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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

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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)

 

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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)

 

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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

 

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Miró Tiebe

Miró Tiebe

Miró is an art student at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (UAS). Born in the Sauerland region of Germany and raised near the city of Oldenburg by Bremen, he moved to Hamburg a few years ago to study. Miró is one of ten artists to whom Cornelia, her German publisher Dressler Verlag, and the university have awarded a scholarship for a stay at Cornelia's farm in Malibu. The students were invited to make an illustration of a story from Cornelia's Reckless World. 

Miró's Website

What brought you to art?

I have always loved drawing and painting. To relax and to pass the time. At the age of seven or eight, I once painted a complete roll of wallpaper, with a series of some crazy dragons. In the fourth grade I was diagnosed with dyslexia. That seems logical to me today, I actually painted the letters, I didn't know what I was doing.
Miró at the drawing table at his home in Hamburg (Photo: Michael Orth)
At some point I found out for myself that art was my means of expression. And I always received support and positive feedback. From my family, from my teachers, from classmates and friends. I recently showed my grandma a drawing I did for my bachelor's thesis, and she looks at it soberly and says:
"Oh, Miro, I think it's great that you're doing it all this way and I definitely stand behind you, but I don't understand it. I don't have to understand that either, but I think it's good." "Grandma", I said, "all well, don't worry about it, I'm very happy that you're behind me like this".

My mother has always been a constant support for me. I'm a perfectionist, I cut out drawings from my sketchbooks that I don't like. My mother used to always pull them out of the trash and keep them safe. 

In the eleventh or twelfth grade, my painting and drawing teacher asked me if I could help him with his lessons. So I taught my classmates, who all took it well. Then I spent a year at the art high school for the vocational baccalaureate and also got great feedback there. This of course strengthens my determination and stamina.

Miró wearing one of his shadow masks (Photo: Michael Orth)After the vocational baccalaureate, I applied to many universities and was rejected everywhere. For most of them my portfolios were not specific enough. Then I heard that there are portfolio interviews in Hamburg. You go there, show your portfolio, get suggestions from students about what you can do. There they recommended me to bring in some more colorful things, watercolors, portraits, etc.. Finally I was invited to the entrance examination. And about a year ago I did my bachelor's degree at the University of Applied Sciences. For the theoretical portion of my Bachelor thesis, I wrote a sociological treatise on de-escalation during protests. As part of this work, I also created my transparent shadow masks, which let us see the person behind the mask (demonstrator mask or police helmet on the opposite side).

 

How did you get the opportunity to participate in Cornelia's 'Artists in Residence Program'?

Photo: Michael OrthThere was an announcement at my university. I had only noticed it through a fellow student who said: "There is a competition, it doesn't really sound like our direction, Miró, but you can travel to LA and you can get to know Cornelia Funke! Of course I found that attractive. I knew Cornelia. Although my dyslexia did not make me so attached to her books, I knew the audio books and the films. "Inkheart". I loved the story, the idea behind it. And "Pan's Labyrinth" also impressed me. I've been devouring fantastic stories since I was little. When I was four, I heard a radio play about "Lord of the Rings" for the first time.
This is still my favourite radio play today. It was incredibly well set to music. And since then I've been devouring everything that's fantasy. "Harry Potter", the Discworld of Terry Pratchett, "Game of Thrones", ... 
Because of my dyslexia I'm of course not the big reader, but I still have many books, because I love the book as a medium, as an aesthetic thing, as an object. And I find it admirable how people manage to put pictures into words.

Miró's draft for the competition: The WatermanWhen I drew the design for Cornelia's competition, I was very concerned about whether I shouldn't put more emotion into my style. I had worked very strikingly before. For my bachelor thesis I dealt a lot with techno culture, drew posters and screen-printed them on 100 x 70. They're impressive and you can see what it's all about, but they're very objective, there's never any interpersonal level to be seen. That disturbed me. Then I submitted the work for the competition and Cornelia's comment on it was exactly what I wanted. She had written that she finds it impressive how I manage to package the situation and the mystical, fairytale-like through my organized and graphic-stylistic work.

 

How did you like your time on the farm? Did you find inspiration there?

That was right, really radical. I also wrote Cornelia a long letter when I was back in Hamburg. After my arrival in Malibu I suddenly felt like painting. There was this energy. And when I paint, I am energetic, stay awake for nights. Cornelia gave me an old canvas and I started.
And I didn't work at all in the style I worked in the drawing. I just didn't think about stylistics anymore, and that was good for me. That was very inspiring back then.

