WE HAVE WORKED WITH emerging to established artists and creative practitioners from different locations And backgrounds SINCE FOUNDING THE PROJECT. HERE ARE what over 50+ previous residents have SHARED WITH US on their LWC experience:
Emily Colipí, Artist
‘The point is to think, think about your practice, your work, your outlook, your impact, your situation relating to the world and to others exisiting both along side and far from you. It´s to be a part of the continuum, someone said during the residency 'being here you really feel human, you feel part of everything thats gone and everything that has to come' - a place where you feel yourself situated not above nature but a tiny particle within it. My time in the desert lived up to all the expectations I had and more. La Wayaka is run by two beautiful, down to earth people who´s mission is to bring awareness and understanding of the world through art and exchange in remote locations. Coming from London, where sometimes life becomes a bubble, I wanted to travel to the Atacama in search of something more, a new connection.
My six weeks in the desert opened up my art practice and my mind in ways I could never have imagined. Usually my practice involves mostly sculpture, however during the residency I felt a deep connetion with the land, the community- with myself, I felt the only way to understand and reflect this progression was with performance. Through the help of La Wayaka and other residents I performed four performances, two of which being collaborations, revolving around heritage, identity and place. La Wayaka offered the opportunity for a new way of thinking, a new way of seeing and being. Theres is a sense of magic that encapsulates the Atacama and therefore the residency, my work will continue to be inspired by this dream-like experience, and I thank the team of La Wayaka for offering an insight into the culture, the place and the feeling of magic.’
Anousha Payne, Sculptor & Ryan Thomas, Artist
´La Wayaka Current was genuinely was the most amazing trip, place and experience I think we have ever had. It was the happiest and most enriching time.´
Alisa Ruzavina, Fashion Designer
‘The levels of personal and professional deconstruction and growth I went through are something that will be nourishing me for the rest of my life journey. What a precious experience unraveling so many layers of human experience, giving me a chance to look at so many life processes and world systems anew.’
Jonathan Higgins, Composer & Sound Artist
´I cannot recommend this enough. Both the community and those running the residency were amazing. The experience was unlike anything I have previously experienced and it was both brilliant, fun and excellent for me creatively.´
Christian Bang Jensen, Artist
During the course of the residency I had many interesting discussions and experiences with other participants. I worked with text and poetry during my stay and used my daily walks in the desert as a place for reflections and mirages in my writing. Furthermore I worked in cooperation with other sculptors in learning how to process sourced clay from the desert and fire it. The people and the environment made a big impact on my ways of seeing and thinking and I am sure I will be able to revisit my desert memories in years to come.
Amy Leung & KIERAN RID, ArtistS
‘Our residency with La Wayaka was filled with new experiences, incredible environments and the space and support to develop new site specific work. The dynamic of the group and resources provided made for a great space to explore, experiment and develop a relationship with the local community and land.’
Abigail Ardelle Zammit, Poet / Writer
I had never lived in the desert before and the Atacama is, as I discovered, one of the most extraordinary places on earth. Its altitude, its extreme aridity, its Martian landscape, had a unique effect on my body, my mind and my spirit. I was myself and yet beside myself and out of myself. The Atacama desert possesses a ravishing but terrible beauty and as an artist you must come to terms with its indifference, its daunting magnitude, in order to draw any inspiration at all. I was working on short stories and poems inspired by the massive sand-dunes, the star-speckled night-sky, the salt-lakes, the mythologies of the people who have made the desert their home. What I learnt is that the desert threatens to erase you. It empties you to fill you up with itself. All the while, it does not care for you, or for human life. We are minor incidents in its geological history. Any artist has to reckon with this truth. It was not easy to write, but when the words came, they were burning with dust, salt, myth, death and survival. To inhabit the desert is to discover that to create anything of any worth at all, is to let the spirit of the earth breath you in, to accept and ultimately, to let go.
Stella CRISTOFOLINI, ARTIST & CULTURAL SCIENTIST
‘Do it. You will not regret it but be grateful for the rest of your life!’
