Artist Ashley Ortiz-Diaz looking at Pioneer grave stones

Ayatana residents document birds killed in collisions with buildings

Ayatana residents look into a fresh grave

Ayatana residents visit a taxidermy studio

Art historian Stephanie Williams explains Memento Mori in art history

Ayatana residents explore the archives of the Museum of Nature

Resident Kamille Cyr at the Beechwood Cemetery

Artist Erin Williamson listens to the inside of a whale ear bone

Residents explore the vault at the War Museum's archives


Mortem: For artists to study death
Gatineau Hills, October 2019
Deadline to apply - Feb 20, 2019

Mortem is a specialized residency for artists to pursue their curiosity of death. The immersive research retreat facilitates talk about talking about death. It is not therapy and wont dwell on pain from our past, although it will be apropriate to share past expiriences and may be theraputic. It will help prepair for death. It will help you identify as an artist who works with themes of death and give you tools to talk about it and to get involved with non art profesionals who also work with death.

The residency features 12 field trips/workshops to study notions of death in art, biology, philosophy, history, taxedermy and the death/funeral industry over a week in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada in October of 2019. With the help of a team of professionals the residency will facilitate daily excursions into laboratories, studios, graveyards and classrooms. This intensive research residency leaves little time free for making art, so developing ideas and collecting material will be encouraged throughout.

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, senstive and creative people who have a willingness to participate in spontaneous development of ideas 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.

Death in the hands of the artist:

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

Murder, Martyrdom and Apotheosis in Art History, a guided tour of the collection at the National Gallery of Canada

Visit the War Museum Archives to see and talk about war artists and the Canadian collection of war art

Krilian photography and life left in the body

Visit to the studio of a local taxidermist.

Body disposition options:

Visit to a funeral home to learn about standard burial and cremation processes vs eco-alternatives

Guided tour of the Beechwood Cemetery

A talk by Indigenous Walks to learn about native burial traditions

Death Cafe and a presentation of the history of death rituals around the world


What happens when you donate your body to science? A visit to the Anatomy Labority at the University of Ottawa

Collect recently deceased birds with Safe Wings Ottawa

Tour of the National Museum of Nature's archival large skeleton collection


Seminar lead by paranormal investigator

Paliative care:

Visit a death doula


Residents will be picked up in Ottawa, Canada and driven to the rural Ayatana Residency House, near the small town of Old Chelsea, Quebec.


$1250 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.
Daily 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
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.

Friend us on face book for future calls for applications and posts about other art/science opportunities fb


Check out past Death residencies on Fb

Mortem 2018, Chelsea, Quebec