Victoria Veedell visited Kamiyama in July-August of 2004 and stayed for four weeks as a participant in the partial support program, where artists paid for their own travel expenses and materials costs, but Green Valley offered studio space and accommodation free of charge. The partial support program ran from 2003 to 2005. Victoria stayed in an apartment in the old teacher housing and used another apartment in the building as her studio. We recently wrote and asked her to tell us her reflections on her experience and this is what she said.
While in Kamiyama I drove around the countryside visiting temples/shrines and waterfalls. I, also, took numerous walks around the surrounding neighborhoods. I was lucky enough to be around during the Bon festival to see the Awa Odori dances in Tokushima. I spent a morning at the Awagami Paper Factory learning paper making. I took several trips to other towns around Shikoku. Naoshima to see the Benesse Art Site and Chichu Art Museum. Matsuyama to see the castle. Naruto to see the famous whirlpools. I took a boat trip at the Oboke Gorge and walked across the Higashi Iya vine bridge.
Kamiyama is a special place and I feel very fortunate to have been able to participate in the KAIR program. When I look back at my time there the I remember the overwhelming presence of nature. I had lived in Tokyo for 2 years prior to the residency. During that time I traveled quite a bit throughout Japan searching for the natural beauty that I had read about in Japanese novels. I found that beauty on Shikoku in Kamiyama an inspiration of a body of paintings. Not only was the countryside beautiful but the folks were very kind and helpful, especially everyone involved in the program. I felt welcome and very comfortable being on my own.
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