X
Adolfo Córdova Ortiz

Adolfo Córdova Ortiz

Adolfo is writer, journalist and researcher.
He lives and works in Mexico City. Adolfo was born in 1983 in Veracruz. He studied Literature for Children and Young Adults in Barcelona. Adolfo has written several award-winning books. He teaches courses and workshops at universities in Mexico and abroad. Together with his wife, the photographer Mariela Sancari, he took part in Cornelia's 'Artists in Residence program' in 2019.

Adolfo's website

How did you come to start writing?

Photo: Michael OrthI started like many young people do, while being an adolescent. I wanted to express, somehow, everything that was happening to me, my desires and the big and small injustices I witnessed. So I started writing poetry and rebellious poetic prose... and I used to read them in front of my classmates and create small handmade books that today I wouldn’t dare show to anyone in the world. But I still cherish them and regard them as important in my process.

I grew up and matured through writing. When I was in Belgium for a year before starting university, I wrote travel chronicles and nostalgic poems. While studying journalism at university, I invented surrealistic stories. My very first dragons and fairies characters were born along with my writing for a newspaper in Mexico City. I have always wandered between fiction and nonfiction and, now that I reflect about it, it was in order to achieve the same thing as when I started: to understand myself and the world around me.

 

And how did you come to be one of the 'Artists in Residence' of the Rim of Heaven project?

Photo: Michael OrthBack in 2017, an editor asked me to interview Cornelia via Skype at the International Book Fair in Guadalajara in front of a live audience. Before starting our conversation and allowing her fans to enter the conference room, Cornelia told me that she wanted to start an 'Artists in Residence program' for young emerging creators. I felt very excited about it and some months later I asked another editor of mine at Fondo de Cultura Económica if she could share with me Cornelia's email. I wrote her a thanking note for the splendid interview she gave me and her readers and I also asked her about the residence program. Thus began a new conversation about dragons, jungles, islands, and even chocolates. And a little over a year later, we landed in California. Magic.

 

How did you like your stay at the farm? Have you found inspiration?

Photo: Michael OrthOur stay at the farm has been one of the most refreshing and stimulating experiences I have had as a writer. Everything there inspires you. We named our studio 'Tibet' because it is based on a hill on the property. It is very quiet and we found peace there. It was a perfect place to concentrate, think and create. But we also enjoyed touring the property through the beautiful stone and wooden paths between fruit trees and flowers; playing with Jake and Tabby, the lovable dogs; looking at the fantastic works of art from Cornelia’s collection and her many wonderful books –you could find literary treasures everywhere!–, making jokes with Angie, sharing meals with the other residents and talking for hours on end with Cornelia, witnessing the way she works, feeling her energy and love and being grateful for her generosity. Mariela and I were both in 'Artists in Residence programs' in different countries before and have always longed having a community to talk to and share our processes. So, our long conversations with Cornelia and the other residents, her remarks and comments about our work, but also about literature, music, artistry and life in general were key to our fabulous stay there. There is nothing more enjoyable for me than the combination of art and nature and the Rim of Heaven has it all.

 

What did you bring back home from there?

Besides plenty of beautiful memories and new friendships, I have so many new stories to be written! Cornelia's farm is not only a residency, it is also an incubator. I have new ideas for projects that I want to do. And most important: I have had a hard time starting my island’s book, I was very distracted giving workshops, finishing other books, traveling for work, and the residency and the conversations with Cornelia and Mariela helped me finally to find the tone of the stories. So I could say that I brought back home one crucial answer and many promising questions.

 

El dragón blanco y otros personajes olvidados (The white dragon and other forgotten characters); published 2016 by Fondo de Cultura Económica  Para la niña detrás del árbol; published 2015 by Pearson  La hoguera de bronce. Historia de bosques y selvas; published 2017 by Secretaría de Cultura

View all answers Hide answers
Mariela Sancari

Mariela Sancari

Mariela is a freelance photographer. She lives in Mexico City. Mariela was born in 1976 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her first photo book "Moisés" was selected by several curators and reviewers as one of the best photo books published in 2015. Mariela has had solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group exhibitions around the world.

