This page shows residents and their projects in 2017 (except the most recent ones: they are in the newsletter).
Other pages show residents and their projects in 2016, 2015, 2014 , 2012 and 2013 and 2004-2011.
A visual collage of residents is in this slide show.
This page shows residents and their projects in 2017 (except the most recent ones: they are in the newsletter).
Other pages show residents and their projects in 2016, 2015, 2014 , 2012 and 2013 and 2004-2011.
A visual collage of residents is in this slide show.
Kevin Morrow (USA) returned for having an exhibition in the Caste of Evoramonte, entitled: Diáspora. It is part of an ongoing project “The Great Exchange” in which he contemplates on migrations of cultures and civilizations. Central in Díaspora is an installation with a dining table; the place where the stories of our journeys are told, with family and friends, and strangers who become friends.
People have moved about the globe since time immemorial, bringing with them entire visible and invisible universes. The reasons we leave are as infinite as the things we bring with us. Large or small, planned or frantic, giving rise to dynamic consequences and eventually becoming its own cause, its own effect. This awareness made Kevin a traveler in order to learn about cultures migrations and evolution; about why we have the world we have today.
The preparation of the exhibition demanded nearly day and night working: he came with a lot of experience, but some hundred objects had to be made, including five two-meter tall statues and a big dining table. There are still some days to go and it seems that Kevin´s planning works out well.
The inauguration of Diaspora on 23 September has become a very special event, first of all because of the exhibition, but also because two artists presented works that were inspired by Díapora: a dance performance by Márcio Pereira and an installation of sound, light and performance by Matthew Manowski. A video impression is now on Youtube.
István Kovacs (Hungary) came back after 9 years. He proved again that he could make art out of everything: dead tree branches, marble dust, wine bottles, seeds, feathers and so on. His installations and collages were full of colour and humour. His partner Zsusza Szalai became more and more involved in his creations, in his artist talk and in the daily life of the artists community of OBRAS.
On 28 August we had a beautiful event with several studio visits, short presentations and two concerts. The slideshow gives an impression and more information on individual artists and the projects is below.
Taryn Noelle Cassella (visual artist; Canada) decided to sculpt in marble; a new, tiring but rewarding experience for her. One piece, seemingly simple, impressed everybody. Two beams of marble lean on each other and seem to have a perfect match. This triggers the viewer contemplating on whether one piece has a female and the other a male form. Taryn made also some paintings.
Paul Godwin (USA) and Miguel Angel Noya (Venezuela) are both composer and musician. They together form DOGON (www.dogonsound.com) and focus on electronic music in which they include voices and sounds from their surroundings. They composed and presented an “Acousmatic Environment” entitled: I'm the Size of What I See. For this composition they mixed in their music the voices of fellow residents and a Swiss Air announcer, as well as the praying of members and pastor of the Santa Maria church of Evoramonte during a procession. See their slideshow for an impression.
They also used texts of Fernando Pessoa from "The Book of Disquiet“.
András Kecskés (Hungary) did a great discovery: painting on marble sheets instead of on canvas has great potential for him. He started with trials, but soon he could optimally make use of the material: the scars from the sawing machine, the irregularity of the coloured veins and the rough sides of the slabs. He created some 40 works, most of them being half-abstract landscapes painted in a restricted colour spectrum. Not just the originality of the material, but even more the artistic quality was obvious.
In September, António Tavares painted a big canvas surrounded by some residents António is a Portuguese painter and house friend. He needs classical music while painting. For technical reasons this video does not have the music of that moment but a life performance of Elena Cheah (USA), a resident in 2015 and 16. The canvas was given by Victoria Cattoni (Aus), another artist in residence who came four times and may return next year.
Sabine Scholl (Austria, currently living in Germany) was working on a new novel: a variation on the Odyssey, written from a feminine point of view. She also wrote poems; one on the sound and behaviour of the free-living pigs around the nearby farm. And she was deeply inspired by the prehistoric grave 20 minutes walking from our house. Sabine also started collaborations with several fellow residents that may well have beautiful outcomes in the years to come.
Jessica Yeandle-Hignell (visual artist; Canada) choose a dilemma as her theme: should she explore, exploit and enjoy the rich fantasy world that she is living in for whole her life, or should she start a new phase and step into the real word? She made an intriguing series of drawings that refers to this dilemma.
Younghwa Kang (composer; South Korea) made several compositions for the Kayagum, a traditional Korean instrument: a 26 strings table harp. Her music is serene, introvert and spiritual.
