2018 PAST ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE  Experiencies and Reflections

From March 2017, artists have been developing projects in Casa Na Ilha. Here you can find about their experience, reflections and work while their time in residence. We expect from artists to use their time in residence, to deep dive in the creative process. Even though all participants come with a specific proposal, the natural environment, exploring the surroundings of the island, peer interactions, reflections, is usually planting seed in their minds, not only for the work they are doing during their stay, but for future projects.

All participants have found when they leave and afterwards, that they have new material and thoughts, new visions about how their work and about  their work itself. 

We keep in touch with them all, and we are very proud about this ongoing process of work that has no beginning or end. 



January 2018

Nadja Andersson is a Swedish-speaking Finnish visual artist, illustrator, and Fine Art graduate. She has worked in England, Scotland, and Greece, and is currently based in Helsinki, Finland.  

As her art stems from narratives, Nadja defines herself as a visual storyteller. She strives to in her pictures create peepholes into new alternative realities and spaces, revealing landscapes, dreamscapes and characters that follow her through her life and art. Her dominant technique is drawing- often with added elements of Mixed Media, cutout layers, and collage. However, she also works with painting, installation, 3-dimensionally (often with the book format) and other techniques.  "I try to look at the world the same way a child does- and to forward that enthusiasm and belief in what I see. For a child there is no wall separating Magic from the Everyday. I aim to mimic that."



During her time in residence, Nadja found herself experiencing Brazilian culture and language, meeting new people, listening and learning. She started to outline a new project, recording images and sound from the island landscape as well as people and doing a series of interviews to local and native habitants. She collected stories, both personal and legends from the place. She visited Santa Seiva, a self-sustained community in the island where they grow their own food and construct using bio architecture technique run by Galeno, who has started the project alone 45 years ago. She also met Silvana Davino and her bird sanctuary, local journalists, caicara working native people, a man who constructed a theater in the jungle and started a cultural center and many more. She aims to continue this project in various location around the world.

Nadja also worked in her illustrations, inspired not only by the natural environment of the island but also on the people she met.







January 2018

Most of Ruth´s work focuses on environmental themes. She has produced work from her research and experience in habitats that include degraded coral reef ecosystems, coal ash spill pollution areas, threats to wetlands, ruination of the Florida Everglades, Bee Colony Collapse, and rainforest deforestation. "My interest is primarily on ecosystems that are suffering from the result of global warming and other effects caused by human activity. i attempt to balance the negative aspects of this underlying concept with a positive depiction of beauty.This approach promotes a redemptive message of conservation and renewal as ways to deal with the challenges we face restoring the natural world we have disrupted."




“My Organism Series” was her main  focus on her time at Casa Na Ilha Residency. This body of work consisted of studies she calls  “Organisms”. They are brief impressions of the ecology she saw walking through the jungle, scuba diving, or even acknowledging the life energy in a puddle of stagnant water.

She worked her series with alcohol based painting. She did extensive exploration of the island, walking, going on trails to waterfalls and to native communities, diving and snorkeling in various points as well as in front of the house. She also collected seeds, fruits and leaves.



“I think of my work as a bridge to communicate wonder as well as concern for the natural world, and I strive to promote conservation actions as an artist ambassador for the environment”








January 2018


Larry  first painted years ago but then had to go to work full time.  After working for many years he  returned to painting about thirteen years ago. It took him time to find himself. He  floundered with unresolved imagery and traditional thinking.  He decided to risk it all by going completely outside his comfort zone.  He traveled to SE Asia for the first time for a long period to experience grass roots cultures unknown to him.  Observe… absorb… to be shaken, startled and inspired. His new creative focus began to emerge.  His work took on a direction totally new and surprising to him:  bright colors, creation, cultures, energy, experiences, light, nature, people, places, and religions… stories.  Since then, he has ventured out of his comfort zone multiple times to continue to break away those hard to cast off limits. 


During his time in residence, Larry worked on a series of sketches  from his observations of the island daily life. In his paintings, Larry remix life, forms and traditions… translating this into unexpected composite painted stories.  His work is semi representational: neither really abstract nor actual.  It is freedom fun and playful with unexpected combinations of color and life happening.  It is meant to be uplifting seemingly sometimes unfinished, searching out unchartered truths. All his work is a collection that he aims to transform them into bigger paintings once back home.



