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The TOSTA-artists

Posted on October 6th, 2016

Seven artists, seven artworks. Meet the TOSTA-artists and get in contact!

Zenna Tagney – Cornish artist – Residency in Scotland
Zenna Tagney was born and grew up in Cornwall. She has a foundation degree in Art and Design and a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Crafts (Falmouth). Zenna works mostly in ceramic sculpture. Her work incorporates themes of story, character, and nature, and is inspired by her experience of growing up in Cornwall, and its landscape, cultural traditions and mythology.

The majority of her sculptural work uses porcelain, material with close links to the area where she grew up – ‘Clay Country’. She incorporates found things, such as wood and vegetation. During her stay on the Isle of Skye Zenna researched Gaelic stories of the sea. Story and language are inextricably linked, especially when traditional stories are passed down orally between generations, as many have been in the Hebrides.

She came across stories of the Crodh Mara, a very special breed of cattle that live under the sea but come ashore to graze. After first encountering the story of the Crodh Mara (‘sea cattle’), she discovered further examples and variations of the tale, both from Skye and from further afield in the Hebrides. In some of these other variations the creatures were called Crodh Sith (‘fairy/magic cattle’), Tarbh Uisge (‘water bull’), and Crodh Eighre (literally ‘ice cattle’, although ‘eighre’ possibly derives from an old Norse word meaning ‘beach’).

Some stories tell of people’s attempts to capture Crodh Mara. It was said that taking a handful of earth from a graveyard, sneaking up on the cattle, and throwing it between them and the shore, would stop them from returning to the sea. Legend has it that a crofter managed to do this long ago, and that most of the cattle on Skye today are descendants of those that were captured.

It was important to Zenna to use materials from the local surroundings, so she decided to create the hair of the Crodh Mara from seaweed gathered from the shores of Skye. As the three Crodh Mara journey round the Tosta exhibitions they will transform; the seaweed drying out, changing colour, and starting to break down. Zenna worked with local boat-builder Ewan Thomson on this project, who made the seawater-holding plinth. Zenna worked with local boat-builder Ewan Thomson on this project, who made the seawater-holding plinth.

Works: One large sculpture – Fragile and heavy – Seaweed, wood, clay, plaster of paris, driftwood. 2.45 meters x 1.45 meters x 1.62 meters high

Visit her website or contact the artist.

Ana Belém Tajes – Galician artist residency in Ireland

My name is Belém Tajes, I am a singer and musician from A Coruña, Galicia. If I could be a musical tree, my roots could be galician tradition and my brunches, soul and jazz music. So I´m trying to find my own style looking forward and with an eye in the old Galician tradition. I have my own band, VooDoo, and we use our galego (Galician language) mixed with R&B and Jazz rythms. I also sing in a choir, Sisters in the House, we sing soul music.

My project is inspired by the legend of Amhairghin the druid, he is a character in the Lebar Gabála Érenn. He came to Ireland from Galicia, as the legend says, and he was the first man who sing in Irish. I took that story and starting to find out more about the connection between Ireland and Galicia, and both have a strong relationship with the sea.

My project is a songbook in both minority languages, songs about the sea tradition. The first part has to be developed in Ireland, collecting Sean-nós songs about the sea. The Sean-nós are the old tradition songs from Ireland. The other part of the project is collecting songs about the sea in Galicia. For the moment I only have the first part of the Songbook.

I´m living in a small village by the sea named An Spidéal. Is near from Galway, a city which has a huge connection with seiling. An Spidéal is an area which still manages to value the culture and traditions of Gaeltacht heritage. The region, named Connemara, is in the Wild Atlantic west coast.

Works: Titled Work in Progress, One Book A4, Sounds from her research mp3 and headphones, Video – Songs of the Sea

Contact the artist.