Gaelle Pelachaud (France) came to work on the preparation of her exhibition in Évora (April 2018) and on her artist book on storks. She met Maria Sarmento, the poet who will contribute, both on the book and the exhibition. Gaelle also established a contact with a publisher from Évora who offered to edit and publish her book.
Phoebé Guillemot (Canada) is a DJ, composer and performing musician. She tours with musical performances through Canada, the USA and Europe. Her residency was part of her preparation for a concert in Berlin (Berghain Säule: 28 September, 10 pm). This video gives an impression of her preparations. It is a try-out of a recently created piece.
Central in her artship is Ramzy, a tiny sfi-fi monkey-type of animal. Although Phoebé gives all space for own interpretations, Ramzy seems to have some autobiographical elements such as fragility, disorientation and jet a strong determination to survive in its own way in a world that is alien to him.
“Paraíso Escondido” means “hidden paradise”. It was the title of an exhibition of paintings, silkscreen prints and ceramic works of Ingrid Simons (Holland) in Galeria Municipal Dom Dinis, in Estremoz, Portugal, in June-August 2017.
Herewith Ingrid got her fifth solo exhibition in Portugal. See the slide show for an impression. In the beautiful Galeria Municipal Dom Dinis Ingrid showed paintings, silkscreen prints and ceramic works (for ceramics she established a collaboration with the master potters of Redondo: Xico Tarefa and Luìs Carlos). She gave special focus to her interpretations of the “Hidden Paradise”, an open space in a dense woodland with a creek and intriguing rocks. There, Ingrid experienced the cycle of life: the strong greens of spring turning into the golden colors of hot midsummer. She felt sublimity and strength of nature emphasizing the nullity of man.
In 2010 Ingrid Simons had her first artistic residency at Foundation OBRAS (Evoramonte, Portugal). She fell in love with Alentejo at first sight. This grew into a strong and lasting love. In 2017 she returned twice: in June and August. And she appleid for another residency in 2018.
Job Degenaar (Holland) worked highly concentrated on a new set of poems in which the Portuguese culture and nature, as well as the local ambiance plays a crucial role. At his artist talk he recited some of his works in three languages. And he told about his work as a board member of PEN-NL (a writers association that promotes literature and defend freedom of expression. At the end of his talk he surprised everybody by showing that he is also a gifted singer.
Although his partner: Tineke, had no intention to come as a resident, she found the inspiration to continue with a book on co-operative learning. She was very happy with the progress she made.
Jerry Ross (USA) had a residency at OBRAS-Holland. He made twelve paintings, mainly landscapes and portraits in a loose impressionistic stile. They will soon be exhibited in Oregon. He choose the isolation of OBRAS-Holland to work effectively and it proved highly profitable. As a compensation he made friends with several neighbours, which resulted, among others, in a beautiful portrait of Gerard.
Rob Monagham, a multimedia artist from Ireland, came to study the destruction of the landscape by marble quarries and the recovery by nature of abandoned quarries. But already at his first visit he was astonished by their powerful forms and their mysterious beauty. He was especially fascinated in the artificial lakes: he made wonderful photos and videos under water and on the water surface.
He discovered fish in these lakes and these fishes discovered him. After some three photo sessions the fishes lost their fear and got very curious.
Every time that Rob scrolled over the abandoned quarries he found objects in decay of past human activities: boots, a briefcase, beer bottles, a telephone book, .. He brought them to our patio and made an exhibition with it, which was a try-out of an exhibition in Damer House in Tipperary, Ireland, in August: SO THIS IS PERMANENCE is the title of this exhibition (in combination with Cristine McAuliffe). Rob shows installations made with objects found in the marble quarries of Estremoz. The exhibition runs until 6 September.
He also established a promising collaboration with Miriam Slaats that may lead to a joint exhibition in Abu Dhabi in November. More info on this collaboration and exhibitions will soon follow in this newsletter. Also a slide show on Rob’s residency will soon appear on this page.
Mirjam Slaats (Holland) is fascinated by the ecstatic of “blobs”: solidified melts of plastic being half-fabricates of plastic recycling. She brought a suitcase full and experimented with them. She made small installations, sprayed them with gold paint or laid them in oyster shells. One piece had the size and form of a heart. She went with is to the farmers market in Estremoz, approached elderly people with the text in Portuguese ”I lend you my heart, please give me your smile” and of those who accepted she made a beautiful photos while smiling and embracing the heart.
But by far the most exciting project emerged by a collaboration with Robert Moganham. Robert was exploring underwater photography in the lakes of marble quarries and took some blobs of Mirjam. The photos and videos are surrealistic and abstract. Together they optimised the artistic quality and made plans for future collaboration and future exhibitions.