Mariela's website

How did you come to start photographing?

Photo: Michael OrthWhen I was 19 years old, my twin sister and I decided to leave everything behind in Buenos Aires and travel through South America. After a year of moving around, we arrived in Mexico. Fascinated by it, we decided to stay there. I had a few different jobs until I finally discovered photography, when entering a darkroom for the first time. I had always been intrigued by images so I decided to start studying. Later on, I got a job as a staff photographer at a large newspaper in Mexico City.
Then, after spending five years there, I quit documentary photography and entered a photography program devoted to creating personal work. From then on, all my images are rooted in my own history and I explore autobiographical narratives.
I could say that, in a way, I needed to move far away from home in order to be able to reflect about it in my work.

 

And how did you come to be one of the 'Artists in Residence' of the Rim of Heaven project?

Photo: Michael OrthWhen Cornelia invited Adolfo to come to the residency, she suggested it would be great to invite an illustrator as well to collaborate on a project together. Adolfo and I have already published a book together, "Mr. & Dr.", an adaptation of
"The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde". We loved the experience and wanted to work as a team again. Adolfo was starting a new project about islands, very much focused on landscape and geography and we thought it would be perfect for me to illustrate it. I was also very excited about meeting Cornelia and getting to know a little more about the world of books for children and youngsters.

 

How did you like your stay at Cornelia's farm? Have you found inspiration?

Photo: Michael OrthMalibu itself was my inspiration. I am not a photographer who goes out much to take pictures, in the last few years I have been more interested in revisiting my own archive, but in Malibu I felt compelled to go out and take pictures. I took many photos of nature, stone textures, the footprints of the sea on the sand.

Besides enjoying Malibu immensely, as Adolfo says, we also were delighted to go on excursions with Cornelia in the surroundings of Malibu, from the mountains to the beach.
We also witnessed some of the initiatives she supports, such as the California Wildlife Center –we were there the day they released two sea lions back into the sea– or the Getty Research Institute, where we attended a talk.

We loved watching the sunset at Point Dume, walk over the cliffs, watch the dolphins, whales, the algae. I took many pictures there. But also, I loved spending an entire calm afternoon in silence in our studio, talking with Adolfo about our project. I think the experience made us grow together as a creative couple.

 

What did you bring back home from there?

So many pictures! I feel each and everyone can tell a story. That is, I had a very productive two weeks. And, of course, the first dummy of the book with my photos and Adolfo’s texts already building new meanings. And also many very special moments. We feel our time there renewed our spirit and gave us back the much needed calm to pursue our projects –a calm so often hard to find in Mexico City. We also feel we created a strong bond with new life long lasting friends. We are really looking forward to chapter 2 in Malibu!

 

     From Mariela Sancari's photo book "Moisés"; published 2015 by'La Fábrica'  From Mariela Sancari's photo book "Moisés"; published 2015 by'La Fábrica'  From Mariela Sancari's photo book "Moisés"; published 2015 by'La Fábrica'

     From Mariela Sancari's photo book "Moisés"; published 2015 by'La Fábrica'  From Mariela Sancari's photo book "Moisés"; published 2015 by'La Fábrica'  From Mariela Sancari's photo book "Moisés"; published 2015 by'La Fábrica'

     "Mr & Dr" is a collaboration of Mariela and her husband Adolfo Córdova, a photobook aimed for children and youngsters that explores the notion of the unknown through images and text; published 2017 by 'This book is true' (photo: Arturo Laso)  "Mr & Dr" is a collaboration of Mariela and her husband Adolfo Córdova, a photobook aimed for children and youngsters that explores the notion of the unknown through images and text; published 2017 by 'This book is true' (photo: Arturo Laso)  "Mr & Dr" is a collaboration of Mariela and her husband Adolfo Córdova, a photobook aimed for children and youngsters that explores the notion of the unknown through images and text; published 2017 by 'This book is true' (photo: Arturo Laso)

 

View all answers Hide answers
Helena Park

Helena Park

Helena is a practicing print-maker and painter based in Somerset, England. She graduated from Falmouth University with a BA degree in Fine Art and has since pursued her career as an artist full-time, successfully exhibiting and selling her work at art fairs in the U.K. and in Los Angeles. 

