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Crossed residence: art and environment

At the Castle – Art and research residencies, Centre international d'art et du paysage, Vassivière Island (France)

and NEKaTEOENEa artists residency, Domaine d’Abbadia in Hendaye (France)

30th October 2017 – 30 March 2018

Call for applications open to an artist and a scientist

for a research and creation project

The International Centre for Art and Landscape on Vassivière Island and the NEKaTEOENEa artists' residency at the Domaine d’Abbadia, near Hendaye, are calling for candidates for a four-month residency for an artist and a scientist (naturalist, biologist, ethnologist, anthropologist, geographer or other). The residency will be divided between two venues:

- The Castle on Vassivière Island, for two months: 30 October 2017 – 27 January 2018

- NEKaTEOENEa, at the Domaine d’Abbadia, for two months: 29 January – 30 March 2018

The artist and the scientist can apply individually or together: they will draw on the two venues to enrich their respective lines of enquiry.


The Centre international d’art et du paysage has launched at the end of 2012 a new

programme of artists' residencies in the Castle on Vassivière Island, recently renovated by architects Berger&Berger and BuildingBuilding. This programme receives the funding of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region and the Ministry of Culture – Drac Nouvelle-Aquitaine. The Castle – home to this art and research residency programme organised by the art centre as a complement to the exhibitions and the Sculpture Wood. The aim of the program is to encourage pre-production reflection and research for creative projects taking their inspiration from a paradoxical setting: one that has preserved its rural character in spite of being marked by periurban industrial activity.


The NEKaTOENEa residency exists since 20 years and is managed by the CPIE Littoral Basque, a non-profit association with the national label « Permanent centre for environmental initiatives », whose activities are developed in and around the fields of science, culture and education. The artists hosted develop projects around the perception of landscape, environment, heritage and notions of borders. The association develops a work of environmental awareness and education.

The Centre international d’art et du paysage and NEKaTEOENEa residencies are members of the French network Arts en résidence: http://artsenresidence.free.fr


These two residency bodies are jointly calling for candidates for a research programme relating to current debates about resources, forms of energy and ecology. Both are in territories overseen by the Conservatoire du Littoral et des Rivages Lacustres (Coastal and Lakeshore Protection Agency), in unique settings conducive to exploration of the relationships between art, nature and the environment. Vassivière Island, which belongs to the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, is in the heart of the Millevaches Regional Nature Reserve; seemingly a natural site, it is in fact situated in an artificial lake created as part of a hydroelectric scheme. The Domaine d’Abbadia is a classified nature reserve on a cliff-top site overlooking the Atlantic. The Vassivière Art Centre is a cultural facility, while the CPIE Littoral Basque is an environmental body with its own cultural perspective.

In their approach the candidates will be expected to address current thinking about nature and its preservation. Working with each other and two groups of Masters students, the artist and scientist in residence will consider the role of art in issues relating to "changes in our environment and the appearance of new phenomena such as the disruption of natural cycles, the malfunctioning of our economic systems, demographic implosion, etc.",1 with a view to shared consideration of new ways of combining scientific and artistic research.


During the residency period, the Géolab laboratory at the University of Limoges and the Territorial and Communication Science Department at the University of Bordeaux Montaigne will be engaging with the "art and environment" theme via a research project enabling Masters students in Environmental and Territorial Management and Heritage and Territorial Development at Limoges, and Environmental Mediation and the Image at Bordeaux, to work on these matters.

The artist and the scientist will be invited to discuss with students when the latter visit the residency venues: from 6–10 November at Vassivière and in February or March at NEKaTEOENEa (date pending).

After the residencies, discussion meetings will be organised in Spring 2018:

- A debriefing day with the residents on the work of the students from the two universities

- A two-day public presentation with contributions from researchers, scientists and artists on art and environmental issues.

Residence allowance: Each resident receives living expenses of 500 euros taxes included per

month. His or her presence is not required full time, but the full amount on expenses can only be paid if the resident is present for at least half of the residency duration, continuously or otherwise. In addition every structure covers travel costs between the resident's home and Vassiviere Island up to a total amount of 300 euros maximum, and between the resident's home and NEKaTEOENEa up to a total amount of 300 euros maximum.

