Here you can find some of artist profiles who are participating in Casa Na Ilha Residency Program. Keep checking as we will be adding artists over the next few weeks!
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.
“Being at Casa Na Ilha will further my work because it will provide me with 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 I learn more about who I am as an artist I know I thrive creatively in a more natural environment where daily outings bring new discoveries that cause 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.”
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.
SOFÍA ALRICH VEYTIA - PAINTER AND PRINTMAKER
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.
My interest in the similarities between Hermeticism and Quantum Physics is that they both look for the essential connections in the universe, one from a spiritual viewpoint and the other scientific. I believe that it is essential for human beings to understand that we are all connected, and not just to each other but also to nature. The main problems that we face today as mankind is that we are not empathetic and respectful to others and to the world we live in. man is not the center of this life, we are not superior beings, and we have to stop treating the world and the earth as something inferior to us, which has no apparent "consciousness". If we open our eyes and understand that we are all in essence the same we will treat our planet and all that lives within it with greater respect. We are intrinsically connected to every living being, and everything that exists.
This is what I seek to convey through the artistic representations that I will make during the residency. Through paintings and drawings. The series will continue a current exploration of representing "windows" to another reality, to the spiritual dimension of nature, to show that it is as alive as we are.
ELIZABETH KIRSCHNER – WRITER
Elizabeth Kirschner is a writer and Master Gardener, who lives in Southern Maine. She's published
many books, including a short story collection titled, BECAUSE THE SKY IS A THOUSAND SOFT
HURTS. She's currently working on a second volume of stories, which I will bring with me
to Casa Na Ilha. It's titled LEARNING TO HIT MY MOTHER.
DOMINIKA SOBOLEWSKA - EXHIBITION DESIGNER, ACADEMIC TEACHER.
With the support of by the project implemented at the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław, Poland
As an artist for some time I have been absorbed by the aspects of communication and the specifics of the functioning of selected social groups. Especially the last of my projects (Ziggurat, Skimoji) faced the intersocial aspects of public space. By researching specific areas of human activity I am looking for a specific dialogue with the environment. The island of ILHABELA inhabited by the specific Caicaras community, marked by their lifestyle, seems to me the perfect place for my creative search. However I deal not only with the human aspect, but also with the natural landscape tissue, its architecture, infrastructure and specific climate. My presence in a selected area of reality makes sense, drawing inspiration from it. Usually, the result of my search are participatory spatial installations, often exposed to confrontation with public space and the surrounding landscape. My 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. In such a convention, I would like to make an installation summarizing my research on the ILHABELA island.
Dominika is an artist, exhibition designer, academic teacher. PhD in Fine Arts. 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.
ALAIA DE SANTIS – MULTIDISCIPLINARY ARTIST
Alaia De Santis is a multi faceted London based artist. Alaia began her arts education at Hampstead Fine Arts, before moving on to study at the City and Guilds of London Art School. Alaia then went on to specialize in both print making at Parson School of Design and painting at the University of Arts London Camberwell. Alaia’s work explores the history of popular images and iconography through collage, film and painting. Her works touch on an uncanny kind of familiarity juxtaposed with commercial surreality.
PEICHIN CHIANG - ESSAYIST, FICTION WRITER AND JOURNALIST
PeiChin CHIANG was born in Taiwan, has lived in Singapore and India.
She is an essayist, fiction writer, and journalist responding to underrepresented people, social and
labor issues in Asia. Her most recent writing is the post-memory about rites of passage in the form of prose: “Uncover the shell”. The book she wrote records the process and details of a
traditional funeral in Taiwan and portrays the grief and condolence from the living, her, as a suicide survivor.
She also uses different media for creation, such as video and visual art installations. She once held an artist-in-residence exhibition in Matsu, Taiwan, and joint exhibition in the historic district of Bopiliao, Taiwan.
She works as a storyteller and communicator in the public and business world. She obtained a Global MBA, ESSEC Business School (École supérieure des sciences économiques et commerciales) from Singapore and France, Master and Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Chemistry from National Taiwan University.
