Artist in residence in Tavira

Casa 5 Artes, a not-for-profit, arts organisation in Tavira, hosted the artist, Natalie d’Arbeloff in January through to March as part of their artist in residence programme.  She took the opportunity to capture some of the everyday life of Tavira.  Café life, the Roman Bridge, street entertainers, were all studied and transferred onto paper.

During the final few days of her visit, Casa 5 hosted her exhibition, showing 35 images and a DVD which outlined the story of her 5 weeks.  The DVD showed her trying to engage with Tavira’s famous tin man and the white ghost like figure who regularly stands on the roman bridge.  There are also interviews with her Casa 5 hosts, Matthijs Leijenaar and Isabel Macieira.  The DVD is online and can be viewed here.

Natalie commented that there were “two works in pastel in my exhibition, the portraits of the directors of Casa 5, Matthijs Leijenaar and Isabel Macieira”.  “I used stencils in some of my monoprints.  All the rest of the work was in acrylics or watercolours and pencil”. 

Her blog, describes her thoughts and feelings as the exhibition approached.  Her comments on this site, confirm her belief that “every individual regardless of age, background or education has some unique creative ability which can be encouraged, developed and in some cases becomes the driving force in their lives”.  Her travels influence her art and she notes on her website:

“An image sometimes tells me what it’s about after it’s finished. I didn’t start this painting with any conscious intention but I had been pondering the different types of thought – the inspirational kind that flashes like sudden lightning – and the more reflective, measured kind that looks for patterns and causes in the past”.

Natalie was born in Paris and raised in South America, the USA and Europe.  She now lives in London in the UK. Her main site documents her life and interests, with images from Brighton to Luxor.  More images of her work and photos of Tavira life can be seen on her blog. 

Casa 5 Artes, artist in residence programme aims, to facilitate the artist’s interaction with the people of Tavira, which could be by giving a workshop or an exhibition of work which is a reflection of the town and the people.  Open for young artists from around the world they offer a work room, bedroom with bathroom, exhibition space in the Casa 5 gallery and full support in organising exhibitions, performances, events, and workshops.  Casa 5 will be hosting the Dutch artist, Loes Heebink in April.  She is a photographer who has an interest in the salt flats of Tavira. 

Casa 5 Artes is the idea of the two artists Isabel Macieira and Matthijs Leijenaar.  Isabel was born in Lisbon, in 1957.  She lived in Mozambique until 1974 and in Tavira since 1985.  One of her major works can be seen in the new Market in Tavira.  This is a metalwork commission created in 2002 for the Camara.  It is based on fish and underwater reflections. 

Matthijs was born in 1951 in Naarden, Netherlands and has made Tavira his home.  For him art is;
about looking.
“I draw a line or use color, look at it,
another line, color or ripped piece of paper, looking again,
a line over the other line, color over color, looking again,
I sit down and have a look from the other side, turn the canvas around, place it in different light, look again;  I search for the easiest solution, the one the eye can understand in one glimpse, without thoughts, like it was already there without ever noticing it; I’m uncovering it from layers, dig it up from deepdown.  And I keep looking.
The eye needs to be clear as if it was just born.

For the artlover it’s the same, the work is hanging on your wall and everytime you discover something that you didn’t see before, the eye is seeing something new. Like the relationship with that thin line and the colorfield next to it, or with this piece and the one on the other side. Or the different look in the morning, when the light is bright and your eye is clear”.

More details of their work can be found on the art in Tavira website.

For more information about the artist in residence programme consult the Casa 5 Artes website.

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