SACI MFA in Studio Art student, Molly Di Grazia just returned to Italy from a residency in Spain that contributed greatly to her experience studying and making art while in Europe:
This July, I was fortunate to have been given the chance to spend three weeks at Can Serrat Centro de Actividades Artisticas in Catalonia, Spain. Located in an 18th century farmhouse in the foothills of the Montserrat mountains. Can Serrat has been run as an artist residency for over two decades and hosts up to ten international visual artists and writers at a time, eight months out of each year. Artists are free to work independently throughout the day, coming together in the evening for dinner and creating a good balance of solitude and community.
I had proposed a project based on the mountain as a holy site as described in the medieval epic ‘Parzival’ by Wolfram von Eschenbach and embodied in the monastery which houses the famous Black Madonna of Montserrat. Throughout my stay I researched the myths embedded in the landscape, producing a number of drawings influenced by the walks I took in the mountain. I also collaborated with another artist on a photo project due to our mutual investigation of the spiritual significance of the area. My studio work culminated in several series’ of monotypes and a multimedia installation piece which was included in an exhibition held in the nearby town of El Bruc.
Having the time and space to concentrate solely on my practice allowed me to saturate myself in the ideas I had and explore them from many angles in dialogue with other artists. I plan to continue working with some of the themes that arose during this residency and hope to experience more like it in the future!