From Kate Pickin

1- 25 March 2019 
Angelot Residency

I am an Artist from Sheffield in the UK. My practice is mainly 2D, painting and printmaking using photography as source material. I am part of Trafalgar Studios, 40 plus creatives in a large ex industrial building in the heart of Sheffield.

I had some idea of what I wanted to work on before arriving at Angelot. But of course these things change when in the actual experience. I was working through a particularly difficult time for me, on a personal level, and knew it must manifest in a physical way, and I found myself working both with a minotaur figure and also a human figure, both of which I made while at Angelot.

The break away from my usual environment, in a context that was new and strange, helped to focus the mind on only what was necessary in order to make the new work.

The environment

The little house is snuggled in between a small stream (the Boiron) and a wooded area, with agricultural roads leading to villages and towns.

The wood was inspirational; I wondered through it at differing times; the light changing with the weather and time of day. The river that runs through the wood was clear and pure, running down from the towering mountains behind us. 
Kate Orme and myself settled into a daily rhythm of food, lighting fires, looking after the resident cat (Ghandi) and working at our tables in the main room. Several times we visited the Trelex residency artists in a neighbouring village. Many deep and inspiring conversations ensued, and our differences only added to the creative mix.
We met many people connected in diverse ways to the residencies and to the locality;  on the winter solstice a ritual event took place in the woods, with a fire master and gathering of interested folk. Stories and dreams were recounted and shared in an atmosphere of integrity and confidence. What a privilege to be invited to share in this.

Work made

I had taken fabrics and stuffing to construct a minotaur head and shoulders which I wanted to wear. The canvas was too fresh and white so the pieces were wetted in the river then trampled in the ashes from the fire, before roughly sewing the minotaur together. To wear this in the late evening out in nature felt liberating, fresh, and primeval.

As I walked through the wood one evening, scattering the white ashes from the fire, I noticed that it appeared very ghostly as it diffused into the air, so began to take pictures to capture this. These are now images that will form part of a body of work in the future, I use these pictures in my paintings, sometimes having held onto them and collected over many years, never really knowing when they might be integrated into a new work.

As we had limited resources it helped to focus the mind to what might be possible. I began to make monoprints, using black and white inks rolled onto a ceramic tile. These were Minotaurs and what I thought of as ‘Blinded Girl’.

I made larger paintings in watercolours of blinded girl and also a clown figure that has been dominant in my visual vocabulary for many years.
Using glue and paper held together with wires, a small female form started to take shape. She entered the river, and waited around in the house for opportunities to shine.
I have come away with two distinct bodies of work, (Minotaur/blinded girl) and an idea for three oil paintings of fantastical landscapes, with mists, water and mountainous views.
Both Kate and I are hoping to return to possibly take part in a local exhibition, which I hope will be realised.

From Dean Melbourne

14 - 21 Feb 2019 

Angelot Residency 

My time at Angelot was brief. One week. The aim to continue to recover emotionally, psychologically and physically from a period that had seen me at my lowest ebb as a man and an artist. 

What could one week do you ask?

For me, a person who has only once flown alone, and is not a frequent traveller beyond family holidays and who has only one previous residency experience (Trelex). One week contains an overwhelming number of small experiences that create a very special kind of change. 

So the benefits of the generosity of Pascale have started to play out long before even arriving at this beautiful little house. The gentle challenge of flying alone, navigating by train to Trelex and the prospect of meeting new people (something I think is no big deal for many) has the effect of reminding me that I am capable and my world is bigger than my home, studio, region, country. Just being away without my wife organising the boarding passes and passport etc reminds me that I am a person of my own. Frankly even booking the flights gave me a rush of hope. 

I had decided that I would not make work while in Angelot. My aims were reading, writing, looking, thinking. I did some of all of that of course but what I did most was just be. To be me for one week in this new place was a huge gift. The chance to get to know the me of now. As an artist and a man. 

So what was achieved. I gained a clarity about the next phase of my idea to become a mentor/coach/support for artists and creatives. A clarity that had eluded me in the fear and anxiety of home. 

Equally my inability to bring fresh mind to a collaborative project that I am working on eased and while sitting in the sunshine and breezing along on the Electric bike I found a new dialogue emerged. Hearing myself speak a little and terrible French even seemed to break the spell of repetition of thoughts and allowed myself to see potential for something new. 

I drew, small thumbnails of compositions of the surrounding landscape in anticipation of making paintings back in my studio for my “misremembered landscape” series. 

I took in the air and the colour and the birds. Most of all the birds. Nature marked out my week for me. 

