Frequently asked questions


Do I need a visa?

If you have an EU citizenship, no. Otherwise you need to have a valid Schengen visa. 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?

We ask that you bring two sets of images.

The first is a set with 10 examples of your work. This doesn't have to be the most recent or the best, simply the ones that are most relevant to you at the time of coming and that you are interested in discussing. If you are not a visual artist, we'll talk about another way for you to share a selection of your work.

The second is a set of 10 images of things that inspire your work but are not your work. This may be work by other artists or not be artworks at all. It might be music, writings, family or holiday snapshots, a set of memories. They may be the inspiration for past works or things that are one your mind and that you want to integrate somehow or other into future work or they may be about a passion or interest that you don't yet relate to your work at all. Having to select just 10 and deciding which are the more important is a really interesting exercise as an artist. These images are discussed in an informal setting with other residents when you arrive in Trelex.

Please have these 20 images already downloaded in two folders on your laptop before arriving. 

It's hard to anticipate what you will need but worth thinking about bringing some art materials. There are art supply shops 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.

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


What adaptors do I need for electrical equipment?

Swiss power plugs are different to other european ones, european converter plugs don't fit into swiss sockets. We strongly recommend you buy a swiss adaptor before you arrive.


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. Washing powders for whites and colours are supplied. Just let me know and I will show you where they are and how they work.

Is smoking allowed?

No. The residency is completely non-smoking. Please do not smoke even out of a window or in the garden. If you need to smoke, please go for a walk and away from the house and throw your stubs into a bin. Littering in Switzerland is heavily fined.

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. 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. As of 2018 a McDonalds' big mac is more expensive in Switzerland than anywhere else in the world. 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 3.70. 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 (born 2003, 2006 and 2008). The children are not allowed in the studio unless specifically invited.

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. I feel very strongly about the lack of residencies for artist parents and will do everything I can to support your choice of bringing children on the residency.


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