Saturday, June 14

MEET THE WRITER: VIKRAM KAPUR

We are very happy to welcome Vikram in residency at Can Serrat this month!




Vikram Kapur’s short stories and nonfiction have been accepted or published in a number of publications in India, the United Kingdom and the United States which include, among others, Wasafiri, Litro, Ambit, the Dublin Quarterly, New Writing, Driftwood, The Times of India, The Hindu, Frontline, Firstpost and The Pioneer.  

His short stories have been shortlisted or longlisted in a number of international competitions, including, among others, the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, the Fish International Short Story Prize, the Summer Literary Seminars Short Fiction Contest, the Aesthetica Annual Creative Works Competition and the Radiobooks Short Story Prize.  They have also been broadcast internationally over the radio.  He is the author of two critically-acclaimed novels, Time Is a Fire and The Wages of Life.  For his writing, he has received a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, a Breadloaf scholarship and a Wesleyan scholarship.

He has a PhD in creative and critical writing from the University of East Anglia, where he received the India-Africa bursary. He is currently Associate Professor of English at Shiv Nadar University.

His website is www.vikramkapur.com

Tuesday, May 20

INTRODUCING THE WINNER OF THE FEBRUARY 2014 WRITER FULL STIPEND

We are proud to announce the winner of the Can Serrat February 2014 Writer Full Stipend!


Pejk Malinovski is a poet, translator and radio producer. His latest book, Den store danske drømmebog (The Big Book of Danish Dreams) is a 233-page conceptual poem, based entirely on google searches. His radio documentaries have aired on radio stations around the world and won numerous awards. In 2012, he launched Passing Stranger, an audio walking tour of the East Village's poetry history. He was also the co-creator and host of Third Ear, an online audio magazine. He has translated and published books by Anne Carson, John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara and others for Forlaget Basilisk, a poet-run publishing house in Copenhagen.

Please join us in congratulating Pejk for his Full Stipend award!


Friday, March 28

Meet the Artist: Cynthia Grow










We are pleased to introduce Cynthia Grow, March Artist-in-Residence at Can Serrat. Cynthia Grow is a multi-media artist and painter. She received a diploma in Contemporary Painting and Ancient Painting Techniques from Accademia d’Arte in Florence, Italy and has completed projects and residencies throughout Italy and Spain, as well as New York Studio School, National Academy School of Fine Art, and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In addition to studio training, she completed a program in Modern Art, Connoisseurship & History of the Art Market at Christie's Education New York and holds a Master of Arts degree from University of South Florida. 

When she's not working on her painting, Cynthia is part of the great team here at Can Serrat, acting as Artist Coordinator, Blogger, and the nightly Maestra del Fuego - Fire Mistress, where she trys to practice her elementary Catalan and Spanish, albeit quite poorly. Here´s a bit of what she´s been working on this month, in-between all the rest.


MEMÃ’RIA

This series of works is based upon the poetry of Salvador Espriu, acknowledged as the great poet of post-Civil War Spain. Espriu was born in Santa Coloma de Farners in 1913. His literary opus soon became a symbol of the peaceful resistance and the hopes of post-war Catalonia. He had been the great hope of the short story in Catalan before the Civil War. But after that event, he chose to go into an 'internal exile' in which he decided to contribute towards 'saving our words' so that for him it was necessary to start anew. 

Espriu turned to poetry because among other reasons it allowed him to elude the uncultured Spanish censorship of the time. His mission was to make his language sing and survive the years when Franco insisted that a unified Spain required a single tongue and forbade the use of other national languages – i.e. Catalan. Espriu’s work is a long meditation on death and on the passing of the time that leads us to that end.


ARTIST STATEMENT

These mixed media, multi-layered works on paper consist of words and images of varying themes clipped from the Catalan language magazine Serra d’Or, a Catalan literary magazine established in October 1959. It was promoted by a group of university students, and was published by Montserrat Abbey Press. From the beginning, this magazine became a platform for the Catalan intellectuals of the second half of the 20th century, taking profit from the possibilities of cultural and political activity that existed in the Francoist regime, if the censorship could be avoided. 

The pieces of text clipped from a copy of the magazine (November 1988) have been covered with thin washes of paint and various words and images I have scraped away with a blade. Excerpts of Salvador Espriu’s poetry in some way relate to the words and images hidden below the surface.

I utilize poetry as a means to disseminate ideas. And, here Catalan poetry, which helps me to learn the language, a language which I find earthy, complex, and beautiful in its construction. In my painting, somehow, I always return to language. For me, poetry and painting are essentially the same thing, only expressed in a different way.

