Here you can find some of artist profiles , experience, reflections and work while participating this year in Casa Na Ilha Residency Program. Keep checking as we will be adding artists over the next few weeks!
LESLIE SCOTT – DANCER
Leslie scott is a researcher of movement in the studio, classroom, screen, sidewalk, and dining room.
She is the founder and Artistic Director of BODYART — a multimedia contemporary dance theatre company. Scott regularly combines her decades of experience in producing and non-profit development for her multiple teaching and consulting activities across the globe. Connecting her movement research to the for-profit sector, Scott has consulted with notable restaurants and corporations on body language and movement branding.
As a choreographer, working in both traditional and non-traditional spaces, her work has been performed in notable venues and sites from LA, NYC, Dallas, St. Louis, New Orleans, Houston, Edinburgh, and New Zealand. Since 2006 she has created six evening-length works, 27 shorter mixed-bill works and over 30 commissions to some of the country’s leading institutions.
Focusing on the intersection of movement and technology in both her performances and teaching, Scott is an Assistant Professor of Dance and New Media at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. Scott created The Decay Project (TDP), a dance film residency program focusing on beauty in nontraditional spaces, that partners with local communities worldwide. Recently TDP completed its fourth International collaboration in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia following successful programs in Christchurch New Zealand. Her films have been screened at Portland Dance Film Festival, Tiny Dance, London International Film Festival and Screen Dance International.
As an artist mentor, Scott has been an educator at the Center for Cultural Innovation in Los Angeles, teaching Creative Entrepreneurship, marketing and branding workshops. She served on the California Institute of the Arts HIVE incubator program as a panelist and mentor and served as a leader for Queen’s Arts Council’s LEAP program. As a funding consultant Scott has advised and written multiple successful grant applications for artists to the New England Foundation of the Arts. Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, California Arts Council, Queens Arts Council and the Ford Foundation.
Producing Internationally, Scott has organized festivals across the globe for more than ten years. From Edinburgh to Los Angeles, New York and New Orleans, she enjoys bringing a curated group of artists to new communities to forge new relationships and community connections.
Ms Scott is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Tulane University in New Orleans, USA. She holds an MFA in Choreography from California Institute of the Arts and a BFA in Modern Dance with an emphasis in photography from Texas Christian University. She is also a certified sommelier and enjoys incorporating all five senses into her choreographic projects.
During her time in residence, Leslie worked developing new choreographies and editing films and videos on past performances. She also started to work on a new project about movement. Using a very light an unexpected element, such as a rescue blanket, she worked with it in natural sceneries playing with the environment, air, water, wind, sea collaborating with another resident who she directed to perform dance moves. Leslie documented this process trough photographs and videos.
JADE TACHIE-MENSON - MULTIDISCIPLINARY ARTIST
Jade Tachie-Menson (b. 1994 Milton Keynes, UK) is a multidisciplinary artist currently living in Accra, Ghana. Her art practice has grown out of a desire to experiment with many materials including painting, drawing, printmaking, installation, textiles, photography, digital art and text.
Born to Ghanaian parents and spent most of her life in between England, Ghana, South Africa and Canada. She is no stranger to travel and believes it’s essential to grow, learn and love through a multitude of perspectives.
Art has always been a means to communicate and express her thoughts and desires. Her work is a reflection of the ‘hybrid identity’ she’s come to accept. Exploring themes of identity and displacement she aims to challenge perception and negate expectation.
In 2017, she received her BFA and Minor in Art History from the University of British Columbia.
She has participated in several group exhibitions in Vancouver and Ottawa and her work in print media has awarded her the Marijke Nap Memorial Prize in 2017.
During her time in residence, Jade worked intensely in commissioned pieces as well as writing, reading and exploring the island through long walks by the beach.
HILLARY OLSON | FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHER / INTERDISCIPLINARY ARTIST
February and March 2019
Hillary Olson is an interdisciplinary artist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota with a primary focus in fine art photography.
