From Sophia Moseley

01 Dec - 22 Dec 2016



Switzerland for me was a perfect time to reflect and research. As every residency turns out I end up producing something I don't plan to. On the second evening there the church bells had been chiming for the past half an hour. I felt a sense of overwhelming joy for being in a beautiful landscape, with good food, good people and good weather. 

I spent the evening staring out of the window at the twinkling glow from the house opposite and typing a short story I had been waiting to write for a while. In the morning I heard the occasional moo from a cow and Talisker, Nina's tiny dog barking outside. 

During my three week residency, I spent most of my days writing and educating myself on David Lynch. I didn't expect this at all as I had planned on working solely on a commission I had back at home in England. The creative environment took hold. The first time I met Frank, the other artist, a musician from France, we spoke of small and creepy suburban towns. Of which both of us were originally from. This sparked a mention of Twin Peaks. As I primarily write based on human observation within certain environments, this was a perfect piece of research for me. I became enthralled by his work and when I wasn't writing, I was watching Blue Velvet or Mulholland Dr. 




On some days I would take the tiny train into Nyon, and wander around the lake and small streets making up ideas about the people who lived there. I saw one old lady in her house making something delicious I'm sure and another in her sewing shop, knitting by lamplight. It all looked very idyllic and cosy. The lake is the cleanest body of water I've seen in my life. One day I took the train in the wrong direction and ended up somewhere further into the countryside. I didn't mind though, as I saw horses right next to the station and a hawk in the opposite field. The church and small village it was in was something you can only imagine in fairy tales.  




Being in such an idyllic environment and in a lovely house made me dream more than usual. Dreaming makes an influence on my writing so I was glad of it. The best dream I had went like this - I don't know where I was, but I felt like it was Africa. I was cycling along on my bike and there were many other people doing the same around me in all directions. But it was very calm and the sun was setting, spreading an orange glow over everything. The road was only dirt, and there were many trees, plants and fields. I definitely was nowhere near a city. I felt very at ease and like I belonged and I was myself. I cycled to somewhere that felt very safe and colonial, like it was a university of some kind. Like Oxford, or Cambridge or Yale. Somewhere prestigious. I parked my bike and walked through a café to meet my friends. The inside was like an old school room, the floor and walls were panels of dark wood, and it was dark, but not gloomy. It was cosy, and the air felt warm outside, so it must have been a warm country. Then the dream changed and I was outside walking further into the complex. There was a club where two girls I used to go to school with were. They had invited me there and were dressed up in rainbow coloured wigs. Like the Garry Glitter one my Dad used to have. Strips of shimmering plastic. I didn't want to go in because, I hate clubbing and it looked really lame. I didn't like those girls anyway, they weren't very interesting, and I would have to fain interest like in real life sometimes. Then a group of fat ignorant men rolled out singing and generally being heinous. I don't know whether this was part of the real dream or a daydream when I woke up. The real dream, was the best though and I woke up feeling at ease and the happiest I have felt in a long while. The feeling of being where you are meant to be and being able to be yourself at every moment of every day, is pure luxury. 




Later on that afternoon, the sun burst through the clouds and all of the frost perching on the cluster of pine trees started to melt off as if a rain shower has just passed over us, but only from the cluster of trees. It was ‘magical’ as my Grandma would say. It stayed this way for at least half an hour or more. The branches drooping further and further towards the ground. Frank – who rarely emerged from his room – dashed out in a flurry to photograph the spectacle. The sun was shining so brightly directly through my window, I couldn't stare for long. 

Trélex Switzerland was a perfect induction back into studio life and thinking like an artist for every minute of the day, instead of being hauled up in a mindless job. So I couldn't recommend this residency enough to anyone who is considering it.

Sophia Moseley

From Henry Byrne

01 Nov - 30 Nov 2016



I was booked to stay in Trelex for the month of November. Prier to my residency I had been working towards commissioned portraits and (primarily) ‘selling’ exhibitions. So I was looking forward to some headspace and time to try out my newer ideas by testing old ones. 





Trelex is a beautiful place set 3 miles north of Lac Lamen. The village is perched north of the roman town of Nyon in which a major highway passes connecting Geneva with the rest of Switzerland. The program is situated in a beautiful House with a large garden and Nina’s wonderful family. The studio is on the top floor of the three story house. From there looking north the forests rises to the foothills of the Alpes. It’s very quite in the house and  the village is very still. I had been anxious about the lack of activity and distraction However I found that the still ness enabled my to hear my ideas clearer and for the better ones to be louder. 