Camilla Reyman, Sculptor
´I have attended both the tropic and the desert residencies. Its hard to explain the profound impact these residencies have had on my artistic practice and my way of thinking in general, all I know is that I would do it again in a hard beat, and I highly recommend going.´
Jue Yang, Writer and Artist
I wanted a space to grow into this identity of an artist, and had decided to do so in the form of artist residencies. By chance and choices, I was also in a spot where I was eager to travel extensively and spend time in unfamiliar geographies. Reading the LWC mission statement was like finding a group of like-minded friends. I was quite sure the solitude as well as the connection to remote local communities would help me define my practice, so I applied right away. But more importantly, I met people with whom I shared a space, meals, drinks and conversations, all of which made me feel at home. Such feeling might not sound as profound as being enlightened or transformed, but it affirms my search for a nourishing environment for creativity and growth. I understand better now about the kind of community of which I would like to be a part and to which I would willingly contribute: a place where one can remain honest, open, warm and thus, oneself. I have been so very grateful for the group of people I met and became friends with during the residency. Not only was I able to find inspiration from the locality, I was deeply moved by what felt like my adopted family.’
Greta Rybus, Photographer
‘It was such a different world it almost feels impossible to explain it. It was an epic adventure, and left me feeling like this world and the people in it are so extraordinarily beautiful.... We were 6 hours by boat from the nearest road, car or cell signal but we had everything we needed. We learned form the community everyday.’
PAULA TELLER, PHOTOGRAPHER
‘It was an experience very significant for me. The days shared with the community allowed me to understand a little more of my own search as an artist, It changed a lot my way of working. Over all, the experience enriched myself as a person. I learned a lot from the people there and it was great to share the experience with people from different countries, backgrounds and ages. I always wish I will go back.’
Adrienne Jenik, Artist
‘I am still processing my time with La Wayaka.
I am very pleased with all that I was able to accomplish - principally, being immersed enough in Spanish that I was able to simply, but clearly offer my ECOtarot performance to Spanish-speaking seekers in my performance in the Plaza at San Pedro de Atacama. As well, my accomplishments included collecting minerals and grinding and processing my own pigments in the palette of the Atacama, then painting 10 watercolour paintings. These were mostly abstract landscapes, some of which I framed with simple twig frames from the local land. The process of preparing the paints was very meditative and deepened my connection to place. I enjoyed having something to offer our hosts and other residents to show my appreciation and gratitude. I also wrote a song (in Spanish) and participated in making something simple with the local clay for the kiln that other participants organized. I read 5 books and made notes about my experiences throughout.
The support that I found assisted me with finishing my song and helping me prepare my performance was invaluable. The positive encouragement for each project I pursued was refreshing.
I was very moved and influenced by the many engagements with water we had while there - from the oasis where we were based, to the salt lagoons and freshwater rivers, there was a great deal more water than I expected, all of it precious and sacred. I feel like having closer engagements with the Likan Antai people and to have learned more while there about their struggles and the ways they have organized themselves to self-govern was extremely inspiring and deeply implicating, related to the mining and extraction of natural resources that are threatening their way of life and culture.’
Taylor Richmond, Painter
‘During my residency I was documenting the land, animals, and presence of plastic in the environment through quick watercolor illustrations.
This place will forever feel like home to me. The community welcomed us with open arms and gave me beautiful perspective on the way we all should live in harmony with the resources around us.’
Joan Mollins, Artist & Designer
‘To live with the Guna in distance between two cultures left me with vital experiences so different from what i knew. I was able to both feel what unites us and know the environment.’
Ana Carolina Rodriguez, Artist
‘I feel that I had a very rich and intense time in Guna Yala. It was a privilege to work and live with the community, other artists and LWC organisers. The fauna and flora from the Guna Yala region was beautiful and diverse and it was incredible for me to live in perfect communion with the surrounding nature. I learnt a great deal and had a lot of fun!’
Ross Euan Davidson, Sound Artist
‘This has been a transformative experience which pushed my artistic practice in new directions thanks to the inspiring location and the truly incredible people involved at every point.’
Abigail Ardelle Zammit, Poet / Writer
‘Genuine and truly fulfilling thanks to the generosity of the Guna population who allowed us to be totally immersed in their culture, beliefs and everyday life. The group's positive energy was unique; thanks to the diversity of our experiences and artistic inclinations, we created a collaborative environment which I hope can bear fruits in the years to come.’