Sara Tolman (USA) is a print-maker. With lino-print she made a set of X-sized playing cards, with all images referring to the region: the king was represented by the Iberian pig, the queen by a stork, hearts was a bunch of grapes, spades became some olives and so on.
Kevin Tolman (USA) created some forty works, partly collage, partly painting. Although abstract, many had hints of Portugal: a piece of a newspaper, a part of a super market flyer or the abundant application of Alentejo Azul.
Sara and Kevin had a six-weeks residency. First they participated in the regular residency program and later they took the responsibility for the house, allowing Ludger and Carolien to have holidays. Acting as landlords in July is a challenge, especially because the garden needs careful attention due to the heat. But being early birds (6am) they enjoyed the fresh mornings and evenings and were highly productive in the afternoon in their relatively cool studios.
By keeping the garden green, an additional challenge was that all the rabbits of the region decided to come and pay Kevin and Sara a visit and to enjoy the pumpkins and strawberries.
Anna Ortiz (USA) is inspired by destructed landscapes that are recovering, either by human action or by nature. Twice she was resident at OBRAS-Holland (where she was inspired by the Dutch recovery after World War II) and this time she choose for Portugal. She was especially interested in the abandoned marble quarries. In a way it reminded her to the ruins of Mexican temples and this relation may well become the subject of her next exhibition in Brooklyn.
Cody Conelly (USA) was working on a movie about the years that his grandmother was working as a nurse in the army during Word War II. Quite a challenge because he has to condense hours of footage, the interviews with her were tough (she is convinced that there is little to say) and making a documentary is new for him. But knowing the quality of his animation movies (for instance Glitch Noir, which he largely made in OBRAS-Holland) it will certainly become a beautiful product. Another discipline that Cody is exploring is to build 3D installations on which he projects videos specifically made to fit in the form of the installation.
Rachel Haley Himmelheber (USA) worked on “America´s Chickens”, a novel that combines fiction and nonfiction, and tells in counter-factual narratives about America during Obama´s presidency. The father of Edward Snowdon, the daughter of a San Bernardino terrorist, the governor of Wisconsin and many more persons are featuring, some in serious, others hilarious stories. It was impressive to see her collecting and structuring loads of factual information, visions and brainwaves. As a side activity she wrote an erotic short story, fiction, with Hilary Clinton in the main role.
Brooke Steiger (USA) is printmaker, but with having no press she decided making drawings and collages, partly abstract but always including birds and butterflies. Often, her compositions were theatrical and vaguely suggesting a story. She was also contemplating on making animations and installations. In her artist talk she showed an impressive body of work that made clear how broad her expertise, skills and fantasy world is.
Sarah Pedlow (USA) came to OBRAS-Holland for her project on traditional costumes. She visited many museums and the few villages where women still dress in traditional costumes. In one village she was lucky enough to be guided by a young local football player to visit three women who dress in costume. She also attended a seminar on Dutch fashion and National Identity held at the Free University in Amsterdam.
In addition Sarah designed sleeves and hats (based on the traditions that she studied) and a laundry pole, and made a series of mixed media collages.
Marja Sterck (Holland) made photos of the twilight and light in the dark. She made several series of photos in postcard format, serene and intriguing in the same time: night skies with some lightning far away: are they dreamy or spooky? Some circular lines in the dark: is this fake or real?
Marja also used her residency to work on a new artist statement, which step-wise became an overall concept of how she approaches art, how she collects and select input for her art and especially what her very personal drivers are.
Duncan Hill (USA) came to make photos of night scenes on urban spots. He made a lot, all of them a public space with no humans and mostly lightened by only one or two street lamps. He was excited about the differences in color spectrum of urban night light between the USA and Europe: in the USA public space is generally lightened blueish white, while in Portugal it is still mostly with whitish orange.
Aubrey Grant (USA) was working on her PhD about policies on migration. In her artist talk she gave an overview of the variety in approached between different countries. We had a long and lively discussion about the difficulties to distinguish asylum seekers and refugees and about short term and fundamental solutions.
Rob van Weegen (Holland) was working on a theater production about the life and music of Roy Orbison. On the occasion of his artist talk he made great theater: he performed two short plays, both written by himself. One was about mourning about lost loves and death. The other was a slapstick comedy about a tourist who visited a pygmy’s village but did not see anybody because their camouflage skills were too good.
Wilma Geldoff (Holland) was working on a historical novel about Freddy Oversteegen, a young female freedom fighter in the Second World War, whose life and heroic deeds are largely unknown at the public due to all attention going towards other female heroes and victims such as Annie Schaft and Anne Frank. For her this story also has personal links. As her family was deeply involved in war affairs, although largely in secret.
