Words from visual artist Miya Ando on the residency experience at Marble House Project.
I was very lucky to be invited to participate in The Quarry At Marble House Project residency this past July 2014. My experience was magical. To have the opportunity to live and work in the beautiful setting of the Green Mountains in Vermont, surrounded by the trees, the stones and the company of other artists was a dream. During my time there, I executed a study for an idea that I had been wanting to put forth for many years: Shou Sugi Ban (Charred Wood). The Buddhist Temple I was raised in, in Japan was clad in Shou Sugi Ban and I had an idea for creating a large-scale installation art piece with the material.
I found some Vermont Maple wood in the local lumber yard and one evening after one of our ‘family dinners’ with the other residents, I charred the wood in the embers of the fire we had used to cook our delicious, farm-harvested meal. It is such a sweet memory to recall the other residents and I laughing while I used Bar-B-Que tongs to carefully char and then quench the wood. Three months later, I had a solo exhibition in New York at Sundaram Tagore Gallery. The exhibition was titled ‘Kisetsu’ (Seasons) and I created a large-scale installtion piece; a room clad in Shou Sugi Ban with a large (462 x 72 inches) contiguous painting on the inside walls. I titled this piece ‘Ku’ (Emptiness The Sky). This installation piece was then selected to be exhibited during the 2015 Venice Biennale.
“Marble House Project is an incredibly warm and meditative environment. It really is like a monastic retreat but with creature comforts so that the entire focus can be on your work. The house itself is a treasure trove and the whole estate gives you the feeling of being tied to history and people who worked the land.”
– Rachel Mason, 2015 visual artist in residence
“The gardens, stones, and springtime wildlife at Marble House Project provided both solitude and community for my writing project. Its rich cultural history and wonderfully eclectic libraries lent themselves to my research and poetry on a daily basis, and I am very grateful.”
– Emily Vizzo, 2015 poet in residence
“Our work is suffused with material from our residency at the Marble House Project. The environment itself further deepened the sensory focus of our choreographic process. Through daily outdoor improvisations, we developed the textured and rich movement vocabulary of our new work all i have are sensations.”
– Dages Juvelier Keates and Erin Cairns Cella, 2015 dancers/choreographers in residence