January 2018


In January 2017 Monika finished my BA in Contemporary Dance Education at the Music and Arts Private University of the City of Vienna. Since then I have been looking for ways to find my artistic voice.

In the past she has been working on the variations and different expressions of human interaction. The question of how we can connect with each other takes on different forms in different pieces, but it draws a red line throughout her work.

When she arrived to Casa Na Ilha, Monika did not have a concrete idea about her project. Apart from movement, writing was very important for her both personally and professionally. She has experience in automatic writing, She writes associative trains of thoughts, notes, declarations for the drawer and dance critics for the public

During her first few days at Casa Na Ilha, Monika did a lot of reading and researching, presenting ideas and experimenting with concepts until her project was defined by trail and error. Not knowing of what was coming next.  She found her  own way between movement, sound, image, video and written text/spoken word.  


Her time in residence allowed her to get a step closer to finding her own format, her form of expression. 

Monika s reflection on her time in residence:

Going into the residency, I did not want to have a fixed concept that I would realize in my time on the island. I wanted to be able to include inspirations stemming from the change of scenery and culture in my work. Therefore, I arrived with just some loose ideas in the pocket.

After the first few days, I threw all of them out of the window. I realized that I didn't want to work on dance moves inside a studio like I was used to doing, because this would not connect to the - for me new and exciting - environment at all. My second idea was to do a performative and interactive piece outside. However, the more I thought about how I would realize it, the more it felt out of place. I was a stranger on this island, new, not knowing anything about the people who were living there and about their thoughts, needs, problems, wishes...

Therefore, I ended up making something completely different, a choreographic short film called "escapism". I made armature videos and sound recordings just with a phone, capturing my own observations. Later on, in the process of editing, I used all my choreographic knowledge, forming the everyday scenes into a reflection on the (non-)possibility of becoming a part of a foreign culture and the notion of escapism.

Going through this creative process I learned a lot about who I want to be as an artist and dared to go places artistically I never went before.

Marina, the director of the residency program, was a great help through all the artistic difficulties. Her insight into artistic processes was very helpful and she would always take the time to share it with you. In addition, she gave me very interesting and sophisticated books that enriched the theoretical examination of my practice.

She would also connect you to everyone she knows on the island, so you would immediately stop feeling as a tourist but as an artistic researcher at work. Even when it looks like every other day at the beach...


I think residencies like this one, without any pressure of having to be able to show a finished piece in the end, are of great value. They allow you to take all the time you need to find your authentic path of working and thinking without your daily life distractions. One the other hand this place offers such a variety of inspirations and experiences that will stay with you for a long time.





January 2018


Stephen Tapscott is a writer who lives on Cape Cod, in the USA. He's published 5 books of poems, a book of literary essays, and several translations, of which is favorite is Pablo Neruda's Cien sonetos de amor [One Hundred Love Sonnets].  He is a professor and a MacVicar Fellow at MIT, in Cambridge, Massachusetts,.


During his stay, Stephen worked on poems translations and also dedicated to deep reading of Brazilean Author, Clarice Lispector.


Stephen reflections on his stay:

  " I had the good fortune to fall during my first hour on the Ilha, helping another resident carry her baggage. I sprained my ankle and broke a rib.... and walked on a cane for the rest of the visit. Paradoxically, this accident was a great gift--"although I missed every waterfall on the island, I spent a wonderful time in enforced quiet in the hammock The down-time helped me to work on translations of the late love-poems of the Brazilian poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade [and to read the stories of Clarice Lispector, on the recommendation of Marina]. Sometimes we do not recognize our blessings when they first arrive . My deep thanks to Marina and Nico for their hospitality."



March 2018 




Yasmina Huckins is a young painter currently based in Brooklyn, New York. She was born in Upstate New York in 1993, and grew up in the home of her Lebanese American family. In 2016, she graduated with a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and since has been working in her studio in Crown Heights. Throughout the past years she has made it her intention not to become static when creating, as her work is inspired by travel and exotic environments. She has worked in places such as Venice, Italy and New South Wales, Australia.


