My purpose for applying for a residency in Mexico was to experience a culture which still has a living tradition of embroidery, but finding this tradition in Chapala proved trickier than I anticipated. A lot of the embroidery found locally is made solely for the tourist market - blouses, dresses, table runners, pillow covers etc - but I met some very generous people, both connected to the residency or in chance meetings, who were able to direct me to artisan pueblos and galleries. I was also very fortunate to meet an embroiderer who I commissioned to make several Mexican flower embroideries in silk.
The residency afforded me time to relax, explore, experiment and enjoy life "without the stress and distractions of daily life", although there were many wonderful distractions which took me out of the studio and into the streets of this wonderful, and very alive, pueblo!
Here are some photos of my time spent in Chapala and surrounds:
My casita lounge room / studio
The view from my bedroom window - local casas and the mountain
Jesus on the Lake - a huge statue of Jesus, usually surrounded
by water, but sadly Lake Chapala is very receded at present.
A beautiful meal prepared by Yen Hua
for the residents and associates
My favourite colours from childhood on the
garden wall of a neighbouring casa
and a local fence the same colour!
experimenting with lung forms - I call them 'Lung Flowers'
reclaimed needlework, lace pins and nylon tulle
Lung flowers floating in the window space -
with a view across the downstairs roof tiles
and beyond to the Lake and Sierra Madre (Mother Mountain)
Day of the Dead paper cuts, bought locally,
and doily brought from home, ready for deconstructing
One of a series of Day of Dead Doileys….
The front wall of the casitas with a mural painted
by a previous resident, from Japan.