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. .
Keep checking, 2023 session are currently happening so we will be adding more in the next weeks.
TOMMESHA HOLT – PHOTOGRAPHER
MAEVE MAGNOLIA - FASHION DESIGN & MULTIDISCIPLINARY ARTIST
I was born in Canada and am currently pursuing my BA in Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins in London. As part of my program I have spent the past 9 months in New York City interning at a fashion label called Bode. Previously I attended Idyllwild Arts Academy in California where I had the opportunity to focus on my creative practice and realize my love for fashion design. The multidisciplinary plasticity of fashion is what I find most exciting. Fashion lends itself as a melting point of all my various interests; painting, drawing, sculpture, sociology, geometry, environmentalism and craft. I come from a family of artists, so creativity and craft has always been an integral part of my daily life and understanding of the world.
Her time at Casa Na Ilha was a moment for immersing herself in multidisciplinary forms and research as well as questioning elements of her artistic practice such as; What do I need to change about the way I work? Have I been engaging in harmful practices? How can I work with more awareness? She will use the work created during her residency as part of the research for her thesis returing to London for her final year in September 2022.
DOMINIKA SOBOLEWSKA - VISUAL ARTIST, DESIGNER, ACADEMIC TEACHER
With the support of by the project implemented at the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław, Poland
Her work was created with the involvement of her 6-year-old daughter. For over a month they have been collecting plastic thrown out by the sea on the island
The material collected during the educational month was used to create a site specific installation and then to create an installation on the beach, with the support of a local school, the Island Town Hall and a local NGO dedicated to the study of whales.
Dominika is an artist, exhibition designer, academic teacher, PhD in Fine Arts. Vice-dean of the Faculty of Interior Architecture, Design and Stage Design of the Wroclaw Academy of Fine Arts and Design (PL) and the head of the Interactive Space Design laboratory of the Interior Architecture & Design Faculty of the Wroclaw Academy of Fine Arts and Design (PL). In the period 2013-15 researcher within the Thematic Spaces Department of EXPO 2015, in collaboration with Politecnico di Milano (IT). Author of numerous interactive installations, experimental projects dedicated to public space. Co-author of Interactive Playground, project realized in 2008 together with Patrycja Mastej and Paweł Janicki, produced by WRO Art Center which so far has been experienced by over three hundred thousand viewers in major art galleries and museums – from Moscow to Edinburgh. Her activity revolves around the idea of dialogue between the work of art and the audience. Realized objects often occur as small architectural forms prompting onlookers to a deeper interaction.
BEKA VENEZIA – PHOTOGRAPHER & CAMERA OPERATOR
Beka Venezia (b. 1977) is a photographer, surfer, avid birder and camera operator based out of Rockaway, New York. She has spent the last 21 years behind the camera on film sets as a union camera assistant and operator working on films such as The Wolf of Wall Street, Birdman and the Hateful Eight. This year she plans to add director to her resume as a short film she wrote about an elderly woman’s loss of her husband to dementia and a failing healthcare system in rural America is in the stages of preproduction.
During her time in residence, Beka focus to investigate through the lens the island environment and the subtleties of the climate: plants, animals, weather and the locals who work to preserve it. As she learned more about who she was as an artist she thrived creatively in a more natural environment where daily outings brought new discoveries, curiosity and wonder.
"It feels imperative for my practice to leave my local scenery and submerse myself in other biodiverse landscapes such as Ilhabela. Documenting and understanding how we as humans can become more aware and empathetic to nature and, frankly, each other are what empower me to make work.”
Beka worked capturing local fauna and flora as well as doing portraits from people in residence.
CARA DE ANGELIS - VISUAL ARTIST
Cara De Angelis was born and raised in the wilds of New England. She has been a recipient of the CT Office of the Arts Fellowship Grant, as well as the Barbara Deming/Money for Women Grant. She has had fellowships at the Vermont Studio Center, the Prairie Center of the Arts in Illinois, and the Contemporary Arts Center in Troy, New York. In 2010 she was awarded full residency at the Terra Foundation in Giverny, France, along with a Guggenheim travel grant. She is also a beneficiary of the Rudolph Zallinger Painting Award.
