Playhouse Arts Residency, Tasarte. Week 1/5

A year in the planning with fellow artist and sister Ekua Bayunu, we were joined by other creatives during the 5 week artists retreat in the tranquil farming valley of Tasarte, in South Western Gran Canaria. Here is 1 of 5 blog entries taking you on a visual journey of each week.

Week 1.

Needing and finding safety.

Settling in, grounding.

Why am I here again?

Plans out the window, welcome in self care.

Curious and exploring with my inner child.

City ‘being’ meets nature.

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This is part of the beach where we played most days. Atlantic ocean and pebbles galore!

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Beautiful rock escarpments at Playa de Tasarte 15mins walk from our home. The colours change in different light.

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The colours, shapes, textures or the rock faces are breathtakingly beautiful. Inspiring as and of themselves!

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My playtime on the beach consisted mostly of arranging pebbles in various ways. It was delightful to see other visitors doing the same. There was always a scattering of pebble towers built up along the beach. Andy Goldsworthy will be proud!
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Black sand. BLACK SAND!!! My first time visiting a black sand beach. Its made of miniature gems and jewels. Very coarse so difficult to sand sculpt but i did my best!
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Black sand sculptures, totems to the past gazing out across the Atlantic.

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As I played on the beach (yes that’s me! Photo credit: Ekua Bayunu) I thought of past times, whether my ancestors caught sight of these islands – or even swam to them in the hope to escape  – as they were shipped across the Atlantic. This ocean holds many, many stories.

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Rainbow over the farmhouse, our residency home. I had to get used to the geography of the valley, now used to living opposite a flat dune. Im not used to waiting until 11am before I see the sun!
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The land itself brought many growth opportunities. On one stroll around the farm, I found a rusty abandoned pickaxe. I picked it up and enjoyed the weight of it in my arms. The child in me screamed “Lets dig a hole!” so I did. City boffin that I am, I’ve never used a pickaxe before. I improvised an empty tin can and bit of rock as additional tools. As I dug, it felt grounding and the well of creativity in me began to flow…
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I found myself very drawn to the rugged, rough, dead/decaying flora of the landscape. Feeling an affinity i think with their harsh tough prickly exterior. Armoured protection against the harsh environment. Yet inside still lies the potential of growth in their seeds.
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I learned that there is beauty in decay. This dead aloe had colours on it like a mother-of-pearl! I saw pinks and blues resonating from its ragged dried carcass when i hung it in the light.
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Can a dead plant become an artists muse?! I had a special relationship with this dead aloe…
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The dead aloe plant took on the role of a kind of talisman as I went about responding to the environment.
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We were well fed in Playa de Taste! The local tomato and garlic salad was delicious! As a vegan there was still a lot of the local fare to enjoy.
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The evening star (bright spot in top right of picture) greeted us each dusk as the sun melted on the horizon. Is there such as thing as watching too many sunsets? Naaah!

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