Ryan Meyer, Artist
´The La Wayaka Current Arctic residency was a life-changing experience. Three weeks exploring and making work in this foreign landscape ended a creative block and provided rich material for inspiration.
I know this sounds cliché but the residency really did change my life. The creative block that I was experiencing beforehand disappeared and I left with several new projects and tons of photo/video/audio/written data.´
Jocelyn Beausire, Performance Artist
‘La Wayaka Current created a balanced space where I was able to center myself within my environment and in my practice. We had the absolute best hosts, they were supportive and gently guided the experience, embedding us in the ecology and culture of the desert. Through their engagement with local indigenous guides, and trips to see the natural and cultural diversity in the area, I learned deeply about my surroundings and myself. Visiting the salt lakes, rainbow and moon valleys, and many ancient sites really gave me context for my experience and impacted the work I created. The other artists who took part in the residency quickly became like a family, and their support and collaboration made the experience even more meaningful. The performances I was able to complete, and the ideas I came up with during the residency were some of the most freeing, personal, and impactful of any work I have made. I am so grateful for the experience and highly recommend it to any artist looking to contextualize their practice and themselves.’
JASON KOFKE, ARTIST
‘The environment, community, away trips, cultural events, and fellow artists provided a deeply inspiring and productive experience. This residency is especially moving - connecting a group of now life-long friends and orchestrating experiences that challenge ways of viewing the making of art and living in the world. I arrived to the Atacama with a loose set of ideas for projects but found those and new ideas were enhanced greatly by our shared challenges and discussions. I got so much more out of this residency than I anticipated. I have a body of work I never imagined, was able to explore my initial proposals, and returned home with a number of new directions for my work. The organisers are extremely helpful in developing each artist's progress in the desert: from the details of finding resources and materials to the bigger concepts of projects and how the environment influences new projects. They are capable organizers and critics who are genuinely interested in seeing quality works manifest. Before applying to this program I recall reading some of the reflections from previous residents and found confirmation that this residency would help progress my career and work. But now, myself, reflecting on the program, I find it difficult to put into words how powerful a place it was. I wish I could have stayed longer. Or, rather, wish I could have slowed time as it caused growth, friendship, and creativity that is rarely found.’
Elise Guillame, Artist
‘I loved the way that LWC planned our time in the desert, there was a perfect combination of organised activities and free time to develop our work. We were taken around places which would not have been accessible to us otherwise. The people of Coyo made us feel part of the community. We were privileged to be taken around by a leader of the community, for different activities such as star watching the way his ancestors did. I gained an understanding of the desert's environment and the local community's beautiful way of life, feeling influenced to evoke that through my work.
The space and light in the desert is like no place else on Earth. As an audiovisual artist, I had the best time recording material for video work I am now editing in Brussels. I also collaborated with other artists such as documenting performances. There was a real sense of support and participation within the group.
I thank LWC for their kindness and dedication to making my time in the desert unique. I left feeling inspired as an artist as well as an individual and hope to join La Wayaka Current again in the future!’
Paula Teller, Photographer
´It was a very significant experience for me. My days with the community allowed me to understand a little more of my own search as an artist, it changed a lot of my way of thinking and working. Overall the experience was very enriching. I learnt a lot from the people there and it was great to share this with people from different countries, backgrounds and ages. I always wish to return.’
Francesca de Luca, Painter
´An experience that will forever foster my relationship with the earth and the natural landscapes I am surrounded by. Very grateful for the opportunity and time I spent with amazing people in an 'overstimulating-in-the-best-way-possible' environment.´
MISCHA DE STROUMILLO, PHOTOGRAPHER
’The Tropic, La Wayaka Current residency was a stimulating experience that allowed me to break through my conventional modes of working, giving me a new outlook on my practice. It was dream to live and work in such a beautiful environment and community. The Guna’s native knowledge, rituals, mythologies and general spirit has inspired and opened my heart. Thank you LWC for showing me this incredible part of the world.’
