From Isabel Moseley

05.05.2015 - 26.05.2015

It's 6.20pm and I’m sitting beside Nina in her van, rounding the grassy corner into Trelex. The witches hat church spire peeping between the hills at a new arrival to the village.

In the morning the clang of cowbells resounded in the mountains and the nights rain made the trees such a shade of green that they looked more alive than anything ever had.


Walking around the village it struck me that the houses looked as if they had been carved out of cake using a large bread knife. On the horizon blue clouds skimmed the mountains and seemed in danger of being snagged on the jagged peaks. A thousand leaves gently fluttered in the breeze and sitting by the open kitchen window I basked in Swiss sunlight.

In the quiet bustle of Geneva I crossed a bridge that ran over a river dashing by. During the heat of the day I visited MAMCO and was reminded of Terry Gilliam’s fantasy film Brazil – the space seemed to recall a pasts idea of what the future would be; great big turquoise doors and windows set into a sturdy industrial building encrusted with contemporary artwork – completely wonderful and the space itself was a work of art. Switzerland is the very quiddity of good design and absolutely everything is beautiful.  At lunchtime Nock circus was in town and its tents gathered in the square like a pack of scarab beetles with their great spikes looming into the blue sky.

The following week in Trelex I had begun to produce some new lino prints spurred on by the geometric architecture I had seen in Geneva. It was very difficult not to be inspired and productive when surrounded by other creative people and for three weeks I lived and breathed art. 

On a warm Tuesday morning I heaved a sigh as I waited in the airport for my flight back to Birmingham. My experience was unforgettable – I’m so happy to have met Nina and all the other residents and I look forward to returning soon…

From Andrew Osta and Ninfa Cuervo

14.04.2015 - 19.05.2015

I came to the Trelex residency together with my wife for five weeks starting in early April. My first impression was that the house, the studio, the location, and the surroundings were just perfect.  It was all so welcoming and comfortable that I was able to begin creating work almost from day one.

Walks and bike rides served as the inspiration for many of the paintings I produced in Trelex. I found the European village setting charming, and going out into always gave me a sense of gratitude and well-being. While inside, I immersed myself in reading some of the art books available in the studio library. Although I’ve been painting for 10 years, I somehow felt like a student, and consciously worked on studies from nature, as well as from art books. I didn’t feel any pressure to perform or produce works, but I tried to experiment with something new every day.

Forest Sketch #1 Ink on Watercolor Paper, 9x12 inches

When we arrived, the mustard fields were just beginning to turn bright yellow, and when we left, the wheat was the most gentle of greens. Some of my favourite paintings of this time captured those moments. On cold and rainy days, I did not have to go anywhere, because the house itself provided wonderful views from the windows, which I could paint from the comfort of my studio.

Nina was helpful in every way, and I know that my wife was very much encouraged by her. She came as a beginning photographer with not much direction to her work, and many doubts about it. By the time we were leaving, her photographs gained a much more unique character, and she continually surprised me with really great shots. She said she felt like an artist by the time she left, which was the goal.

For most of our stay, we were the only residents, but in the last 10 days, we got to meet 3 more artists. It was all very comfortable and the sharing of ideas and experience within the group was beneficial to everyone. I had a little show in the studio, which was not well attended because we didn’t plan or promote it very well, but I believe Nina will eventually move future shows to the first floor of the house, which will provide easy access from the street. With proper planning and advertising, there is definitely a lot of potential in Trelex for relatively well attended and successful shows. I was very fortunate because I met some great people through the English speaking church in Nyon, and they bought a number of paintings, which helped a lot with the cost of our airfare and other expenses

Overall we couldn’t have been happier and are very grateful for what Nina is doing. We are contemplating the logistics of doing a Trelex style residency in our studio in Mexico, but that project is still in its very early stages. One thing for sure, Trelex is an experience. I hope to come back some day, to catch up with what Nina is doing and to become closer friends as well. From Mexico,

Andrew Osta and Ninfa Cuervo

Note from Nina: though it may be possible to find a more permanent display place in the house in the next year or so, the emphasis at The Trelex Residency is as a place of production, artistic development and research. Though some artists have sold work at shows we have organised for open studio evenings, this is very rare even for well-attended shows advertised long in advance. Artists should not for a moment contemplate funding their stay from potential sales. Switzerland is an expensive place but such a strategy could leave you uncomfortably out of pocket. So do not budget around selling work in Switzerland.