In a globalised world, often responsible for the acculturation of smaller and peripheral regions, one can also identify bridges, share knowledge and shorten distances. It is a place where the art world has changed from centralised to multipolar, and where non-central situations can find specific ways of affirmation and intervention. It is actually the process of globalisation that makes these diverse and scattered artistic productions visible and notorious.
In recent years, art residencies have proliferated throughout the world, in a wide variety of approaches, objectives and conditions. However, most of them seem to share the common goal of becoming more open, experimental and transcultural spaces for artistic creation, free from the pressure factors artists normally find themselves under. In remote communities, artists are not only placed in new environments and social contexts, but are also offered time and distance from their own work. It is a place to share, re-evaluate and experiment, where substantial leaps can be made in a short period of time.
Since 2015, Luis Bernardo has run this art residency program in a 400 year old estate, in the Azores archipelago, in Portugal. Pico do Refúgio, has served as a creative platform for dozens of artists from the most distinct areas and nationalities. Perpetuating the artistic past of this place, specially while the farm was home of sculptress Luisa Constantina, our Art Residency program is dedicated to support national and international artists on their research and work in the Azores, promoting contemporary art locally. Through its artist residents, and their work, this program has also accomplished the goal of promoting the Azores worldwide, not only as a great destination for nature, sustainability and cultural heritage but also a place where one can find an emerging and thriving contemporary art scene.
These residencies take place mainly from November to March, each year. In average, they last four weeks each. During this period it is given total freedom for the artists to work on their own projects. The goal is to provide them with time for reflection, research and production. It is also important to promote transdisciplinary approaches and genuine relationships with the territory, the local materials and the local community.