It’s been almost a week since we left the artist village in Genk – and I am still processing the tons of information, ideas, viewpoints, characters, art projects and fun we shared there. I just realized that I met so many new people and exciting artists in one week, as probably over the past two years in total. So I guess it is going to take a long time to sort out and utilize all the impressions after this experience. Apart from the insightful, inspiring, lovely people I met during the week, the most important impact for me is, that I started to understand better my own practice. It might sound strange, but I have got a more coherent picture of my own work by today. Of course I have always been very deliberate in my work but now I have a better image of the sometimes-unconscious motivations behind my projects in general. This also means that I can be more conscious and rational in my practice from now on, and I am very thankful for that. I believe the artist village has been a lifetime experience for me and for all of us.
I don’t want to sound too cliche but it has really been a life-changing experience for me taking part in the artist village at C-mine!
Here are my thoughts:
1) the concept of the artists village provides an ideal environment where you can immerse in a week long open investigation of your work. It is intense but for this reason pushes you to continuously engage about your art practice. The feedback, discussions and support from professionals is a great combination. The atmosphere of being away from routine allows for indepth discussions & a platform for open debate.
2) As a professional artist but one who also balances a teaching career, I find having time to devote to my work a little bit of a luxury. It was a great opportunity to be on the other side as usually I am the one giving feedback & advice to my students about their work. Even at more advanced stages of ones career, it is important to have mentorship & support in a professional capacity. The range of discussions & feedback have provided me with a whole set of ideas & ways for further developing my practice.
3) Personally before attending the artists village I had many different & varied questions about my work; I knew I needed to develop it further but was not quite sure what components of my practice were the strongest. Through talks & discussion, whilst also hearing other artist engage with their practice, I felt more clear about the direction I needed to go. After a week long intensive communication about my work, I feel confident in the potentialities that I can now develop. The experience completely changed the way I see myself as a professional artist and I feel stronger about pursuing my career goals.
For me the artist village was an interesting experience, the first this kind of events. It gave me a good overview for my works. The first time after graduation I could present my paintings to so much commentators. I think it’s very important to let other people- weather they are connected to art or not- comment on your work. You can learn a lot from it. So did I. Every day was very intensive for us, 5-6 meetings per day with people where in another circumstances we wouldn’t ever meet. And here we had this possibility to talk to them. Professionals/curators/artists etc., You are able in few days meet interesting people and have a chance to talk to them and present your works. Think about it, learn how to take a critics, good and bad. Which I find very important for every artist. It was really great experience. For egz to talk to the psychoanalytic s. They look at your work from such a different view, it was great.
Next to the meetings we could also meet each other, so other artists invited to the artist village, eating together and other evening activities. Everyone was very open and friendly. Food was also very good:) The surrounding at C-mine inspiring. I can’t really find any bad points of the art village, you all made a great job:) It was pleasure to take part in this project.
Thank you for everything.
As an artist it’s necessary to take distance from the outside world sometimes in order to concentrate on the practical and conceptual part of the work. In the International Artist Village it’s the same idea. During those days, artists can focus on their work and get interesting feedback from different perspectives by fellow artists and professionals. Although the dialogs are very professional, the atmosphere is relaxed. Everyday we had terrific lunch and in the evening after diner an interesting events took place like lectures, concerts and performances. For me, that week was not only very inspiring, I also made a lot of contacts. Spontaneously there also starts a period of reflection, which lasts even longer than the time at the International Artist Village.
The International Warp artist village has been one heck of an experience. It got me a whole bunch of new friends, a ton of inspiration and a crazy amount of positive feedback. Every talk I had was valuable in it’s own way and the list of professionals was pretty amazing in my opinion. To top this all off we were really taken care of. We got to live in nice little campers, two by two. Other utilities, like food, showers, etc. were all provided and we got served first class food every lunch and dinner.
It was such a great and uplifting experience that i’m now, one week later, still slowly coming down. But hey, I get this really strong feeling that I will see every person that was there again.
The Artist Village was a wonderful experience. For 5 days my world was reduced to the size of one old coal mine. I believe it gave us all the feeling of being on a deserted island together. After a few days we all felt like a family. Meetings with curators, art critics and gallerists were very interesting and gave me hope to return to Belgium soon. The WARP Team is amazing. The event was not only fascinating but also very well organized. Everything was perfect. I really wish I could participate in the Artist Village every year!