Before pursuing self-employment in 2018, Hillary was the Marketing Manager for Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre in Minneapolis, MN. She has her B.A. in Studio Art (painting) and Theatre Arts (performance) from Hamline University. Prior to Hamline, Hillary studied commercial photography, film photography & graphic design at Central Campus in Des Moines, IA.
Theatre arts and dance were some of Hillary's first introductions to creative collaboration and continue to greatly influence her work. Her experience with improvisational and site-specific movement allow her to create dynamic relationships between the body and its environment. In her collaborative work, Hillary aims to create and hold save spaces for individuals to find strength through vulnerability, and creative exploration through conscious collaboration.
Hillary began life modeling for painting and drawing classrooms starting in 2013 and began modeling for the camera through self-portraiture. Her self-portraits continue to be a large part of her creative habit, allowing her to explore the multiplicities of self, through physical expression, performance and creative installation.
She recently was hosted at the Mudhouse Artist Residency in Agios Ioannis, Greece, where she created and showcased self-portraits in the historic Cretan village. Hillary's photographs were also shown at Black Magik Women III (2017) and The Palimpsest Project Showcase (2017) in collaboration with figure drawing artist, Loren Hextall. Her photography was published in the March, 2018 issue of Maiden's Magazine.
When she isn't around the camera, Hillary can be found performing in Minneapolis theatre, growing her skills in the aerial arts (silks), traveling, and gardening.
During her time in residence, Hillary worked in dance and movement, improvising in different locations from the house, the light, weather and music.
Nevertheless, she dedicated most of her time to her photo series, gathering elements from nature, such as flowers, rocks, leaves and others during her walks. Using these elements she would create different series. After completing the shoots, she sent the pictures to be printed in canvas and afterwards worked intervening them with her painting.
This was her first time working with different media and the outcome was a new work development which excited her as a new path on her work.
Hillary extended her stay to keep focusing on her work in residence. She also focused on her writing and reading.
SIDNEY SPIEGEL - DANCER
USA - Israel
Sidney Spiegel is a dancer, choreographer and teaching artist from San Francisco, CA. After completing a BA in Dance from the University of California, Riverside, Sidney continued her training at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. Upon returning to San Francisco, Sidney began working as a theatre choreographer, and performing with various contemporary dance companies as well as theatre companies around the Bay Area.
After traveling for six months trough Brazil, Sidney took her time in Casa Na Ilha as a moment to get back into making her own work again and in researching how to use captivating and relatable story telling in dance. She performed each morning gaga dance, both in the studio as in our terrace. Mirrors are avoided in Gaga training to facilitate movement guided by sensing and imagining rather than sight. She also developed a short film with her dance, using the soundscapes of the island and environment.
She also collaborated with another resident, Leslie Scott, dancing under her direction for a project on movement.
MOUNA ACHAK – CONCEPTUAL ARTIST
Mouna Achak , born in 1991, is a conceptual artist graduated in 2017 from the Willem de Kooning academy in a Bachelor of Arts and currently based in Antwerp, Belgium. Born in the western world being raised by Moroccan parents made her realize that there is a necessity to create a new combined universal language through art. In her artwork she conceptualize the underlying layers of the human subconsciousness and how she can transmute them by the help of textures, colors, prints and patterns. For her, art is a tool to research and release the inner structures and patterns to create a new symbolic language that universally appeals to our subconsciousness.
MARY MODEEN – INTERDISCIPLINARY ARTIST
Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies, is an artist/academic, who lectures in Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee, Scotland. She is the founder and Course Director of the Masters of Fine Art in Art & Humanities in Dundee, and also led the undergraduate Art, Philosophy and Contemporary Practices course for seven years previously. Modeen supervises PhD students and is the Associate Dean for Internationalisation. Her mother was of Fond du Lac Ojibwe ancestry and her father was first generation with Scandinavian parents. Modeen lectured for several years at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire before moving to Scotland. Her work has several threads: perception as a cognitive and interpretive process, memory studies, and place-based research, which connects many of these concerns with attention to cultural values, history and embodied experience. As such, this research is usually interdisciplinary. Part of this work appears as creative art, usually with an origin in printmaking, and part as writing and presentations. She addresses aspects of seeing that go beyond the visible, questioning what we know as sentient humans. Cultural values and individual differences are inherent in these investigations. Her long-standing interests in poetry and modern literature also inform her work.
