Merav Shinn Ben-Alon

October 2021

I wanted to come to Kuba Residency when I first heard about it in 2019. I knew it was the right place for me. But I had to wait for the right time. My plan was to apply for the 2022 Open Call, but as I was working on the application, I realized that the right time is now. I wrote to Sharon and Mika and found out that someone had canceled at the last moment. The last two weeks of Oct 2021, the end of the season, the fall, my favorite season – was my time! I came to work on my new Artist’s Book / Graphic Novel. I needed a clear mind to solve an issue in the story. The setting, atmosphere, space, and the right balance between peace and quiet and interaction with my fellow artist, were perfect. For me, residency is, first of all, about Holding. This quality is so crucial. It creates the freedom to fly, experiment, and go deeper in my work.Besides my writing, I’m first of all a visual artist. I was writing in the mornings and then going up to the beautiful shared studio at noon. In the afternoons, we went together to the forest to collect mushrooms for our dinner.  I was surprised by the beauty of this calm village and totally captivated by the power of nature, the light, the fields, the great forest, the smell of the burning wood for heating.With the assistance of Sharon, who cut the wooden circles for me, it all became an Inspiration to an unexpected new series of works.The warmth, the wisdom of Sharon and Mika, who created this artistic heaven, made this time to be a gift. Thank you!