Back to Basics
residency program
Melanie Holterman
Wisconsin, USA

Drawing, Painting, Writing


"In the beginning, everything already was."

Melanie Holterman is a multimedia artist; painting, drawing, sculpting and audio. Her work acknowledges the mundane miracles that surround us; roots shooting from a seed, the pulse of a tree. Her visual approach is rooted in organic symmetry and biotic textures, while her sonic approach is an exploration of merging sound sampling with modern sonic programs to create experimental songs and sonic landscapes. Her practice is supported by the intention of introducing and reintroducing the self to the divine life force that supports us and to find humility in its presence.
Jeevan Narney
Oro Valley, USA


"Poetry used to be coolant for dragon bodies."

I’m an Indian American adoptee poet. I’ve lived in three countries and studied briefly in one. I consider myself a nomadic writer who wends global paths. Right now, I’m working on my first book of poems on adoption, which focuses on what it means to be raised by a mother who actually grew up in India, the place of my birth. This has challenged my poetics of adoption and has complicated my curiosity of my own heritage in ways via conversations with my mother and my other family members. The way I write poems is by intense obsessive thinking of specific memories until I assemble it like an egg again, but just the shell, I, being the bird returning to my own ordinary history. Memories are never told the same way by anyone, and I know that my perspective is one dimension. Poems are like that. I aim to do that with caution, knowing that I have a respongggsibility to render memory transformative no matter the joy or pain. The thesis of this project is to almost be as spare about what is worth saying. Editing will feel like an investigation of the spirit of this project’s final say—mercy.
Amy Fredericks
USA / France

writing, Painting

"She would like to co-create, share, and remember experience as immeasurable, ephemeral, embodied, and ever-changing."

Her art explores the relational components of the body, emotions, mind, and phenomena to discover and relate to the self/other and inner/outer and an inquiry into the process of expressing and transcending the egoic experience. She used to work professionally in conflict resolution, trauma recovery, and epidemiology. A diagnosis of social anxiety in 2018 prompted a journey to confront themes of fear and love since childhood and at present-moment experience—of separation and connection—of boundlessness and limitation—and that of non-duality. She would like to transpose her writing to painting. She likes to practice caring for human and non-human animals, the earth, the heart, and to encounter the boundlessness and wisdom in love and curiosity.

Hitomi Matsudo
Chiba , Japan

Landscape & Garden design, Scenography


"Garden is a comprehensive art. Just be quiet in garden, and enjoy what this world has to show us."

I am a landscape designer based in Japan. I studied architecture and urban planning at Waseda University Art and Architecture School. The main job now is to design the garden and landscape.

I am always looking for the ideal balance between nature and man-made. I am also very interested in the separation of humans and other creatures, or the way they live together.

The garden is a comprehensive art and attracts us with sound, passage of time, temperature, color, fine shape, and especially light. I want to maximize its beauty with a very small artificial operation.
Arran Gregory
London, UK



"Observing our relationship to the natural world"

Arran Gregory is a multifaceted artist and sculptor observing the natural world through the interplay of geometry, shape, and line. His works are a curious exploration of our existence within nature, using materials such as wood, mirror and earth to question this ever evolving relationship.
Alice Lockhart
London, England

Illustration, Painting, Drawing


Alice Lockhart studied illustration at Falmouth University where she graduated in 2022. She then went on to study at the Royal Drawing School where she graduated in 2023. Influenced by her interest in storytelling, her work weaves together imagery from dreams, memories and observations to create an imaginal space which is both familiar and yet deeply strange.
Anika Hochstenbach

Painting, drawing


"Portraying myself or my loved ones allows me to feel at home with myself or the people around me."

In my paintings and drawings, I focus on the body or shapes that symbolize the body. I aim to create images that convey different experiences of the body, such as alienation or, on the contrary, admiration. I find the idea of the body moving through the world interesting; how it relates to the things it encounters, such as nature or other bodies. While creating, I try to capture as many details of the body as possible. The folds and colors of the skin create an interesting landscape to wander through.

Everyone has a body, but not everyone feels at home in it. Portraying myself or my loved ones allows me to feel at home with myself or the people around me. I follow the curve of their ears or stroke their skin on the canvas. Getting to grips with all these forms allows me to express appreciation for them. Shapes that I find difficult on myself I can view through a different lens.

