Isabella Jones, a Design student, interned at the Rivendell Art and Retreat Center in La Palma, The Canary Islands for her Erasmus Traineeship.
Obtaining my placement
I was offered an internship at the Rivendell Art and Retreat Center in La Palma, in the Canary Islands. It is an eco-center with a theatrical twist that invites groups to host workshops related to creative and ecological topics, as well as wellbeing. I sourced this placement through networking within the areas of my interest.
My Design brief consisted of two parts. My first task was the designing of a promotional campaign.
I started with Photography to have a base and feel for the campaign.
Here are some examples of graphics created. Signs had been made ready to start the promotion by resident artists. This allowed me to translate an existing aesthetic into graphics.
The second part of my design brief was to design a water and therapy pool.
A Tea Bag Project
Below is an art project I also helped create with dyed recycled teabag material. This is the most fancy tool box I have ever worked on!
Challenges and learning points
The challenges at Rivendell included remaining focused with an array of jobs, visitors and animals all needing attention. However, I am confident that both my skills as a promoter and as a photographer as developed during my internship have armed me for my final year at Goldsmiths.
The whole point of a placement abroad is to submerge oneself into a different routine and culture. Enriching not only ones personal and academic work but also adding textures and memories that can open up new pathways and thoughts. I never know where my feet will take me, but where ever I go, I record my story with a visual diary. Creating visual poetry and capturing not just the views but feelings
of a place, the good and less positive aspects as well.
My visual diary
I always feel like I can thoroughly soak myself in a place through my camera lens and even when I decide to leave my camera at home, that attention to detail allows me to discover stories within the wood of an old peeling door, a barking dog in a remote backyard or a dusty volcanic rock. The following photos are examples of my visual diary. Its not just the photos, but the combination of feelings caused when they are placed together.
The archaeology of the island
I am fascinated by experimental archeology and La Palma is an island with a turbulent political and historic past. From the natives on the island, the ‘Benahoritas’ with their advanced knowledge in astronomy and mysterious rock engravings, to the Spanish conquest in the 14th Century. It’s amazing to study traces of these past cultures within the architecture of the cities and the wild places of the islands, and through the many legends and stories.
As well as exploring the volcanic landscape, I also organized a role playing event in the local valley. One moment that delighted me was when I met a lady who had worked as a telescope software programmer (The island has a world famous astronomical observatory) and I led an experimental workshop creating
cardboard shields with runic and Elven inscriptions. I translated “Cat” into runes for my new friend. It goes to show, no matter your job, creating a low-res designed object can bring out the playfulness that we all hold inside of us and that really defines for me, the joy of being at Rivendell. After an epic battle with biodegradable water balloons, the ‘Elven’ queen beat the ‘Ringwraith’ king and we restored peace to the valley once more (The passing tourist’s faces were priceless).