As part of his sabbatical Dennis DeHart (visual artist, USA) came to OBRAS-Holland to continue working on his long-term project on water related issues. It includes investigation and contemplation on a wide variety of subjects, such as environmental problems, water rights as well as the importance of nature for childhood development. Together with his partner he also made and photographed still lives of natural material. By doing this the got especially fascinated by light and color in the area.
Also at OBRAS-Holland Willie Marlowe (painter, USA) was working on three projects, all comprising small, sometimes very small paintings. The size was not for practical reasons, but to create intimacy and a suggestion to “read” them. Willie called them Mail Art: Holland 2017 (to be exhibited as an installation at Collar Works Gallery, Troy, New York; dates will follow) and Mail Art: Renkum to Rancho Cordova (to be exhibited in Sacramento, California). The images show her interpretations in abstraction of Dutch culture, art, landscape, environment, architecture, gardens and engineering. A third series of 24 5x5cm paintings got Micro-Art as a title.
As part of her sabbatical, Jacqueline Osherow (USA) took a two-months residency, mainly to work on a long poem on her experiences in Berlin in the past three months. As a child of a holocaust survivor’s family she explores and hopes to get inspired by traces of Jewish civilisations. That is what she did in Berlin for recent history and what she was doing in Portugal for the times of the inquisition (16th century). In her poems she brings great and small facts together with her feelings, her daily life and her fascination for bible stories about Genesis, Ruth, the Ten Commandments etc.. She was also participated in a local poetry festival in Evoramonte and was happy to share with her fellow residents some Jewish cooking traditions. Once she chanted in Hebrew some verses of the Book Ruth, which deeply impressed all of us.
Beate Schnaithmann (Germany) currently lives and works in Switzerland. She brought her cello to study on some new pieces for her ensemble and to explore jazzy works, but she did a lot more. She developed a collaboration with Johannyke Poulsen and Clay Bassford, with whom she played a piece for cello, voice and synthesizer that was created the days before. She also played Ravel with Aurélie Ferrière and she responded with serene tones of her cello on a video by Ingrid Simons showing a flower field waving in the wind, of which the sound of wind was manipulated by Rob Monaghan. And she gave two solo concerts: one during her artist talk in our living room and one during a poetry festival in the fortress of Evoramonte (see also this page).
Clay Bassford (USA; currently living and working Denmark) worked on sound compositions for which he had already a base and he started several new ones. For these he mixed synthesizer music with, for instance, voices of Portuguese radio and the bells of sheep that scroll around our house. In his artist talk he explained how he developed his work as a sound composer, starting in a New York rock band. In addition he had wonderful collaborations with Johannyke Poulsen and Beate Schnaithmann.
At home Johannyke Poulsen (Denmark) has only very limited space for her visual art work. This was the main reason to gladly accept the biggest studio that we have: 12 x 25 m. And took the full advantage, by working on x-large sized paper. Her subjects are generally flowers and her medium is water colour. Working with big sizes and water colour is a challenge: the water dries fast and there is no time to work on details. She accepted and liked this challenge. She had a beautiful final presentation: see her slide show.
Aurélie Ferrière is a Canadian sound artist, currently living and working in Sweden. She made sound compositions using her violin and synthesizer, both in her studio and in nature. She went to a silent open space in a bush, 15 minutes’ walk from the house. There she tried to come in communication with the song birds, mainly finches and nightingales. This video gives and impression. This experiment may become part of a performance that she prepares for bringing on stage in Stockholm.
Aurélie also found collaborations and performed with Matias Ringheim (sculptor and part-time poet) and Beate Schnaithmann (cello).
On her blog Aurelie contemplated on the results of her residency at OBRAS and on her plans for the near future.
Matias Ringheim (Norway) was fascinated by the shadow patterns on the wall caused by the cane mat on his veranda. In drawings and paintings he combined this with another fascination: embroidery. He also made small installations with marble and cork. And to a surprise of all he wrote a night time story: a poem, beautiful and surrealistic, that he read out in two occasions accompanied by Aurélie Ferrèire: one time on piano and another time on synthesizer.
Carolin Färber (Germany) worked on her movie Leben. It tells about living with a mental disorder. It moved all of us, because of its heavy content, but also because it was serene and in the same time humoristic and positive. As a short movie it was rewarded in several events and it will soon be featured on TV in the USA. At OBRAS she was extending and re-editing this movie for to make it ready for a series.