Yasmina’s most recent body of work depicts worlds she desires. She paints abstracted landscapes that have grown from a series of travels through unfamiliar lands. The paintings interpret ecological paradises that dance on the line between fantasy and reality. They are defined by the whimsicality of tropical environments. The series can be seen as a path through a world created by her own wanderlust and vision of the tropical. They embody her oasis away from the concrete jungle of New York. Yasmina dreams of a sultry landscape, pulsing with heat and life. She has fallen in love with her imaginings of Brazil. 



During her time at in residence Yasmina was a curious and avid explorer, scanning extensively the island, the waterfalls, trails, beaches and native communities, being inspired by landscapes but also local life, colors and culture. She worked in the studio in her canvas during early morning and night time, and during the day she would work in site outside, on the beach or coast, sketching what she saw and felt that surrounded her. 

Through her exploring and research, she gathered a collective of material, images and inspiration not  only in her painting but in her mind to work further on. This sketches will became a larger work back in NY, where she will do a continuous painting about Brazil.



Quebec, Canada


March 2018


Jerome Trudelle, born in 1995, is a multidisciplinary artist working and living in Quebec City, Canada. In 2017, he graduated from Laval University with a Bachelor's degree in Visual and Media Arts. Jerome makes various forms of artistic expression such as video, drawing and painting. However, installation sculpture is currently his medium of choice, working mainly with pure materials such as fabric threads and plaster strips. His sculptures, composed of floating particles in space, are the result of a hooking technique he developed and improved during his college years. Jerome’s artistic proposition deploys around the themes of time, past/present and nostalgia. Starting from philosophical reflections on the concept of the momentary and the perishable, he creates suspended sculptures that seem everlasting yet ephemeral by their fragile appearance. Through his work, the artist attempts to confront people to their own evanescence and to the immensity of their surroundings. The dichotomy between the tiny and the incommensurable governs his artistic vision, both on the formal and reflective level. His intention is to relate and oppose the smaller and the greater phenomena of human existence. Disintegration, immateriality, fragmentation and vagueness are the main guidelines of Jerome’s work. He explores the phenomenon of time in its infinite flow and fatality; he manipulates it, manifests it and magnifies it to finally accept it completely through his artistic process. Of poetic and transcendent nature, his creations aim to recall the value of each moment, place and action in such a precarious universe. Jerome is currently taking a one-year study break to work on his artistic approach and improve his sculptural techniques. To continue his artistic journey, he intends to begin his Master in Visual Arts as soon as next year.




The Casa Na Ilha art residency was the perfect occasion to achieve his current goals. He used his one-month residency to connect with other artists and, through exploration, to produce several works which allowed him to develop his creativity while extending his field of creation.

During his stay, Jerome worked on two installation. For the first time, he used colored treads and organic materials found in the island, like leafs and branches. His first installation was inside the studio, controlling nature aspects like wind, but having in mind to watch how the elements will suffer the time passing: green leafs turning brown and drying, as well as flowers, and falling down. This process was documented each day.





The second installation was outside, a net of threads hanging from the balconies into the garden, where he chose a climbing plant to grow in the installation. Jerome also worked on some watercolor paintings and he kept a diary with each day if his stay.






Being Jerome first residence, he successfully managed his time: he did not only accomplish his work goals, but he also explored the island extensively, getting to know the native community towns, walked through various trails, spend time at the beach, swim  every day at the coast and visited several waterfalls and natural pools. All this exploration was recorded and at the end of the residence, he edited a video about his whole experience in Casa Na Ilha.




Jerome reflections on his residence:


"For a first residence, Casa Na Ilha was beyond my expectations, both for the environment and for the meetings I made with other artists. The days, I read, I worked on my installations and I went to discover the wonders of the island. The evenings, everyone ate together, we discussed our about our day and our creations, which really helped to make bonds with everybody. I opened my artistic practice towards exploration by working with leaves that I picked in nature, which made me grow as an artist. The inspiration of Brazil made me create installations very different from what I usually do and this has brought my artistic approach further. What I will remember most is the friendship I developed with the other artists (despite differences of age, language and nationality), the hospitality of Marina and Nico as well as the inspiring environment of the house that is facing the ocean. A residence with multiple benefits that has had a positive impact on me and will continue to have after."





