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Artist Residency Grant 2015


Elizabeth Hoy en


"The overall experience was wonderful. The autonomy, time, and space to create work were deeply satisfying. The interactions with the other artists and the local people were illuminating and exciting. As well, I really got a great sense of the geography of the area through our long walks and regional exploration."
"My expectations were definitely met. I didn’t know exactly what to expect in terms of the studio space and living space, but both exceeded my expectations."
"The most valuable part of my experience at Le CouveNt was the interaction with the other artists. I had never had the opportunity to live and work side by side with four other international artists."
"I had never lived anywhere so hilly before my arrival in Auzits. Since landscape painting is a considerable aspect of my work, the new landscape had a big impact on my work. The studio spaces we were offered were wonderful and larger than any space I have had the opportunity to work in. The convent itself was an inspiration, the building has such character, I felt lucky to be part of the history of the space.
The residency pushed me to start working in different media. When I arrived I expected to work in oil paint, as I usually do. However the heat of the summer and the hilly landscape presented a few obstacles to working outdoors for long periods of time. I switched to a more portable practice of drawing and using inks and watercolors to work. I really enjoyed this and found it freeing. I have continued to use more drawing and collage in my work since the residency."
"Even though all of the artists at Le CouveNt worked in very different mediums (photography, film, music, fiction writing, installation, as well as painting and drawing) we were all reacting to and creating work based on living in the convent and the the experiencing landscape and history of Auzits. It was wonderful to discover threads of conceptual connections between our work. For the most part we would work during the day and meet up for dinner after sundown. It was over dinner and wine that we would discuss our ideas about artwork and process. We would also have casual studio visits during the day to see and discuss our work. Through these informal meetings we learned about each other and about each other’s countries of origin."
 "If I was musically inclined I would have loved to take advantage of the resources at Le CouveNt. That seems like a real gem."



