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Vitomirka Trebovac - AIR on the Edge residency in The Netherlands

Updated: Mar 29

Serbia based artist Vitomirka Trebovac is artist in residence at Arcadia in Fryslan, The Netherlands in February and March 2024.

AIR on the Edge is a one-month international artist residency exchange between Denmark, Finland, Ireland, The Netherlands and Serbia. It focuses on artists professional development, creating opportunities for artists to engage with rural communities and is rooted in rural places and cities on the edges of Europe.

Vitomirka shared some first impressions of the residency so far:

The first week of my Air on the Edge residency went by very quickly. 

From a distance, it always looks like the days will last a long time, because we are out of our routine and have all the time in the world, but in practice it is not like that.

I am located in Friesland, in the village of Oldeberkoop. The first days were spent in long walks around the place, which is really charming. 

Behind the house where I am staying, there is a forest, so I explored the surroundings, listened to the birds (the village is full of birds!) and connected with the space and myself.

I am grateful for the opportunity to enjoy leisure and solitude, as well as to connect with a new culture and meet people. Both things are good and necessary for creation. I was lucky enough to meet my host - artist Peter Hiemstra, who is engaged in the Open Stal organization. I visited his studio and had really interesting conversations with him.

He introduced me to the famous Frisian poet Tsjebbe Hettinga, who is a great inspiration to me these days. Watch a video of him here.

I went for a short visit to Leeuwarden and the Van der Velde bookstore.

Also, I started working out in the local sports centre, so in a short time I met many women from Oldeberkoop and I can say that already after the first week I feel that I have connected with the community. 

In short - many experiences and pleasant people in one week.

Vitormirka shared more about her experience at the conclusion of her residency:

My residency is now complete and I can't believe how fast it went! This is probably because I had so many meetings with lots of interesting people. In the end I can say, for me, this residency was marked by landscapes and people. Both nature and people proved to be wide and open. I really enjoyed this time. After my first week, I went for many walks, and I visited all the woods in this region. I rode a bike and visited many villages. I worked out almost every day and met many people. And I wrote about this region.

A few things that stood out for me during this residency were lovely walks with Peter and Marianne, who are featured in the photos; a visit to the town of Zwolle, where I visited the most beautiful bookstore I've ever seen - located in a church; and a play performed by the amateur theatre from Oldeberkoop. I also enjoyed the best cappuccino and carrot cake at TramHalte Plein Cafe, in Noordwolde. My last week was spent socialising and having dinners with people I met in Oldeberkoop.

The poems I wrote will be part of this year's Open Stal Art Route. This makes me particularly happy, because poetry will be able to be heard in the forest, during the summer, in both languages (Serbian and Friesian).

Thank you to everyone involved in making this residency happen. I will remember Friesland.


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