In 2011, Cara graduated with her Master’s degree from the New York Academy of Art where she participated in Master Classes with Jenny Saville and Vincent Desiderio. In January 2017 her work “Donald Trump with a Crown of Roadkill” garnered national attention and was seen in Newsweek,NYLON, W Magazine, and was even spoofed by Jon Stewart on the Late Show.
Her work has been exhibited throughout the country, and recently sold at Sotheby’s NYC. Her work is represented by gary marotta fine art in Provincetown, MA and MM Fine Art in Southampton, NY.
During her time in residence she worked on several painting and embroidery mix media, as well as expanding her reading and creative process.
MARIE A. SELLAPIN – MULTIDISCIPLINARY ARTIST
Marie A. Sellapin (b.1996) is an emerging visual artist, English educator, poet and song writer. She obtained her master's degree in Education of the English language in June 2021. Since then, she decided not to enroll as a teacher to instead delve into her creative universe which had been put aside for her studies and internships. Her artistic expression takes a variety of forms, from writing poems, songs and prose to drawing and painting – all inspired by the large range of complex human emotions and social restrains that each soul has to face by simply existing.
For now, her art revolves around questions of existential nature, the notion of choice and the search of meaning. It is as light at times as it is dark and heavy at others. She would love for her creations to induce a self-reflecting processes and discussions in which she would be thrilled to take part.
During her time in residence Marie worked in her music and writing as well as exploring the island daily.
JAYSON LUCE – COLLAGE ARTIST
Researching my identity as a gay man, I use humor with my collage pieces to poke fun at how fearful and uneducated society tends to be in regards to the LGBTQ community, more specifically the gay community. With this perspective I comment on how society is transitioning, all be it sometimes at a snail’s pace, to honestly face the complicated issues concerning the LGBTQ community in regards to equality, marriage and acceptance in the church. I want my audience to find this particular work of my sexual identity funny, but to consider these major issues of our generation.
I have begun this introspective work by using traditional images from 1950’s and 1960’s home catalogs to draw from the classic American-dream view of society. I then added modern day models and actors to comfortably live within my created environment, whether they were simply relaxing in a chair or cleaning house. Other images that I have embedded within these scenes are suggestive items like hot dogs, or fruit painted plates hinting at a derogatory name that gay men are labeled, as well as “Common” gay slang. With this work, I have consciously chosen to play with the idea of traditional home images to argue what is traditional? What is the American dream? What are gender norms? As well as other issues that directly impact the LGBTQ community and the discrimination that many experience daily.
Jayson experience and reflection on his stay
ANITA ANBURAJAN - WRITER
Anita Anburajan is a nonfiction writer living in New York City. She is currently enrolled in Hunter College's MFA program in Creative Nonfiction in NYC, and due to graduate in 2023. Anita also holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and an MPA and BA from New York University.
Anita has been writing in the creative nonfiction genre since 2015. In that time, she has been published in The Rumpus and SLICE Magazine, and was nominated for the 2022 Pushcart Prize. Her writing is deeply psychological and explores themes such as skin color, race, immigrant legacies, belief systems, mental health, addiction, neuroscience, vanity, femininity and relationship patterns. She is currently working on a memoir and an essay collection.
Anita works with numbers during the day, so she was hopeful that Casa Na Ilha would give her the opportunity to take a break from her analytical job and give her creative mind the time and space it needed to expand, flourish and feel inspired.
Anita’s reflection and experience in residence
My time at Casa Na Ilha is hard to put into words. Just everything was beyond what I had imagined. First, the island itself is beyond beautiful. I’ve never been anywhere quite like it. When I walked into the house, there was this stunning wide-open view of the water and a moment later, two big green parrots flew right across the terrace. Just like that! I was like… “Is this place real? Where am I? Am I in paradise?” 😊 But truly, the beauty of the island and the house itself is indescribable. And being surrounded by water felt really therapeutic. But what I loved the most about the residency was the headspace that it put me in creatively. In two weeks, I did more writing than I had in months and I brainstormed a ton of new ideas. I tried my hand at fiction and even figured out the ending to my book! Also, Marina is great company and wonderful to toss around ideas with. She is incredibly well read and a writer herself so she recommended so many authors, books and artists that I could look to for inspiration. She is so sharp and funny and her insight is really right on. She pushed me to think of new ideas and creative things to write about. Honestly, she was a source of inspiration herself! And an amazing cook to top!! I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time at Casa Na Ilha. It is such a special place. The whole experience really felt like a dream and I’m already thinking of my time there with such longing.