Hanna Mattes, Photographer
´I thought I knew what I was getting into when applying to the Desert Residency of La Wayaka Current. I have travelled a lot in my life and I mainly work in remote places. I was attracted by the possibility to spend more time in one remote place instead of being on the road as I was used to. Admittedly, it was a challenge: the remoteness, the amount of time spent, the heat and dryness of the place. But it turned out to be an amazingly inspiring experience that I would not want to miss. Spending three weeks in the desert allowed me to let the environment really have an impact on me. Meeting the locals and learning about their history and culture, seeing the landscape change every day under the influence of the sun, the moon and the weather conditions was what inspired subject matters that I had not thought about before. The program is very well run: The organisation of every day life is smooth, communication with those co-ordinating is always pleasant and enriching, and the trips and meetings they arranged for us are what made the residency really worth while. Their project and the work they put into it humbles me. I am so happy to have done this!´
Anna Toronnen, Artist
‘My artist in residence experience was amazing and gave me opportunity to explore important issues and gain new perspectives on life. Meeting and living with the Guna community was a great honor and I gained many friends. I had the opportunity to share that experience with artists from different parts of the world, as well as with the LWC guides and founders - who were always encouraging and making sure we were making the most of our time and sharing their knowledge.’
Trystan Bates, Artist
‘I feel changed from my time at La Wayaka Current, my perspective on many things and my roll and purpose in the art community and with my work has certainly shifted.’
Marina Camino, Writer
‘La Wayaka Current was one of the best experiences I have been through and it actually made an impact on me in a lot of senses, not only in my writing but in the way I actually live. It was very hard for me to explain to all my friends and family. I usually tell them it was the best and the hardest thing I have ever done. Being away, in a remote place, completely disconnected not only from the phone and the internet, but also it was place where you were free from all the things that surround you every day and somehow you think you need them or that they define you or contains you, with a false sense of security, material things, little pleasures like food, clothes, I don’t know.. everything. It was like a restart button kind of. Suddenly, you are there, in paradise, completely in touch with you, your art, nature. Not only I was able to connect with myself and my ideas, but it also made me realise how little you need to be happy, if you are where you want doing what you love. Amazing people that I met there, was a plus, of course. It was there that I found myself thinking OH MY GOD I want to be as happy as I am now, every single day of my life.’
James Quinn (Cern) Artist
‘I have attended two residencies with La Wayaka Current at Tropic 08’N Guna Yala. I worked on working on different experiments, one of these were research with aquatic photography, inspired through community life connected with nature. It was an incredibly rich experience leading me to deeper understanding of the people, region and development of the residency there. ’
MEGAN BENNETT, ARTIST
‘I’m not sure there are even words to describe my fantastic experience in Armila, Panama with La Wayaka Current. The ability to spend a month in a gorgeous and inspiring environment and to dedicate time and energy to my art in a new way was life-changing. I learned a tremendous amount about myself, my art and the way I approach my work. I have been able to keep the momentum going since returning home, creating far better and more authentic work than ever before. The inspiration, the lessons I learned and the friendships I made will all stick with me for a long, long time and I can't thank Victor and Sofie enough for all their support. I would recommend their Artist Residencies to any Artist who is looking to get out of their comfort zone, to challenge themselves or to change their current trajectory.’
Maisie Maris, Artist
‘My work throughout the residency explored the concept of home and community through acts of collaborative making and conversation between myself and the children of Armilla. Together with various year groups at the school, we built a shelter inspired by their homes and temporary tipis the children build on the beach. The structure will be left in situ for the children the use, play with and add to at their own pace. A space for both myself and the children to continue collaborating with over time, physically and mentally.‘
Johanna Failer, Artist
‘I came searching for something specific. What I found was an abundance of things, going far beyond my proposed research. What I am taking home? Stories, inner images, my slow and humble understanding, a vision of togetherness and an overwhelming beauty.’
Anu Ramdas, Artist
‘During my stay I focused on interacting with the women of the community, to learn about their image and object making. The residency for me was such a welcoming and joyful experience.’
Sarah Jones, Artist
‘During the residency I aimed to explore the nature and spirit of the place in simple and abstract forms. I used natural dyes like Achiote and jungle clay to form direct connections between the place and my work. This residency was physically and spiritually difficult, which made it all the more transformative. I learned so much in such a short space of time and the experience will stay with me forever.’