March 2018


Tarja have been a  translator of literature since 1989. She started as a translator of Spanish and Latin American literature. She translated such writers as Antonio Muñoz Molina, Baltazar Gracián, Alejo Carpentier, Eduardo Mendoza, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Andrés Neuman and Manuel Puig, but after reading The Hour of the Star of Clarice Lispector in English wanted to translate it, and then she studied Portuguese to make it possible. Today she has translated five novels from her favorite writer and work will continue. Her time in residence was firstly, her first time in Brazil and the country of Clarice and Inferninho (a protagonist of Paulo's novel) for two or three months. Her residence was her a quiet start, a place where she was able to breathe the Brazilian air first, get used to the weather and the language. The residence in Ilhabela on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in the exotic nature reserve was an ideal place for the translator who after translating the book of Lins does not have any illusions of the life of a tourist in the streets of the metropolis of Brazil.  In addition, the island itself was a source of inspiration and learning, because descriptions of fauna and flora are very common in literature.

In Casa Na Ilha she worked on  the translation of Desde que o samba é samba by Paulo Lins or Um sopro de vida by Clarice Lispector. She  also continue to point at her notepad.

After four weeks she continue her journey. First to Sao Paulo to know the literary life of the city and meet her writers and colleagues, then she travelled  to Rio and visited the places of the books of Lins and Lispector. The last destination was Salvador and voluntary work in the charity of the Cidade da Luz.







March 2018


Elena Boni was born in Latina in 1972, grew up in Switzerland and completed her studies in Turin. She lives and works in Rome. Her works explores various artistic techniques and forms such as drawing, painting, installation, performance video and design. She has worked in site specific planning and re contextualization of objects, a project concept of interior design in Russia. She has also worked for several years as an art director for cultural and artistic events within projects to assist the mentally disturbed. It was her most recent experience in Tanzania, Vietnam and Madagascar.

She draws inspiration from nature and how it affects her. “My     work often starts witha specific object and gradually evolves into an entire space, evoking a larger story or narrative. One of my recentworksconcerns processes of personal rebirth .I began by painting large fabric panels and hanging them in a room. The images represented drew on scenery to Tanzania and Brazil, were the works were partially realized, before being exhibited in Rome. In addition to the visual element, the sound of a heartbeat resonated throughout the space, together with a more elaborate soundscape designed specifically for the occasion”                 


Elena completely immerse in the environment during her time in Casa Na Ilha and found inspiration in the flora, fauna and natural landscapes that she capturated in a paiting on fabric she specially brought.

                     MARNI MAREE – PAINTER


April 2018



Marni earned her BFA from Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, PA. She worked as a freelance graphic artist after graduating but gradually transitioned to colored pencil and then to watercolors. Her primary medium is watercolor but she changes the surface on which she paints from paper to yupo (a slick plastic surface) to masa (rice paper), and canvas. Since watercolor acts different on each surface it is almost like changing mediums and the thrill of not knowing just what will happen makes each painting exciting.

Marni's vibrant watercolors represent her love for drawing, desire to create beauty and her inner joy. Her favorite subjects to paint are flowers, camels and scenes from her travels to the American West, Europe and Haiti. Marni never travels without her sketchbook and mini painting supplies and is always ready to capture the spirit of the various cultures.

During her stay in Casa Na Ilha Marni worked non stop: she was drawing, painting and sketching, landscape, scenary, moments, situations, details and places.

“I traveled through the island with my pens, watercolors and many sketchbooks. Some sketchbooks are handmade. Some are concertina folded. All are small. The beauty and culture of the island life have been carefully and creatively recorded. From the tropical gardens, the ocean, wildlife and a beautiful island home with artist friends

All her work was shown in an exhibition “Tiny Tropical Treasures” at the Workhouse Arts Center.






April 2018

Her career as an environmental analyst has long mirrored her love affair with nature and her desire to capture beautiful moments observed outdoors and in her travels.  Though not formally trained in art, she has taken many classes and workshops, sometimes in other countries, to enrich her repertoire of techniques.  Although most at ease with oil paint, she  also enjoys using water color  she is also a proficient fused glass artist, and has had a fair body of work represented in galleries and shows.