LISA SEWELL – POETRY
I am the author of several books of poetry, including Impossible Object, which received the Tenth Gate prize from Word Works press. I am currently working on a manuscript of poems titled “Dry Spell,” which focuses on endangered species and disappearing ecosystems. For this book, I am trying to develop a poetics that can address the experience of living in the midst of a sixth extinction event, with dangerous weather and a destabilized environment. The manuscript includes a series of poems about endangered species, like the California grizzly and the Florida panther, and also place-based poems that explore the cultural and ecological history of endangered environments like the Salmon River estuary in Oregon and the Colorado river in Arizona. I have also been working on a series of poems about the 18th century Dutch/German artist and naturalist, Maria Sibylla Merian, whose most famous prints are based on her stay in Suriname. I am excited to learn about the flora and fauna of the area around Casa Na Ilha and have a first-hand encounter with some of the plants and creatures that appear in Merian’s images from Suriname, like the Blue Morpho butterfly in this print.
SUSAN WILLOCKS – INSTALLATION ART AND PAINTING
In 2014, I moved to Montréal (Canada) from my hometown, where I was lucky to grow up surrounded by forest, fields and lakes. Such a drastic change inspired reflection about the way we interact with nature and how we impact the environment. At first, the transition manifested in my artistic practice through photographs and sculptures that combined city-scapes with country scenery - sometimes in contrast to each other, other times simply co-existing. While completing my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Concordia University, I found myself drawn to installation art and painting, exploring themes such as mental illness, the stigma attached to it and the importance of taking care of ourselves as well as our earth. Regardless of the medium or specific topic, my work emphasizes the concept of change - both in our physical world and in emotional states.
Last year, I co-curated an exhibition that embraced the struggles of artists facing mental health issues. The exhibition title, Tides, (suggested by my colleague Debora Alanna) meant a lot to me. The ocean’s ever-changing state compares to one’s emotional journey: some days are easier than others. Like many things in nature, feelings come in waves. I have been drawn to water for as long as I can remember and that obsession has begun flowing into my artistic practice.
My time at Casa Na Ilha will be used to explore ways of depicting my favourite element. Water is essential for life yet it can also be fatal. I plan on working mainly with watercolour, charcoal, graphite and acrylic paint and using photography to inspire large-scale paintings once in my studio back home. Though the ocean is my main focus, I will spend some time observing the exotic wildlife on the island and am excited to discover how those creatures will impact my work.
SAMANTHA MORRIS – VISUAL ARTIST
Samantha Morris was born in 1995 and grew up in Madison, Connecticut; she now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Morris graduated from The University of the Arts in 2017 with a BFA in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Painting and Drawing. In addition, she is continuing her graduate studies in the MFA Fine Arts program at Pratt Institute. Solo exhibitions include: Kanna Rými, Listhús Gallery in Ólafsfjörður, Iceland; and BFA Thesis Exhibition, The Space Between, The University of the Arts. Selected group exhibitions include Black and White, Site:Brooklyn, Paperworks, b.j spoke gallery and Space Invaders, Fountain Street Gallery among others. Morris’ work has been published in FreshPaint Magazine, Opción Magazine, ArtMaze Magazine and Underground Pool.
“My large monochromatic graphite drawings and prints suggest the experience of an individual traveling through a space. Exploring place through architecture, interiors, and plant life, I am fascinated by the feeling of light and its stillness. Through the labor intensive mark-making process, internal light emerges from the work. By questioning both specificity and ambiguity, the work exists in the in-between.”
CHYNA CASSELL - MULTI-DISCIPLINARY ARTIST
My name is Chyna Cassell and I am a Liberian-American multi-disciplinary artist whose main modes of expression are fiction writing, languages and linguistics, and visual storytelling. My time at Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at The New School in New York has allowed me the freedom to experiment with and explore my different interests while accruing first-hand experiences. I have been able to shape my politics and be surrounded by highly creative individuals who have inspired me to see my own capacity for creativity.
Up to this point, I have studied a handful of languages (both independently and formally) including French, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, etc. and I have been tutoring French for the past two years. I welcome immersive experiences so I am grateful to take part in Casa Na Ilha for this reason, too. Literature, as a reader and a writer, has become an integral part of my life and I also look forward to adding to my collection of short stories and further developing some fiction novels I have started as well. By the time I am at Casa Na Ilha, I will have graduated from my undergraduate studies and I look at this as an opportunity to continue gaining knowledge about myself and the world around me.