JACOB GREIFF - MULTIDISCIPLINARY ARTIST
Jacob Greiff was born in a small town in Idaho named Sandpoint. Topped on with being born with nystagmus (an eye condition which causes very rapid eye movement) would phased Jacob to reside into a sketchbook, drawing imaginary people in imaginary worlds, free of mocking and finger pointing. Later on Jacob would attend the AP Art program in his high school, however plans of going to college where never in the eyes of Jacob: as he puts it “You don’t need a piece of paper to say your artist.” Therefore Jacob has been spending the last few years vigorously painting and learning new techniques and skills with the infinite teachings of the Internet.
This although only leads so far. Jacob believes the true way of expanding one’s consciousness is experience. Jacob has felt culturally deprived in recent years after his trip to Los Angeles and Miami and returned to his cultural pocket in the mountains of Idaho. Forced to reflect on his life and the narrow point of views of those around him, he desperately wants to explore the far reaches of human experiences on this planet to help shape his point of consciousness while reflecting that onto his art. He believes the answer to the worlds problems is to understanding and empathize with others.
Jacob hosts a podcast “Birth death and the stuff in between” where he interviews all walks of life with no judgement, to not argue, but to hear their perspective and how it parallels his own.
His dream is traveling the world interviewing and painting all walks of life and doing his part of helping the world reach a better place
During his time in residence, Jacob work on multiple new drawing and sketches as well as engangin with the local community by painting a mural in a local school along with the students and participating in their podcast.
TANIA TORRES – MURAL ARTIST
My name is Tania Torres (they/them). I am an emerging mural artist, born and raised in Chicago, IL. USA with a focus on mental health and political messages like: BLM, Women’s Rights, LGBTQIA+, Animal Rights, and the effect of our carbon imprint on the planet.
Tania’s reflection and experience in residence
Since completing my time at Casa Na Ilha Art Residence, Ive been asked by several friends & colleagues to describe my time here and only one word suffices to truly express the effect it had on me: Transcendent.
This being my first time out of the country/ first artist residence experience, I came to Casa with an air tight plan to focus on some of the fundamental aspects of mural design: composition, lighting, grids, etc.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the abundance that was coming in addition to all that.
While there is definitely something to be said about the infectious, inspiring nature of the island and house, I’d be remiss not to mention how integral the effect Marina’s presence had on my experience. From the comforting level of attentive professionalism prior to my arrival, connecting me with some of the most influential mural artists in Sao Paulo, to satiating my skeptical appetite for an incredible dinner experience and intuitively navigating the different ways I needed to be advised or given space when I felt stuck creatively allowing me to not only accomplish the things I intended, but encouraged the occasional pause I needed to reflect and release a false sense of control which, in the end, allowed my process to unfold organically and gave space for me to really find my own unique expression.
Couple all that with several, wonderful spaces for mediation, the vortex couch that induced the underrated necessity for a solid nap session, jaw dropping views of the canal and sunset, an abundance of beach time, hikes to the several waterfalls and of course, the inevitable excitement and gratification that comes from being immersed in conversations and collaborations with other creatives. I dare you to find a better word to describe a month at Casa Na Ilha Art Residence.
LIZ LITTLE - MULTIDISCIPLINARY ARTIST
Liz Little (b. 1979) is a Canadian multidisciplinary artist working in drawing, painting, printmaking, and installation. Her recent work is a series of works on paper that builds on her interests in abstraction and cross-disciplinary techniques. She uses shape and color to create abstract visual narratives, which reflect her personal experience, memory, and sensation. The shapes and colours are drawn from nature, architecture, geometry, everyday life, and the underwater world she experiences as a scuba diver.
Liz holds an MFA from the University of Waterloo (2015) and a BFA from Concordia University (2010). Since finishing her graduate studies in 2015, she has been working in the film industry as a scenic artist/painter. She has lived and worked across Canada, in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, and has also lived in Amsterdam, San Diego, and Berlin. She is passionate about art, food, and travelling and has a special fondness for islands and their communities, having grown up in a small town on Vancouver Island. She is equally drawn to both urban and natural environments and continually strives to balance these two in her creative and recreational life.
