… Staying at NG Art Creative Residency is a pleasure – even when you find yourself here when the whole of France goes into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic! Nicky and her team – Hannah was her super-helpful assistant – make the stay easy and relaxing so that the creatives can get on with the work. The environment is a total visual pleasure to soak up: the backdrop of the mountains, the lovely grounds of Mas des Pelerins homestead, and the wonderful colours which were on display during late October and the beginning of November. Even with the restrictions of lockdown, I was able to go out into the countryside to paint en plein air – after all this is my profession now. The area is full of wonderful scenery and painting opportunities which I tried to do justice to…
I loved my time at the NG Art Creative Residency. Nicky Ginsberg (along with her assistant Hannah) have created a warm, friendly, creative environment for the artists in residence. It is in a very inspiring location, surrounded by beautiful countryside and is really peaceful and beautiful.
Having an extended time to spend creating artwork is such a gift. I really feel my practice developed and moved forward during my time at the residency.
I know the ideas and inspiration I gained during my time in Provence will be with me for a long time to come and will inform and inspire my practice in the future.
As a writer, it’s somewhat embarrassing to find it difficult to put an experience into words – but that is the case for my time at NG Art Creative Residency as a guest of Nicky Ginsberg. The Residency is a truly extraordinary cradle for creativity. The support and interest of Nicky and her team, the sense of community with other artists, the extraordinarily beautiful Provençal surroundings, and above all the protection of time and space for making art are a powerful combination.
The three weeks I spent at the Residency were the first time I had had in more than a decade to dedicate solely to my writing. I went with the fairly straightforward objective of putting words on paper, but left with so much more: new skills and strategies that I had developed by sitting down every day and writing; a renewed belief in my own capacity as an writer; and possibilities for future collaboration with other artists.
As I take what I have learned and developed back to “the real world”, ready for the next adventure, I will miss discussing the state of the world over breakfast, sharing work over dinner, running along the canal, and above all my favourite writing spot in the garden by the pool. I’m so grateful to have spent this time immersed in the colours (and food!) of autumnal Provence, a little envious of those for whom this experience is yet to come, and above all proud to be part of a community and a shared history that Nicky is developing: a universe of beautiful, thoughtful art that will trace its roots back to the olive groves of NG Art Creative Residency.
Provence’s history of artists working in the region is long and profound. To have the opportunity to work in the fields of a landscape that has been painted by so many great artists was an unforgettable experience and a real privilege.
I’ll miss Eygalieres. The NG Art Creative Residency’s 15th century homestead and grounds (Mas des Pelerins) are absolutely beautiful and homely. Mostly I’ll miss the community of artists that come to Mas des Pelerins from all over the world, I’ll miss having conversations about art and life over breakfast, the studio space, swimming in the afternoon, painting all day, long lunches, short lunches, drawing the landscape, long walks into town then walking back again, eating oysters at the markets on a Saturday, dinner and wine, more painting, then knowing I can do it all again tomorrow.
Nicky, you are a true leader. You’ve created a unique and accessible opportunity for artists who want to make work in the south of France with other like-minded creatives while experiencing Provence’s rich culture. Your passion for life is exhilarating, and your ability to bring people together and devotion to the art world is inspiring. Thank you.
The NG Art Creative Residency is a culmination of Nicky’s passion for the arts, her local community and her residents. She cares deeply about creating an environment that connects all three in a meaningful and inspiring way. It’s the supportive and inclusive manner with which she is able to do this, that is her true mastery.
There are so many moments from my stay that are etched in my memory. The beauty of the surrounding landscape is undeniable. Painting en plein air by the canal with the sun on my back and the majestic Alpilles in the distance was a ”pinch me” moment.
Then there were the many memorable conversations around the dinner table and in the studio. Meandering walks in the surrounding countryside. Slipping into the cool blue of the pool for an afternoon dip. Letting time just melt away and immersing myself into life in Eygalières.
