From Ciarrai Samson

14.01.16 - 29.02.16

In a perfect world every artist would have an opportunity to take part in a residency - a chance to step outside their everyday life and develop new work inspired by the experience. The Trelex Residency Model, founded by Nina Rodin, aims to makes such an opportunity as accessible to artists as possible by removing as many of the potential barriers as possible. 

I have just returned from six weeks at the 'original' Trelex Residency in Switzerland. The residency is housed on the top floor of a beautiful (and huge) old house in a gorgeous little village. There are normally two residents at any one time but due to unforeseen circumstances during my stay I was the only resident (and Nina's own art career means that she spends an increasing amount of time travelling). The location in many ways felt pretty remote but given its close proximity to nearby Nyon (8 minutes by train) and Geneva (approximately 45 minutes by train) it is in reality only as remote as you want it to be.

I normally work in my tiny home studio or in a shared access print studio so I found it incredibly difficult to drag myself away from the spacious studio. There was a moment of pure joy one day when I was out of food and the village shop was open meaning I didn't have to take the 8 minute train to Nyon to stock up! 

My loose plan before I arrived was to spend the time working on some Japanese Woodcuts...but when I arrived at Trelex something happened - I don't know whether it was the change of pace or the change of environment or something else - but I just wanted to paint.  In the end I spent the vast majority of my stay painting (from A5 studies - inspired by the art books in the studio and photographs of graffiti my recent trip to Sarajevo -  to experimenting on 1.5 metres pieces of paper).

As well as time to create work I had time to reflect on my practice and how I would like it to develop going forward and although I have some answers other questions have no immediate answers. 

My time away from the studio included visits to Geneva (my highlight was the tour around the UN building) Lausanne, La Cure and Nyon. 

The true value of the residency lies in the fact that artists are trusted to do whatever they need to develop their practice in an environment that is created to just let it happen. I am very grateful to Nina for the opportunity and hope to one day to be able to offer something similar.