Liz has attended residencies in Mexico, Canada, and most recently, Japan, which was supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. Her work has been exhibited in Canada, the USA, and Germany, and is part of several public and private collections.
ELOA JANE - ENVIROMENTAL ART
When I started my artistic career, I looked to the most immediate and most abundant resource I had at my disposal, namely, junk mail. The prospect of reusing what was to become trash appealed to my concern for the environment. Moreover, the transformation of that which is worthless into something valuable resonated with my own journey of reinventing my life. I now create reliefs and sculptures out of office paper, magazines, newspapers, phone books, and even coffee filters. I carefully sift and sort through a variety of paper in order to create a color palette. I then roll, coil and weave the selected paper to form different textures. The result is a series of artworks that showcase not only technique but also meaningful personal experiences."
During the artist-in-residence program at Casa na Ilha, Ella was working on a new art series, Abroad, that tells the stories of immigrants to unfamiliar lands. The series is inspired in particular by the struggles and triumphs experienced by the Brazilian community in The United States as she I is herself one such immigrant.
Abroad goes beyond the traditional news media approach to talking about immigration. The series has no intention of criticizing or justifying any side of this polarized issue. Instead, Abroad opens a window into the heart of immigrants in order to portray their personal experiences to the viewer.
ALISON MACLEAN - WRITER/DIRECTOR
Writer/director Alison Maclean grew up in Canada and New Zealand, moving to New York in 1992. She is known for her acclaimed short, Kitchen Sink, which premiered at Cannes in 1989, Crush (starring Marcia Gay Harden), and Jesus’ Son (with Billy Crudup, Samantha Morton, Dennis Hopper and Holly Hunter), which premiered at the Venice film festival in 1999 and won the Baby Lion. She co-directed the documentary Persons of Interest (Sundance 2003), about Muslim detainees held in NY after 9/11. Her latest film The Rehearsal (with James Rolleston and Kerry Fox), adapted from the book by Booker-prize winner, Eleanor Catton and filmed in NZ, played at TIFF, NYFF and LIFF in 2017. Her episodic TV work includes The Adventures of Pete and Pete, Subway Stories, Sex and the City, The L-Word, Carnivale, The Tudors, Gossip Girl, Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays and The Wilds.
During her time in residence Alison worked in two new screen plays.
Cathy's style of dark gothic humour and expressionist satire is unveiled through storytelling and fables of today's woman, which she displays with the unnerving childlike joy of rhymes. She openly and bravely states some generally whispered or unspoken aspects of being female, all with the intention of making you laugh
During her time in residence, Cathy worked on her last book and also creating a day drawing for a new project.
Paul Hunter is a self-taught oil painter. His work is representational land and seascapes. He continues to challenge himself with differing subjects. Mr. Hunter graduated not with a BFA but a BS in accounting. Finding the time to paint was a luxury. Nearly all his time was consumed while pursuing a successful career in banking, raising two children and providing for his family. Pauls’ talents comes from good pedigree. His Great grandfather, Robert Harper Hunter was an accomplished early 20th Century oil painter in New York City. Many of his works are in private collections. He was also considered one of Tiffany’s finest stain glass artists. There is a letter of reference from the founder of Tiffanys Describing him as one of Tiffanys “finest”. Living in the Hudson Valley has greatly influenced Pauls’ work. Lakes, mountains, winter scenes are some of the subject matter he enjoys painting. The Hudson Valley has inspired artists since advent of the 19th century art movement known as the “Hudson River School”. A renowned group of professional Artists. Fredric Church, Thomas Cole and others. For Paul, whats old in style, is new. It’s time for a re-birth of realism and representational art. In 2016 Paul was juried selected at the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony “artist in residency” program, Woodstock NY. His painting “Cooper Lake” was showcased at the famed “Kleinert/James Center for the Arts" Woodstock NY in 2017. Other notable exhibits includes “Arts in the Park” festival in Piermont, NY. His work is currently on exhibit at the “Clarksville Art Gallery” West Nyack, NY. He has exhibited his work in numerous boutique venues throughout the area. Some of his work can be seen on Instagram @Hunter_Art_Works. Paul is retired and resides in beautiful Piermont, NY. Pauls best friend and roommate is Buster the Beagle.