‘The challenge of transforming the cold hard properties of glass into light-filled sparkling landscapes and sea escapes is a fascination for me . Over and over, I find myself drawn to images of water - ocean waves, waterfalls, lake reflections and refractions.  This theme recurs in much of my work in all the media in which I work.´



During her time in Casa Na Ilha,  she pursued a project "Waters of the World."  Using oil paint, she explored the creation of different water environments.  She tried to capture the mood and spirit of the selected places so that they will reveal her love and admiration for these locales.  

                     DENISE PHALAN - PAINTER


April 2018



Denise Shamoun Phalan, MFA,  is a working artist living in Fairfax, Virginia, USA. Phalan’s “day job” for many years was teaching at every level from kindergarten to college (Panama Canal College), to grad school (Virginia Commonwealth University), and retiring as Lead Secondary Visual Arts Teacher from the Arlington Public Schools, Virginia.  

Over the years Phalan has lived in 9 states from California to Massachusetts and in Panama and Ecuador as well.  She has also traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, and Iceland.  All these experiences have had an influence on her art - infusing it with color and vitality.  Phalan’s mode of expression is realism and her subjects vary from landscapes to interiors to figurative work.  Phalan just loves to paint and is never happier then when she has a brush in her hand and is moving rich, sensuous oil paint on the canvas. Phalan often works in series, pushing herself to explore the many possibilities that a subject has to offer.

During her stay in Casa Na Ilha, Denise worked in intensely in several landscape paintings, sunsets, sky and different locations in the island.






April 2018



Most of her life art has been observed and enjoyed but not experienced until I was inher late 40’s when she began to work with clay.  Three years ago and on a return visit, Lynn started a workshop which opened up a whole new artistic outlet.  Since then, she takes every opportunity to be around artists so she can expand her horizons. Although m a beginner, a month concentrated on painting in the island couldn’t help but improve her ability. 

During her residence Lynn worked on her painting with a lot of detail and concentration, allowing time to each one in order to improve her techniques and overcome them.





 April 2018


Midlife Mermaids



During her time in residence, Jane worked on her Midlife Mermaids series. Through her work she examines issues of female identity, gender, body image, body politic, sexuality, and aging.  The faces and upper bodies of each mermaid consist of self-portraits expressing a variety of emotional and psychological states, including confrontation and contemplation.  Within the shapes of the lower torsos and tails, she paints images of the mysteries, wonders, and wreckage of the sea: coral reefs, sea plants, and flowers, and the ruins of sunken ships.  Opposites of vulnerability/power, beauty/ugliness, growth/decomposition, life/death, and fact/fiction are contained and expressed in these works.  The process of making these pieces is labor-intensive.  She calls them “stuffed paintings”, which describes them as three-dimensional sculptural paintings.  She hand sews and stuff the canvas forms with fiber, and paint the narrative images on the facades, using oil paint and glitter.  In these works form and content merge in unusual and unique ways to address contemporary issues.




June 2018



Alexandra received her MFA degree in studio art from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Her work includes sculpture, experimental photography, installation, and video. Centering on memory, time, nature, and the body, her work involves a sensitivity to materials and includes experimental practices from growing crystals to body casting. Alexandra has recently had noteworthy exhibitions at Mixed Greens Gallery in Chelsea, NYC and Marginal Utility in Philadelphia, PA. She is originally from the small town of Clanton, Alabama where she grew up eating peaches and loving animals. She lived in Philadelphia for four years while earning her MFA and working in arts administration. Now, she lives in Nashville, TN, with her four cats. She is a member of Coop Gallery, and teaches studio art/art history at Belmont University and Austin Peay State University.

During her time in residence, Alexandra worked with a series of experimental cyanotype photographs on fabric, paper, and leaves. She also  constructed small sculptures out of found artifacts (leaves, shells, rocks, wood, etc.) from the surrounding landscape, and another series of prints made with also found natural materials, using ink but also their natural pigments.






Hawaii – USA


June 2018


Caitlyn Hughes is an undergraduate student pursuing an accounting degree at Hawai’i Pacific University.  Originally from Connecticut, and now living in Hawai’i, she has been able to experience a vast range of cultural differences from art to ideas in the communities surrounding her. Caitlyn’s first interaction with art was in kindergarten when a teacher taught her about the beauty of anime and how to properly develop an idea and accurately transfer it on paper to become art.