These pieces have dual meaning. First, they are a celebration of the survival of the Catalan language after years of censorship and repression, and the Republican struggle against the brutal Franco regime. And, more specifically, how Catalunya, a country with a rich literary culture and heritage and the Catalan language managed to survive and thrive. Particular pieces are a direct reminder of the Spanish Civil War – and the bodies in mass graves that are still being uncovered throughout Spain to this day – hinted at from the scraping and peeling layers of paint, uncovering and discovering the obscured words and images.  

Secondly, they are about Memory - the passing of time, the marking of time – memories both conscious and sub-conscious. As the words and images rise, ghost-like to the surface, the pieces become a palimpsest of sorts, secret images as metaphor for the hidden ghosts that exist in all of us. They are deliberately ambiguous, offering subtle suggestion. They hint at sex, or more explicitly, desire, exploring this in both my use of image and in the excerpts of Espriu’s poetry. My idea is to focus on our most hidden selves, the ghosts within.

In my work, ambiguity is always the theme I seem to return to. Searching for something haunting in the work, or perhaps in a place, but mostly, I imagine, in myself.



To see more of Cynthia's work, see her blog here


Wednesday, March 26

Introducing Viktoria Ikkonen, March Artist-in-Residence

Viktoria Ikkonen

We are pleased to share with you work and information about our March Artist-in-Residence, Viktoria Ikkonen. Viktoria comes to us from St. Petersburg, Russia and has been busy most days, diligently working in her studio. It has been a pleasure to know her and share a serious and insightful dialogue about art. And, more importanly, to see how her work is evolving in such a short period of time. A result, which she describes below, of the inspiration that she found here at Can Serrat. Thank you Viktoria!










Artist Statment

The idea of showing a fleeting moment came to me during my time at the previous residence in Istanbul,or even earlier when I decided to show the contrast and interaction between natural and industrial characters in my work about grey sea and two yellow lines. Later this idea turned into the underlying concept in my works which I've created in Can Serrat.

Some think about slowness and identity, transience and perpetuity: when you live near by mountains millions of years old, you start to think about your own insignificance, near-by their greatness, you recognize how everything in our usual life is transient; and everything is so elusive and we like illusion. But my attempt to show this theme in my own art isn't an impression of the present moment, but philosophical research about what our life is in comparison with this universe.

It's amusing how after I discovered this metaphor, my artistic approach has changed too: from being a painter of forms to being a painter of shapes. It's a great step for me, and that awareness happened here, in Can Serrat.  And the reason is "why" lays in this place, because being here is a long-term meditation, an opportunity to have a dialogue with yourself. And then, and maybe even more important, the possibility to share your ideas with other artists, to receive some attitude of your own result, and clarity what to do after.

Thank you CanSerrat for support and believing in me; thanks to all March residents for a great time together!

--Viktoria Ikkonen

Viktoria Ikkonen
CV
Exhibitions:
Bonart painting exhibition, group exhibition, Bonart art gallery, April 2014, Istanbul, Turkey
Haihatus international, group exhibition, Haihatus art centre and residence, April 2014, Joutsa, Finland
The sea inside is always deep blue, art project and exhibition,
Halka art gallery, February 2014, Istanbul, Turkey
Hope, art project and group exhibition, Holy cafe, January 2014, Istanbul, Turkey
Vistavkom, group exhibition of young artists,
Exhibition Hall of the Artists' Union, December 2013, St.Petersburg, Russia
Dark romanticism. Lenore
Private gallery, November 2013, Tsarskoe selo, Russia
400 years of Romanovs family, Cultural center of Elena Obrazcova,
October/november 2013 St.Petersburg, Russia
Saint-Petersburg`s space, group exhibition of finalists of competition
in honor of 400th anniversary of Romanovs family, 
Smolnii cathedral exhibition hall, September 2013 St.Petersburg, Russia
Muu maa/ other country, Haihatus summer exhibition 2013,
Joutsa, Finland
Group exhibition in contest in honor of 400th anniversary 
of Romanovs family, Exhibition Hall of the Artists' Union, June 2013
St.Petersburg, Russia
Selected group exhibitions in Saint-Petersburg, 2010-2012
St.Petersburg, Russia
Group exhibition of young artist in MART gallery, 2009
St.Petersburg, Russia


To see more of Viktoria´s work, please check out her blog here

Tuesday, March 25

Morning walk through El Bruc

Just a little visual inspiration for you today. A quiet walk through our (even quieter) village sometimes helps to clear the mind and contemplate both art and life. Have a great day!














Thank you March Resident Harsha Jagasia for the photos!