Support for residents: Both residency places will help the resident in his/her project and in getting acquainted with the local area and its people. It provides intellectual and logistical backup via the skills of its team and its equipment. In addition each resident will receive a production fee of maximum 500 euros, which may be used before the end of the residency to finance the project for which s-he has been selected.

Terms and conditions in Vassivière

Accommodation: The resident is provided with furnished accommodation in the Castle. There

are three separate facilities with large beds, one of which can house a family. Each accommodation unit includes a fully equipped kitchen and a bathroom/toilet. Sheets, towels and crockery are provided. Heating is geothermal and there is a shared laundry.

Workspaces: Resident share open-plan work areas totalling 192 sq. metres on several different levels in the Castle, with heating, phone and Internet connection. Architect-designed more as research and inspiration spaces than as actual artists' studios, these areas offer no audio-visual equipment or technical tools. According to his availability, the installation manager can offer technical support to residents.


Getting there: The candidate should not fear isolation.

Nearest station (13 km): Eymoutiers-Vassivière. Airport: Limoges (70 km).

Vassivière Island (70 hectares) is set in a 1000-hectare artificial lake, 700 metres above sea level on the Millevaches Plateau, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region. At the convergence of the Haute-Vienne and Creuse departments, it is part of the Beaumont-du-Lac municipality, 60 km from Limoges.

 Transport: A driving licence is a major asset. The Art Centre provides a car for the resident to share with the team of the Art Centre, and a flat-rate contribution towards gasoline expenses (1 full by month).

 Terms and conditions in NEKaTEOENEa

Provision of: 

- One furnished apartment in Nekatoenea situated in the heart of the Domaine d’Abbadia.

- One unequipped studio place of 36m² attached to the apartment, Wi-Fi access.

-  The municipality of Hendaye supports electricity, water and Wi-Fi.

The apartment and the place of creation being located in the very heart of the protected natural site, the resident has to comply strictly with the regulation of the Domain. (Cars, bicycles, dogs are prohibited). No computer equipment is available.


Residents are strongly advised to have a driver's licence.

At NEKaTEOENEa there is no car for use by the residents. However, each resident receives travel expenses of 70 € for the period of the residency.

Access: Candidates should be aware of the isolation factor. Nearest station: Hendaye. Nearest airports: Biarritz (36km) and San Sebastián in Spain (15km)

How to apply for the residency

Final application date:  Sunday the 17th of September 2017 inclusive


The residency programme is open to artists and scientists of any nationality. There is no age limit. The candidates must provide a tax number and specify the country in which they pay taxes. The residents have to be able to speak and understand French.


Applications – in French or English – are to be sent exclusively by email to: residenceartenvironnement@gmail.com. Maximum total attachments size: 5 Mo.

Applications are limited to three attachments in PDF format:

  • For each artist and scientist: a portfolio presentation of recent work
  • For each artist and scientist: a full CV/résumé listing degrees/diplomas, exhibitions, publications, residencies, grants, etc., and including full contact details (postal address, email address, phone number), date and place of birth, current place of residence, work status (Social Security information and other relevant details).
  • A statement of intent for the residency, in response to the thematic of the programme (max. 500 words).

 Selection process

Selection will hinge on the relevance of the applicant's project.

After an initial selection, from Monday the 18th of September, shortlisted candidates will be contacted around the 22nd of September by email and asked to present their project by telephone to a panel meeting, which will take place in the week of the 25th of September.

Applications will be made up of representatives of Vassivière Art Centre and NEKaTEOENEa’s residency, and their financial partners (Nouvelle-Aquitaine DRAC, Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region), and external professionals.

Successful applicants will be informed immediately. Other applicants will be informed by email from the 2nd of October.

Additional information

For all additional information consult: http://www.ciapiledevassiviere.com/en/residence_artiste.aspx or contact Lucie You, in charge of the residencies at residences@ciapiledevassiviere.com or by phone at +33 (0)5 55 69 27 27 or:

www.nekatoenea.eu or contact Elke Roloff, in charge of the residencies at eroloff@hendaye.com or by phone at +33 (0)6 29 96 13 98.



The programme is made possible through the support of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region and the Ministry of Culture – Nouvelle-Aquitaine Cultural Affairs Office (DRAC).

This project is supported by the Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso.

[1] Excerpt from the 2017 call for projects by the Daniel et Nina Carasso Foundation's "Citizen Art" program.