Simon Ward en
"After a brief, informal introduction to the residency on the first day, the LeCouveNt team gave us (the artists) a week to settle into our new surroundings and assess our ideas. By the second week, we had formulated our plans and began to work on our final pieces. During the third week, the LeCouveNt team started to meet with everyone to discuss our projects and help us prepare for the final show. Shortly after these briefings, we started to finish and set up our artworks, with the assistance of the LeCouveNt team. This culminated in the open house: a lovely, social evening and a great end to a busy month."
"Overall, the residency was a fantastic experience and I’d jump at the chance to go again. The open house was a success and the residency was well documented by local media.
I would strongly recommend LeCouveNt to any artist looking for a quite, idyllic and inspiring space to develop their craft."
"The main thing I wanted from the residency was a quiet space to think and create. This expectation was met and surpassed. There were lots of places to explore and it was easy to get away from the village.
The kitchen was well stocked with utensils and there was never a want of chairs or tables. Similarly, the bedrooms were generously furnished.
Sergio and Lyne gave excellent support and respected their artists' privacy. I never felt pressured to prove my worth and all of their requests were reasonable.
The materials provided were of a high quality."
"The work I produced is my most valuable take away from the residency. The work I wrote helped me understand how to approach long-form fiction and fables. My project lead to further work and continues to inspire me."
"The days were long and the sun was sweltering, though there were a few intense storms. Drinking wine with my fellow laureates, while watching lighting travel across the vale in torrential rain, was one of the residency’s highlights.
I also loved collaborating with Sergio. He helped me record nine songs, and the amount of dedication he put into their mastering was unprecedented.
I was surprised at how many people from the local community took an interest in the residency and engaged with our work. One evening, we went on a midnight walk arranged by one of the farmers. This was a fantastic experience."
"I loved the historic location of the residency and its situation in an expansive natural environment. Most days, I went for long walks in the overgrown forests and sat amongst the trees. This was a beautiful, invigorating experience, but coming home to a 16th century convent was equally inspiring.
The residency gave me time to work on a long-term project without any distractions. This meant that I could totally dedicate myself to its completion.
Working on my art for long hours over a long period of time improved my overall discipline. In turn, I learnt how to plan and stick to a long-term work schedule."
"Living with artists from diverse background and cultures was one of the best parts of the residency. We learnt a lot about art and the world from out late night conversations.
We even collaborated on a few occasions."
"I learnt how to structure a weekly schedule of work and how much I can write in one day without any distractions.
I brought the natural environment that surround Auzits into my work and developed my interest in nature.
I learnt how to write long-form fiction with multiple characters and subplots.
I gained an interest in fables and fantasy as genres to work with.
The best piece of advice came from Sergio: "Sing more naturally."
Key assets: "The organisers, the visiting artists, the recording studio, the historic location, the unusual relics, the surrounding nature, the quite, the sense of community, interactions with the local community, the pianos."
Samiha Kahn en
"As an artist from Pakistan, to be in residence at le couvent (France) was a fairy tale experience of my lifetime.Each day I felt depths of new experiences as an artist as well as a young girl.I felt like a princess out of her castle after 22 years in person!.
Le couvent as a premise; constituted the ideal location for the installation of my works.Just to be in a historic structure was a privilege and good fortune.The hospitality of the directors further motivated my practices at le couvent.The studio was well catered to my artistic needs and the materials provided were upto the mark.The neighbourhood was lovely with beautiful people of Auzits ; who were also excited to meet me and we shared lots of experiences.Not only as an artist , but as a person I was honoured at all times.I will always cherish my time at the le couvent and I would encourage more artists to just go for this one..."
"I brought with me even more passion and confidence to my practices as an artist from le couvent.One month of beautiful days and nights in which i could wear what i always wanted , sing out loud and even dance out in the fields or anywhere I desired.This was much more than any money or material things i could get at le couvent."
"As an artistic view, the convent was upto the mark with the supply of enough space to the artists individually. With the materials to be provided to me was up to the mark as well. The time to  myself individually played a vital role in the development of my proposal at the convent. The location of such a space thrilled by artistic practice to the point that so much I could do and transform the convent as a mere canvas as itself ; for people to come and experience art not only in form of paint or 2D. But also experiential form of art ; that is so personal to the viewers as well as the artist."
Olya Zarapina en
"For me the residency at Le CouveNt was a nice mix between a vacation and a work trip. In my particular case, because I work outdoors and require specific lighting conditions"
"The Le CouveNt premises were exactly what I expected."
"The most valuable part of the residency at Le CouveNt was the time away from my daily routines to focus on a specific project. Additionally, the uniqueness of Le CouveNt premises and the surroundings provided exceptional subject matter for my work. And, of course the relationships formed with some of the other artists."
"From the artistic point of view... Inline with my ongoing artistic interest in spatial perception, I applied to Le CouveNt because of the specificity of its location and the intimacy of its community. The residency allowed for an opportunity to witness and document a community that otherwise would not be easily available to the outsiders."
"...I was pleasantly surprised by the engagement of the public during the open studio event. It was a great pleasure to present the photo-film I worked on at Le CouveNt to the people familiar with the photographed spaces."