ELISE CHANG - PAINTER
KOREA – U.S.A.
Elise Chang is a Korean-American figurative artist born and raised in Atlanta, GA. Her work is an exploration of personal narratives ranging from identity and human interconnectedness through unconventional figurative works on paper and canvas. The juxtaposition of figurative realism with abstraction through experimentation of mediums and intuition is used to create a dynamic image, both visually and psychologically. She often encourages the viewers to create their own narrative, allowing the work to be viewed subjectively implying on various human emotion and experiences. Despite working within the context of traditional representational drawing and painting, her goal is to convey something more disconcerting than a direct academic representation.
Elise’s reflections on her stay:
Casa Na Ilha was an incredible experience and allowed me to create art in an unforgettable environment. It is a "self-directed" residency, where artists can work independently whenever they please, while sharing their works with other residents. The housing has plenty of open space and different sceneries to inspire and fuel your creativity. There are many supermarkets to buy ingredients for lunch but Marina provides dinner each night to fit your dietary needs, something new and delicious each day that I looked forward to. Those who love being immersed in the outdoors will really enjoy their stay here, as the island has many beaches and trails - but also restaurants and shops for those wanting an indoor break from nature.
DONOVAN RILEY – FINE ART
My name is Donovan Riley, and I am a traditional fine artist from Atlanta, Georgia, USA. I graduated from Georgia State University at the age of 20, making me a first-generation graduate. For many years to follow the accelerated pace of lifestyle in a major city, I have been longing for a disconnect to authentically express personal philosophy and experience. My work varies from digital collage to my personally favored Trump L’oeil method of watercolor painting.
In this cumbersome world of images, I am constantly seeking a more curated composition reflecting my own thought. When creating collages, a considerable measure of my attention focuses on the alluring (and definition of). The personal significance of allurement is the undisputed theory that it is the number one tool in accelerating our consumption and one of the biggest contributors to this world’s shameful desires of the flesh and materialism. Images found in magazine or digitally, make up the bulk of my database. In my collage process, the variety of subject matter and hues demand focus to create balance and avoid overwhelming vibrancy.
While decisiveness is key in composing artwork, I find collage can lead to a lush offspring both on purpose and accident. Collages allow for my philosophies on materialism to be expressed in an enticing composition, which the viewer can visually consume without complete comprehension upon first interaction. The drive behind my compositions is the juxtaposition of provocative and profound to create a push-pull interaction. The goal is to get the now visually ravenous consumer to engage for longer periods through enticement.
Through collage, I invite longer engagement with my creation, via attraction and personal spontaneity. The human tendency of dismissive viewing in our contemporary society is due to over-consumption, dogmatic discernment, and assumption. Traditional artwork in essence is a transference of what we are composed of mentally, physically, and spiritually, into a tangible item, solid in time and space. From simplicity and time, purity is forged. What does the act of embellishment forge? --Art poses a question and design creates a statement. When a piece does both, one has achieved an objectively successful composition that becomes accessible for discourse and further individual thought.
During his stay, Donovcan worked on a big mural/collage mixing images, drawing and painting and a projector.
Donovan's reflection on his stay:
"Staying at Casa Na Ilha was an exuberant, refreshing experience that is much needed for creativity and disconnection. I have never dreamed of an experience like Ilhabela or an excellent host like Marina. She is as lovely as she is a down to Earth artist with tons of life experience and a bomb chef!
The house has an unreal view of the ocean, jungle, mountains, and a sunrise to bring tears to your eyes. Cozy bedrooms, a lot of areas around the house to provide inspiration, fresh air, and comfort. Plenty of beaches & trails to explore, as the residency is self-directed, alleviating all assumptive pressures we tend to place on ourselves as artists. Photos do not describe this experience, and I daydream about going back!"
Instagram: @supedeglupe Website: donovanriley.squarespace.com
AGATA MAGELIS – VISUAL ARTIST / MIXED MEDIA
Agata Magelis was born in Riga, Latvia. After graduating from the University of Latvia, majoring in Philology, she left the country in 2001 for America. She has always been interested in different cultures and the U.S., as international conglomerate was the place to be. In 2019, she graduated from KSU with Painting/Drawing major & Art History minor.
