape, merely as depicted in art history and the landscape as literally seen in the real outside my window in my work.
Anook is currently Professeur of Drawing at ARTEZZ, Arnhem, Holland
I am inspired by so many things, but particularly excited by interiors and people within them. So the inspiration of the physical space of
‘ArtHouseCaylus’, which includes the textures, hand hewn finishes, volumes, detailing, light and an historical trace is to be my starting point.
I aim to produce a series of works based primarily on the interiors of this medieval house to include the figure as everyday living and working.
Although I am quite new to painting I have always made drawings in a career that has lead to being an actress, interior designer and ‘perspective artist’. Now these directions present too many diverse styles, too influenced by historical information.
While I do not reject the past, as it is a source of inspiration to us all, I want to be clearer about my direction. Therefore, I want to focus, at least for a while, on something beyond my habitual learnt experience (as can be seen on the right). I am and probably always will be drawn to live and work in the milieu of medieval villages and rural environments and want to continue to create with traditional materials. My challenge is to present its beauty and relevance in the contemporary and ever changing world.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE - BAHARADDIN ADAM (SUDAN)
“Al Nushoug” (journey home)
The Bagara people are an Arab, nomadic tribe who travel at the end of every autumn in search of good grass and water for their cattle. They originate in Darfur and Kordofan (Western Sudan) and travel in small groups with hundreds of cows south to neighbouring centre Africa and Chad, onward to the Central African Republic and then southern Sudan, before returning home for the summer. They are walking, and living, away from their home for eight months in every year.
My work is an exploration into this journey, al nushoug. I want to record, to trace these moments of a community passing through time and space through different art techniques like colour, sound and by my personal vision. I want to create this atmosphere and to find answers from my personal perspective to questions of changing spirit and artistic methods.
After leaving Caylus and returning to Minneapolis, I've learned how strange it can be re- "acclimatize" so quickly; it seems like I blinked and when I opened my eyes I was back in school. Getting back in the rhythm of a very structured work and school schedule has allowed me to further appreciate (and in turn reflect on) my time in Caylus.
I've come to recognize a couple aspects of my stay at Draw International that proved to be important to my experience. The first is the uprooting and temporary relocation of art-making, and the second is the opportunity to look at the program I'm currently immersed in as a student from an outside perspective. I'll start with the former.
It is my belief that, as a student in a very structured and super-specialized art college, outside influence is extremely important. Our schedules generally start at 9am and end at 9pm, (and we certainly don't have the luxury of a semi-enforced two hour lunch!) which leaves us little time to attend to anything but our studies. Our campus is small, and even if we live a ways away, we find ourselves spending all our time at school or thinking about school. By the time we reach our third year, our major of specialization has brought us to a point where it is often hard to communicate with "non-art" people about what we're spending all our time studying.
For me, coming to Caylus was a breath of fresh air. Having the opportunity to be removed from the environment I've spent almost every second of my time in for the past three years added an immeasurable influence to the way I see my own work. Looking at one's own work in the context of where it is made is one thing, but taking it to a foreign country is quite another. Just by being there, I gained perspective on the connections between what I had made before arriving in Caylus, and that helped me to define what I wanted to start when I got there. What I did make when I got there surprised me. I came into it having no plans, and immediately felt inspired by the community and the experiences I found upon my arrival.
Looking at the work I produced in Caylus, now that I'm back in the city, introduces another layer to the process of environmental removal; I'm still figuring out what the collages I made mean now because looking at them here in Minneapolis, is different that seeing them in the light of France. I feel very lucky to, as a student, be able to have continued the development of my practice in an utterly different environment, with the simultaneous influence of very different, very wonderful people.
In a similar way that relocation has helped me look at my work differently, it has also helped my view of the program I'm a part of shift in a positive way. As alluded to before, three years in a program with little distraction (good or bad) can leave one feeling tired; I was only able to see my experience of my college through the classes I've taken up until my visit to France. Being able to make work in a place that was not set up in the same institutional way was helpful in allowing me something to compare to my own experience at school. Also, working for myself in an open environment helped me formulate how to better work in a more institutional environment. I was inspired by the fact that I stayed with the family. Eating meals and going on day trips, or just down to the bar for a drink added so much to my experience, and to the dynamic that was created between those times and the times in my studio. Similarly, the overlap of my last week with the Oxford student's first week was also appreciated. I enjoyed hearing them speak about their practice and how it has evolved through their program, allowing me to reflect on my own program and having an alternative model to compare it to.
Overall, it is hard to put into words the amount of inspiration and insight I gained from my short three weeks in Caylus. I've attempted to outline the basic ideas I am still just beginning to work out, but ultimately, my experience there was far more than what I can describe with language, and perhaps that is the most important thing I've come back with.
Thanks again for everything,
Allegra is completing her final year BA Fine Arts studio practice, at the College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, she is also Fine Arts Curriculum Assistant for the faculty.
I’ve had a few weeks to reflect on my 3 month residency and have come up with several examples of why your residency program is/was critical to my development as an architect.
Structure: The structure of your residency program fosters exchange. For me, the residency is about making contact between the studio and surroundings. My old working habits were altered to accommodate new routines that allowed a more open thought process. With your guidance, we created a realistic set of goals and accomplished them with a range of tools. We didn’t throw a bunch of money & technologies into the equation. Rather, you introduced simple printmaking and drawing techniques into my design thinking; thus, allowing me to re-define my practice and develop new ways of communicating my perceptions of the built environment.
Outreach: As an architect, I am always looking for new ways to improve and enhance our built environment. With your help, I was able to meet and do things outside of the studio. For example, I really enjoyed doing stonewalls with APICQ. It was a weekend of hard work, but I was immediately accepted by the people and had a wonderful time learning the art of Pierre Seche.
Another interesting and inspiring part of the residency is watching how involved you are in the community; radio programs, tourist office, the Marie, etc. Sometimes I learn by watching how others conduct their lives…and I am truly inspired at the amount of effort the two of you put into making Caylus a better place. I hope to do the same wherever I live.
Accommodations: Your house is an architectural gem. A four-story medieval building situated in the heart of the village, containing all the craft and materials from a bygone era. It reconditioned my body toward sustainable living. Yes, it gets a little cold in the winter…but that’s easily fixed with a warm wood fire. And yes, in the summer it may get a little warm, but the cool stone underbelly and summer breeze keeps the house comfortable. My room was spacious, quiet, clean and my bed…very comfortable! Having the room attached to the studio was great. It was way more than I ever imagined!!!
Caylus: I am so intrigued about the future of Caylus. I was there for 3 months, and was able to get a glimpse of a village that is full of potential and on the cusp of change, [good or bad]. There aren’t many places/residencies in the world where you can witness such things unfold, but your residency is in the mix of it. For artists looking to get involved in a "real place"…it doesn’t get any better!
“En Famille”: Being a part of the family household was probably the highlight of my experience! My trip wouldn’t have been the same without the daily interactions provided at your residence. I really enjoyed having meals together, taking the dog for a walk, talking about horses with Aloise, going to a dance recital, preparing magre, listening to the owls, and laughing…
Thank you. Sincerely,
Since completing his residency at DRAWinternational Wilz has gained a PhD research position in Architecture at McGill University, Montreal. He begins the programme in September 2009 and completes in 2012. We wish him every success.