Anything imaginable has the potential to be real within a story and my work serves to challenge myself and others to use our imaginations as a tool for fashioning the type of world we want to inhabit. My work reflects my own dynamic nature and the overall goal of it is to facilitate a constant conversation between structures at play, the collective community, and the individual.
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 I will be 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. I am myself 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.
ODILIA MARTINEZ-FALERO SUANZES – MULTIDISCIPLINARY ARTIST
Adapting art as a way of living, I tend to immerse myself in unfamiliar environments, traveling through space like a nomad searching for a new oasis to live in. At the basis of this search is the creation and expansion of a visual language that compounds both conscious and subconscious visual experience, informed by the experience of diverse and unfamiliar cultural, lingual and architectural experiences.
A series of questions stem to mind during this research, what makes an art object? If intent is intrinsic to an art object, to what degree is making necessary? In the words of Joseph Beuys "every sphere of human activity, even peeling a potato can be a work of art as long as it is a conscious act," the idea being that every decision you make should be thought out and attempt to make or contribute to the formation of a work of art able to mirror the contemporary. While intent appears to be key in generating art objects, the physical act of making remains an integral part of my practice.
Mixing gathered materials, mainly from natural sources such as rocks, plants and earth. The chemical reactions that occur when mixing these materials are recorded and constitute the painted surface. This search for materials took me to use blood as medium, recycling my biological waste of my monthly cycles, giving this condition a chance to get closer to femininity and my own body.
Blood has been use throughout art history as a pigment, to make statements in relation to violence, gender equality, religion and the politics of menstruation. This in turn sparked the need to get closer to my body, inducing me to create a microscope constituted primarily of a web cam and a projector. I made a record of all the materials used through photographs and videos.
Through this research it became apparent that my interest in the corporal was intrinsic to nature, questioning the modes of display adopted in my practice. The traditional white neutral space felt limiting, pushing me to create and search for new ways of expression. Using sculpture, slide protectors, microscopes, photography, video, painting, found objects with the aim of creating installations, being more ﬂexible and playful with space and my own ideas without limiting the making. Having the opportunity to be in a new space and environment I am hoping to to develop a new series of installations with what the place itself will give me. Making immersive spaces with objects, sculptures, and projected images and videos of the vast microscopic world that surround us.
Odilia Martinez-Falero Suanzes was born in 1993 in Madrid. She graduated from City & Guilds of London Art School in 2016, where she won The Board of Trustees Prize for an Outstanding Piece of Work in the Graduated Show. She was selected to do a residency at the Griffin Gallery just before finishing her degree and has been doing a number of residencies ever since, which nowadays is a big part of her practice and her artistic development. Odilia is part of the Brocket Gallery, where she has done a number of exhibitions in London and out of London.
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.
ANA VIEIRA DE CASTRO – VISUAL ARTIST AND PHOTOGRAPHER
During my artistic journey of self discover, the idea of identity and transformation is present on all of my projects. It’s amazing to me how human beings are so adaptable and how never stop transforming ourselves during our life and even during death. We are inﬁnitely connected to the earth with our body, and to the universe with our mind or our soul. I like to think that when a body dies he is consumed by the earth and somehow we are born from the earth again. As many life beings, we are just passing by. We are only here by a short period of time, so our soul can learn from our actions and to grow. I’ve always studied and searched for philosophical theories about the process of transformation physically and psychologic of a body during life and how that affects our identity. Since we change so many times through life, physically and psychologically, it’s inevitable to think that it’s at the moment when we take our last breath that we will ﬁnally know who we truly are, because we just spent the amount of time we had on this earth trying to discover it. But in another way, not everyone is lucky enough to get to the end of their lives and ﬁnd peace. In this case I believe that knowing who I am, and what I’m capable of would bring the happiness and peace that we are all searching for, since there are no more doubts about our role on this Earth. So I started looking for philosophical theories about the theory of reincarnation and how this can be the only way for self discover, and a way to get to true happiness. With this in mind, and since the process of self discovery goes through communication with one another, the project that I would like to develop during my stay at Casa na Ilha is about the idea of memories that got lost in time and space. I pretend to develop a Photo Book where the idea is to search for the stories of self discovery of the habitants of the island, and how do they see their selves when it comes to their identity. I pretend to work with their personal archive, to know what stories made them who they are today and photograph that personal archive of theirs whether that would be photographs, letters, post cards, books… I want to know how they communicate with each other, which letters they wrote that never got delivered, what thoughts do they had that never had the chance to be heard, what text did they wrote to someone and never had the courage to share, the letters that keep memories, the love stories that got lost in time, and what is their perspective when it comes to identity, transformation and memory. Summing up, I want to photograph these memories and to do something that I’ve never done before on my journey as a visual artist. I want to do a documental Photo Book about these people and I hope to somehow ﬁnd my own consolation on my personal search for my identity. I’m going to document the memories of the habitants, write about them and make my own photographic interpretation through self portraits.