 

What did you take home from there?

Photo: Michael OrthI came back to Hamburg and was totally in the film and thought: Now I have to continue drawing and painting like I started in Malibu. That's really good for me. Since my return I have had the feeling that this is exactly what I am. Before Malibu, I had shut myself off. The stay on the farm gave me a new strength and the will to do so. And since then everything has been going very well. I get requests for various projects.

 

Photo: Michael Orth  Miró shows his first draft for the competition - Fox in the trap. Later on he decided in favour of the Waterman scene. (Photo: Michael Orth)  Photo: Michael Orth

No fear of the large canvas (Photo: Michael Orth)  Photo: Michael Orth 

    Photo: Michael Orth

 

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Inga Krause

Inga Krause

Inga comes from North Rhine-Westphalia and studied illustration and graphics at the Münster School of Design and the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg. In 2019 she was nominated for the Hamburg Picture Book Award with her picture book concept "Petrichor". She’s currently working on her master project in a small shared studio space in Hamburg Rothenburgsort.

Inga's Website

 

What brought you to art?

Inga at her studio in Hamburg Rothenburgsort (Photo: Michael Orth)That's a question I've never consciously asked myself before. Since I can remember, I have been creatively dealing with my environment and I think that is the basis for my urge to do art. My mother and my grandmother are also creative people, so my interest in art was never a really conscious decision, but rather a natural consequence. For me, the interest in art is a normal state that has always existed and has now been fanned into a fire.

 

How did you get the opportunity to participate in Cornelia's Artists in Residence program?

Inga showing an illustration from her story "Petrichord", which was nominated for the Hamburg Picture Book Award (Photo: Michael Orth)I'm studying illustration as part of the Master's program at the UAS in Hamburg, and a competition was announced there.
We were allowed to develop an illustration for Cornelia's stories. I chose the girl who is trapped in the body of a vixen. The small text excerpt let me dive directly into the world of "Reckless".

 

How did you like your time on the farm? Did you find inspiration there?

Inga's "Malibu palm trees" (Photo: Michael Orth)The time in Malibu was magical for me. The reflecting moonlight on the waves, the thorns of the gigantic cacti, the screaming of the coyotes, all the magic of this place seems like a dream to me today. The dream remains and it keeps mixing again and again with colours, forms or feelings in my work.

 

What did you take home from there?

Photo: Michael Orth
To be brave!

Thank you Cornelia...

 

 

 


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

Photo: Michael Orth  Photo: Michael Orth  Inga also enjoys large scale painting (Photo: Michael Orth)

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

 

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Sara-Christin Richter

Sara-Christin Richter

Born in Leipzig, Sara-Christin studied to be a teacher for art and English in her hometown Dresden, and since 2017 has been studying illustration at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (UAS). Her heart belongs to dolls and doll carving. Her handmade doll friend, watchmaker Walter Jannovitz, even has his own Instagram page, and he travels around the world with her.

Sara-Christin's Website

What brought you to art?

Photo: Michael OrthSince my childhood I have been interested in art and have been able to attend courses at a very early age. My mother has a lot of books because of her art history studies. I was allowed to make copies of the most beautiful pictures and then sorted them very carefully into slides so that they could be signed off later. My parents often took me to museums and churches.
As a child I probably found this boring, but now I think that I have gotten a lot out of it. For example, my interest in the Middle Ages. As a teenager I attended various art courses before I studied art education and then illustration in Hamburg. 

 

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

"The Tailor", Sara-Christin's contribution to the competition.At our university, UAS Hamburg, a competition was organized by Dressler Verlag. Dressler and professors from the university then sifted through the works.
When I heard that the winners would be allowed to visit Cornelia, I really wanted to take part.

 

 

How did you like your time on the farm? Did you find inspiration there?

Photo: Michael OrthThe time on Cornelia's farm inspired and animated me. It is very, very comfortable there and you immediately feel at home. Everywhere you can find little things, but also dolls and wooden figures. And of course the surroundings and nature are fascinating. You clear your head automatically.

 

What did you take home from there?

Photo: Michael OrthFrom Malibu I took photos, sketches and modelled dolls,
but above all a lot of strength and motivation. Cornelia was incredibly motivating and inspiring. I take with me the conversations we had about art, literature, dolls and much more, and they will accompany me for a long time.

 

 

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

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

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

Walter Jannovitz... (Photo: Michael Orth)  Sara-Christin's watchmaker friend (Photo: Michael Orth)  Photo: Michael Orth

 

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