March - April 2018
The opportunity offered to me from the Event Horizon was unforgettable. I was in Fourni village and Neapolis town for one month with my partner. We rented accommodation in two amazing locations that are part of the Event Horizon residency, the Wind Mill and the Gypsy Caravan. Both locations are just amazing, with strong character and particular design. They are both close to the real people of Crete, where it is possible to experience the local life and listen the prophetic prayers of the orthodox church. Sheep, wine, and sun are completing the panorama which is really inspiring. This life far from the frenetic rhythm has re-connected me with the power of nature and with the old traditions of this land. The studio was comfortable for me since I had the opportunity to work on large projects, like paintings and installation. Julienne helped me with her feedback and material advice as well where to find the necessary tools for my research. She organized for me also a small vernissage where some of the local artists and some inspiring persons gathered, so we could discuss about my works and about the beautiful life in Crete. I suggest Event Horizon to all artists who need shake themselves with an experience with the beautiful simplicity of this place and the power of this beautiful nature.
May - June 2018
Michael Perrone and Mariah Dekkenga
What can I say… Event Horizon, Neapolis, Crete are all just amazing. As is the founder of the residency and our host - Julienne. We (my wife and I), had wonderful residency and visit to this most beautiful region of Greece! The residency building is itself a work of art… four shipping containers, smartly arranged to create a light filled, breezy space, that is also ecologically minded and efficient. The land around the building(s) is magnificent! several acres of olive trees, wild flowers and brush, along with spectacular mountain views. It was truly heaven on earth. Julienne is a true professional… an intelligent thoughtful artist, who is eager to assist in any way that she can. While there, I learned many things, including proper wood chiseling techniques (which I put to good use carving a walking stick)! Many conversations about the nature of art and making were had, and, during our visit, Julienne truly became our friend for life. Together we discussed the nature of ’the artist residency’ and concluded that a true residency is exactly that - a residency. Meaning that a visiting artist is not only in residency in the studio, but also within the town, city, country and culture. We explored all of these areas during our residency… met wonderful people, both from Greece and from afar. Locals, friends, and other visitors… just amazing people and an amazing place… I can’t recommend it highly enough! We think of our time on Crete with Julienne and her friends every day.
From the moment I set foot in Neapolis town I felt the comradely in the community. Without saying it, there was a sense of family, a sense of how nothing yet everything belonged to the individuals in community. From mezze plates, to raki, to fava, much of the dining culture is based on conversation and finding ways to engage. As someone who was born and raised in New York, it was rejuvenating to be surrounded by people who were so present with one another. This idea of being intimately and profoundly known, seen and heard is deeply ingrained into the culture of the Cretan people.
I was staying in the beautiful Windmill, renovated by Julienne, and was amazed at the thought and attention catered to every part of the home. For me as an artist, it felt like living in my own private, cozy museum. In the mornings, I was able to write on the balcony with an overview of the mountains and people moving about their day until Julienne would pick me up at about 1:00 p.m. to begin our venture for that day. At Event Horizon Studios I would take a walk about a mile or two while enjoying mingling with the sheep and having moments to witness the olive trees and the different types of life that existed on the hike. Julienne and I also were able to walk to the abandoned lighthouse and bask in a breathtaking scene of solitude and serenity. For snacks, we would eat oranges that were picked from the trees. In that way, it felt like home and a closeness to the earth, an understanding of her majestic presence and the opportunity to set food in her haven.
What I understood about my residency, is that it made me undone. It put me in a position to ask existential questions that force me to understand my place in the world and my capability of my future. Before, I would ask the question, “Is it possible?” In Neapolis, I was empowered to ask, “Is anything impossible?” The gracious host Julienne, among our drives, would tell me: “Ramya, I want you to stop thinking of yourself as a second-class citizen and consider yourself first.” From the way Neapolis treated each other, to the meaningful honest, fulfilling and funny conversations with Julienne- I could feel a sense of myself and have a clear vision that art needs to first fulfill the artist before it is given for the world to experience. In terms of fulfillment: the artist has the right to use its creativity as an incentive to heal, finding meaning, and make sense of the world and its functions. What Crete introduced me to was this profound notion that the artist is more than a commodity to be consumed - but rather the artist must always do the work of preserving and protecting the most sacred parts of themselves. In doing that, the art will always, and almost expectantly, flow.