Artist Residency Grant 2014
"My overall experience as an award laureate at Le CouveNt was an extremely positive one.  My expectations related to studio facilities and amenities were formed by the information provided on the Le CouveNt website.  This information was accurate and very helpful in preparing for the month in residence and my expectations were met/exceeded.   Sergio and Lyne were exceptionally responsive to my needs, both as an artist and foreigner.  After receiving notice of my award, if I had a question or concern, they were very helpful in answering quickly and clearly via email.   
Over the course of the month I developed as an artist by focusing deeply on my practice and interacting with the creative people around me.  I was given the opportunity to both focus on my work and the opportunity to form very valuable relationships, these two elements influenced my overall experience greatly."
"My expectations of the grant program were met.  In regard to studio space and accommodations, my expectations were exceeded.  In the most basic sense, I expected time, privacy and space to fulfill my proposal and that was exactly what I received."
"At home in the US, my time is split between my artistic practice and my career in the museum field.  At Le CouveNt, the most precious take away was realizing the importance of uninterrupted time and the effect this has on my productivity.  Because my artist process is very labor intensive, my need for time and space to focus on the formation of a cohesive series of works was why I applied for this grant.   Being provided with this was absolutely the most valuable aspect of this residency."
"I was very surprised by how easily and quickly I was to adapt to my work environment.   Immediately upon arrival I felt like I could get to work.  Little time was wasting on acclimation and settling.
I was pleasantly surprised by the people I met during the residency period.  Gerard Marty, in particular was so friendly and willing to help me and my fellow residence feel familiar with the local art scene.  It was such a pleasure getting to know him and his work.  Additionally Marielle at the Rignac tourist office surprised me with her willingness to spend time with us and to familiarize us with the culture of Aveyron."
"While in residence at Le CouveNt I felt free to explore my work within a determined structure.  This structure (my proposed project) was the outline by which I organized my time.  Though I had an artistic goal set, I still felt very free to explore different means of expression.  While in residence I was able to tailor my approach according to my responsiveness to the site.  For example, in my project I proposed to track an element of the landscape but did not specify my point of focus.  Upon arrival, I spent time exploring these elements in order to choose my point of focus and base my work upon something uniquely reflective of Auzits.  This direct reaction to location/landscape charges my work with a kind of relevance that would be impossible to replicate from elsewhere."
"From a human relations point of view, I was expecting a clash of cultures.  This was not the case.  Instead a harmony developed between Reiko, Canan and myself.  Through conversation I learned a lot over the course of the month, both of other cultures and of my own;  Being an Armenian American, I am fully aware of political and cultural tensions that exist due to historic events with other countries (ex: Turkey).   This exchange was uncomfortable at first, but I learned how to set aside differences...  I believe it is important to focus on the individual, on their art, creative practice, the here and the now."
"My major contribution at Le CouveNt was my artistic vision.  Showing my work during open studio allowed the public to be a part of this vision.  Additionally, by participating in the 2014 grant program I helped diversify the creative culture in Auzits. "
"In a calm and historic setting, I had much time to explore ideas, experiment and realize the new and complex project. I found that living and working in a former convent with international artists in a village of 900 people a very unique opportunity."
"During the residency, I was able to prove myself that I am able of realizing a complex project in an interdisciplinary medium on my own. This experience provided me the confidence that able myself to carry future projects that requires new knowledge and techniques."
"I was able to work with an instrument that I was not familiar with (la cabrette). If I have an opportunity, I would like to further explore this instrument and other folk instruments in the region."
"It was my pleasure to get to know two other artists and thier works during my residency. We had a set-up where we cook and eat dinner together on most of the evenings, during which we talked about our works and many other things, which was very enjoyable. I also like the fact we were all very different to each other."
"From what I gathered, people in Auzits and two other artists seemed to appreciate the diversity that I've brought to Le CouveNt, which are not only my artistic medium and my cultural background, but also my vision and work ethics towards my work."
"I find the authentic cultural experience that the place is able to offer very special, as well as international community that the residency provides."
"Le Couvent Artist Residency Program was my first artistic experience. I didn't know exactly what was waiting for me. Appearently, I was expected to begin a new project and develop it during the residency. I was so happy that it was the first time that I could totaly focus on my artistic experience. The residency program gave the chance of discover different ways to experience my subject. Moreover, we found the chance of meet other artists from different countries and different subjects. It raised the intercultural awareness for both artistic and cultural basis."
"Everything about accomodation and other kind of supplies (materials, artistic coverage, etc.) were efficient. "
"I experienced something so valuable during the open studio. I meant, non-verbal but very powerful communication with the people who came to visit open studio. And also, I built so sincere friendships during the residency. I think, these two are the most valuable things."
"Le Couvent is located at an amazing environment. It was dreamlike."
"Residence experience is a great opportunity to focus on the artistic work. Especially for me, focus was a great hinderence while working, but in such a place like le Couvent, it turned into something so motivational because of it's location and atmosphere. And also, team of le Couvent always motivated me about development of my work with their so precious comments. During the open studio I found the chance of receiving feedback from audience and other artists which is also so important to develop ideas.
The most important impact has been always "motivation" for me."
"There is something so important about these kind of programmes that you can interact people from other countries that one can not reach all the time. For instance, I live in Turkey for now and it is really so hard for me to travel such places like USA and Japan because of the economical matters. Thus, le Couvent Artist Residency Program had us met in a common area. We discover each other even during the dinner time. Cultural exchange is so important to wider point of view towards the world."
"As a visual artist, I am mostly a storyteller. I am collecting memories not materials. I love to share my memories with people and make them mutual memories. And my production still lasts during the exhibition by attendence of audience and their impacts on my works. This cumulative memorial is my key insight on my works."
"I believe that I have broken the untouchable aspect of art-piece which is considered something so fragile, by inviting audience to write notes on two of my works. During the open studio, one of the visitors told me that he had hesitated to write on my photo-sketchbooks made of images from the region that I exhibited as a memorial notebook. After discussing this matter, people realized what I expected from them and started to join and collaborate with me.
I think, it was the major contribution but this question should be answered by other artists,team and audience, though."



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