Jury report residency at Moly-Sabata

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands launched an Open Call in September 2023 aimed at Dutch artists and/or artists based in the Netherlands for an artist residency at Moly-Sabata, in the Region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in France, for the period of the 3rd of September until the 1st of November 2024. This period has been especially chosen as it will coincide with the opening of the 2024 edition of the Lyon Biennale and thus provide the artist an excellent opportunity to meet French and international art professionals.

Moly-Sabata is a residency program in the rural-setting of Sablons (Region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) (45 minutes by train from Lyon) operating all year long. It opened in 1927 and is France’s oldest active artist residency. They welcome around 25 artists per year who are directly invited by the curator of the residency, Joël Riff, or by art institutions from the region (as they usually do not work with open applications). The residency provides studios and facilities, and is part of a local, national and international network of partners. Joël Riff also curates an annual exhibition that takes place in September-October, during the European Heritage Days. Moly-Sabata has traditionally been involved with ceramics, which is a craft well represented in the region. However, this is by no means exclusive as Moly-Sabata usually welcomes artists working with any medium.

The jury for the Open Call was composed of Joël Riff, curator of Moly-Sabata, Nanda Janssen, freelance curator and visual arts advisor for the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Agnès Raux, senior officer culture at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The proposal by artist Ina van Zyl has been selected by the jury.

Ina van Zyl (c) Nosh Neneh, 2022

Ina van Zyl (1971) is born in South Africa. She studied art at the University of Stellenbosch. Van Zyl first came to Amsterdam as a guest of the Thami Mnyele Foundation for a four-month residency in 1995. This led to participating in the De Ateliers postgraduate programme from 1996 through 1998 and eventually settling in the Netherlands. The artist continues to live and work in Amsterdam today.

While she started with drawing comics – which forms the foundation of her work -, she works nowadays primarily using oil painting, her core medium. Through her work she has been focusing on the same themes from the start of her career: claustrophobia, shame / humiliation, eroticism / sexuality and human contact or rather, the lack of it.

The quality of her paintings as well as the stimulus that the residency can give the artist at this moment in her career, convinced the jury to offer her the opportunity of this residency.

Ina van Zyl, Bend, 2021, 40x30cm, oil linen

The jury is looking forward to see the effects of working in a new environment and meeting new artists and arts professionals on Ina van Zyl’s work. As she states herself: “My work has its roots in my daily doings and environment. (…) Working in a rural area, with a different rhythm and light, away from my normal activities and engagements in the city will most probably have an effect on my work.”

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, together with Moly-Sabata would like to thank all artists for their enthusiastic participation to this Open Call. The jury was pleased with the quality of the many proposals. The great number of applications shows a real interest in residencies in France. Artists are therefore encouraged to follow the communication networks of the Embassy as a new Open Call for an artist residency in 2025 will be launched next year: