I was excited to host the first formal residency with artists other than myself – a chance to test the waters with 3 fabulous women who I’ve known and admired for years. Margaret Bellafiore, n.noon coda and Sarah Butler Peck were incredible guests. The one request made of me: coffee by 7 AM. I did it! Everyone loved the food – yes! The weather was fine, the creativity flowed and thoughtfully meticulous, site-responsive work happened.
Truly wondrous was the infectious spirit of collaboration that permeated each day. Everyone’s work came together with assistance and input from others in the group. It was amazing to witness!
Scroll down for slide shows of each artist’s work and process and step into their world and the land.
Only Sunlight Can Penetrate the Forest – Artist: Margaret Bellafiore / Photos: Margaret Bellafiore and Catherine Tutter
“After arriving at Zelený Les, I was immediately transported to a different time and place. As we toured the property, we were told stories about Catherine Tutter’s childhood there and about the lives of her mother and father Antonín and Adele. I was amazed to learn of the number of trees that Antonín had planted. Later, I saw in a book about the Czech woodlands just how close he came to transforming his farm to resemble his former homeland. One story told was about his smuggling tree seedlings in his socks from Czechoslovakia to the farm. My piece is a response to this story and his dedication to the land.” ♦ ♦
n. noon coda
Tutter’s Wood | Untitled (sky sketch) | Untitled (sense series) – Artist: n. noon coda / Photos: Margaret Bellafiore and Catherine Tutter
“Touring the property at Zelený Les on the first day of residency was impressive. When we reached the forest, much of it planted by Antonin Tutter, Catherine’s father, I was struck by the density and regularity of the trees. It felt enchanted – deep and dark. Sweeping just one of the many long trails in these woods for three days resulted in Tutter’s Wood, a piece that attempts to convey a sense of reverence. In the thickness of this forest only patches of sunlight and sky were visible. Marking specific trees with a bit of blue for Skysketch attempts to address that reduced visibility and bring a degree of attention and, I hoped, delight to these tall, quiet witnesses.
The Tutter property is also blessed with an abundance of water. Kidd Brook runs through the entire property. A large spring fed pond, multiple natural springs, and the occasional rainfall grace the land. The experiment of Earpiece was partially inspired by all the waters, as well as a concept of sound/no sound.
Though arriving at Zelený Les Artist Residency without expectations or materials, hearing Catherine’s stories about her parents, Antonin and Adele, and spending time on the family’s property formed a connection to their lives and their land.” ♦ ♦
Sarah Butler Peck
Mother’s Milk – Artist: Sarah Butler Peck / Photos: Sarah Butler Peck and Catherine Tutter
“A striking written narrative of the property’s history was provided to us during our time at Zelený Les. It was comprised of interviews and reflections on the many uses, transitions, identities, and ownerships the land had moved through since the 1800s. At one time a working dairy farm, at another a forest of pole pines for harvesting, and finally a haven for the Tutter family. I was inspired by the overlapping physical evidence of these histories that remain (to this day) a part of the property’s landscape. I chose a place to work which embodied these intersections of time, ownership, and use. An ancient ash tree, a stone wall, a wood of plantation stand pines, and a path cut by Catherine’s family were the site of Mother’s Milk– a temporary installation using small glass bottles, powdered milk, brook water, and monofilament.” ♦ ♦