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residency program

Alex Levene
Bedford, UK

Theatre, poetry, performance


"Alex is a poet, writer, spoken word performer and creative producer. He runs a small theatrical company, focused on theatre work with a poetic flavour: 'Word Set Free'."

Alex is a poet, writer, spoken word performer and creative producer. He runs a small theatrical company, focused on theatre work with a poetic flavour: 'Word Set Free'.

As an artist my personal practice focuses on two areas: ritual theatre practices in ancient storytelling and stories of that centre around the experiences of migrants and outsiders. I am developing two pieces of theatre that look into these aspects through the prism of poetry and performance.

I am drawn to the ideas of the European crafts guilds, and am working on creating a piece of work that can be taken on a Wanderjahre to travel as a poet and performer.

My theatre work revolves around crafting experiences for audiences that encompass participation, music, singing and ritual. Combining aspects of the shaman, the priest, the storyteller and the actor in order to create a magical and heightened form of performance that lends itself to the magical, heightened language of poetry. The work ranges in scale from small, intimate 1 on 1 work, to large scale theatrical projects.

Alongside my performance work I am writing a series of poems influenced heavily by my favourite poems. This collection, title ""with apologies to..."" includes re-working and re-imagining the works of English language poets such as Coleridge, Betjeman and Ginsburg."
Carlin McLellan
Newcastle, Australia

Composition, Poetry

"The space between the notes"

I work with sound and words to create space for quietude. My practice is based on collaboration, field recordings, alaetoric music, and documenting ephemeral states. I am interested in connecting people through collaborative music, poetry, and sharing skills. I support diverse groups of people to develop creative autonomy through the co-creation of music and art. My practice is shaped and supported by meditation, Taoist philosophy, swimming in the ocean, and spending time with friends. I am currently completing a Master of Music Therapy at Western Sydney University in Australia.

Kelly Lee Hickey
Northern Territory, Australia

Writing, performance, community cultural development


"Where do we belong?"

Raised on the sweat soaked wetlands of Australia's far north, Kelly Lee Hickey breathes poetic intimacy into the intersections of belonging, identity and place. An Australian Poetry Slam Champion, seasoned cultural producer and trans-disciplinary artist, she has performed, published and produced works throughout Australia, China, Indonesia and New Zealand. Whether writing love letters to inanimate objects, curating a museum of intimate memories or launching vessels for stories across the Arafura sea, her 'stark' (The Australian) and 'pithy' (The China Daily) excursions into cultural frontiers are infused with 'defiant, blunt beauty' (Cordite Poetry Review).
Sabrina Barrios
Brazil (born) Brooklyn (based)

Painting, Video, Installation


"I move to keep things whole."

Sabrina Barrios' work questions our ideas of reality. In a mix of science, mythology and conspiracy theories, her multidisciplinary practice uses symbolism to take us back to the lost knowledge of ancient advanced civilizations. In her research, Barrios focuses on what bonds and what controls us; on the power of faith; the inner universe; the multiverse; and how these things are connected, to create physical illusions of parallel dimensions and co-existing realities.
Molly V. Dierks

Sculpture, Installation, Digital Media


In my work, themes of alienation, gender, motherhood, and intimacy are mediated through processes related to industrial production (neon bending, automotive painting, aluminum casting, etc.), questioning how we navigate ideas of ‘function’ and ‘dysfunction’ through machine-body analogies.

My participation in Arteles is born of a recent evolution in my working process. In looking at the odd and alienating space between intimacy and anonymity created by mass production, I am drawn to walking and collecting the refuse of our activities- a weather-beaten piece of plastic bag resembling skin in its durability and fragility, sun-soaked discarded bits of textile (stuffed animals, rugs, clothing), plastic flower pistils from a fake bouquet that gave instant pleasure before it was forgotten. To me, these materials symbolize a kind of fertility, the brief gasp of a material lover – one doomed to a short affair before being re-woven into larger cycles of consumption and decay/birth and rebirth.

With my collection of natural and artificial found objects and materials, I work in installation: sculptural landscapes that draw from a hybrid visual vocabulary created by Disney cartoons, Japanese woodblock prints, video game interfaces, computers, mass-produced toys, pharmaceuticals, and baby products - forms infused with a kind of contemporary techno-sensuality. Through open-ended experimentation in the studio, the installations construct a narrative of the future - fragile borderlands where nature and culture meet and dance, landscapes mutated by a fascinating push and pull between sensuous material bodies and controlled ones.
Paula Faraco
Blumenau, Brazil



I believe my photographs explore either the beauty or the strangeness of the world. I try to convey my own truth connecting my emotions and memories.

