Artists Comments - 2015
Nathan Smallwood- USA
Visual artist -November 2015
It’s been over a year since I spent a month at Sachaqa, and I’m still discovering ways that being there influenced my art and myself. To call it a meaningful experience would be an understatement. First of all, Trina and Daniel really make you feel welcome, and I’m very thankful to them for the time I spent there. Living so close to nature and in a setting made for letting one’s creativity flourish is something that really must be done first-hand to fully appreciate. Prepare to never be really separated from the environment. The climate is a constant consideration, as it effects everything in your daily life, but through this challenge, you can reach a kind of harmony in which you really get in tune with nature, something I miss. Back home, I often find myself missing the constant drone of insects, afternoon downpours, and muddy walks through the forest. I especially miss the dynamic sky, with huge cloud banks carrying tropical storms one minute and clearing up for a spectacular sunset the next, and at night providing unforgettable views of the stars. The colors of the sky have since become an essential part of my paintings. I also continue working with the theme of harmony, inspired by my time in the rainforest, where so many forces hang in balance. It’s incredible how the jungle works its way into you, both consciously and subconsciously. I think that’s the biggest thing I took away from being at Sachaqa. It was there that seeds were planted, which have since grown and enriched my art as well as myself on a personal and spiritual level.
Maisie Mc Neice - UK
Visual artist -September 2015
My residency with Sachaqa Centro de Arte was one of the best artist residency experiences I have had during my time in Peru. In just under a year I completed four artist residencies and Sachaqa was my second.
I worked there over a period of five weeks; during this time I was introduced to the use of natural pigments and spent this time exploring this new methodology. The studio space was well equipped, very spacious and a pleasure to work in. At the time of my residency, there were three people working in the space and it was perfect, at no point did we feel like we were on top of each other.
Trina and Daniel run this residency together and are incredibly warm and welcoming. They have a huge amount of patience, are perceptive to your needs and understand the creative process. They are there to help you while at the same time give you the freedom to work and live independently.
During the first few weeks they let me settle in and made me feel at ease and at home. As soon as you know what materials you may need they are on top of it and take you to the nearest city. The give you the option to help you towards an exhibition in Tarapoto and take charge of all the publicity.
Over this period my creative juices flowed and at the end of my time there I produce enough work to have my own solo show. There is something very special about this place. You have access to the Regional Conservation Area Cordillera Escalera where you pay a small fee but can walk for hours and explore rivers and waterfalls. The village of San Roque De Cumbaza is magical and you can really buckle in and become part of the community if you want.
The centre itself is on top of a small hill with spectacular views. I stayed in the small house and really enjoyed having my own space and independence. I made friends with the other artist and loved the community that we created.
I could not recommend this more highly and I am going to go back. Whether you have a something specific you want to develop or you go there with an open mind it is impossible for you not to come away with new ideas and gain new skills. I am so great full for the time and effort Trina and Daniel gave me in preparation for my exhibition and I loved sharing ideas and working together in the studio with Trina.
I traveled throughout different regions of the Amazon and I believe that San Martin has something special. It felt like home and Sachaqa Centro De Arte played a big role in that.
Mara Sola- Spain/Norway
Visual Artist - May 2015
A little pocket in the jungle is San Roque de Cumbaza, where I could easily spend more than a lifetime.
My month residency at Sachaqa Centro de Arte gave me the peace and inspiration that I needed at that time. I was on my seventh month of traveling and arriving into this piece of paradise it was a valuable present to me.
As soon I entered the studio I felt home and very excited about the month I had ahead. I shared the studio with other inspiring artists, I felt no pressure of producing or impressing anyone with my art. That helps me to relax and enjoy the exotic nature. We talked about art, but a lot more about life.
I was lucky to get introduced to the local wise people of the jungle, from which I learned a lot and gave a new insight of my own being.
I'm eternally thankful to Daniel and Trina for taking care of me and sharing their own experiences and wisdom.
A very special place with warm hearted people is San Roque the Cumbaza.
I would love to be bacK one day.
Jonathan Wright - USA
painting - June - July 2015
Sachaqa for me, was a place where my spiritual life and artistic life came together in a truly harmonious way. I actually felt the connection between those two aspects of myself like a phone line that was cleared of static and interferences. Trina and Daniel were super helpful, checking in to make sure I had everything I needed. San Roque is a beautiful, tranquil little town, off the beaten path yet very comfortable. I would highly recommend a stay at Sachaqa for anyone wanting to spend time in a creative and spiritually rejuvenating environment. And honestly, who doesn’t want that?
Claire Mc Ardle - UK
Sculpture and Mixed media - June 2015
Sachaqa is a very special place. Like a secret in the heart of the jungle. If your soul is drawn to it you will find it tucked away up on the hill. It has certainly changed my heart and soul for the better. As an artist, I had very loose ideas but no plan. And that's the best outlook to have I think, for me anyway. My only intention was to create something sculptural that I would leave behind in the jungle. I had no expectations about my experience in the jungle. I think I was fairly relaxed about the prospect of sharing my living space with insects (friendly ones!). And yes I was scared, I'm a city girl but I wanted to embrace my fears. On a practical level, it is totally different from London. But also, opening up to people, exposing my vulnerability. You have a lot of time to think, to talk to the other artists. I believe you meet the right people for you at the right time. We (our group of artists at the time) were called 'The group of love', I guess that's all we talked about, ha! I believe we helped to support and heal each other in some ways. Daniel and Trina who run Sachaqa welcomed me in as part of their extended family. We became close friends, I even had two fantastic artists assistants (their small children Jacob and Leia). They support and encourage you in your ambitions. But, also help to remedy any concerns you have. Most importantly, however, is that you have freedom. The freedom of nature, the potential in your artwork and to discover so much about yourself and others. I learned to embrace the jungle. I have definitely taken a piece of that place with me in my heart. A truly special place that will captivate you with its charm and magic. I would love the opportunity to return someday.
