07/22/2015 Starting from zero

Raquel Paiewonsky at Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin

My experience in Berlin at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin

Moving around and getting to experience new places is definitely a mayor plus in anyone’s life. For an artist is a most; it is unquestionably an exercise of mental/creative health.
Having the possibility of seeing and understanding a whole new scenario and culture, and to play with the new possibilities it brings to our understanding of life is a real treat. Not to mention the infinite benefit that one gets stepping away from our own reality for a while and putting in perspective everything that we hate and love about it!

Living in Berlin during a three months residency program granted by Davidoff Art Initiative (DAI) was certainly an amazing experience.
Being able to produce work in a bright, large, empty art studio at Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin was a super! I loved working in a space without the piles of books, objects and supplies that I have collected through the years in my own studio.
It was very refreshing to start from zero, finding stuff in the flea markets and vintage stores and having the challenge of figuring out this new dialogue with the city. Very cool way to get to know a town.

Just the continental experience itself was quite exciting. The sense of mobility and travel possibility, when coming from an insular reality like mine, is quite an expansive feeling that I always enjoy.

Upon my arrival, the history of Berlin really stroke me; it felt very much alive and close in time, so there was an immediate place of interest for me, that soon became the motto of one of the installation works produced there. However, I soon discovered a metropolis of many layers that does not reveal everything at once; with time I was able to find so many treasures.

Museums, galleries, independent art spaces and artists were everywhere, so it was very interesting for me to experience a diverse art system that operates from a centralized position with many resources and connections. It really helped me understand how every art community in the world should define and live by their own model of operation based on their particular needs and not on what’s established.

It was also wonderful to make new friends and meet artists from very diverse background and practice, see how they function in their own environments and learn how we really face similar challenges everywhere.

This extraordinary trimester of my life was a very productive one. It allowed me to take a step back, look at the grand scheme of things and totally recharge my batteries. Since I have been back in my studio and I am bursting with energy for new work.

Setting up "Mauer" in her residency studio. Berlin, 2015

Setting up "Mauer" in her residency studio. Berlin, 2015

Hand embroidered fabric Brick, Part of "Mauer" installation. 2016

Hand embroidered fabric Brick, Part of "Mauer" installation. 2016

“Scapes” 6, 2015. Series of mixed media collages on aged traditional landscapes, Variable dimensions.

“Scapes” 6, 2015. Series of mixed media collages on aged traditional landscapes, Variable dimensions.