My work captures particular moments of my life with no preconceived form. It's when dreams becomes reality. A photograph might not always be what it seems. Colors merge, black turns into white like a secret that only the photographer knows the real truth.

Whilst the portraits show freedom, lightness and spontaneity, some of my landscape series present beauty out of the ordinary.

Meanwhile other more personal related to my past, to my identity and to whom I have become. They embody my past and present. In this case the subject of Death in my images is openly explored.

Traveling around the world is another great passion. Experiencing the unknown is challenging as it is exciting. Wherever I go I bring back home my impressions of each place. The conscious choice of using an analog camera like the Leica or the Mamyia 7 gives me the ability to create unique images.
Carola Björk
Stockholm, Sweden

Mixed media


Not always so remarkable but still most important. Every day. The beautiful, small, horrible and often insignificant experiences that makes us who we are, fascinates me. You see, choose and become. With no interruption. The constant change inspires me.

My origin is the relationship, the dialogue with a surrounding. With the room, person, object. Between these, where time is an important element. Coincidence / chance / synchronicity is part of my process and I often work site specific where execution becomes subordinate the idea and need to tell. My expression is painting, sculpture and photography. For instance.

My aim is to make visible, give trivialities value and change shape of objects. To break free from the notion of what is true and challenge conventions. I see myself as a kind of collector, of places and experiences. Life - souvenirs.
Susan Murrell
La Grande, Oregon, USA

Painting, installation


"The horizon has defined our relationship to the world; now with our expanding perspective, we feel a kinship with microscopic images and areal views of planets. Within this context I consider myself a landscape painter."

Susan Murrell is a mixed-media painter and installation artist whose abstract work deals with how shifts in technology and science have fundamentally changed our relationship to the landscape. Her large-scale and site-specific installations, paintings, and works on paper are exhibited nationally. She has been awarded residencies at international programs such as Yaddo and Ragdale and received numerous awards. Solo-exhibitions include, "Embedded" at the Pendleton Center for the Arts, Oregon, "The Matter" at the International Gallery of Art in Anchorage, Alaska, "Areal Density" at the Portland International Airport, and "Shell" at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. She lives and works in the northeast corner of Oregon where she is an Associate Professor of Art at Eastern Oregon University. Her most recent exhibition at PSU’s Augen gallery titled we are all cosmic dust was created as a meditation on passageways, life transitions, and the constancy of matter
Simon Ng



"Paintings are distinct, and often, quiet universe."

For many years, I have been producing paintings and drawings that play with the notions of identity. I work in a varied style of expressions, drawing influences mainly from European existentialist artists like Francis Bacon and Frank Auerbach. It is undeniably that these artists have shaped my artistic practice since the beginning of my training. But my works are all based on the same sensibility: an approach which is akin to many moments in one’s life like quietude, effusive, humorous, sadness, doubt and spiritual.

I spend a lot of time thinking deeply about what it means to be a painter today. My practice aims to address that possibility and to encompass big questions of contemporary human experiences like how do we see ourselves in the world, but also the mundane questions of life. I believe that paintings only become complex when more questions are presented than answered, and approached delicately in an oblique manner.
Mhairi Killin
Isle of Iona, Scotland

Drawing, installation, sculpture


I work with drawing, sculpture and installation in an exploration landscape. I use walking and collecting as a conceptual framework to understand place from a specific perspective; one of inquiry into how belief structures, religious and political, have shaped the physicality and meta-physicality of the landscapes I journey through. Recent work has explored the iconoclasm of the Reformation and its impact on the auditory landscapes of the islands of Lewis and Iona, whilst current work is exploring the proximity of God and warfare in the contemporary landscapes of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Journeying, and deep connection to land are recurrent themes within my work. Through a digging down into the cultural history of place, my practice explores a consideration of the known world and the unknown world; one world viewed from a socio-historical perspective, and the other glimpsed through the wilderness, from a mythopoeic perspective. I am curious as to how a connectedness between these worlds leads to an experiential interpretation of deep time within landscape; a liminal place where creativity emerges.
Claudio Sodi
Mexico city, Mexico

Film, photography

Walking and exploring have been key to my development as an artist, long walks that draw a path and leave traces and collected objects, this constant walking action makes me think of my self as a landscape artist, I play around 16mm film experimental projects, capturing the essence of nature, long shot films that invite the observer to immerse into what they are seeing.
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