Black Caps and blue tits in the tree outside the house. Sparrows and Robins bustling in the hedgerow just outside the French doors. The field fares, thrushes and starlings chattering in the field. The Honey Buzzard patrolling the perimeter. The young Jay in a tree above a bench and water trough. The Great Igret in the field that I caught a brief glimpse of from the car. The Heron catching a mouse in a field just outside Gingins. The Woodpeckers drilling and laughing all around and the hawk that landed in a verge next to the bike only to miss its quarry. Ghandi and the escaped mouse and the sound of horses on the lanes. And the Deer oh man the deer! 

This week was a gift and the effects will continue to unfold for a long time.

From Jana Charl

5 Dec 2018 - 3 Jan 2019

Time has been flying by since I attended the Trélex Residency! I arrived at the residency on December 5th, 2018, and departed on January 3rd, 2019. Although I had applied for 3 months, the 1 month that was available ended up being a perfect fit for me. I arrived prepared to paint (packed acrylics, brushes, and canvas) but explored the surrounding area first and collected items from nature as well as the recycling bin. The residency had a mix of different supplies which I also utilized for creating a site-specific kinetic installation “Parcoursvita”.

After living most of my life in Los Angeles, it was very inspiring to be in a small village with friendly people (I joked that I was always saying “Bon”- something… bonjour, bonne journée, bonsoir, bonne nuit) and living in an 18th century home. It was easy to be active by the riding the residency bike, going to yoga in the village, walking in the forest, and traveling by train to nearby cities.

Mai, the other artist who shared the space, and I got along great and spent time together talking, sharing ideas, and cooking. Another artist, Min, was a short-term guest while she prepared for an exhibition in Geneva. All of us got along great, including our host Nina! We are still in touch, months after the residency ended, and I truly believe that the bonds we built will be long-lasting.

From Judy Pilarczyk

3 Aug - 1 Sep 2018

7.01-  my eyes are wide open. I can hear the cow bells through the open window in my room. I walk to the kitchen in my pyjamas to make fresh coffee. The sun comes in through the big kitchen’s window to tease my not fully awake yet body. It’s gonna be another sunny day in Trelex.  

8.03- Sally and her son Theodore are up. I can hear Theodore running down the stairs to let the chickens out. There are 2 of them and we are lucky to have 2 eggs layed in the morning .  

8.47- Sally and Theodore are having their breakfast while I am enjoying my second coffee at the desk. My laptop is in front of me so I can look at the pictures of Trinity taken the other day. By the time she gets up I should have chosen at least one to draw from  

9.30-Sally starts doing her watercolor painting in her side of the studio, there a wall between us so I can’t see what she is doing but I know it’s the watercolor painting as she’s been talking about it. Theodore tries to do his homework in the open area of the studio, he is only 14 but very clever and chatty.  And we both love Toblerone !  

10.07- ok, I’ve chosen the picture. I use the paper that is in the studio. I have brought my own pencils, oil paints, brushes but there are plenty of art materials left by the previous artists.  I have also found lots of interesting books! I start the drawing.  

11.32- Trinity is up. She stayed up till late last night trying to write a poem. She makes her coffee and sits next to me to do some colorful drawings. She likes the drawing I am working on.  

13.45- lunchtime! I share my lunch with Trinity, we make pasta with veggies that we got from the nearest supermarket. Switzerland is pretty expensive but you can get really decent products. And cheese and chocolate is a must!   

15.00- I go for a walk and take my camera with me. Trelex is a small village but very beautiful with large fields of sunflowers around. I am trying to capture small details that will remind me of Trelex, something I will be able to use in my drawings and paintings. Sunflowers. Clouds. Nina’s garden. The house. My god the house is like from a fairytale; big, mysterious, beautiful. Everytime when I look at it from the outside I get butterflies in my stomach.  

16.54-I get back to the house to do more work on my drawing. Sally is still painting, Theodore is playing in the garden, Trinity has locked herself in her bedroom to do more writing. She has brought her own typewriter from Brooklyn! How amazing is that?!  

20.01- it starts to rain. Sally is preparing dinner for Theodore, some lovely seafood. Sally and Theodore live in Antiqua, Sally owns an art gallery there and a massive garden full of the goodies like banana, avocado and black pineapple (yes, I am jealous!) Trinity and myself take a bottle of wine and go to the garden to watch this spectacular precipitation called heavy rain in Trelex. There is a small porch where we sit and talk about our lives.  It gets really windy and we see clouds passing through the garden, we have never seen anything like it! The rain gets so heavy that we barely can see the closest trees. I love it.   

22.59- we get back to the house. It’s very quiet, seems like Sally and Theodore have gone to bed. Trinity goes to her bedroom, I will see her in the morning. I put the light on in the studio. I love this place. I love this freedom. I feel that I am finally getting wings.

