Awhile back I asked artist-in-residence alums from the last few years to reflect on their time here at Cassilhaus now that the residency was in their rear view mirror. I just got this deeply touching response from Eszter and Tamas who visited from Hungary in June of 2014 and I had to share it. We developed such a wonderful bond of friendship while they were here and are excited to visit them in Budapest next year. We are also thrilled that the book that Tamas and Eszter worked on during their time here, Notes for an Epilogue, will be released by noted photo publisher Hatje Cantz in September.
"John Milton was mistaken. Paradise is not lost, at least it still exists in the form of a divine house and an enchanted forest in Chapel Hill, NC. Instead of Adam and Eve, it is Frank and Ellen who run this captivating space, which is full of bird songs. They care for the poppies, as well as a shady fig tree – surely an obligatory prerequisite for Paradise. They also fill the hummingbird feeder and fill the exhibition space with art, inviting inspiring artists to give presentations, read, make music, and offer an account of their artistic journeys. Absolute tranquillity, undisturbed silence, and trees reaching to the skies provided a stimulating background for working creatively in the artists’ studio designed by Ellen to be breathtakingly elegant and larger than life. And when after the longish working hours we desired some honest, clever, and cheerful conversation, on the other side of the door we always found two extraordinarily good people, Ellen and Frank, in the company of two playful feline characters, Jaco and Joni. It was an exceptional adventure to experience the curiosity, openness, and helpfulness of Ellen and Frank – and an honour to immediately gain their friendship. With Cassilhaus a new reckonning of time began in our lives. Our experiences gained and the time spent there created an invisible bond with our new Cassilhaus friends"
Thank you so much Eszter and Tamas for bringing your creativity, joy, and love into our home. It was a transformative experience for us as well.