JOE WARD – VISUAL ARTIST
Joe Ward is a visual artist based in Brooklyn, New York and the principal and creative director of Joe Ward LLC, a digital and communications strategy group in New York City. He studied design at George Washington University (Washington, DC) and painting at the New York Studio School Of Drawing, Painting, And Sculpture (New York, NY). Using an abstract approach, Joe creates work with oil paint, acrylics, drawing, and digital.
MAISIE COUSINS – PHOTOGRAPHER
I have lived in Britain my whole life, mainly in London. I am a full time practising artist, dividing my time between making personal work and also commercial work to pay the bills. Last year I was extremely lucky to have my first solo show at T J Boulting gallery in London, and to get the opportunity to photograph the musician Bjork - who was attracted to my visceral aesthetic. After a busy year I am focusing on meeting other artists, creating stronger ideas, developing my practice and travelling as much as possible. When I travel I am particularly drawn to Latin America, there is an energy there that really appeals to me and inspires my work.
When I travel, it is not the overall grand landscape scenes I am attracted to photograph - they do not even tempt me. I am drawn in by the smaller details that I believe are the true character & story in a place - wether that be a city, a jungle, a forest, a junk yard, a beach. Details like the flies & insects on rotten fruit, the rubbish left behind, the language of food and consumption, the human mark left behind on nature.
The everyday is what inspires me. What others see as mundane or disgusting, I am drawn too and use these to transform my surroundings, creating a semi faux reality. I have mostly done this in a studio set up, but following a residency in Columbia earlier this year, where I truly felt travelling helped me completely lose my ego & sense of self, I am more inspired to continue travelling & created these faux realities in a true setting - romanticising real places, people, objects whilst staying true to their natural core.
During this residency I would like to expand on these ideas (our relationship with food, waste and nature), but within the amazing setting of Brazil. I aim to make larger scale images, using fauna I would have no access to here in the U.K. I want to bring my studio set ups into real life.
ALYSON DOYLE - PLAYWRITER
Alyson Doyle is a playwright, and theatre artist. She is working towards staging her first, full-length production In 2020. Folly Adieu, was inspired by traditional power dynamics of mental health treatment in western society. It was also inspired by her affection for the Great American Songbook, Mr Bob Dylan, and mask-making. Several characters in the play are famous literary figures disguise as animals.
While in residence in Casa Na Ilha, Alyson hopes to take a break from overthinking, and focus on adding to her collection of Buddhist inspired, comedic poetry. She hopes to sketch and photograph wild life, that will inspire both new masks, as well as ecologically friendly means of creation. Brazil, after all, is the place that inspires eclectic, electric Carnevale costumes, and Alyson will be eternally grateful to let a little of that energy and ambience seep into her work. 4
CHASEN WOLCOTT – DRAWING AND PAINTING
Growing up in California has an enormous amount of value in my life. From the way I treat my coastlines, encounter a variety of big cities filled with many different cultures, and through the movements of skateboarding, surfing, and street art. In California I am lucky enough to have been shaped with so much diversity in order to preserve qualities of life that are so challenged in today's forecast. Within each of those aspects, the speed of modern life gives me adrenaline to use creative linework through the culture that I've lived with for many years with confident decision making and control. Obsessed with a variety of fearless application, I also commit to slow the brush and downshift through moments using charcoal, oils, acrylics, graphite, and ink. If I hesitate, the action won't feel genuine because hesitation kills.