Judy Pilarczyk

From Trinity Tibe

1 Aug - 11 Aug 2018

Trelex must remember the sonic tyranny of my typewriter, the leadheavy weight I carried from Brooklyn in a backpack, stopped twice by TSA.  The house must remember the nail, the percussion of each letter. Maybe my staccato of thought remains in the bedroom as an echo or a ghost.  Trelex remains a spirit around me, the bells of the church still ring on each of my hours.  The vaulted attic roof is a synonym for the creative space of my mind, the yellowplums turn to jam on memory’s stove.  I pray for the chickens and the fox of their trauma and the symbol of the eggs’ return.  

I thank Trelex for the luxury of time, for the mornings when I woke just to make art all day.  In New York, and I imagine in most people’s everyday lives, art can feel less like play and more like work I must get done in a set amount of time.  During my residency, I didn’t feel pressed into a productivity marathon.  I slipped into the hazy hot slow roll of countryside creativity.  A notebook and a pen at the ever-open window of the small kitchen in the morning, basking in the sweet scent of a fresh bouquet from the garden.  A big breakfast with my fellow artists.  An afternoon of heavy paper and chalk or maybe a train ride to a swim in Lake Geneva.  Evenings editing poems in my bedroom as fireworks flared in the dark sky.   No time felt wasted.  Thank you, Trelex, for the sprawling conversations with my newfound artist soulmate, Judy Pilarczyk, whom I drew a portrait of (and she also drew and painted some stunning portraits of me!).  Thank you for Sallie Harker and her lovely son, Theodore, who sat as a model while the three of us artists sketched him in our unique styles.  Thank you for the sudden thunderstorm that cut through the humidity as we sipped wine and watched the sun’s gold shine, unrelentingly brilliant light bouncing through the prism of downpour.    

My time in Trelex helped me recover from a hard winter depression that had stalled my usual extreme productivity.   I felt a bit estranged from myself as an artist (and maybe as a person), but the time I had in Trelex helped me reconnect with myself, my art, and the muse.  I submitted massive amounts of work while I was in Trelex, and since I’ve been home, some visual art I made in Switzerland was selected to be published as the cover of a prominent literary magazine (they also accepted a couple of poems!).  Now that I’m home, I’ve kept myself connected to the spirit of creativity I tapped into in Trelex.   I sit on my back porch in the mornings and fill my notebook.  I may get distracted by work and tasks and the demands of the city, but I am keeping the practice of drifting back to a book or a crayon or a pot of paint or my trusty typewriter to create a little bit more.  

Trinity Tibe

From Sallie Harker

27 Jun - 27 Aug 2018

The Trelex residency was a positive experience for myself and my son Theodore in many ways. When I arrived and realised how wonderful it all was and that I had two whole months stretching ahead of me, I couldn’t believe my luck. The ideal location between mountains lake and city, the opportunity to learn new skills at the Atelier Genevois de Gravure Contemporain, the chance to make friendships with new artists, and the time and space to look more closely at painting all added up to a fantastic residency.   

I would encourage any Trelex residents interested in printmaking to take advantage of the wonderful printmaking courses at the Atelier Genevois de Gravure Contemporain in Geneva. AGGC runs various courses in woodblock printing, screen printing etching, aquatint, typography, photo etching and mono print. I took an intensive etching and aquatint course and a screen printing course. Both of which were fantastic. All of the teachers are very professional and it is a great space to work.  It is a short bus ride from the train station in Geneva. I am hooked on learning new printmaking techniques and plan to continue by taking a lithography workshop in a printmaking studio in Havana, Cuba. Drawing is the start of my work and I was able to develop drawings from my sketchbooks into finished etchings both at AGGC and at the residency. I also did some paintings, which are now on the walls of my Art Gallery Instagram: figtreestudioantigua. There is an Antiques market once a month in the summer in Nyon. I found an old book of historical architectural gates of Paris which I have used in my woodcuts of silhouettes. There is also a useful print drying rack in the Trelex studio which I made use off for a run of mono prints.   

Several artists arrived and left during my time in Trelex. There’s this wonderful feeling of anticipation when a new artist is arriving.  You open the door and there’s an artist standing on the doorstep and the fun of welcoming them in and getting to know them and sharing time and conversation at the kitchen table is an important part off the residency. When I arrived I met Min Kim, a South Korean artist living in Amsterdam, with a great sense of humour. Her work was totally different to mine but so interesting, I loved hearing about her working process and watching her go through the struggle and joy of creativity from day to day. Then Channa arrived, an artist from Jerusalem, with Channa we took the mini and explored the Jura, we met another artist living in Geneva and visited a show of her work. We discovered the joy of bathing in the Lake and we talked about the the difficulties of balancing motherhood with being an artist. Then arrived Trinity Tibe a poet from Brooklyn bringing with her the New York hip metropolitan vibe and soon after arrived Judy Pilarczyk, a Polish painter from London. It was a joy to see Judy’s exquisite pencil drawings emerging one by one. Such a privilege to get to know these artists.   