I like to give the viewer of my work an opportunity to get close and study the body of another without being looked back at. To be curious towards the other.
Ynne De Wever
Ostend, Belgium

Collage, Photography, Writing


"Where melancholy and playfulness meet, that's where I want to be"

Ynne is a multidisciplinary visual artist, writer and snippet enthusiast. A wild collector, she obsessively grabs images of what surrounds her; thus, she builds an archive of snapshots. She glues melancholy with playfulness and searches for the intersections of these extremes. She pours her daily life into words, writings and images. And that to grasp them, dwell on them and let them penetrate. But sometimes simply to relive them.
Hannah Fhaye Oliver
San Francisco, California, USA

Performance Art, Social Practice, Writing


Hannah Fhaye Oliver is a San Francisco based performance artist, social practitioner, writer, researcher and community activist. She is a current dual degree MFA & VCS graduate student at California College of the Arts and received her BFA in New Genres & Photography at SFAI. Her interests include mind body healing, improvisational & somatic movement, public engaging artwork, power in vulnerability, and exploring present moments. Living and art making are integrated entirely in her practice. She believes that raw interpersonal experiences are a way for us to remain human and remind us what kind of magic we can brew up when we come together.
Rachel Leah Cohn
Indianapolis, USA

Sculpture, Installation, Painting


My projects often attempt to give a physical form to something that is ephemeral, through painting, sculpture and installation. Recently, I lived in the desert where I was building lamps simulating mirages as an analog for memory and loss. Lately my research has been focused on mysticism, rituals and protective magic.
Courtney Mason

Edit, explore, engage


I am a writer and civil engineer living and working on Kaurna land in Adelaide, South Australia.

My current work explores the impacts of artificial intelligence upon contemporary relationships and the evolving dynamics of human connection in an increasingly digital society.

I aim to create entertaining stories about science and technology that construct spaces where the general public can enjoy, understand and engage in fluid discourse concerning STEM and its influence on our rapidly evolving world.

Can I capture your attention to make you:
Yves Arcand
Montréal, Québec, Canada



As a visual artist from the French speaking province of Québec in Canada, I completed a BFA and an MFA specialized in fine art photography. After teaching photography in a professional program for more than 30 years, I can now fully dedicate myself to artistic creation. This is the center of my life. My main subject of interest is the nature/culture problematic in visual arts, the complex and dynamic relationship between human societies (culture) and the natural environment. With a variety of photographic projects and processes, I emphasize the different interactions between nature, or what we can assume as such, and the human apprehension of territories. How do humans perceive nature, use it, abuse it or are re-energized by it. I visually explore a number of these issues.
Yahsuan Yu

Composing, Producing, Cello


Yahsuan mainly works as a film music composer, and she's also a songwriter and music producer. Making music which helps telling stories for films is her greatest passion. She has made music for award-winning short films. She also worked as an instrumentalist who has played in various shows including international music festivals such as Phoenix Music Festival in Qingdao.

Knowing different styles of music, Yahsuan values the balance in her music. Her music mainly tells stories of people around her.
Emily Levang
Duluth, Minnesota, USA



"Envisioning humans caring for our Earth-body // We are the Earth-body"

Emily Levang is an essayist and poet. Her work evokes our human interconnectedness with the elements, and invites us to deepen our relationship with nature. It is through this love that we can each find our unique way of being in reciprocity and care with the living world.

Currently, Emily’s writing focuses on the Lake Superior watershed, which holds 10% of our entire world’s fresh surface water. Growing up in the woods near the headwaters of the Great Lakes, this place was Emily’s friend and teacher. As an adult, she experienced how our relationships with nature are so often severed. She was called to begin unraveling internal patterns of colonization, and to reestablish intimacy with the living world, both lifelong practices.

Emily lives in Duluth, Minnesota, on Anishinaabe and Dakota land. Emily is a co-founder and the communications manager for the Rights of Nature group, Waankam: People for the Estuary, which raises awareness about the St. Louis River Estuary’s inherent right to exist, thrive, flourish, and regenerate. This body of water — Gitchi-gami-Ziibi—is the largest tributary to Lake Superior, and is vitally important both ecologically and spiritually. Her work is a prayer for a world that is just and thriving.
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