Carolin made also small installations with cork strips. together with titles and one-liners it told about building walls. For instance, on one side of a cork wall was a cry: I am dying !, and on the other side: I can´t hear you.
Katharina Fröschl-Roßboth (Austria) was working on four projects during her residency. A very impressive project was a documentary about multiple disabled patients in the swimming pool of the Luís da Silva Centre in Rio dos Moinhos. More info will appear later on her website.
Other projects were lighter. One was PRE-SENT. On 10 April at 0 am, Katharina started photographing shadows in a courtyard. She did it every hour, 24 hours long, the first and last hours at moonlight. This video shows an impression.
The others were a ongoing project on 31-years old women (for which she added our friend and fado singer: Mara) and a portrait of a neighbor: Almarindo and his sheep.
Poetry is a highly valued tradition in Portugal, also on the local scale. On 6 and 7 May LINCEMOZ organised the Festival de Poesia in the fortress of Evoramonte and invited OBRAS to participate. The invitation was gladly accepted by several residents and friends of OBRAS.
Jacqueline Osherow (USA) read three of her poems. Even she did read them in full speed English her message was received by the audience, partly also thanks to her enthusiasm.
Wonderful also was the reading by Cristiana Altino de Almeida (Brazil) of poems of Gerry van der Linden (Holland) from her anthology Uma Estranha no Alentejo (beautifully translated from Dutch into Portuguese by Ana Carvalho). See this page for more info.
Maria Sarmento (Portugal) recited completely by hart a long epic poem of António Gedeão: “Galileu". She proved to be a highly intriguing story teller. Maria has a project together with Gaelle Pelachaud (France). They will have an exhibition in Évora in April 2018. Gaelle will show some of her hundreds of drawings on storks that she made during her residency last year, and Maria will present poems inspired by these drawings.
Beate Schnaithmann (Germany, living in Switzerland) gave a full recital on her cello going from Bach to blues that was highly appreciated between the abundance of spoken words. Her high musical quality overruled the echo of the place. Watch also this video impression.
In February-March Claudia Tomas was our first guest in 2017. Claudia is an awarded Portuguese filmmaker who lived and worked for the past ten years in London. She returned to Portugal to find a peaceful and inspiring place to work on a film that tells about her life in London: her thoughts on spirituality, her search for a sustainable community, her struggle to find a home and her clashes with project developers. We saw a first draft and were deeply impressed. During her stay with us, Claudia also developed a warm connection with the Alentejo landscape, with the slow pace of time and with our cats. She made many photos, of which a selection is in the slideshow on this page.
We organised an exhibition for Sherry Wiggins in collaboration with Luís Branco. Its title:
Reencontrando-a means Meeting her again. A beautiful impression is made by GMT produçoes.
Sherry Wiggins came to Portugal -inspired by the Portuguese conceptual artist Helena Almeida. For Reencontrando-a Sherry used her own body covered with red, black and white fabric, in photographs that unite elements of drawing, installation and performance. She did shootings and is currently still doing it, both in the studio and in the landscape of Alentejo. For these works she collaborates with the Portuguese photographer Luis Filipe Branco.
Her work recalls classic characters in mythology and fairy tale, reflecting universal concerns in contemporary terms in a mystic, primordial landscape. More specifically for Reencontrando-a Sherry found a profound connection to the archetypal / mythical feminine in the environment near Evoramonte. In her own words: “Here she meets her Self again, merging with other Selves that are buried deep within her psyche, and indeed, within the souls of all women”.
The opening became a beautiful event because of the enthusiasm of the visitors for the exhibition, but also because of the warm words of the US embassy delegates, the city councilor of Culture, the museum director and Sherry, and because of the short concert by Marina Ferreira on saxophone.
The exhibition got a follow up in Denver, USA and in Hangar, an art centre in Lisbon, Portugal.
With the exhibition: De Longe e de Perto, Jacobien De Rooij expressed her attraction to numerous details in both the natural and rural landscape that lack pretention, but show an incredible beauty: a lonely sheep, a hub of marble waste, a chicken in a cage waiting to be sold.
During her annual art residencies in the past six years she started a series of X-large sized drawings (up to 5 x 2 m), some ten of which are now shown in the Palácio dos Marqueses da Praia e Monforte, in Estremoz.
The work of De Rooij is a proposal to look in multiple ways at the world that surrounds us. An important driving force behind her work is the concept of time.
The slideshow and YouTube video give impressions of the building up, the exhibits and the opening event with a musical contribution by Daniel Catarino.
On the occasion of this exhibition, Marja Sonneveld made a beautiful portrait of Jacobien the Rooij and her way of working.