The Trelex Residency is unusual in that artists may be accompanied by their children. I took my twelve-year-old son Theodore. I did a lot of research before I left and found activities that Theodore could do. There are plenty of camps for children to take part in Nyon and the surrounding area, I made contact with the Yacht Club in Nyon because my son is a keen sailor, they welcomed him with open arms and whisked him off to a sailing camp in France, providing him with a boat and a tent, he made new friends on the camp and continued to spend time with them back in Trelex. He also did a circus camp and more sailing at the yacht club in Nyon and there was always the large garden to run around and play football and the chickens to feed. It was also great for him to be exposed to the creative energy in the studio and to see the work of the other artists, he made himself useful by modelling for us.   

We visited Lausanne, if I had the choice of anywhere in the world I could live I would choose Lausanne. Absolutely the most beautiful city I have ever been to. The Art Brut museum is well worth a visit and the Cathedral and glass museum. I could have spent days wandering the streets marvelling at the architecture. Geneva too is great to visit in particular I enjoyed the ethnography museum and discovering small Art Galleries in Plainpalais.   

We live on a small island in the Caribbean, of 108 square miles and there is no “Art Scene” to speak of, the interaction with other artists is quite limited so I feel that this residency was particularly beneficial to me and I am encouraged to apply for more residencies in different parts off the world. Although Nina Rodin was not at Trelex during our time there, there is a creative and supportive atmosphere in the studio. She has thought of everything to make Trelex a comfortable and inspiring place to work. I am forever grateful for the opportunity and in awe of Nina’s philanthropy.  lex 

Sallie Harker

From Diana Palmer

30 Mar - 19 Apr 2018

Trélex was my first residency and an appetising taste of creative freedom. I arrived at the end of March this year and already I am imagining going back – and for longer next time. It was three weeks of exceptional physical and mental space, as well as stimulating discussions with the other artists. I became more engaged with my ideas, working methods and influences, and followed the threads of my art practice more rigorously than normal.

My work is based in painting and spatial relations, so the mountainous landscape and the uniquely designed Maison Binet made a strong impression. In my first week at Trélex I absorbed the space, countryside, architecture, light, colours, textures and atmosphere. I took loads of photos, creating a reference library of images. I quickly got to know my fellow residents, Crimson Boner and Min Kim. Even though she was in New Zealand, I met the residency’s formidable founder, Nina Rodin, via Skype on my first night. Nina’s commitment to the residency and its artists is truly limitless!

Every morning I made loose cumulative pencil drawings on paper, reacting to my surroundings with simple lines. I now want to merge the drawings in a moving image piece emphasising fluidity. I started painting by responding to the fast-changing light and weather of the Jura mountains. These elements mixed with ideas I had arrived with for continuing work.

I worked in diluted acrylic with large brushstrokes, seeking a sense of fluidity and intuitive bodily movement.    Since visiting the Ugandan jungle last year I have been working on paintings of that lush landscape and it was a continuing subject for me at Trélex. Working from images of the all-encompassing vegetation of the rainforest, I began picking out individual leaves with loose brush marks to create a minimal composition.

This jungle painting with its curving composition sparked an idea that the shape of a swag (a drooping curve) could be a useful starting point for work relating to flow and performance. I had brought with me a photo of myself paragliding, images of my grandmother performing as a dancer in the 1950s, and photos of the life drawings I had made over the previous few months. These interests could be combined in the creation of swag shapes, suggesting a theatrical space where performing figures might merge with their environment. I immediately started planning pieces around this theme for a solo show I am working towards in September. I experimented with painting a piece of cotton fabric hung loosely from the beams above the studio space. I also drew swag-shaped objects and played with fabric hung inside the back of a wooden panel to suggest a stage.

But Trélex was more than just an opportunity to reflect on my practice. The residency is a chance to become part of a global community of artists. I made connections with many other artists: Min, Crimson and Nina, as well as previous residents and those represented in the substantial library of books in the studio. Discovering their work and processes, as well as drawing encouragement from them and sharing inspiration with them, was an invaluable part of my stay at Trélex. I feel very lucky to be part of our ongoing chats.It was hard to leave Trélex and return to normal life but I came back to London invigorated, with a lot of work in progress and a determination to commit more energy to developing my practice, as well as to continue and begin conversations with other artists. Trélex provides a precious opportunity for many types of artists and I will always be grateful to Nina for creating it and encouraging artists through this generous offering of supportive engagement and creative freedom.

Diana Palmer