KAMEN Artist Residency
KAMEN Artist Residency is an independent artist-run residency program and non-profit organization, initiated to provide space for artists to live and work in proximity, and engage in collaborative or solo projects. KAMEN is interested in the exchange between people, ideas, methodologies and disciplines - bridging diverse practices and interconnecting in a variety of ways. As well, KAMEN is suitable as a place for retreat, experimentation and practice, to work on the production of artworks, perform research or write, and spend a time of specific focus. KAMEN welcomes artists, curators, and academics across a wide range of specializations; for example, artists working with performative practices, filmmaking and writing, historical and sociopolitical research, work that activates studies of mythology, anthropology, religion studies, environmental issues, ecology and so on. Artists and researchers of all ages, ethnic backgrounds and genders are welcome, at different stages in their artistic career, and across all disciplines.
The residency is focused on creating self-sustaining and regenerative circumstances, for both the community and the landscape as a whole. For instance, they have a grey water system installed from which they water the gardens. The fruit orchard and vegetable garden bear an abundance of produce, from which they love to make compotes and liquors, and eat most of the daily meals. Aside from what they grow, nearly all other food that is consumes is organic or purchased from local vendors.
The KAMEN building consists of two floors: four private living areas, four studios and communal spaces. As well, around the residency building, they have created a number of half-open working spaces that can be used for outdoor working.
Partners: KAMEN assists resident-fellows in making meaningful connections and engaging in intercultural collaborations with a diversity of local constituencies, as appropriate to each artist’s discipline and particular interests. KAMEN has been forming collaborations with different local groups, cultural institutions, art associations and projects. At this point they have several art institutional partners in Trebinje, the closest city, just 15 km from Orah: Gallery KC, which houses multiple floors of gallery spaces, theatre stages and a cinema; the Academy of Fine Arts, and the Museum of Herzegovina, with its team of anthropologists, ethnologists and archeologists.
They are also close with the Devon Karst Research Society, in support of their "Proteus Project in the Trebišnjica River Basin". Together with international environmental scientists, biologists, speleologists and volunteers, the Devon Karst Research Society has been collecting data on the region’s underground cave structures, water springs and their fauna species for over twenty years. The region’s iconic karst geology, marked by its water-soluble lime-stone and underground rivers, has been rigorously mapped by this group of passionate researchers. As well, they work with several smaller associations, for instance, those that practice traditional craft (weaving, crochet, embroidery), singing, dancing and manufacturing musical instruments, as well as the local mountaineering society and geologists.
KAMEN’s residents are encouraged to engage or collaborate with these local communities in whatever way is pertinent to their project.
KAMEN encourages an outcome to the time spent at the residency, however, they are by no means outcome-oriented. Each participant is invited to hold a public presentation, in any preferred format, scale and environment, at the end of their residency period. KAMEN facilitates exhibitions, presentations and screenings to be held at a number of institutional, alternative or public spaces, in collaboration with KC gallery. Residents can also hold a lecture, master-class, or workshop for Academy of Fine Arts students in Trebinje.
Studios are suitable for various disciplines, from writing to sculpting. If needed, one of the studios can be transformed into a video-editing room. They also have multiple outdoor spaces that are suitable for working en plein air.
- 2 private large studios (60 m2)
- Communal working space (~100 m2), with 2 large tables
- Outside: various half-open spaces around the building and on the property, equipped with tables and chairs
Artists are encouraged to work with local materials (stone, wood, natural materials to be gleaned in the region). Basic tools and drawing materials are provided. They also provide a selection of equipment for artists working with video. If any specialized art-materials are needed, artists are advised to bring it themselves, as the art supply stores in the vicinity do not carry non-standard materials.
The residency building is newly built, surrounded by large private grounds that reach out to the lake. It provides living and working spaces for four artists at a time, to each have access to private rooms, private and shared working spaces, and the shared living areas: the kitchen, living rooms, dining room, bathrooms, outdoor terraces, and gardens.
- 4 private rooms, with wooden floors and large windows. Included are beds, a closet, table and chair.
- 1 small room for guests-professionals interested in connecting with KAMEN (maximum three nights).
- Easel (1x), drawing tables, basic tools and materials for drawing
- Video projector (1x)
- Media player (3x)
- LCD screen (1x)
- iMac with Adobe suite
KAMEN is located in a quiet rural area of Orah, a village that is home to just a few families, right at the Bileća Lake in Bosnia-Herzegovina. KAMEN neighbors a 14th century Orthodox monastery, where nuns practice the craft of painting icons and hold daily services. The residency building indeed overlooks the gorgeous Bileća lake, which was artificially formed in 1968, flooding five villages, including houses, graveyards, and even the remains of a Roman villa complete with floor mosaics. In the summertime when the water level drastically lowers, the ruins of these flooded villages emerge, and are possible to stroll through. Two small islands in the center of the lake then also become hills that can be reached on foot.