Bosque Pehuén Residency Program: Multidisciplinary Nature Research Station
2017 | Art and Conservation

New Zealand Maori artist, Charlotte Graham (1972), French artist, Etienne de France (1984), and Chilean artist, Gianfranco Foschino (1983) were selected by Fundación Mar Adentro to participate in 2017’s residency program, supported by Creative New Zealand, a program that seeks to establish dialogues between different disciplines to encourage nature conservation awareness.

The residency was held between April 10th and May 4th, 2017. In their first week of work, the artists visited natural parks in the Araucanía region alongside Universidad Austral scientists, Iván Díaz, Daniela Mellado, and Javier Godoy. The artists also visited a Mapuche community, where they met with Mapuche culture scholars, Cristián Cayupán (writer) and Ana Ñanculef (mapudungun researcher and expert). During week 2 of the residency program, the artists were given time to conduct their personal research in Bosque Pehuén, as well as excursions accompanied by scientists to explore the different environments of the forest.

During week 3, the artists guided workshops for students ages 5 to 13 at Quelhue, Carileufu, and Palguín Bajo. Schools located in close proximity to Bosque Pehuén. These schools were chosen due to their interest in multiculturalism, in teaching their students the language of the Mapuche, and for their concern (and educational focus) on the environment. The workshops considered different phases to create a joint art piece: Observation of nature through magnifying glasses; reflection and subsequent dialogues on these observations; synthesis of observation and follow up discussion to create a collaborative artist-student art piece.

To conclude their residency, the artists returned to Santiago and visited different cultural centers where they were received by curators and/or museum directors in an effort to promote future collaborations. The artists also conducted a roundtable discussion session in the National Museum of Natural History of Santiago, open to the public, where they spoke about their experience during the residency and their thoughts on existing relationships between art and science.

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