Luned Rhys Parri – Welsh Artist residency in Galicia

Luned Rhys Parri is an established artist who has also worked on numerous community art projects over the past two decades.Her art works, created in her studio near Caernarfon, have been exhibited in many prominent galleries, including Ffin y Parc, Plas Glyn-y-weddw, Ruthin Craft Centre and many others.

The works are constructed paper reliefs incorporating collage, papier maché, paint, pieces of patterned fabric and other recycled items. Examples of her work are now found in many private collections as well that of the National Library.

“This residence in Galicia has been of great value to me. The people here have been so welcoming that the rather poor weather almost went unnoticed and had no effect on the success of the enterprise. And the food has been wonderfully delicious.

My intention was to create as many three-dimensional works as possible for Tosta’s itinerant exhibition, portraying aspects of the everyday life of Galicians; and for that purpose I would have liked an opportunity to see more of Galicia and its people, particularly in the rural areas. However, the techniques I use in my work are time-consuming, and for that reason I had no choice but to go to work at once with glue and collage materials.

The backgrounds to each of my creations are based on exterior or interior photographs of buildings in and around A Coruña. Scraps of the newspaper Sermos were used for the papier mâché. I hope I’ve succeeded to some extent in depicting the life and atmosphere of this delightful and interesting part of the world.”

Works: 13 Mixed Media Paper Mache Framed

Visit her website or contact the artist.

Nuala ní Fhlathúin – Irish Artist residency in Friesland

My art practice has been an investigation of material processes and procedures, a craft-led enterprise embarked upon to explore the mysterious divide between material reality and the disembodied world of abstract sequenced thought.

Place plays an important role in my work, both as a pre-existing environment to negotiate and a fundamental structuring device. Over the duration of an installation it responds directly to the formal qualities of the hosting space – oddities of lighting and structure, the texture of landscape, the subtle nuances of place. The idea of a particular, non transferable set of circumstances is something that has informed all of this work.

In my practice I work directly and experimentally with materials, constructing open-ended arrangements of order and entropy, conservation and decay. I work with natural and manmade fragments, paying attention to their distinct physical properties – their weight, their balance, their particular way of occupying space, how they impinge on each

other. In exploring these dynamics my art consistently operates on the plane of the personal, the particular and the intimate – the world of cataclysmic, hairsbreadth differences, irrational attachments and temporary stop-gap measures.

Works: One small floor based fragile installation 50 cm x 25 cm, Two A3 Photographic prints, Photographic installation polaroid and fishing wire.

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Uxue Arzelus – Basque Artist residency in Wales

I’ve loved creating new worlds since I was a child. Playing with the ideas that are created from removing all limits of imagination. This led me to study filmmaking, to capture in pictures the little stories that I had in mind. And here I am, trying to create those new little worlds.

Works: Video

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Aukje Schaafsma – Frisian artist – Residency in Cornwall

Aukje Schaafsma started to follow the education Performance at the acting school of Maastricht in 2011. In 2015 she graduated with her class. The final performance “La isla bonita” was directed by Jeroen de Man, with this performance they won the first price: “Het Debuut” at the International Theater Festival in Amsterdam. Theaterzaken Via Rudolphi was honored to award the price to the winner.

After a successful tour in the end of 2015 the group decided to continue the collaboration as Performance collective; “La Isla Bonita”. At the moment the collective la Isla Bonita is working on a new performance for theater festival De Parade 2016.

After her graduation she also got a connection with theater community Tryater. Here she is working as an actress and makes new performances. Together with director Tatiana Pratley and performer Karel Hermans she formed the community-based art collective; ‘’SKOFT&SKIEP”. Next to making live performances they also focus on short documentaries and video.

I am convinced that the support of art can be increased by the use of amateurs or ordinary people like you and me. I try to transform low art into high art because I think that the highest art is hidden in the beauty of low art. I try to show it by lifting it up and putting things out of context.

Works: Video work DOR

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Sophie Stephenson – Scottish Artist residency in the Basque country

Sophie is a dancer and is working with both contemporary and traditional dance.

Visit her website or contact the artist.