From Jaime Valtierra

24.08.2016 - 25.09.2016

"Compounding, Transporting, Augmenting, Diminishing..."

At the time I write this text I have been in London for a week after leaving Trelex. I have already met and talk with many friends and colleges here and of course they all ask me the same question: How was it in Switzerland? My answer: Amazing!! And it was. 

So ok…how was it apart from amazing? Well, it was very much about a journey, one that originated there and developed as I got to know more about the place and its history. Knowing I had a month ahead to work and no pressure to deliver in accordance to some external program, I decided (contrary to the way I would normally go about these kind of projects) to build up a body of work without prior research or planning and purely based on my actual experience of Trelex. Of course I had some loose ideas of what I would like to do before arrival but I kept the processes open and in flux.

Studio View

In the first stages of my stay, I mostly drew from memory on small scale and went for walks to the nearby forest (which in fact totally covers the mountain range next to the house). The more I went there the clearer my ideas got, so naturally I went as often as I could! The landscape is truly stunning, a maze of trees and paths that lead into more silence; a place to get lost, but also a labyrinth with a vertical dimension. It was this actual ascension to the mountaintop that led me to the idea of an imaginary journey as a frame for the project I wanted to develop during the residency.

From then on I worked towards a number of more ambitious pieces including a performance/video piece and an installation. The second work, which arguably became the most successful piece of the project, consisted of two large pastel drawings attached to a timber structure. It was fortunate that when the idea of the large drawings came into vision, Nina mentioned some paper leftovers from a bookmaking project that were available for residents. It turned out the paper was of excellent quality!!. To prepare the large paper surface I needed for the works I only had to join a number of these sheets together, the final result was as good as it could get.

Everyone is their own cave
Pastel on paper. 200 x 160 cm. 2016

Amongst the many books on contemporary art, art criticism and philosophy available in my room in Trelex, I also found a little one about the history of the town. On closer inspection, I discovered a brief history of the house and the happy revelation that the place originally belonged to a Genevoise composer by the name of Jean Binet and his wife, a tapestry artist. It was, however, a very different topic that called my attention from the book, in this case, a photograph of the old Trelex train (that now modernised) takes you from Nyon to the town. 

When looking at the photo I remembered Nina showing us (as part of the customary ‘introduction tour’) the old Train Station House that now hides at the back of the house garden. This old wooden cabin has been part of other resident`s projects for installations or as a quiet creative corner. In my work, however, it took on a more ‘metaphysical’ role as I imagined the old Trelex train stopping once more for a ride into the mountain. This was indeed one of the ideas with greater resonance as the project grew and so it became central for the large drawing that constituted the main piece in the final installation piece. 

Compounding, Transporting, Augmenting or Diminishing,...
Pastel, charcoal and oil pastel on paper. 220 x 300 cm. 2016

The great majority of my time in the last two weeks at Trelex was dedicated to complete this large piece and the rest of the drawings and also to put a structure together that could hold them. At the very end, the complete installation was placed outdoors near the house and documented there. My intention behind it was to follow an early desire to place works in the landscape. This was originally a wider concept in the project and it involved taking a number of pieces deep into the forest.

Is there Free Will?.
Paper, pastel, charcoal, oil pastels, timber, clamps.
Dimensions variable. 2016

Unfortunately, no time was left for me to fully develop this idea or to work further on a performance piece in the forest that might have evolved in turn into a video piece. The research material I managed to put together for this work was, however, informative to the other pieces I produced. Moreover many of the ideas I gather from some of my reading material (originally intended to supplement this piece) were fundamental to the development of the large installation. Also, constituent to the whole project, although initially a marginal element, was my reading of Max Weber`s ‘Spirit of Capitalism and the Protestant Ethic’. Inspired by some of the theory in the book I develop a series of video sketches that could become part of a more complete piece on a different occasion, perhaps during another visit to Switzerland.

Video still. 2016

Follow Jaime on Twitter and Instagram

100 Artists

As Hugo Yoshikawa arrives on the 17th of August 2016, Trelex welcomes its 100th Artist in Residence.  To celebrate we have mapped out all 100 artists, showing roughly where everyone has arrived from.  I’m honored to have welcomed so many artists from all these many places into both my studio at Trelex and the rainforest of Peru at Trelex Amazonas.  Hover or click on the dots for information on each artist.  [full screen]

From Aviva Shemesh

01.07.2016 - 30.07.2016

As soon as my friend artist, Rona Shahar, told me about the Trelex Residency, I was determined to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Contrary to other residencies, this one is based on a very laid back model that does not require filling in application forms nor pay amounts of money that artists usually are short of. All you need is to be committed once you have decided to attend.

I booked the residency almost a year in advance and the day to take the plane to Geneva has finally arrived. After a long journey from Tel Aviv I arrived in Nina’s big house in this small Swiss village – Trelex – being welcomed by Nina, her husband David, their three children and a cute jumpy dog. Then when I got to my room on the third floor I realized how generous was the gift I was offered: a huge house surrounded by vines and forest, forest fruit growing in the garden and ready to be picked up, bikes and a car available for use, hiking trails within a short train ride, a whole nice room for myself, shared studio space, kitchen and bathroom and the most beautiful view from each of the windows of the house.

In my work I mostly use watercolors to draw urban and rural landscapes, therefore all I have to carry around with me are my brushes and papers. However, the idea of having a studio of my own during my stay in Trelex was very appealing. For the first time, I had all my equipment laid on a table ready to use whenever I find the muse. Add to it the material that Nina makes available to artists in residence, and the ideas were just flowing with a desire to try different techniques. 

