About the Desert
I have now completed my best residency so far. It is difficult to fully find words for what it has given in terms of insights, learning and meetings with people that have inspired me for life.
I had a bit of a detour from Santiago when I arrived in the wrong part of the desert in Chile - there's Atacama and there's San Pedro de Atacama when looking for flight destinations. Even though I'm very well-travelled, I guess I'm still from a very small country! I finally landed in the right place and met the artists I've shared a home with for the last magical three weeks.
My time in Santiago has, despite a festive time with experiences and friends, offered a lot of introspection and inner process. I have encountered old sides of myself and my beliefs that needed to be dealt with and generally patterns that I needed to break away from. It has been a hard but important inner process that was taken to new heights in my residency.
During the journeys in the beautiful places in the desert, I noticed a very special energy. Or rather, more energies that helped me lift the processes I was already doing. Among the first days, I found artistic expression in it, seeing the many levels up towards the mountains and the skewed horizons I don't normally associate with desert landscapes. The Atacama is an ancient seabed, which makes nature and its resources endlessly fascinating. But what fascinated me the most was the locals' harmony with nature and the balance between the masculine and feminine energies. It was as if they found themselves in me too, as I broke away from old beliefs. And there is no more beautiful place to heal oneself than right there.
We artists each found our tools from the site as well as each our medium to work with throughout the stay. The days, in addition to trips into the wild, were spent in the garden for contemplation, around our large dining table or the bonfire - and when the rain came, we resided inside our shared house with hot tea and chatter. The magic was only lifted by sharing the experience with one another.
I was particularly fascinated by the local legend of Quimal, from which I created my artwork. The process was particularly interesting as I experienced a sudden anger settling in my body. Not over a specific thing, but in connection with my own insights and the confrontations in the wild nature, there were suddenly many elements, beliefs, patterns and even a lot of external factors around the imbalance in the masculine/feminine that became completely clear to me and kicked up an anger that needed to be felt and processed. Like so much, it was mostly about the untruths that I have taken in, unfiltered, during my life, and which now had to be lifted. I submitted to the experience and took my time until the time and energy called to let it go completely. That particular experience was very special - uplifting and overwhelming at the same time, but most of all so enormously liberating that I didn't even understand it was possible to feel so free and true. I have taken that back with me with so much joy.
Our residency culminated in an exhibition in San Pedro in a symphony of all our works in the finest premises in the middle of the city. It was so wonderful to see and experience through art what each of us had gone through during those weeks. Surreal too, because even though I try to write this and have journaled almost daily, there are no words for the experience. It had to be felt and can probably only be understood between us. It was almost like coming back from Hogwarts, as one of the others said when we landed in Santiago - I couldn't have said it better myself, and so I will end this post with deep gratitude and beautiful memories from my desert expedition.
Lots of love,