Aili Vahtrapuu PhD, is a sculptor and scientist living in Tallinn, Estonia, and Paris, France. She is currently Professor of Visual Art at Tallinn University. She studied art in Estonia and France, and was awarded her PhD by the Sorbonne1 University in 2007. Her thesis was on: New ways of utilising sound forms to revive the relationship between monumental art and architecture in urban spaces. She focused on subconscious, audio-visual perceptions and the customary preference of these in the urban environment.
Aili is an accomplished artist with a strong background in contemporary sculpture and graphic arts. In recent years, as demonstrated by the title of her thesis, she has concentrated on art in urban spaces, with particular emphasis on aural sculpture, as well as the relationship between sound and three-dimensional forms.
Conexion Dracula was conceived in 2010 when Analisa Williams (Casa Cultural Huellas) and Andres Maduro (Maduro's Tropical Flowers) met at an exhibition of Oswaldo de Leon Kantule. Both had wanted to create an artist residency but never had had the opportunity to do so. Analisa had the art world insight, experience and had organized creativity workshops. Andres, on the other hand, managed the Finca Dracula Orchid Sanctuary, a collection of more than two thousand orchid species and inspiring gardens - the perfect setting for such activity. Both were perfectly matched to this project.
Later in 2011 they got together and organized what was the first Conexion Dracula.
Conexion Dracula is an artists' retreat that takes place in Finca Dracula, one of the world's ten biggest orchid collections, surrounded by a magical garden that blends into the nature of the neighboring national park. The event presents the artists with activities and challenges. The intended disciplines are photography, plastic arts and literature. It hosts 10 participants who have a developed artistic language and seek opportunities to broaden the scope and creativity of their work.
The residency will take place from 7-17 July 2013 . If you would like to apply for a place, please see details at www.conexiondracula.com/ConexionDracula/English.html and apply before the deadline of 23 April 2013. The retreat will take place in the town of Guadalupe/Cerro Punta, Province of Chiriqui, Republic of Panama. Conexion Dracula will cover the basic costs of the event; artists must pay for their air tickets to Panama City, overnight stay in the city and any specialized equipments or materials.
Leonard is a specialist drawing teacher. He teaches a novel haptico-visual observation and drawing method, to a variety of students including MBChB students studying the human anatomy. The purpose of this observation method is to facilitate deep observation and cognitive memorisation of the object being studied. This method crucially involves touch (haptics), in addition to sight. We gather a vast amount of information from an object when we explore it through touch. Note that the nerves of the hand occupy a large area of the somatosensory cortex of the brain. Studying the human anatomy involves observing it, and drawing it significantly enhances one’s observation of it.
Leonard holds BA Fine Art (Hons) degree from University of Cape Town (UCT), Michaelis School of Fine Art (UCT) and a Bachelor of Social Science (BsocSc) degree from UCT.