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A Room of Their Own:
Artists in Residence

Destinations, Guide

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Words Vidula KotianDate 19 August 2020

Since the 1900s, artist-in-residency programs have provided space to creative thinkers seeking solitude and inspiration.

In Germany, the artists’ colony at Worpswede, a small village near Bremen, was founded in 1889 by creatives such as Heinrich Vogeler and Rainer Maria Rilke, among others. Over time, the settings for such programs shifted from idyllic pastures to remote locations, including distinctly urban topographies such as scrapyardsmoving trainsthe tower of a bridge that crosses a shipping canal, and even commercial cargo ships. More than a century after Claude Monet painted views of the river Thames from a balcony at The Savoy in London, artists of all persuasions are also being invited to hotels.

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Painting by Calabash Thomas

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Artist John Fitzgerald Thomas aka Calabash Thomas

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Local artists on display at the Sculpture Garden


Laluna is Grenada’s big secret, surrounded by emerald hills, crystal waters, and leafy bougainvillea-filled grounds. Recently, it became home to a beachfront art paradise, namely in the form of an Enchanted Forest that has an artist’s studio as well as a Sculpture Garden where nine works by islanders, both local and international, have already found a home. The artists are invited for a period of five weeks to create and share their passion. Artwork on display includes Calabash Thomas’ Faces of the Forest and Venice-Biennale-2017 artist Asher Mains’ The Cube. To celebrate its 20th anniversary this year, Laluna is also planning a series of food, wellness, and art installations.

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Bahian singer composer Luedji Luna

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View from the hotel

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Luna in the state-of-the-art music production room

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Poolside at Chez Georges

Chez Georges

Set between central Rio and the city’s southern beaches, this private villa is a music-maker’s dream-come-true housed in a brilliant work of Brazilian Brutalism. The entire house is hooked up to a state-of-the-art music production room—situated below the welcoming 14-meter-long pool—transforming the villa into a huge recording studio and making it the perfect venue for our second Further edition where we invited a group of internationally renowned musicians, including experimental cellist Kelsey Lu, drummer Zach Tretcault of Hundred Waters, and Canadian electro-pop duo Purity Ring, for an intimate writing camp. Chez Georges also hosted upcoming singer composer Luedji Luna, who celebrates her Afro-Brazilian heritage with Bahian rhythms and instruments. Luna’s breezy vocals along with bassist Aniel Someillan and guitarist Mauricio Paz’s sounds perfectly complement the villa’s dreamy setting.

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Meggy Bernhardt on display at the Artistic Loft

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150 x 100cms acrylic on board

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100 x 100cms acrylic on board

Hotel Galery69

Part gallery, part showroom, part hotel, Galery69 in Poland’s bucolic northeastern lake region of Wulpinskie, effortlessly melds art with unspoiled nature. Artists Malgosia and Wojtek Zóltowsky have hand built the furniture here to match the countryside’s fluid contours. The pieces made with natural materials and found throughout the building are available for sale under their label, Manufaktura69. Thanks to their open-door policy, the pair have built a haven for the country’s creative set.

“For the last 20 years I have been a custodian, studying and contemplating modern and non-contemporary art. After having critiqued so many works of art, I decided it is time to pick up the brush myself.”
Malgosia Zoltowsk

“Since the very beginning of our journey as designers, we have created a friendly place for the arts, with me playing the role of a curator,” explains Malgosia. “Painting has been ever-present in our lives. For the last 20 years I have been a custodian, studying and contemplating modern and non-contemporary art. After having critiqued so many works of art, I decided it is time to pick up the brush myself.” Under the sobriquet Meggy Bernhardt, Malgosia’s paintings have appeared unannounced in Galery69’s restaurant, rooms, corridors, and gallery called the Artistic Loft.

Casa Proal

At the end of the 19th century, San Rafael became the the home of French settlers from the Haute-Saône region who emigrated to Mexico. It is here that they built highly expressive agricultural estates, a few of which are remaining. One such property belonging to Samuel Proal was bought and restored by Grupo Habita’s Carlos Couturier and Casa Proal was born. “At the beginning, the objective of Fundación Casa Proal was to recover the old French houses that were being lost,” says Couturier. “The first of these became a hotel, Maison Couturier. Then, with the second one, I had to think of something different, so I approached the French Embassy and proposed that they create a residence for French-speaking artists, linking the past with the future of the region.”

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Felix Blume recorded the inhabitant's stories for his installation

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Metal water drums made of stainless steel bowls superimposed on black Oaxacan clay bowls

Since July 2015, the Casa Proal Foundation has hosted creatives from Francophone countries who work with various mediums, such as painting, photography, video, sound, writing, and sculpture. One such artist, Felix Blume, created an onsite sound and light installation this year in the center of the village Paso de Telaya, playing with ideas of collective memory, history, and cultural activism. Blume, an audio engineer with a passion for music, sounds, and culture, was inspired by the stories of the villagers. The piece consists of 40 fiberglass lamps hung from a tree with corresponding stainless-steel drums on the ground. Each lamp represents 40 years of the tree’s lifespan and each drum has a year on it, marking a significant event for the villagers. Blume also put together an album with old photos and stories of these events for Paso de Telaya’s inhabitants to have a physical testament to their history and also for visitors to have a more intimate experience with the place. The lamps are still lit every night by the villagers for whom this installation has surpassed art to become an emotional thread that binds them all.

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Vincent Hart at work

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Hart's paintings are inspired by Rothko

The Slate

An ode to Phuket’s tin mining past, this one-of-a-kind resort, which marries industrial chic with traditional Thai design, invites eclectic artistic talent to produce works at the resort. For the second year, The Slate will collaborate with Central Saint Martin’s College for a six-month artist-in-residence program in 2020. The hotel’s first resident from the college was the exceptional young British artist Vincent Hart. Fascinated by light and color, Hart specializes in contemporary painting influenced by Mark Rothko. The colors, shapes, and forms of the paintings he produced at The Slate seem almost to merge, joyously celebrating the wonderous nature outside.

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