Two months living and working as an artist in Santa Cruz is a rare experience for many, even more so for someone from as far away as Australia.  When I first read the e-mail from Kiosko that invited me to participate in the artists residency program, I knew the experience was going to have a big impact on my work. 

Firstly I work spatially, I draw a lot of inspiration from the architecture and surrounding environment, and secondly my choice of materials are integral to the outcome of the work and these two important aspects were about to change drastically. 

During the first month of the residency, I explored the city of Santa Cruz a lot, taking pictures of architecture and reading about the Chiquitania.  It was a pleasure to get lost amongst the rings of the city and labyrinth’s of markets, and experience a fusion of architectural styles, and amongst all I observed that there was an order to what at first appeared to be absolute disorder.  I observed an incredible dedication to detail in the form patterning in the coloured tiles and in the various gates, which protect the houses.  As I discovered the city, I also was constantly on the look out for materials with the idea in mind to construct an installation drawing from my impression of the city.

The original idea for the project was to reinterpret a series of windows, I collected images of amongst others, colonial, baroque, gothic windows from Santa Cruz and other cities, and made some initial studies in the form of collages, in a way that fused the architectural styles, and experimented with abstraction.  From these initial studies I began to think about how I could construct a spatial collage in the Sala Simple using origami boxes, wooden cubes, material and shadow to produce an environment that explored contained and un-contained space, patterning and celebrated the beauty of the materials.

I choose I palette of colours, pink, orange, yellow and black.  I would say the strange experience of Carnival in Santa Cruz influenced the decision to combine such garish colours with an impact of celebration and fiesta.

Most of my two months was spend preparing materials and objects to create the installation and in the two final weeks, I combined all these elements together in the space of Sala Simple.  It was an incredibly interesting and rewarding experience, not to mention challenging as the time restraints forced me to work faster than I usually do.

However the opportunity to focus solely on my art practise for 2 months have produced the beginning of further investigations that I plan to continue once back in Australia.

Finally I would like to add I knew I was coming to Santa Cruz to make artwork and develop my art practice however I never could have imagined that I would meet so many inspiring artists and designers and make such special friendships, for this I am incredibly grateful.

Lisa Farklan