Octobers Open AiR – Participating Artists

The artist residency Open AiR III will take place from the 10th of October to the 10th of November 2015 in Sefrou, Fez, Morocco. The following artists have been selected to participate in the rich program of immersion and support to feed their creative practice.

Brian Mealo – USA

Brian Mealos work has been strongly influenced by North African pattern and design. The artists pulls inspiration directly from rugs and textiles found through out North Africa, Morocco specifically and the Middle East.  Paintings and water color are his main mediums as well as drawing. The culture and history of these patterns are just as much of interest as the actual textiles.  Color and texture found and used in carpets and textiles draw Mealo in as well as influence his work .

2-Brian Meola 72x54 Acrylic on canvas


Sorrel Hofmann – South Africa

The practice of Sorrel Hoffmann is grounded in materiality. The materials are premised on their instability and at times their disintegration thus signaling the provisional as a concern in her work.  However, the provisional requires an attitudinal shift away from the search for certainty, hence the artists inquiry into topics such as transience, memory and the significance of the incidental. The breakdown of binaries such as permanence/transience allows for a change in established norms whilst the experiential process allows dissolution and discovery.

sorrel Hofmann

By asking the question – How long will the mark last? – and therefore working with the notion of foreverness – personal narratives take the lines of made marks through different histories, generations and places, overlapping a collective narrative possibly instilled in the materials used; or influenced by time/space functionality.  Sorrels nomadic mind then compels her to question and challenge the why, the validity and the ‘where it comes from’. The personal narrative manifests inpersonally comprehended images/objects not always verbally explainable, but imbued with the experience of making. In some sense, she conflates two things – the self and the substance in order to understand the notion of  multidisciplinary materiality.


Lilian Stolk / Lauren Hillebrandt – Holland

As an artist, Lilian Stolk starts her projects with a research. She is interested in everyday systems and habits, authenticity and the design of our society. Her projects often have a daily rhythm, so making work becomes intertwined with her life. For her graduation project at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy Amsterdam, she celebrated for one year all the special days (Day of Africa, International Pi day, ect.). Currently, she is translating the prosaic Hot Trends of Google into drawings. And besides that she is doing research to emoji as a language of the future, which will result in an informative installation in the MOTI museum, Breda and kids workshops, among other things.


Besides her art practice, Lilian is organising and producing initiatives. With her foundation THE WOW she is programming 5 minute talks that show the value of art in society. Earlier she organised events for Mediamatic, Amsterdam and produced photo shoots in the design magazine MacGuffin, life of things.

Lauren Hillebrandt’s work is about restoring the base of understanding our physical world. Her main inspiration is the daily habituation. To play with this concept, she is in constant search of abstraction in the physical world. By changing the context she tries to force objects is a sculpture that tease our expectations. A deconstruction of our reality. In the process of photographing she tries to reject all taught ideas and concepts about an object and approach it as a basic ‘being’. Creating a universal language and at the same time figuring out the possibilities of the medium photography itself.



Elvira Wersche – Holland

Elvira Wersche is a visual artist born in Germany. After studying at the Art Colleges in Braunschweig and Kassel (Germany) she moved to the Netherlands where she has lived since 1973. In the past the artist painted, made objects, installations and performances with diverse materials like sand, carbon, branches, leaves, flowers, light, gemstones, water, broken glass… often found and related to the spot where she worked. The relationship between art and science was a main topic in this period: ‘Der Wissenschaftler – ein Poet’(The scientist – a poet )1988, ‘Das sinnende Sein’(The being of the senses) 1989, Gewandinszenierungen – ‘The garment as a sign of internal identity’ 1987.  The cultural and political situation in the world after 2001 were a breeding ground for Wersche’s site-specific project Sammlung Weltensand. The more the cultural confrontations and contradictions developed the more the artist longed for a conceptual framework in space and time as a part of the Intercultural Dialogue. Since 2001 she has realized many projects internationally.

slotdans zandkunstwerk in de Cacaofabriek Helmond

slotdans zandkunstwerk in de Cacaofabriek Helmond

Elvira has been collecting different-colored samples of sand from all over the world, using them to construct complex geometrical patterns, on the floors of museums, art centers or churches. Sand carries within it recollections and traces of the ephemeral history of humankind. Life fallen into dust: this mysterious quality is tangible in Sammlung Weltensand. The artist uses the sand in its natural state without any addition of pigments. Her visual language of the designs originates from the Islamic ornamental tradition. Fascinated by the dynamic energy of these patterns, she studied the underlying geometrical designs and philosophy and refashioned them into a visual language of her own. Viewings of the work-in-progress situation are central to each project and enable the public to follow the complete process of genesis from close by until the floor pattern will be erased in a dance and all the different types of sand are mixed together. By doing so, Elvira Wersche emphasizes that everything is in constant flux, everything is only temporary.

For more information on Culture Vultures see http://culturevulturesfez.org/ 

The residency project description lies HERE

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