Inspired by the optically rebellious artistic attitudes that exist between Futurism, Abstract Expressionism, and even Impressionism, my mixed Native American and Mexican heritage is expressed through primitive mark-making and primordial elements. Imagery redefines direct experiences and real time intimacy. People-watching and unapologetic sexual expression are central to my artistic lust by investigating masculine and feminine interaction. I process real life situations then unleash artistic fascinations through rapid painterly gesture. Now affirming that the world has been enriched by a new form of beauty: the beauty of speed.
I went to California State University, Long Beach for undergraduate BFA in Drawing and Painting, while currently receiving my MFA in Painting at San Francisco Art Institute. From a very observational training in painting to a less graphic and more candid painting process has evolved over the last 5 years. I wanted to make visible the process of searching and essence in every mark accessible in which I cared so much about. Investigative approaches has taught me how to preserve color integrity and understand painting in more of the present moment.
To connect more please visit my website: www.chasenwolcott.com
Or go to my Instagram: @poursauce
CHARLES PAPILLO – Visual Artist
Los Angeles – U.S.A
Charles Papillo was born in 1986 into an Italian American family in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States of America. From a young age, he was constantly performing, sculpting with random material and creating invented worlds for himself and others. He moved to New York City at the age of 18 and attended Parsons the New School for Design where he received a BFA in Fine Arts in 2008. During that time, he travelled around Europe, Ecuador, and North America and also attended Hellenic International Studies in the Arts in Paros, Greece. Post-graduation, he attended a handful of artist residencies within Spain, but ended up settling in San Francisco, California by late 2009. He recently moved to Los Angeles last year and has continued to work on large scale de-collage drawings, “The Book” (hand-made stream of consciousness books) and new video work pertaining to the human body, movement, identity and ritual. Articulated concisely within his artist’s statement:
Taking things - both living and inanimate - out of a particular context yields a new and sometimes ambiguous identity; a palimpsest of the former self remains.
My work is a ritual that is presented through imagery and through space, and the resulting conversation within this territory.
ANDREA WILKINS – PAINTER AND PHOTOGRAPHER
U.S.A – South Korea
I take photographs. I am inspired by stillness, nature, music, relationships and the complexity of everyday life. I am an art educator and a yoga teacher. I am interested in the spiritual, meditation, ritual and prayer. In my time in Brazil, I plan to document the magical vibrations of the Brazilian jungle. My response will focus on my direct relationship to my surroundings, through meditative practice, visceral sensation and spirit guidance. Nature has the capacity to enchant and reveal deep truths and healing wisdom within us. It is my goal to listen to this communication and create photographic stories. I hope my proposed body of work will reveal a sense of love, nurture and light.
My background is in painting, photography, education and dance. I studied at Black Hills State University in Spearfish South Dakota, Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, Indiana and received my Art Education K12 teaching license as well as Master in Art Curriculum at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. I am passionate about the creative process being a source of healing and therapy for all people. I have been a yoga practitioner for the past 15 years and consider my practice a critical part of my growth and experience in life. Currently, I live and work in Jeju Island, South Korea and have been here for the past 5 years.
MINJEONG OH - VISUAL ARTIST
I enjoy walking with light and soft steps and observing the neighborhood like an urban wanderer. Using objects and situations captured in such a time as a subject matter, I am developing daily stories and ideas following one after another. Besides, I am writing down stories on a city and its culture with images created based on color pencil drawing and oil painting.
Graduated from a Dept. of Painting & Printmaking, College of Art & Design, Ewha Womans University, and took a master’s degree in the graduate school of the same university, majoring in painting and printmaking. Had 5 solo exhibitions beginning from the one at Space 15th(Seoul, Korea) including Pickled Art Unit One(Beijing, China), and participated in many large-scaled domestic and foreign group exhibitions. Joined in many exchange exhibitions with Chinese artists, particularly, starting from a residence program by Beijing Creation Studio, Kwangju Museum of Art in 2011. Also participated in the Canadian project exhibition called (DA BAO)(TAKE OUT) from 2012 to 2014 as the only Korean artist.