Jolijn de Wolf
YOU'VE GOT THE CLOCK BUT WE HAVE THE TIME
It is November 2011, a rainy day and I am leaving my hometown for an artist in residency. 8 hours later I am getting out of the airplane being welcomed by the warm and sunny climate of Suriname. The next two months I will be staying at the ARTCEB residency in Botopasi, a remote village in Suriname.
A little overwhelmed by the beautiful nature I arrive at the residency by boat. The house where the artists can stay is nice, very neat and clean. It is easy to feel at home.
Because the village is so remote, the living standard is pretty basic. Running water is not always available, there is only electric power from 19.00 – 23.00 hour and the food is simple. But I can’t say it bothers me, it makes me appreciate things at home more. Isidoor, the organiser of ARTCEB, is a very welcoming and warm person, who goes out of his way to arrange everything I need. It is good to have someone there who is familiar with the customs and social rules of the village.
Time in Botopasi seems to run on it’s own pace. Everybody is taking his or her time to get things done. Time seems to expand in this endless sea where there is plenty of room to contemplate, doing some inner research and making artwork. There is enough room to digest your thought processes by talking to the other artists in the residency. It is a lovely place to meet all sort of interesting people.
It is a unique experience to live and work among the local villagers. They are very welcoming and curious. Many children come to visit the working space to see what I and the other artists are doing. They also like to make some art themselves.
The surroundings are stunning. Outside the village there is only river and jungle. There are all kind of exotic trees, plants and animals. I found it a very inspiring environment, and I made work that I could not have made in my own country.
The last week I am staying in the main city, Paramaribo. Together with the other artist we bring a close to our working period with an exhibition in the great location “Fort Zeelandia”. At the day of my departure I feel a little sad, leaving the stunning nature and the beautiful people I met. But I also feel extremely happy with the experience I had and with the new direction my artwork has taken.
So, my conclusion: If you don’t care too much about luxury and like a little adventure, ARTCEB is a great place for a residency. It is the perfect opportunity to meet new people, redraw from the hectic daily life and to contemplate and reflect upon your artwork.
Jolijn de Wolf
ARTCEB residency 2011