Cheyenne Phillips, Environmental Scientist & Poet
‘La Wayaka Tropic has been an incredible experience. I learnt a lot more about myself, my beliefs and my craft than I thought I would. I’m sure this place saved myself somehow, and for that, I owe it an understanding and respectful voice.’
Joey Watson, Artist
‘I was attracted to Desert 23’S because I wanted to shrink, to grope and flail at the enormity of a place so ancient and vast as this place. Stripped of glamour- fundamental/essential.
My primary project focused on the teaching of the Universal Spiral, the helical perturbation and return of all matter and energy throughout eternity. By working directly with the crust of the planet I created and distributed offerings that will one day be reabsorbed, meditating on the interconnection of form and formless. Mirrored helix balloons, made of mud, filled with vital breath- hidden ornaments, to dissolve in time.
This initiative is much bigger than an "artist residency". I mourned my goodbye, but carried with me a brightened sense of Earthlingship.’
Teatro de los Puentes, Anthropocosmic Theatre Group
‘La Wayaka Current - Tropic 08°N provided an extraordinary opportunity to experience the embracing warmth of a traditional Guna village, and the rich, abundant wildness of the bordering jungle. If you are willing to enter deeply into a profoundly inspiring shift of perspective and to give yourself the opportunity for deep creative nourishment this is the residency to do so.The co-ordinators are generous, intelligent and highly sensitive to the needs of both the artists they support and the local community.´
’Working with La Wayaka Current at Tropic 08’N was not only a life changing experience, it was inspiring in terms of the work that founders do and the way in which they work with artists and the residents of Armila community. They are knowledgeable, professional and supportive in their approach and their level of commitment to the projects and to working with the community of Armila is awesome.’
Ane Gry KrIstensen & Maria Von Hausswolff, Sound Designer & Artist
´La Wayaka Current’s residency in Guna Yala was a unique and unforgettable experience that we highly recommend to other open, adventurous and curious artists.´
Constance Walsh, Writer
‘The time we spent in Chile will be with me forever. It enlivened my practice, but also expanded my perspective of the world, of creative necessity, and of nature. It's easy when you live in an urban area, like I do in NYC, to feel removed from natural elements. But in the Atacama, we were immersed in the land and its magnetic desert energy. The opportunities provided by LWC allowed us to experience the essence of this area -- learning from a medicine man about the indigenous cosmovision, how it correlates with the international space exploration work being done there by a cutting-edge team of researchers at the world's leading space exploratory, visiting the unforgettable ancient petroglyphs... I left with a renewed belief in art, in humanity, in my own vision, and in our connected human purpose to greet the pressing issues of our time. I left grateful, inspired, and reinvigorated. I left with a renewed belief in art, in humanity, in my own vision, and in our connected human purpose to greet the pressing issues of our time. I left grateful, inspired, and reinvigorated.´
AGNES VILLETTE, WRITER
La Wayaka' s artist residency in the Chilean Atacama Desert offers a unique experience to settle for 3 weeks in a singular environment in company of other artists. I was part of the 2018 Autumn residency, as I wanted to explore and investigate the lithium mining Chile is conducting in some northern parts of the salt flats. The field trips organised by the team provided interesting points of entry into understanding the complex eco-system of the desert and how native communities have developed ecological strategies to settled in these hostile natural environments for thousand of years. The stunning beauty of the desert, its inner otherworldly quality could not be better experienced than in the great company of artists coming from very different places and with very different artistic practices. Being embedded in a native community's oasis provides a subtile way to experiment communal living and alternative modes of thinking. The high spirit of community life with other participants and the supportive and free spirit energy of its organisers is very inspiring.
Olivia Kathigitis, Artist
´La Wayaka Current - Arctic 78°N caught my attention for its devotion to the environments and people it aligns itself with. My aim for the Arctic residency was to use the time and unique experience as a research residency. To form and gather new ideas and concepts from the landscape and people tied to the land. This residency was a unique experience and I tried to use my time and energy as wisely as I could.