My stay at the Mas des Pèlerins has been so much more than I ever expected. Something I will treasure forever. My original goal was simply to dedicate intensive time to progressing my painting while being in a region of France that I adore.
What I walked away with was beyond just the artistic, it was a truly enriching experience thanks to Nicky, Gabby and the other residents who I shared time with at the Mas. Thank you.
The format of the residence at NG Creative Art Residency facilitated the time to think about new directions in my work. Working in the Eygalières region of Provence it’s hard not to depict the beauty of the light filled landscape. But instead I felt a stronger desire to depict a landscape at odds with itself. A landscape not of the picturesque but one which reflects a burden of the history of landscape painting genre and depicts the effects of modern capitalist system in which we have found ourselves a part of. The time at the residency I was able to reflect upon the overwhelming data concerning climate change the consequences of capitalism: rising inequality in the globalised world. One asks oneself the question: why do a residency in the first place? It is clear through Nicky Ginsberg’s experience in the commercial art world that she was able in a short time frame to facilitate meetings with gallerists, collectors and art world personalities of interest, which furthered mutual exchange and potential future collaborations. After experiencing the warmth and hospitality of Nicky Ginsberg and her creative team you walk away with the distinct atmosphere of the possible. Through the residency model that Nicky has created you discover new insights into your creative process. That’s the point right there-we do these residencies initially to find out more about the physical geography of the places we visit but also through the time apart from our daily routine we pursue a practice that ultimately we find out more about ourselves.
My time at NG Art Creative Residency Provence, Mas des Pelerins; House of Pilgrims
was perfect for the mental space I needed and for focussing my mind on my work away from all the noise of the politics of Britain. I used the time to experiment with methods of drawing I hadn’t tried before. The atmosphere was calm yet intense in the company of excellent fellow artists and with the support of director Nicky Ginsberg and her assistant Gabriella Beaumont who made sure we had everything we needed. There was physical and mental space for concentration as well as a great studio space and beautiful surroundings to walk and think in. Stimulating conversation around a deliciously gastronomic breakfast and supper table was had daily as was the opportunity to meet other creatives in the region. I know I have made real friends at Mas des Pelerins and I sincerely hope to return soon.
I was recently a resident at the NG Art Creative Residency in the South of France. My aim while there was to gather as much material as possible by documenting, observing and reflecting on the surrounding spaces and places and develop new work in response to the region.
Nicky has created a warm, welcoming and invigorating environment to do this. It was filled with fresh farm to table food, a cozy home base and a spacious studio all while being surrounded by the sublime natural scenery. Nicky has a depth of knowledge about the spaces and places of the area and the local people that live in them. This was invaluable for me, as my work is about place it allowed me to get the most out of the experience and gain a deeper understanding of the place. In addition, connecting with other artists and people in the arts was extremely beneficial to discuss ideas, expand concepts, try new techniques. In fact, it was such a supportive community that we even managed to make inspired action plans together for one another.
All in all this pleasant place provided me with solitude, stillness and reflection to transcend my ordinary everyday routine and instead embrace new sensations, aesthetics and ideas. The historic and vernacular architecture, peaceful sounds, stunning scenery and charming quality of light will all inform my new work and the whole experience has been extremely beneficial for my development and practice. Looking back now it feels like a distant dream and I am excited to not only respond to the site but harness and recreate my distant dreamy memories from this fleeting moment in time.
It was hard to say goodbye to Mas des Pelerins and it’s inhabitants. I felt fortunate to have been selected for the Stanley Quek Prize and an amazing period had come to an end. We had just had the climax of the exhibition and my four weeks there had been one of the best experiences of my life.
Every morning I would wake up looking forward to the food. The breakfasts at the residency were the best possible way to start a day and typified the quality and attention to detail that Nicky and Elli showed throughout. The days didn’t end too badly either, the delicious meals at the end of a long day of painting, augmented by regional wines and good conversation, were hugely welcome. Nicky and Elli also dealt amazing well with the dietary requirements that some of us threw at them.
