WE HAVE WORKED WITH OVER 150 creative practitioners from different locations And backgrounds SINCE FOUNDING THE PROJECT. HERE ARE SOME REFLECTIONS ON THEIR EXPERIENCES THEY HAVE SHARED WITH US:
Emily Colipí, Artist
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
´La Wayaka Current was genuinely was the most amazing trip, place and experience I think I 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.
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.’
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.
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.’
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.´
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!´
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.’
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.´
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.