Everything in and around the house was inspiring: the backyard flowers; the Apricot tree near the main entrance, carrying spotless round yellow-orange Apricots ready to be picked up as I got in and out of the house; the red tile roofs seen from the kitchen window every morning, the typical architecture with the pointed church roofs and the Jura mountains in the horizon. 

Finally, Nina’s house is located just by the Trelex small train station that takes us to Nyon, the nearby town. From there one can take the train to different parts of Switzerland for a 1 or 2 day trip, visit museums, get additional ideas and topics for painting and just enjoy summer in Switzerland. 

The Trelex residency allowed me to just focus on my art for a whole month, which at home is impossible as I am tied up with other commitments. I am grateful for having had this opportunity. 

From Ujan Dutta

03.06.2016 - 23.06.2016

My stay at Trélex has been a wonderfully enriching experience. It served as a lovely change of scene for me, as my personal work was getting interrupted by my day to day professional activities.

Up until now I only just begun to compile a body of work, following my first exhibition, in 2012 and was failing miserably at it. My visit has inspired me to rekindle my enthusiasm for wanting to build an entirely new body of work.


A setting such as Trélex inspires you to try new things, experiment and most importantly have fun. Up until now, my work focused on mainly Hindu mythology, and a study of some of the main characters of the mythological structure. This formed the basis of my first exhibition. Since then, I've been trying to expand my own universe of characters, places, and creatures. I have been trying to build a series of paintings, based on the association of each Hindu god to a 'Vahana' or an animal usually as a vehicle to his/her respective god. This concept gave me the opportunity to experiment with lots of new characters and themes, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. My work at the Trélex residency however allowed to me to further build my roster of unique mythological figures.


I worked on a panoramic illustration depicting an iconic scene from the 'Ramayana'. Ram, along with an army of apes and monkeys builds a bridge made out of floating rocks between the south-eastern coast of India and 'Lanka', to rescue his bride, Sita, who is being held captive by the demon-king Raavana. I wanted to make this illustration a long-format horizontal panorama, something I hadn't fully tried before. I enjoyed adding an unreal scale to an already unbelievable scene, as I love detailing in my work.


Trélex has been an amazing place to work in. I have loved every bit of it. Nina's studio space has a great character and feeling to it, which really gives you a great opportunity to really focus on your work. I enjoyed travelling around Switzerland as well. Getting around is really easy and efficient. The Residency is very well located, just a few minutes away from the picturesque Nyon, and between Lausanne and Geneva, which are always fun to visit. Nina and Abi have been lovely hosts. My only regret is that I didn't spend more time learning new art mediums from them. I would be lying if I said that what I actually miss most is Nina's dog, by far one of the most adorable living creatures I've ever seen. 

I highly recommend the residency to any creative person, aspiring or otherwise, to visit the Trélex residency. I will treasure every minute of my experience, and look forward to going back as soon as I can. 

From Lolita Dutta

02.06.2016 - 

Week one at Trelex: After an almost 9hour journey from a sweltering hot New Delhi, India, we arrived at geneva airport to be met by Aurelia, a charming artist. 
She drove us to Trelex, and within a few hours i was settled and totally at home.
Maybe it was the feel of an artist 's studio, or just the peaceful surroundings, but it made me draw the very first night that i was here.! it was also the fact that i was away  from the hustle bustle of my daily mayhem and madness .
Trelex speaks to you in the way you want to be spoken to, it builds your own rhythm, it lets you breathe ,and you begin to discover yourself...
I am excited about my next two weeks, the first week is almost over, but i know my creative mind has found solace.

From Julia Peintner

03.04.2016 - 30.04.2016

The Trelex Residency, like its name suggests, is located in the small, idyllic village of Trelex, located a short eight minutes train ride away from Nyon at the shore of Lac Leman, just between Geneve in the west and Lausanne in the east.

What makes this residency so great from the start is the straightforward application process, followed by its location (meaning little distraction but at the same time, things to do nearby if one wants to), its studio space with great light, books and a lot of material already there to use, its individual approach to every artist's needs), no pressure to produce and expectations of the artist e.g. presentations, workshops etc., and, which is very rare for residencies, no fee for all of this. For me, the mixture of these circumstances resulted in what I was hoping to use this residency for: getting work done.

The Clubbers, acrylic on canvas, 155.2 x 37 cm, 2016

From Stina Lavenius

12.04.2016 - 30.04.2016

I'm a recently graduated graphic designer/ illustrator who has spent this last year working on my own projects, mainly image making using different techniques.

I came to Trelex with a very short notice since the artist who were supposed to come in April had to cancel. Unfortunately, since it was a very spontaneous decision to apply, I could only stay for two weeks, but those weeks were well worth it! I had done a couple of residency programs before where I worked on very specific themes set before arrival. This time, I decided to let the place inform what I would do, so I had nothing decided when I arrived in Trélex. The first days I was just busy collecting visual impressions from the surroundings and the characteristic house.

About the project: As I went to Trélex very suddenly I hadn't saved up for the trip and Switzerland isn't exactly famous for being cheap, so I naturally found myself thinking a lot about my financial situation (staying in Trélex is very beneficial for a modest economy though, as there really isn't much to spend your money on, we cooked at home and had a lot of (delicious) canned rösti). I came to the residency in the midst of the Panama papers chaos, so I also spent a lot of time reading about money. I'm always feeling like the language of the economy section in the news is excluding me. It's mysterious and full of authority. This I find both intimidating and intriguing, and I want to understand. In short: money was on my mind and I decided to make my project about it. I figured I'd dig into financial language. I chose to work with a selection of (Swedish) expressions connected to taxes.

The model of Trélex residency was perfect for me; total freedom, a peaceful workspace in a new environment was just what I needed to get started with a new project. I hope to come back one day.