KAMEN Artist Residency
KAMEN Artist Residency (Bosnia and Herzegovina) is a residency program for artistic research and art production, located in the rural valley by Bileća lake. They provide the opportunity for artists to live and work in proximity with one another while engaging in collaborative or solo projects. They are interested in the exchange between people, ideas, methodologies and disciplines, in connection with the region in which we are located. KAMEN aims to be a place for learning from nature, history, daily practice and each other. As well, KAMEN is suitable as a place for retreat, experimentation, studio work, research or writing, and spending time with a specific focus.
KAMEN welcomes artists, curators, academics, etc. across a wide range of specializations, disciplines and practices – especially those engaged in artistic experimentation. Residents of all ages, ethnic backgrounds and genders are welcome, at different stages of their career.
The residency building consists of two floors with four private living areas, four studios and communal spaces. As well, there are a number of half-open outdoor working spaces around the residency building. They host a maximum of 4 residents at a time, allowing every resident plenty of private space.
KAMEN assists residents in making meaningful connections and engaging in intercultural collaborations with our diverse network of partners, collaborators and contacts, as appropriate to each resident’s particular interests. Among our growing network of local constituencies, cultural institutions, art associations and scientific/research projects are: Gallery KC, located in the nearby city of Trebinje, which houses multiple floors including gallery spaces, a theatre stage and cinema; the Academy of Fine Arts; the Museum of Herzegovina and its team of anthropologists, ethnologists and archeologists; the Devon Karst Research Society, which has been collecting data on the region’s underground cave structures and its life for over twenty years. As well, we work with several smaller associations such as traditional craft practitioners (weaving, crochet, embroidery), singers, dancers, musical instrument builders, and more.
KAMEN is not outcome-oriented and they don’t oblige residency projects to any determined output. They do however extend an open invitation to residents to hold a presentation near the end of their stay, as an opportunity to share their work or process with an audience. This can be in whatever format, scale and circumstance is preferable to the resident. KAMEN can facilitate exhibitions, presentations, screenings, workshops etc. to be held at a number of institutional, alternative or public spaces such as the Cultural Center in Trebinje. Furthermore, they enjoy it when residents leave us a contribution to our growing KAMEN library/archive, for instance by materializing their work-in-progress into printed matter (e.g. an art book, research/field notes, a scrapbook etc.), especially as local printing services are rather inexpensive.
Studios are suitable for various disciplines, from writing to video-editing and sculpture. They also have multiple outdoor spaces that are particularly suitable for working en plein air.
- 2 private large studios (~30 m2 each)
- Communal working space (~60 m2)
- Various half-open outdoor studio spaces.
All studios are furnished, basic studio tools and drawing materials are provided, as well as a selection of equipment for artists working with video (if they are trained to used it). Artists are encouraged to work with local materials (stone, wood, natural materials etc. from the region). If any specialized art-materials are needed, artists are advised to bring it, 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. We provide living and working spaces for four artists at a time, to each have access to private rooms and bathroom facilities, private and shared working spaces, and shared living areas: kitchen, living room and outdoor terraces.
KAMEN is located in the small village of Orah that is home to just a few families, right at the Bileća lake in Bosnia-Herzegovina. They look out over the lake, without neighbors to the right and left of us. Behind KAMEN lies a 14th century Orthodox monastery, where nuns practice icon painting and hold daily services.
At KAMEN, in the day-to-day, they live with what the seasons bring us and focus on creating self-sustaining and regenerative circumstances for the community and landscape in which we are situated. The orchard and vegetable garden bear an abundance of produce, from which they eat daily and enjoy making preserves, compotes, liquors etc. Aside from what we grow, much of the food is purchased from local vendors.
The landscape and region surrounding KAMEN is flourishing with ecological, geological, archeological, cultural and historical specificity. The soil is made up of water-soluble lime stone, filling the region with natural springs, underground rivers, caves and endemic species and ecologies. When Bileća lake was constructed in 1968 to provide hydroelectric power to the region, five ancient villages were flooded, including even a Roman era villa. In the summertime, when the water level drastically lowers, these ruins appear and it becomes possible to stroll through a sunken past. The region also includes impressive prehistoric sites from different historical ages, stone-house villages, cultural ceremonies, traditional crafts, museums and socio-political sites of interest.