I drove from London which was great to have a car there tho Nina offers her car to residence to get around. It enabled more flexibility as I enjoyed going of in to the mountain for hours. I'd split the month up as follows; The first two weeks working on the portraits brought from the UK and the final two weeks working towards a show. Having no distractions enabled my productivity shot up. I painted so quickly and confidently. The big difference compared to my studio in the uk was from 6 pm onwards (this is the time I normally stop painting in London). In Trelex there are no social requirements/options so I continued to paint getting immersed in the work. It reminded me of when I was younger, when I first discovered art and how it relived me from the cronic ‘boredom’ of feeling unfulfilled. Portrait commissions can some times feel methodical the repetitive. The lack of distraction focused the mind and brought back fun and excitement of creating things. 





After completing my allotted paintings I begun playing with my light boxes (out side of portraits I create light boxes that mimic the atmospheres of significant areas) I wanted to make a piece of work that was sight specific. I had hoped/ expected mist over the lake and valley but it never fully transpired. The nights were drawing in quickly and the sun sets where getting slower and slower. Rich colours oranges and violets would transform the landscape highlighted by the residual mist of the lake. This was cemented on a train back from Nyon to Trelex at 5.15pm just as the sun was setting. The sky was violet and pink but there was a thin strip of yellow between the sky and the foothills.  As the train moved up the mountain I saw dog walkers standing still looking at the sun setting. Looking away from the view I noticed on the train all the Swiss staring at the sun set. I thought they must have seen it a thousand times but were still struck by it. In tern I was struck by there similar expression of carm and wonder. They were united in there expression and as a group. I wanted to show the thing that provoked this communal wonder. I then new what I wanted to make my work around this. 



Installation.

Using a LED strip light I started to rap pre bought coloured filters. I started combining different filters to tailor the different colours of the horizon. I wanted to make the strip of light that was so stunning between the clouds and the hills.

In the studios there are dividing walls. I thought it would be fun to use them as a light box to recreate the horizon. I experimented with a cardboard box getting the shape and colours right.  I took one of the panel off the dividing wall and set up the light inside. I did not want the source of the light to be seen and this would conseal the strip light. 

I then traced and cut the skyline into the board and screwed it back to the wall. Paper would be put over the cut horizon, to allow the light to be defused. The work was realised when Nina thought the reflection in the mirrow would mimic the sky line. This in my opinion became the work. The reflected strip of light in the glass mimicking the mountains it was inspired by. 

I cannot recommend the residency enough. Nina’s inputs was so useful It really reminded me that there are no rules and anything is possible it art. As the residency is run by artists for artists it realises the importance of time and personal development. Thank you very much for the most enlightening experience. 


Henry Byrne website

From Alfonsus Wong

30.08.2016 - 29.09.2016



The residency wasn’t what I expected. I arrived hoping to get work done, and possibly spend time re-evaluating my art practice. Both things happened, but very differently from what I imagined. 

If I were to sum it up, work gets done. The studio really has a variety of media ready for experimentation, paints, pastels, pencils, literally every tool you need for bookbinding. There is crazy variety of materials, just not variety in said materials, you won’t find every colour you need for example, but what is there is definitely more than sufficient for play. DO ask Nina if you'd like to know if the studio has a specific tool you need, odds are, it should.

What I didn’t quite expect was that the greatest takeaways for me came from the small things - chats over tea, a passing comment from guests, or even simple advice before the flight home. 

I think that while the forests and mountains, the museums will very easily, in some way impact or influence work or the work process within the residency, the Trelex Residency isn’t defined solely by that. It really is everything, the neighbouring town, the garden, Nina and family (her children if you manage to get to know them, but do set boundaries or you won’t get any work done!), Talisker (the over-affectionate dog). It is all of those, not really a gestalt of an experience, everything feels separate, yet intimate.

Follow Alfonsus online



'Note from Nina: there is indeed a small accumulation of materials but please always check with me before coming as things get used up, things don't always work... Etc. And sow times new materials appear that haven't been mentioned on the website. But yet, I always hope you will play towards new ideas'


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.


Predestined.
Video still. 2016


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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.


Chandra


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.


Garuda


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.


Moon


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.