Agata’s art is dedicated to an everlasting experiment with different medias.
Her bold and mysterious work is inspired by a person’s connection to
their inner spirit and unconscious world
Thematically, she paints her personal experiences, as well as tries on other people’s fates and human behavior in extreme conditions. In 2016 she discovered thermal paper burning. It was a pleasant surprise of numerous possibilities of creating peculiar dramatism in her works. Since then, she continues working with mixed media, enjoying the interlace of different layers, while creating the mysterious environment.
Her artwork has been publicly and privately collected across the United States, including Zuckerman Museum of Art, Atlanta Public Library, and internationally, in Great Britain, Norway and Canada.I explore the essence of our universe through amorphous figures made up of light and darkness. My current practice revolves around the relationship between physics, hermeticism, alchemy, and spirituality, focused on vibration, the spirit, and transcendence as dialogical concepts between the fields mentioned. I work mainly with abstraction in painting and printmaking as a means to represent what is outside of our sensible plane.
Agata's reflection on her stay:
Casa Na Ilha gave me an amazing opportunity to live and work outside of the usual environment.
Ilhabela Island is a Brazilian gem which will pleasantly surprise you with unique nature, amazing hospitality and daily inspiration which will touch all your senses.
The house itself is in a superb location. You have a mind blowing 180° view of the ocean from the top of the mountains. Every morning you’ll enjoy breakfast in the clouds, softly ascending to the surrounding jungles and super delicious dinner at the sunset. The house itself is very atmospheric: the interior, antique furniture, outside showers and plenty of light .
There is a plenty of cozy areas around the house to work in solitude.
Numerous beaches, several waterfalls on the island, numerous nature trails – you’ll be surprised.
The retreat like this will fill you in with fresh ideas and plenty of inspiration.
website: agatamagelis.com and instagram @agatevna.
KIMBERLY DAVIDSON - ARTIST AND EDUCATOR
I am a feminist artist & educator, seeking to build a stronger tie between my own art practice, teaching and cultural politics. Currently, I work as a ceramic, design and jewelry instructor outside of Chicago and use writing and painting to explore feminist issues within teaching & the art world.
Starting grad school in 2018, I began developing a painting practice that investigates the female form, personal trauma and history through abstraction, gesture and color. In 2020 I graduated with my Masters in Teaching, with a thesis focused on the feminist lense. Since this time, I’ve had little opportunity with grad school, starting a new job and with covid to experiment large scale with this work. During my stay at Casa Na Ilha, I plan to investigate the female form further through layering and collaging large scale drawings created on Yupo.
Kimberly ’s reflections on her stay:
Staying at Casa Na Ilha was both amazing and rejuvenating for creativity. Dinners and breakfast provided are healthy, delicious and uplifting and the residency offers a relaxed and low-pressure atmosphere. Marina is able to help in numerous ways and direct you around the area. Transit to and from airport was very smooth and comfortable! I would definitely stay again!
website: www.kimberlyed.com & instagram kim_ber_dy
EVA CALDAS - DESIGNER AND ILLUSTRATOR
Eva is a designer and illustrator originally from and currently based in Spain although has lived in London for many years.
She wants to use her trip to Brazil as an opportunity to learn and explore other passions of her, partner dancing and capoeira, and research a way of incorporating them into her illustration practice. She is interested in aspects like gender roles, personal fulfilment, the sense of community and how static mediums like drawing and painting could represent such dynamic activities.
She believes this residency is a great opportunity to find the space and time and to work on that plus the motivation and the collaborations to push her work further.
Eva’s Reflection on her stay:
My time in the residency was wonderful, the perfect combination of quiet and exciting. The location of the house is breathtaking, a place surrounded by vegetation and exotic birds. Staying in to work on projects and enjoy the view was not hard to do. The island is really beautiful for those days when one feels like exploring.
