To share a bit more about our last two residents: artist and landscape architect Jennifer Dowdell (USA) and filmmaker Stefan Pavlovic (NL).
Jennifer spent her residency period intensely investigating the region's ecosystems and embedded histories, tracing the spirit-of-place or ‘genus loci’ that connects the natural world with the community. She examined the Trebišnjica River basin and its globally significant karst geology and associated ecosystems, while also cataloging oral histories of local villagers impacted by the construction of the hydroelectric dam that formed Lake Bileća five decades ago. She integrated her findings (over the course of 8 weeks) into a series of maps & sketches, watercolor paintings, and photo documentation, to begin to form a story that reflects these interdependent and interconnected stories that animate the landscape.
We are also very pleased to have established a partnership with speleologist Brian Lewarne and the Devon Karst Society (Director of the Proteus Project in the Trebišnjica River Basin, Eastern Hercegovina), who collaborated with Jennifer to learn more about the history of scientists and engineers who have documented and stewarded the Trebišnjica catchment’s many ponors (sinkholes), vrelos (springs), and estevelles, where the river emerges and sinks underground again. Brian has shared invaluable insights into the need for continued conservation and establishment of a protected area where the Proteus, an endemic aquatic cave salamander, is known to persist – despite many man-made impacts.