About the Residency

About the residency

The Trelex Residency at Refugio Amazonas is a unique opportunity to take your practice deep into the amazonian rainforest in Peru, on the Tambopata River, adjacent to the Tambopata National Reserve. It will run on the Trelex Model, without application forms, on a first-come first-served and free basis. Reservations are made by forwarding travel booking confirmation.

Refugio Amazonas is one of three lodges (two eco-lodges and one research center) operated by Rainforest Expeditions, an innovative and prize-winning company founded in 1992 which works in partnership with the local community of Infierno. It provides direct and indirect employment for local communities for whom the most economically attractive alternatives include timber extraction, slash-and-burn farming and mercury-based gold mining, all of which lead to forest loss or degradation.Profit distribution arrangements with communities such as Infierno (where the Posada Amazonas lodge is located) are crucial in securing commitment for the stewardship of the rainforest, enforcing hunting restrictions and protecting large nature reserves.

The Trelex Model

The Trelex Model of artist residencies was developed in the village of Trelex, in Switzerland. The first of these was founded by artist Nina Rodin in her home as is known as The Trelex Residency. You can read about the motivation behind it here.

The Trelex model is a residency model that uses no application forms. The residency places are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are completely free of charge. I am often asked how I dare invite 'anyone' into my home and my studio and how I feel about taking such a risk. To which I reply that the artists who come take a huge risk as well. They book a plane ticket sometimes months in advance, to come and work in a unknown place and with unknown people, trusting that this will help them develop their practice. But what if people try to pretend to be artist to have access to free accommodation. To which I reply that pretending to be an artist would actually be really hard work.

While the original residency is very different because it is a permanent artist's studio with many specific facilities, it is nonetheless the hope that the free and generous  nature of the residency at Refugio Amazonas will mean that the ideals of Exchange, Discussion and Collaboration will prevail. I hope to link up residents at Refugio Amazonas with residents in Switzerland and eventually elsewhere too so that we can keep each other on our toes with critical feedback and peer to peer support. The lodges are very isolated but you should feel part of a community of like-minded artists.


  1. I completely agree with the personal statement for residency to come and work in a unknown place and with unknown people, trusting that this will help them develop their practice.