I barely had to dedicate time to mundane daily things which freed a lot of time to just work. I managed to kick start a couple of small projects that I wanted to do for a long time. The landscape and experiences on the island are very inspiring too. Sharing the place with other artists was great to get new ideas, feedback and simply acquire new knowledge and perspectives about art and life from other parts of the world. Marina was a really nice host that made me feel very welcome and taken care of
BANAH AL GHADBANAH – POET
Syria / U.S.A
Banah el Ghadbanah is a Syrian poet raised in the u.s south. Zhe is wanted for 50 million lira by the Syrian government for publishing a viral video about Syria's human rights abuses. Banah is the recipient of the 2021 Diverse Voices Prize from Dzanc Books. Zhe will publish zir first book, syrena in space, with Dzanc in 2022. Banah has a PhD in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego in Ethnic Studies. Zir research investigates the freedom schools Syrian women open under siege and examines the role of the arts, such as poetry and theatre, in those spaces as a tool for transformation. Zhe received B.A.'s in Comparative Women's Studies and Sociology from Spelman College and has a masters in Ethnic Studies. Zhe is published in Afghan Punk Magazine, 3asal, Voice & Verse, Sukoon: an Arab Themed Magazine, the Feminist Wire, Aunt Chloe, As/Us Journal, and many other places. You can follow them at @banahghadbanah on instagram to get in touch.
During her time in residence Banah was able to focus and work on fnishing her novel as well as her poetry. She would take time to explore the island with walks around the house, beach and trails.
Banah's reflection on her stay:
Casa Na Ilha Art Residence was a luminous and beautiful experience for me. Everyday on the lush island of Ilha Bela was full of ripe possibility and adventure. It was made even more magical by Marina's kindness of spirit, her calm and spacious house, and the delicious, healthy meals she provided. Having a time and a gorgeous space in which I could simply create was everything I needed. I picked up a creative writing project I had begun five years ago and didn't have space to complete until now. It is a short story collection about queer Southwest Asian/North African goddesses. I was also able to deep dive into editing my current book, which is now called we are on this earth to be free and set for publication with Dzanc Books in June 2022. The residency gave me the perfect space I needed to relax into creativity. I danced a lot, wrote a lot, and reflected while watching the dazzling view of this island. It was an experience made even better by Marina's generosity and the gorgeous space she has curated where creations come to life
HOWARD C WILLIS JR – OIL PAINTING
My name is Howard C Willis JR. and I am an art elementary teacher in Wesley Heights Elementary in Columbus GA. I have graduated with my M.A.T. in Art Education from Columbus State University and have been teaching for 4 years. I have been in several local art shows in my hometown, as well as shows in Japan and Hong Kong. My medium of choice is oil painting.
My work deals with the people I know and their experiences. I have a genuine love of painting people and painting the objects around me as a means of gaining information and understanding. I have admired painters like Anders Zorn, John Singer Sargent, Kehinde Wiley, and local Columbus artist Gary Pound for their ability to capture not only the physical attributes of the people that pose for them, but the spiritual aspects as well.
During his stay in residence, Howard worked on a series of painting and drawings that reflected his impressions on people in the island and his journey during his time in Ilhabela.
IOANA PALAMAR – FINE ARTS
Born in Rădăuți town, Suceava town, Romania on 10th of July 1989 and currently established in Iași town, Romania.
During her time in residence, Ioana pushed herself outside her comfort zone and took the time to explore the island seeking for inspiration for her work, observing and contemplating not only landscapes and nature but also people with detail. She was very open to new influences as well as sharing ideas and thoughts with other residents in insightful conversations.
Very interested in capturing eyes and emotions, she created a series of mixed media drawings as well as larger paintings using already existing materials. She experimented with them in her pieces, diving into the process of making slowly watching and thinking how they develop and how she was going to continue. The result was impressive and beautiful display of captivating and emotional pieces.
Ioana's reflection on her stay:
My experience at Casa Na Ilha Art Residency program was like a short beautiful dream which allowed me to have more time for myself and for my art. I have noticed that when I eventually had more time for myself, it was really difficult to cope with that, because I had to face my real self (thoughts, feelings, ideas and so on) and a part of me showed a strong opposition against it. I am usually chasing free time for myself and now I realize that I am living an illusion; when I have free time, I want to run from myself…
The island is a nice place which inspired me to do some experiments in my studio and helped me develop specific ideas. I was able to taste silence more and to internalize it deeper in my body and soul. I had the chance to meet new great people whose ideas enriched my experience as a human being.
