Beautiful final vernissage featuring Césan d'Ornellas and Irene Nerys at Centro Bharati, Guanajuato, Mexico; September 26, 2015
SALMON HERO HÉROE SALMÓN
Join us for the culminating exhibition of this
four week artist residency in Guanajuato.
Sábado/Saturday, 26 Setiembre 2015, 5-7pm,
Performance/Actuación a 6pm
Centro Bharati, Plaza del Baratillo
Refreshments served/ Refrigerios servidos
“Each entered the forest at a point that he himself had chosen, where it was darkest and there was no path. If there is a path it is someone else's path and you are not on the adventure."
--Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Journey
“He remained with the people until it came time that the old salmon that had gone upstream and had not been caught by the humans came drifting back down towards the stream. As salmon boy stood by the water, he saw a huge old salmon come floating down towards him. It was so worn by its journey that he could see through its sides. He recognized it as his own soul and he thrust his spear into it.”
--From the Native American legend Salmon Boy
Akumal International Artist Residency in Guanajuato
SALMON HERO/HÉROE SALMÓN
This first season of the AIAR residency in Guanajuato gathers two female artists, both of them mixing the disciplines of visual art, performance and text. Influenced by the majestic mountains, tiny roads, bright colors, vibrant music and the pure life force that is Guanajuato, how can one not be transformed?
These two artists: Césan d’Ornellas of Canada and Irene Nerys of Italy found immediate connection with each other, sharing strangely similar experiences and histories, despite their age gap. They seemed to experience one another as themselves at different points in life. And both women, while in residency, like the salmon, are swimming upstream on a hero’s journey of their own, exploring the unknown. Everyone is the hero of his or her own myth.
Césan chose to work visually from a text she wrote some 25 years ago (about the same age Irene is now). Salmon Mother is the title of the text she has brightly illustrated for an artist book. It is Césan’s story, but it explores the path we all take on these unknown journeys upstream, fighting the currents. Although it references the many salmon legends sacred to many traditions, her work is deeply personal and vividly portrayed in a delicate, almost private way. It is as though we are peering into a personal journal.
Irene has been inspired for her work here by the hero’s journey in her search into the unknown. Joseph Campbell identifies The Hero’s Journey as a pattern of narrative that appears in drama, storytelling, myth and religious ritual. It describes the typical adventure of the archetype known as “the hero”, the person who goes out and achieves great deeds on behalf of the group, tribe, or civilization. This journey involves a “call to adventure,” a “crossing of a threshold,” and the eventual “return with the elixir,” transforming the hero. According to Campbell, the hero’s inner journey (and our heroine’s) includes the awareness of a need for change, overcoming the accompanying fear and accepting the consequences of this new life, thus writing a new story. Through Irene’s emotional dance, music, video and text, we share her varied and visceral journey, ourselves somehow transformed.
Both of these artists are embracing their journey: a younger women bravely evolving into the older woman skillfully reflecting on her past, while creating the present. Through transitions manifesting as divergent rivers or pathways, unsteady, swerving, they find themselves not quite where they were and certainly not where they will become. Nonetheless, they answered the call that brought them both here at this moment to Mexico, on this balcony—in a literal balance between Heaven and Earth—a 25 year old and a 50 year old simultaneously exploring the past and the future, excavating their story, discovering their path.
Will we heed our own “call to adventure” or will we let it slip like a salmon through our fingers, unable or unwilling to thrust our spear into it? The salmon are ultimately swimming to their death, but the Salmon Hero must not. She must return with the elixir, the treasure, to transform the world.
Kim Schultz, Residency Director
Césan d'Ornellas is an experimental visual artist based in Canada. She is known mainly for bold expressive abstract paintings and more recently for mixed media explorations on wood, plexiglass and paper.
Irene Nerys is a performing artist from Italy, based primarily in Paris. Her work is a quest, constantly in (r)evolution.
Today our lovely artists taught 2, count 'em 2! community classes for the city of Guanajuato. The first class was with 25 local children ages 6-12! They played in the arena of dance, drumming and art. The kids loved it and so did Cesan and Irene. Very special time with the kids.
And then the wonderful Cesan taught an adult class for the community called "Meditative Coloring" We chose Mandalas to color and then trusted our instinct in a moving meditation with color! Soothing and inspiring. Lots of discoveries made throughout the work. Thanks to Cesan!!
What a weekend indeed at the residency!
We started with our first free community class of this session taught by performing artist Irene Nerys. Irene led us through 52 straight minutes of movement/dancing. it seems intimidating at first but we all took a huge journey through space time emotion and more. Thanks for those who joined us at Centro Bharati!
Then tonight we hosted our SUNDAY SALON at Casa Cuatro. 15 community guests joined us as our two resident artists shared works in progress and discussed their process throughout the lens of "Transition." It was a brave and truthful evening of discussion and art. The ladies were joined by local test artist Rodrigo Quinones. Roi is a local portraiturist and we were thrilled to have him join us and share some of his work, as well. All in all a beautiful evening.
Only to be topped by a walk home which included finding a street musician who joined Our Irene on her flute to play us home.
Join us next time if you can. We'll play you home too!
We are thrilled to have two powerful female artists with us for this inaugural session in Guanajuato! They are both talented and unique artists. Let's meet them!
Césan d'Ornellas is familiar to the folks in Akumal as she was part of the inaugural residency there too! And we are thrilled to have her join us here in Guanajuato!
Césan is an experimental visual artist based in Canada. She is known mainly for bold expressive abstract paintings and more recently for mixed media explorations on wood, plexiglass and paper.
In her words:
For this residency I would like to scale it right down and begin work on a mixed media Artist Book to include drawing, painting, collage, photography, poetry, musical and video elements. The subject matter will be biographical.
Here is a quote taken from the Wikipedia entry about artists books:
"Artists' books are works of art that utilize the form of the book. They are often published in small editions, though they are sometimes produced as one-of-a-kind objects. Artists' books have employed a wide range of forms, including scrolls, fold-outs, concertinas or loose items contained in a box."
To view examples of my past work and see my CV, please visit my Online Gallery at cesan.ca
Irene Nerys is a performing artist. Her work is a quest, constantly in (r)evolution.
In her own words:
The work that I would like to propose is the creation of a live performance, supported by music, set design and video installation collecting images of the most significant moments and elements that I will “meet” during the residence.
About this point I will research on the history and the local social habits, trough a direct contact with people. The performance will be built day after day, based of the feelings, the analyse of what surrounds me; a special place is related to the process of communication: what in the new environment works and doesn’t work? In which way am I more or less understandable?
The sets will be constructed using the elements that I will find and that will inspire me, or that I will built because the necessity of expression will lead me into a creative process.
The most important element, though, remain the following one: the pleasure of the unknown, the UNPREDICTABLE.
Unbelievable to be here in stunning Guanajuato!
This cultural, historic city on a hill lives up to...or rather exceeds its reputation. Beautiful.
The artists arrived, to this our inaugural residency in Guanajuato yesterday and are settled in and exploring. They are already creating collaborations between the two of them, inspired by each other and the place!
Two strong amazing tri-named women and artists are with us on this journey:
Césan d'Ornellas Levine, a visual artist from Canada and Irene Nerys Bonino, a performing artist hailing from Italy.
We are beautifully hosted by Leela and Isaac at Centro Bharati in the center of it all.
Let the games begin.
Kim Schultz is the director of AIAR and blogs here about the experiences in the residency. Follow on facebook and twitter (@akumalresidency.com)