Ottawa artist Steffan Thompson explains tanning in his studio

Ayatana residents explore the archives of the Museum of Nature

Resident Adrian Riviera at Gunther von Hagens's Body Worlds show

Resident Kamille Cyr at the Beech wood Cemetery

Resident Holly Townson finds bones

Resident Kamille Cyr in the mausoleum

Resident Ashlee Carrega finds dead birds

The grave digger's truck


Mortem: For artists to study death
Gatineau Hills, Nov 2018
Deadline to apply - March 10, 2018

Mortem is a specialized Ayatana residency for artists to pursue their curiosity of death. The immersive research retreat involves 10 field trips and workshops to study notions of death in art, biology, philosophy, religion and history over a week in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada in November of 2017. With the help of a team of professionals the residency will facilitate daily excursions into laboratories, temples, studios, graveyards and classrooms. This action packed research residency leaves little time free for making art, so developing ideas and collecting material will be encouraged at all times.

Ayatana residencies are designed to enrich visual and conceptual artists' practice within a group of like minded creative people. Artists, writers, musicians, film makers and dancers are invited to apply. The jury will select five or six international artists based on their portfolio rather than how they fit into any description of an artist.

We are looking for adventurous creative people who have a willingness to participate in spontaneous sharing of early-stage ideas and explore in a small group.


All activities are subject to change depending on ecological conditions, expert availability and other uncontrollable variables. Outings will go ahead rain or shine.

Memento Mori:

Residents are invited to give a private artist talk to share your work with the group.

Vanitas in art history, a guided tour of the collection at the National Gallery of Canada


Death deities seminar at Ottawa University


Visit a temple to learn about death in Buddhism


Visit to a funeral home to learn about traditional burial processes and eco burials

Guided tour of the Beech wood Cemetery

A talk by Aboriginal Walks to learn about native burial traditions


Death begins when the heart stops beating. A talk about the process of death and extinction.

Collect recently deceased birds with FLAP


Visit to the studio of a local taxidermist.

Tour of the National Museum of Nature's large skeleton collection in the archives

Hide tanning workshop with local artist


Seminar lead by paranormal investigator

Paliative care:

Visit a death doula


Residents will be picked up in Ottawa, Canada and driven to the Ayatana Residency House, near the small town of Chelsea, Quebec. This culturally vibrant town, surrounded by the Gatineau Hills is nestled between Gatineau National Park and the Gatineau River.


$1200 USD
Residency places are limited to 6 artists. Official invites will be given to accepted applicants to help in the application to of grants and funding.


What is included:
All activities.
Transportation to all activities.
Supplies, equipment and technical gear.
A comfortable bed in the Ayatana residency house.
Most meals will be provided, cooked by our resident chef. *Residents will be responsible for paying for their own meals from restaurants, which will happen 2 or 3 times during the week.


How to apply:
Send the following material to by March 10, 2018
1. Artist CV
2. Artist statement (about 200 words)
4. Portfolio 5 – 10 examples of work

Only applications that follow these guidelines will be considered.


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