Having had the opportunity to Study a range of languages from Korean, Spanish, Brazilian-Portuguese, to now Hawaiian, the cultures and languages inspire her art and can be seen throughout her work.


Caitlyn is a developing artist; water color and acrylics are her favorites, however, she is still working to specialize within a specific medium. Being an interdisciplinary learner is seen throughout Caitlyn’s life and continues to inspire her to put her time into various things in order to be a wholesome and active learner.


During her time in residence, Caitlyn worked on several paintings and series as well as exploring the island, beaches, waterfalls and trails.



Instagram: @caitvhughes/@findingcaitlyn







New York City – USA


June 2018


Jen Chantrtanapichate is a multidisciplinary artist, community arts educator and activist based in Brooklyn, NY. She was born in 1988 in New York City and as a child, spent her summers in Thailand.  She studied photography and painting at Goucher College and the Tufts School of the Museum of Fine Arts. This year, she is expected to graduate with her Masters in Urban Planning from Hunter College. Utilizing her background in the arts and urban studies, in 2012, she co-founded an arts and urban sustainability youth program at the Sixth Street Community Center in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. 



Jen’s visual arts work is highly process oriented and often a reflection of her inner conversations or current states of being. Always creating from a deep place of intuition, she is most inspired by her surroundings and the playful dynamics she identifies within spaces. While she doesn’t limit herself to one medium- her recent body of work has been intersecting the the use of paints and pastels and depicts the abstract landscapes of her fantasies. To remain continuously inspired, she travels as much as possible to explore new cultures and lands.



During her residency time, Jen worked on several projects as well as finding the time and space to start writing every day. During the morning she would work in different series of small paintings, letting herself free from techquines and experimenting new colors and ways. In the afternoon, she would work on large canvas, also inspired by the natural sorroundings. Finally she painted a mural in the gardens of the house residence.





June 2018



Lauren Caddick is an artist who is proud to call Durham, North Carolina her home. She earned her Bachelor of Art and Design at NC State University, where she graduated as a Park Scholar and was the recipient of the Mathews Medal. Lauren went on to work for Kalisher, a hospitality art firm located in Carrboro, NC where she provided custom artwork for hotels, hospitals, and interior design projects internationally. Her artwork was the foundation for the creation of brand standards for the recent 2016 Hyatt House Rebrand and for the launch of American Red Lion Hotels. With Milestone Film & Video, her graphic designs have been shown at The Cannes Film Festival, The Berlin Film Festival, and The New York Film Festival.



During her time in residence, Lauren wanted to reconnect with her art. She worked in large scale canvas, reflecting her exuberant love of the surprise and mystery that exist in the world around us.  



Oakland, CA USA


June 2018


Michelle Mansour is an artist, educator, curator, and the current Executive Director of Root Division, a visual arts non-profit in San Francisco. Mansour is the recipient of an Honorary Fellowship and multiple residencies from Djerassi Resident Artists Program. Her work as been shown in a variety of non-profit and commercial venues such as RB Stevenson Gallery, Bedford Gallery, McLoughlin Gallery, Southern Exposure, Morris Graves Museum, and Yuma Art Center, including solo exhibitions at the SFMOMA Artists Gallery and Latham Square via ProArts. Mansour has work in a variety of collections including Nordstroms, Hilton Hotels, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, and the El Camino Hospital. She has also curated and co-curated several exhibitions including 2x2's at ProArts and Metaphysical Abstraction: Contemporary Approaches to Spiritual Content. Mansour received her MFA in Painting at the San Francisco Art Institute;  a BA in Art Theory and Practice from Northwestern University and a Post Baccalaureate degree in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Mansour has given lectures and been on panels with the San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Art Institute, California College of the Arts, University of San Francisco, and Sonoma State University.

Based initially on an investigation of the interior world of the body, Mansour's work has become a broader reflection of where science and the metaphysical overlap. The paintings are meticulously crafted by layering translucent washes of acrylic and building up relief surfaces with ink & silicone. Fluctuating between organic fluidity and manipulated surfaces, she uses this combination of techniques to speak about the tension between what we can and cannot control in our own physiology. The process of repeating layer upon layer, mark upon mark, becomes a devotional practice. Strands of cells appear as tissue-like prayer beads – a tactile element for counting countless meditations.