JAKE HIGGINS- MULTIMEDIUM FREE- FLOW ARTIST AND WRITER
Jake's love for nature, mountains and fluid constant motion helpes him curate the landscapes of each piece he creates. It allows him to draw out these tangible textures from his mind to pen or paintbrush.
During his time in residence, Jake immerse himself into the natural beauty of the surroundings as well as into his deep thoughts and feelings. He created a series of drawing and paintings inspired in something he saw, something he experimented here, personal memories and dreams. Each one of this pieces was accompanied,by a poem, instrisically attached to the emotion displayed.
Jake reflection on his stay
My stay at Casa Na Ilha was personally life changing. From both an artist and human standpoint. Since the beginning, I was met with incredible communication and quick replies from our host Marina. This provided the confidence and ease I needed going into this trip (especially during a very interesting time frame amidst our current world.) I was able to successfully get to the island with the thorough information and details leading up to the trip.
The island is absolutely stunning.
The home is welcoming. An incredible refuge for any artist looking to focus inward and on their craft. It is truly what you make it.
The open air cool calm collect studio space offers you a piece of mind with wicked views, allowing you to get groovy and let your mind wander.
An artist's dreamscape.
From creating poetry, paintings, installations, and photography. This residency welcomes it all! It will open your mind and encourage you to be your best self and most authentic artist. If the setting of ocean backdrops, birds, lush mountains that offer the occasional rainbow doesn't inspire you. Your host Marina surely will. Marina in every way is accommodating. She is an artist and world traveler who lives life with a free, open and caring mind. Mi casa su casa vibes.
An epic intro into the world of art residencies.
I can go on for hours of my own personal thriving experience, but it's a first hand venture.
Happy trails. I will be back! Thanks again Marina!
-Jake @ Westernwinds
GLORIA DE OLIVEIRA - MULTIDISCIPLINARY VISUAL ARTIST, MUSICIAN AND ACTRESS
Gloria de Oliveira is a German-Brazilian multidisciplinary visual artist, musician and actress. She has
been writing and performing music since childhood, at first aspiring to become an opera singer - through a twist of fate she ended up studying drama in London instead, subsequently working as an
actor for the stage, film and radio, starring in international features and TV shows such as Babylon Berlin (2016 - 2020), Counterpart (2017) and Strawberry Bubblegums (2015).
Wanting to further explore a multidisciplinary approach that combined her interest in performance, visual art and sound, De Oliveira began studying Fine Art at HFBK Hamburg and at École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris. Her experimental short films and music videos have been screened and awarded at film festivals around the world and in 2013, she was selected for the Berlinale Talent Campus at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival.
In 2017, she started to release tracks under the project name lovespells, culminating in the 5-track EP LUA AZUL. In the spring of 2018, Gloria won the KRACH + GETOESE prize, Hamburg’s award and support programme for up-and-coming musicians, which enabled her to work on her two self-produced EPs LA ROSE DE FER and LEVRES DE SANG at Clouds Hill Recordings, both released digitally and on limited edition cassette tape through her own imprint LA DOUBLE VIE and the cult cassette label DISPERSION RECORDS in 2019.
On March 27, 2020 her debut album FASCINATION was released by the Cologne label Reptile Music and distributed by Cargo Records on CD and Vinyl, including remixes by artists such as Gudrun Gut, Box And The Twins and Fragrance.
In 2021, she composed & produced the score for Peter Thiers’ play PARADIESISCHE BAUTEN, which premiered at the renowned Thalia Theater in Hamburg in the summer of that year.
She is currently working on her second full-length album and corresponding visuals.
Gloria's reflection on her stay:
I am not exaggerating when I say that attending the Casa da Ilha Art
Residency was the best idea I had in a very long time - it was exactly what I needed at this point in my life and artistic trajectory.
I must single out the peaceful and serene atmosphere of the residency - surrounded by the most beautiful flora and fauna, the residency director Marina gives you endless space to explore and find your own rhythm of working and living, while simultaneously always being there to offer support, insights, guidance and very practical help if needed.
This allowed me to restore myself physically and mentally, coming out of a taxing year full of instability and doubt, and regain my artistic focus. I’ll be feeding off of the sound and visual recordings, writings and other works I began there for months to come. I’d love to come back soon!