I quickly learnt the importance of the elements. The weather dictates everything. Nothing is spared on the island; everything has a meaning and purpose. Collecting colour schemes, abstract commonalities, and the stories of the island. I have collected and developed a wide range of ideas and concepts from this residency. I picked up new tools, new designs and attentively listened to the history of the landscape. This was an incredible experience that I will wear proudly - brandishing my journey as a milestone.´
Betsy Dadd, Animator
‘Being immersed in the life and community here has allowed me to see how they thrive from and protect the nature and ecosystem that surrounds. Seeing how much work goes into cultivating the land to feed the family or traveling to collect medicinal plants or gathering wood to build the houses makes me realise how disconnected we are in our cities. I really hope to return to continue making friends, building relationships here and developing my work further. I really love it.’
Stefan Bakmand, Artist
I left a part of my self behind in here, like a snake shedding its skin, a transformation of self.
Tara Holl, Artist
‘The residency experience at Tropic 08’N in Guna Yala, Panama, under the superb, relaxed, and caring guidance of LWC was magical. We all felt connected and gently integrated into the daily life of the Gunas. Sofie and Victor were immensely thoughtful and helpful as they facilitated experiences, discussions, and side trips to learn more about the fascinating Kuna People. Ignacio and Gladys our local hosts were so generous with their time, the sharing of their culture, and the loving way they welcomed the artists into their home. I am in in the process of creating a body of work to celebrate this special experience and hope to go back.’
Ana Stewart, Art Therapist / Artist
’This experience opened up new direction and options in my conception of my own work and also in terms of my engagement with communities such as these on a global level. The aspect of social engagement that was included in this experience provided a rich learning atmosphere and opened up space for change and conversation between cultures that may seem far from one another from the outside.’
KARINE BLANCHE, PERFORMANCE ARTIST & BOTANIC SCIENTIST
‘The sense of community in the Armila village goes beyond human socialisation. This community has integrated itself in an environment where three different ecosystems meet. Jungle, river and sea. By living and working there among the community, also through the ceremonies I attended, I increased my own way of including and integrating new elements into my work as I was included and integrated into the environment.It is two months now that I am back from this residency and when I look behind, there is no single place in the world where I would have liked to be except this one! I have acted there and definitely have been acted upon! I would come back.’
Hannah Rowan, Artist & Sculptor
‘While in the Atacama Desert I was researching the presence and absence of water in the Desert eco-system. Through this experience I began to gain a more in depth and direct understanding of the cultural, political, social and environmental consequence of resource depletion from Lithium mining and extraction. I am specifically interested in how touch screen devices entangle the rapidly shifting terrains of geology and technology; through which two seemingly different sets of spatial and temporal coordinates, the deep times of geology and the acerbating speeds of touch screen devices, become layered and imbedded. That the environment doesn’t just surround our medial cultural world, it runs through it.’
Maija Fox, Environmental Artist
‘I worked on a series of love letters addressed and performed to the land of Guna Yala, Panama. The video and text works encapsulate the process of the artist establishing a relationship with this land. Thinking about the contributing factors of how city life has formulated a disconnection to the environment; The artist has compared the detached perspective to the immersive experience of living in Armila with a Guna community; a place where the connection to nature is an integral component to the everyday, and an important aspect of many cultural traditions.
My work was inspired by the respect and understanding of the local ecology and the rooted connections to nature that are carried throughout the history of Guna people. I responded to the ambience of the place and fed from emotions that are apparent in a place where territory is shared between nature and people.’
Andrea Regina Meyer, Writer
‘At Tropic 08’N I worked with collecting impressions and developing ideas to the writing of a children’s book inspired by the nature and animals surrounding Armila. I will continue the work in Norway, and hope to be able to make an amusing, but also important book (with regards to environmental questions) for Norwegian kids.
It has been a wonderful experience. I have been able to work with ideas for one specific project, but I am sure Armila will stay with me for a long time. I have a feeling that the thoughts and new experiences I have had with La Wayaka will blend into other projects and also in my life in a wider perspective in the future.’
Sarah Cunningham, Artist
‘I focused on the relationships between the plants and patterns that describe Armilla. I painted with members of the community, using painting as a medium to bring together ideas of where we come from and who we are.
The kindness and generosity of the Kuna community and their beautiful home has made this an unforgettable experience. I hope to return one day.’