Nicky’s warmth and generosity was totally in keeping with the place that she had created. Over my four week spell, the residency swelled with artists from many backgrounds and disciplines and the love shown by Nicky has been universal and mutual. I am excited by the potential of her vision and the prospect of future collaboration.
Most days, I’d take off on foot or bike in search of places to set up my easel. The search has never been easier as in Provence, I could have painted the view from the front gates every day at all different times and never run out of inspiration. Gliding down the quiet country roads on my first days, with a successful wet canvas on my handlebars, I realised how happy I was. I’m sure the memory of my time there will always be one of my best.
My time at Mas de Pelerins was truly surreal and transformational. Every morning began with a beautiful breakfast and the company of fellow artists.
During the days I painted in the open studio or en plein air, and when I was in need of a break, I hiked along the winding paths of Eygalières. The landscape was an unending source of inspiration and my work certainly reflected the shift I felt.
All of the residents were at different points in their careers, and as I was probably the newest to the art world, I greatly benefitted from their knowledge, mentorship, and friendship.
In the evenings we took turns preparing gorgeous meals with the fresh and local ingredients Nicky always managed to shop herself. Our dinners were a time to laugh, discuss art, and indulge in French wines.
Nicky made the residency feel like home, and the residents a family.
At the end of my four weeks, I was fortunate to participate in the first exhibition Nicky held in the 12th century Église in Eygalières. The love and effort her and her wonderful assistants, Elli and Radha, put into showcasing all 26 artists work was clear in the attention to detail, and I am proud to have been included.
The residency had a profound impact on me as an artist, and I will always cherish the carefree days I spent at Mas de Pelerins.
Never did I think an art residency would resonate so deeply within me. So deeply, in fact, that I didn’t want to leave, because I thought the whole experience was a dream.
With no preconceived idea of what to expect, having been awarded the NG Art Creative Residency, I bid Australia bon voyage and headed to the South of France.
On arrival Nicky Ginsberg embraced me with a hug – as did the entire town (figuratively speaking). The warmth of her hospitality and caring personality echoed as an innate feature on which the philosophy and foundation of the residency seemed to rest upon. Hence, my admiration for Nicky was immediate and grew quickly. The driving force and glue of the residency, she went out of her way to help make me feel comfortable and right at home.
With her spirit permeating to create harmony, wholeness and a sense shared presence, she introduced me to my fellow artist residents who have stayed in my heart ever since.
Her aspired vision for artists is as unique as her support is genuine. ‘Mas de Pelerins’, the amazing 15th Century homestead, provided me with a nourishing haven to lose myself and reassess the vision for my work. Interacting, collaborating, developing and working alongside other international artists was an experience in itself. The opportunity to further engage my work with international audiences and the local community through events and exhibitions was also an invaluable and inspiring new experience.
Nicky’s passion is relentless, serving each artist’s needs through generous personalised mentoring during the residency and beyond.
Furthermore, everything the residency offered from the location, meals, events, studio facilities and accomodation was all breathtakingly beautiful and personal. What’s more, sporadic bursts of banter and laughter throughout the homestead – especially during meal times – warmed hearts and nourished souls.
We lived and breathed in the moment, in a natural state mind, where art and life became one – an essential ingredient to being a creative.
Provence exceeded my wildest, artistic dreams. I’d fallen in love and truly believed I was living in the Van Gogh painting I viewed as a child. All this awe and wonder, encapsulated by shimmering metallic colours and ancient weathered forms, revelling in the glorious magical northern light, simply and completely hypnotised me. The historic Alpilles mountain range, a stoic feature of the surrounding landscape, while protecting the little village of Eygaliéres, exposed me to so much more.
It opened my heart to the of vitality of life and gave me a sense of my own mortality, for this experience I am truly grateful.
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