During her time in residence, Mary worked side by side with Christine Baumler, also an academic, on a reasearch on Sustainability. This work took them both to work closely with the native community, immersing in the village on the other side of the island, only reachable by boat, where they stay for some time to talk and share their way of living. They also developed a close relationship with fisherman, visited and interview enviromentally related NGO as well as a 'Sitio' located in the south of the island, a place where they cultivate everything they eat and only build with bio architecture (only mud and found materials) who has been running for 45 years. They will process all this work in the studio and will be publishing a report with the support of their universities.
CHRISTINE BAEUMLER - INTERDISCIPLINARY ARTIST
Christine Baeumler is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota in the Interdisciplinary Art and Social Practice area. Her artwork explores the potential of art as a catalyst to increase awareness about environmental issues and to facilitate stewardship. Christine’s ancestry includes recent immigrants to the US from Sweden and Germany. She is about to attend a workshop in Sweden about the practice of Northern European Shamanism. Her studio work includes painting and installation, based largely on travel to World Heritage sites including the Australian and Amazon rainforests, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Galapagos Islands. Baeumler’s community-based environmental art practice is collaborative and involves the ecological and aesthetic transformation of urban sites with attention to increasing biodiversity, improving water quality, providing habitat and engaging with youth on issues of sustainability. Recent collaborative art and science projects include the Rooftop Tamarack Bog at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Bogs, A Love Story documentary, the Pollinator Garden and Buzz Lab at the Plains Art Museum in North Dakota, Backyard Phenology Mobile Lab, and the Pollinator Skyrise, in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
During her time in residence, Christine worked side by side with Mary Modeen, also an academic, on a reasearch on Sustainability. This work took them both to work closely with the native community, immersing in the village on the other side of the island, only reachable by boat, where they stay for some time to talk and share their way of living. They also developed a close relationship with fisherman, visited and interview enviromentally related NGO as well as a 'Sitio' located in the south of the island, a place where they cultivate everything they eat and only build with bio architecture (only mud and found materials) who has been running for 45 years. They will process all this work in the studio and will be publishing a report with the support of their universities.
FELICIA LEACH – VISUAL ARTIST
“The challenging and exciting aspects of this residency in Casa Na Ilha is how the presence of the land is preserved in constant flux and how those experiential forces effect people. I am extremely interested in the reality and the metaphor of the fluidity of the land and the sea. The lines, patterns, and evolving surfaces transformed by natural and human forces strike a chord within my work with as cartographic reference in the plein air process. This residency in Brazil added to my previous body of work from residencies in the Shenandoah National Park (USA), Léhon in Brittany, (FR) and the Lincoln Center at Julliard (NYC) and it continued the goals of exploring new landscapes and the creation of their images as tethered to time and presence.”
During her time in residence, Felicia developed a series of painting based on shripwrecks and the ocean. She investigated many of the legends as well as the history of each of the shrips that wrecked around the island, each one, each story, turned in a sketch an a painting. She also explored the island villages, beaches and waterfalls as well as spend her time dicing in reading.
Based and raised in central Missouri, Felicia Leach (b.1977 Fayette, MO) graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Southern Illinois University- Carbondale with her B.F.A. and M.F.A. respectively focusing primarily in painting and printmaking mediums. She has had opportunities to work with many creative groups such as the Citizen Jane film festival, the True/ False film festival, Detroit Contemporary, and the Philadelphia Art Alliance. Her practice retains immediacy through exhibitions nationally and internationally. Advancements in her work have been strengthened through the residencies at the Shenandoah National Park, MICA Artist Residency in Brittany, France and the Lincoln Education Center at The Juilliard School in NYC. Through these outlets, she has pursued interests in making site-specific prints, drawings, and paintings based in the investigation of time as tethered to place. Currently, she works as an artist-educator at Moberly Area Community College teaching foundational design, drawing, and painting.