Ema Harris Santamarian
The Artist Village was a turning point for myself both professionally and personally. It created the backdrop for evaluation and re-evaluation, new strategies within the analytical system of my work. I could trace a parallel between my WARP experience to the speech of Father Kallistos Ware to Oriel College, who said: “…There is no true person except where there are at least two persons in reciprocal relationship; and there is no true freedom except where there are at least two persons who share their freedom together. Here, then, is a first lesson about freedom. It signifies relationship, openness to others, vulnerability. Without the risk and adventure of shared passions and interest, none of us can be free”.
Once more, a big THANK YOU to you and every one involved in this fantastic project!
I think since artist leaves school, there are not so many opportunities to have a feedback but also as the career goes on, it becomes difficult for artist to keep a fresh eye on his/her work to be opened to the multiple possibilities of the reading but rather have more requirement of of insisting what the work is about.
In this sense, Warp gives a unique opportunity for the artists to be in a position of looking at your work with a fresh eye and be opened to new reading of the work. At first I find myself defensive but then as the session goes on, I find myself becoming more and more interested to hear new view of the work that I have not thought about. You hear different comments from varieties of art professionals in a way that refreshes the view of the work as if you have seen your work for the first time. From artist, I had practical advice and from curators or directors of museum or galleriest, I had critical feedback. Though interestingly the issue that comes up tends to be similar for each session and I find these points to be the next hint for the future work. Those points are helping me to keep the focus in the work. It was also good experience for me to find a way of presentation to be understood easily. On each day I tried to refine the way of explaining my work in relation to the questions I had from the commentators to make the session deeper within limited time. As I repeated myself explaining the work, explanation naturally became simplified, touching the essence of the work or what motivates me to make work. Also it was great experience to become friends with many passionate artists from all over the world. Unique situation such as staying in a caravan made a special bond between us, which made me feel we stayed there for more than 1 week. Certainly those experience will be a treasure of life.
Thank you so much Warp!!
An intsensive and very enrichning experience, to see how my works can communicate with a range of international people with different backgrounds. It was an unique exercise in talking about my practise to so many people in so less time; a gratefull cross-fertilization between the commentators, artists and people of the organisation, that encouraged and inspired.
Gabriella Ciancimino: I’m working around Italy and Morocco in this moment. I’m so happy but I think all the time about our Village. After we came back in our reality, we wrote day by day to each others; now we try to find a way to do something in somewhere to continue the experience all together. I’ll tell you when it’ll happen. “I enjoyed a professional but informal experience with an amazing group of artists, organizers, commentators. During the Artist Village I had the opportunity to test myself and to present my research to professionals, getting the chance to analyze it with them. This made the experience really rich and intensive. I’ve been also impressed by the organization. Everything was on point and the system to schedule our meetings was democratic. I don’t want to forget to mention the really good food and the incredible landscape we had around, wherein our caravans caught the attention of the visitors, creating the opportunity to start a dialogue about Art with the people of Genk. At the end nobody of us wanted leaving the Village!”
Cause you don’t know what to expect. in the very large choice of commentators, there’s many chances to find someone that will be able to have an interesting perspective on your work than can open your mind and make you see it in a very new point of view.
The artist village appears to me like platform where you can meet artist from all over the world with who you can keep contact and exchange some exhibitions or some other programs in the future, as well with the commentators, they can suddenly become people with who you could work. They can include you into some exhibitions or researches. And the atmosphere in the village is particulary nice and exciting. That’s what I said before, new opportunities to work in some different area.changing point of view on my work, helping me to open some new prospects and new directives in my research and work.
The artist village is a unique and amazing experience I can recommend to any artist, curator and person with interest in the field. It offers an alternative, a comfortable and a professional place to meet art professionals and discuss work. I was deeply impressed by the care for all the small details by the Warp team, as well as the enthusiasm, openness and interest of all participants including artists and commentators. After all, it was a conference based on a true understanding for the necessity of direct and democratic communication in the field of Visual Arts.
From my understanding this model of Artist Village exists only from Warp. Please keep this wonderful opportunity alive and ongoing!!
Gabrielle de Vietri: It was such a great thing, so thoughtfully made and lovingly delivered. The location, the selection of artists, the meals, the programme… I know there’s so much more to it than this little list… well it was all perfect. THANK YOU!
So, here is my collection of thoughts, sorry to be so late with it. If you would like me to expand on anything or if the tone is not right, please let me know.