Helena's website

When did you start making art?

I have always drawn and created imagined stories on paper ever since I was little.
This obsession for creating images developed further when I went to study Art at degree level at Falmouth university in the west of England when I was 19. Ever since then I've been painting and making etchings full time by selling my work at art fairs around the UK and in LA.

 

How did the opportunity for you to come to Cornelia's farm come about?

Photo: Michael OrthCornelia was prompted to look at my work online on my artist website a year ago and was intrigued by my art. By happy chance I was visiting LA in October 2018 and so was able to also visit Cornelia in Malibu whilst I was staying there. During that meeting Cornelia proposed I take part in this year's 2019 residency which I was obviously thrilled by.

 

How has your stay been and did you find inspiration for your work?

Photo: Michael Orth
The light and colour of Malibu and of California generally has noticeably seeped into my art and shifted it into being far more brightly colourful. I also love the community atmosphere where ideas and conversations are shared freely and are always inspiring.


What will you take away from this experience?

I have had a truly amazing time at Cornelia's farm. The residency has definitely grown me not only as an artist but also as a person. To be able to talk with Cornelia about my art and to get her experienced insight and advice has been invaluable for me. Also it was great to meet the other artists in residence and to discuss their projects and art experiences with them. I will definitely be keeping in touch with them all.

 

      

   Photo: Michael Orth  Photo: Michael Orth 

   Photo: Michael Orth  Photo: Michael Orth  Cornelia's dog Jake often paid Helena a visit while she was drawing and painting (Photo: Michael Orth)

 

View all answers Hide answers
Rosie Anne Smith

Rosie Anne Smith

Rosie is a young artist from Birmingham, England. Together with Helena Park she graduated with a BA in Fine Art from Falmouth University. Rosie works in Sydney at an art gallery and has her own studio.

Rosie's website

When did you start making art?

Foto: Michael OrthI started making artwork during college, which would be, jeez, seven years ago. I'd chosen to study analogue photography.
And loved it. I loved the way you could manipulate the light, composition, even the contact sheets were visually intriguing. And over the years this has spread over different mediums.
I now focus my energy on painting, but still lean back on photographs as inspiration.

 

How did the opportunity for you to come to Cornelia's farm come about?

Photo: Michael OrthA good friend and artist, Helena Park, had originally got in touch with Cornelia with regards to the residency and invited me along. It was a gamble for Cornelia to have me stay and work as we had never met beforehand. I'm very thankful she took that gamble.

 

How has your stay been, and did you find inspiration for your work?

Photo: Michael OrthMy time in Malibu was magical, the property and people have an incredible affect on you. Amongst the midst of this beautiful, calming landscape, there's an air of rebellion and so much life.
I found myself challenging my work each day. What was the driving force? What should it say? Does it need to say anything? These are all questions I would not have been able to answer, if it wasn't for my time and the conversations I had at the farm. And since, I've noticed my artwork change entirely. That stay gave me the understanding I needed.

 

What will you take away from this experience?

Not to sound like a complete romantic, but the absolute necessity for art. It allows a space for us all to understand and express humanity. Art lifts the heart, saddens it and compels us to act. Or even for the simplicity of making something look visually stunning. It's needed, and I'm very excited to somewhat be a part of the conversation. 

 

Photo: Michael Orth Photo: Michael Orth Photo: Michael Orth

Photo: Michael Orth Photo: Michael Orth Photo: Michael Orth

 

View all answers Hide answers