Arnold Fanning - Ireland
Writer - June - 2015
Sachaqa Centro de Arte was a place for me to get away from all the distractions of modern life, to restore and revive my creative energies, and to connect with and access more deeply my creative self in beautiful and peaceful surroundings near the tranquil village of San Roque. An unforgettable experience, I finished my residency with a quantity of exciting new work, and a greater understanding and appreciation of this beautiful part of Peru.
- ATF, Dublin, Ireland.
Anne Zwiener - Austria
Illustration and Animation - March 2015
When I think back to my stay at Sachaqa there are just good memories. The way to San Roque, which is lined with beautiful trees and ancient rainforest, is an adventure for itself. The art center is located just close to a small village that allows you to get to know the local community. Daniel was very helpful with my project and ideas and tried to do his best to make me an interesting, productive stay. The space had a very nice atmosphere that was very peaceful and harmonic and I think it had a very good influence on my creative work. Besides I got to know a lot of interesting people and with the help of Daniel I had a very nice exhibition at the end of my stay. I can just recommend to do a residency at Sachaqa!
Katie Haley - USA
Writer - March 2015
I spent two months at the art center to focus on writing my second book and get away from the hectic pace of modern life. What I found at Sachaqa was; inspiration, rejuvenation, creativity, adventure and support from talented artists around the world. Daniel is a knowledgeable and professional guide, who organized our trips to Lamas, hiking to nearby waterfalls and chocolate making in Chazuta. He gave me a wealth of information for my book and I found the journeys to be a wonderful way to bond with other artists, make friendships with locals and see the beauty of the Amazon. Days spent in the hammock with a cup of tea watching the rain were just as meaningful as all the exciting activities. My stay was the perfect combination of solitude and productivity. I am truly grateful to Trina and Daniel for creating a such a unique place that nurtures artists and provides a safe and affordable way to expand your mind and soul.
Orly Politi - USA
Painting January 2015
I came to Sachaqa Centro del Arte for fresh inspiration and left with so much more than I could have imagined. Staying in the jungle for 5 weeks provided me with a new pair of eyes and a newfound sense of peace, connection and great respect for Mama Earth. I was able to tune right into my creative zone and stay focused in the tranquil environment of the art studio, which is surrounded by the lush beauty of the Amazon, (and some crazy super-sized insects!)
I created an entirely new line of jewelry during my stay, inspired by all that was around me. The creativity continues to flourish as the jungle is now a part of me :)
Daniel is an extremely welcoming and helpful host in every aspect, and I left feeling like I was part of the community. San Roque is filled with beautiful, friendly people and the region provides amazing fresh and natural foods. It was a treat to share the space with other wonderful artists from around the world, cooking together, dancing at the festival, adventuring to the vista points and creating beautiful pottery with local artisans in Chazuta. It was lovely sipping tea and working in the studio during the heavy rains, and leading yoga classes for the other artists.
Inspiration was plentiful. The environment is raw, wild and very much alive. Very cleansing. Pure and Magical. Much healing took place during my stay and I am very grateful for the opportunity, to San Roque, Daniel, and Trina (whom I hope to meet in the future!).
I would highly recommend staying at Sachaqa if you are an artist looking for a residency off the beaten path. Make sure you arrive with an open mind and heart, and you will have experience above and beyond what you might expect.
Rose Stuart Smith - Uk
Painting - Jan 2015
Sachaqa is a place to free your self from the pace of modern day life, to get close to nature (sometimes maybe too close!), and to focus your mind and creativity. Whilst here I settled into a routine of early rises with the sun, yoga, painting, cooking and eating with the other artists and weather permitting swimming in the river. For my work it provided with a whole new environment as inspiration. It also challenged me in terms of materials as I used watercolour on paper the whole time I was there which is not my usual medium. It was a wonderful opportunity to live, work and talk art and life with artists from all over the world.
I was also lucky enough to learn weaving and ceramics techniques from locals in San Roque and Chazuta. It was a pleasure to be invited into their homes and workplaces and watch their skilful hands create beautiful pots and weavings. San Roque and Sachaqa have a magic to them that is hard to put into words. My time in the jungle and the people I met there will always be close to my heart. For any artist looking for inspiration, a fresh challenge and an opportunity to reconnect with nature I would highly recommend this very special residency in the Amazon jungle.
Love from London
Omer Chaver - Israel
Writer and Musician - June 2015
The first thing that I saw when I got off the plane in Tarapoto was a rainbow. It was so bright and so colorful. I can still remember the moment in the airport when I met Daniel for the first time and he told me:"I think that it's a sign for you".Back then I didn't believe in that kind of sign, but as time passed, I saw that Daniel was right.
I came to Sachaqa to write and make music, but I did and learned so much more. This magical place in the middle of the jungle made me think a lot about how I want to live my life and what kind of person I want to be.You have there all the silent that you need, good energies in the air, a comfortable place to live in, Trina and Daniel that make you feel like your part of their loving family and a great and simple community. I'll definitely go back some day!