The village was first and foremost an opportunity to make meaningful connections with other artists, curators and art-workers. Making art can sometimes be very solitary pursuit and the idea of establishing superficial links with other professionals trough the practice know as networking is uninteresting. On the contrary, my work thrives off in-depth interaction and conversations with others, and this was abundant in the energetic and stimulatint evironment created by the village. I believe lasting professional ties have been created between artists in the village.
The outcomes of the discussions with the ‘commentators’ were manifold. These ranged from advice as to the presentation of a piece, a reference to another artist, or simple encouragement. However, the primary benefit of these discussions was the opportunity to develop the way I spoke about my work. Often the times between studio visits are too long to keep in mind possible changes to the way you present and speak about work. The intensity of the village schedule meant that different approaches could be tested, and feedback would be immediate.
The impact … an unwillingness to return to the real world! I wanted to stay forever! No… The realisation that there are many other artists and artworkers who do not operate in the cold and distanced manner that is so common in the industry. The establisment of an international network of artists with the potential of future projects.
Hard to don’t be mistrust when I formulate things this way, but the Artist Village experience was really one of the nicest experiences I ever had! Not only as an artist, but also as human being. Besides the artistic environment in which the AV was held, the people participating were all interesting. There were not only lectures and space for discussion, but during the whole event and especially at the end of it, I really felt part of a very nice family, like we had been knowing each other since the beginning of times.
The discussions with professionals were really interesting. Never expected that such important artists/curators could be so understanding, ready to help you and share their experiences. Was enriching to have their comments, their advices and encouragements. Each of them saw my works from a different point of view and this made me reflect more and think differently. Many discussions made me say “never thought about this” which gave me new ideas.
It’s impossible to see your work in the same way when you’ve attended the Artist Village. You meet people, you discuss, you don’t know how it happens but something changes within yourself. You open yourself and try to take the most of what is given there for you. And it’s true, after Artist Village your will is to do new works, to be patient and to submit your folder for next year.
Why should an artist join the artist village?
I think it’s a great experience to meet with the artists and art professionals from different countries in such a short time.
Why was the artist village important to you?
It was important because i had a chance to receive lots of feedbacks from people who are coming from different backgrounds.
I also had the opportunuty of knowing about other artists’ work. We discussed and exchanged ideas.
Hopefully, this interaction will lead to new collaborations in near future.
What impact did it have on you?
The week I spent in Artist Village triggered a lot of questions and ideas in my mind.
It’s sure that ‘m going to build new projects on these ideas thanks to the comments i got from the people i met.
Also staying in the caravans and the whole camping experience is something completely different from the other projects that i attended before.
It’s real good way of getting know of each other
Eric Van der Kooij
The WARP artist village was an unexpected experience for me. I didn’t quite know what to expect. Five days of portfolio-talks with professionals, amongst other young international artists, sleeping in old caravans at a restructured abandoned mine site. Not an everyday experience, but definitely a great one.
Participating in the artist village is something every young artist should do or at least consider doing. It’s highly stimulating spending 5 days amongst young artist from all over the world. The talks, the different opinions, the other cultures, these are factors which create new views on your work. And what’s even better is the fact that this happens in a laidback atmosphere.
Also the talks with the professionals is something unique. There’s no place on earth where you’ll find 30 to 40 art-related professionals at the same time, who are there for you and your work. To me the WARP Artist Village was a fantastic experience. I had a weird week after WARP, it felt like having withdrawal effects. It was nice being with others who feel the urge to make art, without questions why. And saving best for last, after 5 intensive days of eating, drinking, talking, being tired together you’ll have friends all of the world who share the same passion for art, which is priceless.
When you meet five to six people a day who have no clue who you are or what you do, you end up in and endless loop of rephrasing and reformulating yourself. After a while you become worn down and desperatly seek ways to become more clear, ad rem and vivid. You also gain a wide array of different perspectives and interests since the different backgrounds and angles of the commentators. I have no clue yet wheter it was important. It is too early to say. It was very nice tough meeting the other artists and the commentators there. Eventhough a lot in a short time, it gave some sort of vantage point. Overview.
It was advised to me to visit a colloquium in Limoges, wich I did. There I discovered some great landscapes, a lake and a really tasty terrine. To top it off I saw glimpses of a new form of being. They called it the ptolemaian turn. It might sound like spacetalk to you but it is gold to me.