Frequently asked questions


Do I need a visa?

If you have an EU citizenship, no. Otherwise you need to have a valid Schengen. When you apply, let me stress that you are coming on an academic exchange. Don't say you will work: if the authorities here think you are going to have a salary, you will have problems obtaining a visa.

Confirming your place on the residency: it is possible to book flights before having obtained a visa (visas are only required for traveling with) and so long as you meet all of the requirements there should be no reason for your visa application not to be successful. With this in mind and in order to keep the booking process simple there are no exceptions made for residents applying for a visa. If you would like to confirm your place then you must go ahead and book your flight. For those who would like extra piece of mind many airlines offer flexible tickets, enabling dates to be changed and in some cases full refunds.

Is there anything I should bring?

It's hard to anticipate what you will need but worth thinking about bringing some art materials. There is an art supply shop in Nyon, probably a few in Geneva and Lausanne but they will be expensive and not as well stocked as, say, Atlantis in London. So if there are specialised things you need, bring them.

You might also like to consider bringing some images of your work on a USB stick (or laptop). If I am in the studio with you during your residency I will try to find time to talk with you about your work. If you have 10 images of your own work and 10 images of things which inspire you, I have found that makes for good, straight forward show and tell session. Likewise, this is a conversation you might also find yourself in with the other artist in residence.

If you like to listen to music while working, please bring earphones.


What adaptors do I need for electrical equipment?

Swiss power plugs are similar to other european ones, though european converter plugs don't always fit into all swiss sockets. I have 2-3 UK extension cords which I have fitted with swiss plugs but if you need to connect more than a computer and a phone charger or are coming from countries other than the UK, please remember to purchase the converters you need at the airport before boarding. Or bring an extension cord that fits your devices and we can change the plug on that.


Do I need to bring towels?

Bath and hand towels are supplied but remember to bring a bathrobe and slippers to go between your room and the bathroom. There can be sharp things on the studio floor.


Is there a washing machine ?

There isn't  a separate one in the residency but the washing machine and dryer on the first floor can be used at the week-end. Just let me know and I will show you where they are and how they work.


Can I invite guests ?

While it is natural that if you stay for several months, partners, friends and family may want to visit you, we cannot generally accommodate them when another resident is present at the same time as you, with the exception of your own children and their other parent. This is because even when there isn't another resident, it changes the atmosphere of the studio as a working place. Encourage those who want to visit you to apply as an artist in their own right. Everyone has a project they could spend a few days on in a creative setting. And if they come as tourists, I am happy to help you find them a room in a nearby B&B.


Will I be able to sell my work in Trelex?

Though it may be possible to find a more permanent display place in the house in the next year or so, the emphasis at The Trelex Residency is as a place of production, artistic development and research. Though some artists have sold work at shows we have organised for open studio evenings, this is very rare even for well-attended shows advertised long in advance. Artists should not for a moment contemplate funding their stay from potential sales. Switzerland is an expensive place but such a strategy could leave you uncomfortably out of pocket. So do not budget around selling work in Switzerland..

About the cost of living 

While the residency is free, the cost of living in Switzerland is substantially higher than in the rest of Europe. The ' Big Mac Index' states that by January 2012 exchange rates, one of these wonderful burgers will set you back almost twice as much in Switzerland as in the UK. This said, there aren't quite as many McDonalds around here, and my impression is they are rated higher here than in London. This said, I think shopping in a supermarket does feel about 20-30% more expensive than in London. Ouch.

On the up side, taking the little train down to Nyon is CHF 3.00. And there aren't so many temptations to spend here as in other places. No take-away sushi or double-lattes to splurge. No newsagent or bookshops within walking distance. No giant displays of art materials and little advertising generally. You will find it very hard to spend much in the local corner shop. Instead, residents tend to go to the supermarket once a week, shop sensibly, cook in the studio kitchen, and make their own coffees. But think about bringing some materials from home and asking me what I already have in bulk in the studio.

Children at The Trelex Residency

A quick post on the subject of children. The residency is located on the top floor of a large family house, home to three children. The children are not allowed in the studio unless specifically invited.

I generally discourage them from coming up only because my children are very creative and interested and once they get into doing something, it can be hard to stop them: get them started on one canvas, and they may well continue on the walls, the radiator, the printer or another canvas...

So the studio is normally a child-free zone but if you harbour a definite allergy to children, it's probably best not to come. If you wish to interact with the children, involve them in your work, they will be extremely excited. Just be careful what you wish for! ;-)

If you have children of your own, you may think of bringing them. As far as I am aware, most residencies have a no-children policy. I certainly don't know of any free ones that allow you to bring your children - I would like to see this change.

If you wish to bring a child or children, let's think together about how to make it work. I can then make sure that anyone else who overlaps with you knows about it before they book their flights or perhaps coordinate things so that other residents who overlap with you are also parents or relaxed about having children around.


Please note the residency is completely non-smoking. Please do not smoke even out of a window. If you need to smoke, please go for a walk and away from the house. ;-)



No comments:

Post a Comment