MARIANNA STAROSELSKY - PLAYWRITER
Marianna Staroselsky (MFA in Theatre - Playwriting, '19, Columbia School of the Arts, Doctoral Candidate - Comparative Human Development, '19, University of Chicago) writes, studies, teaches, and makes art about identity and the strangeness of being a person in modern society in its myriad layers of experience. She emigrated from the Soviet Union to Des Moines, Iowa when she was a kid and has lived in six different countries since. Marianna fell in love with playwriting as a result of an OkCupid Date. Her full-length plays to date include "Cry Baby Meets Audrey Hepburn,"(20% Theatre Company, Cornservatory, Tikkun Fellowship, 2016,) "100 Awkward Ways to Be a Person" (Columbia University School of the Arts, La MaMa, 2017-18) and "How I Married Myself and Other Misadventures," (The New Colony, Athena Theatre Company, Columbia University School of the Arts, 2015-18.) She is writing a new opera called “Simulacrum” going up in early June at 3LD with PATH New Music Theatre in NYC.
Marianna stayed in the house outside the residence program, due to her tight schedule, she decided to come an take this time working on her own on a playscript to be presented and shown in NYC. She dedicated her time to read, write and explore the island.
ANA DRUCKER - VISUAL ARTIST
Ana is a Mexican artist currently living in Barcelona. She has been living in Europe for 5 years and this experience has let her grow my interest for her Latin roots. She wants to meet, connect and collaborate with people, see a completely different side of the world, a world she haven’t been used to lately. She wants to connect with nature and be away from the big cities she has been living her whole life.
The project Ana developed during her stay in Casa Na Ilha was about color. ‘I’ve had a huge obsession with color my entire life, and it’s been one of the main components in my work.’ She worked on a strong research on the perception and relation between form and color, and how this transform our perception of the visible world. She thinks that the place at Casa Na Ilha will suited perfectly. ‘Nature is the richest in color but also because color is related to feeling and sensations, and was able to discover new senses/colors.’ She also developed a graphic project, based in painting, digital manipulation and printing techniques. Her idea was to create a collection of experiments on color and how color can transform and blend depending on what other element is accompanying.
She focus her work on visual experimentation, fascinated by texture and color, interested in raw material and the possibilities that range between the analog and the digital. When she decided she wanted to study art, she started working as an assistant for a ceramic workshop for Fundación Sebastián in Mexico City, then she decided to move to Barcelona, where she started working in a digital arts and music festival called MIRA. Now she is the visual curator for the festival, which has let her work with some of the best artists of contemporary electronic music and digital and arts. She also works as a graphic designer for a company named OPTIMUS. As a freelance artist she does album covers for musicians.
JINMI IN - FILM MAKER
Jinmi In, entered the commercial film industry as a scripter of <Two Cops 2> in 1996, and then participated some films, <Scent of a Man> as an assistant art director, <Baby Sale><Film-making> as a directive session, <Lies><Resurrection Of The Little Match Girl> as an assistant director and scnario, and an independent feature film, ‘Wealth and Honor’ as a main director.
She also work with a lot of media art work, not just movies, she selected as a visual arts support of the Incheon Cultural Properties and held <SIMULACRUM Individual (Dec.3-10)> in the Incheon Art Platform 6 in 2015, and with the support of the Korea Mecenat Association, she completed the Daewon Art Exhibition, which includes installations of <‘Ddeummo in Nakwon‘ (December 22nd to 26th), video, sound, music and performances at the Nak Won Musical Instrument center in Jongno-gu, Seoul.
Afterwards, Jinmi In, who was preparing to enter a commercial movie based on fantasy material, became interested in VR films. In 2017, Jinmi In produced two short VR films through VR short film production education in the Korean Academy of Film Arts 2017.
During her time in residence, Jinmi worked on short films and 360 videos, recording the changins skyes, clouds, weather and local life for an upcomining documentary, Her intention is to show one world, how we are all part of the same, not matter where we are. She has been collecting images as well as sounds around different locations worldwide.
And, she would also enjoyed cooking korean food for the rest of the group!