Interview with Trina Brammah by Sachaqa resident Mercedes Llanos

As an artist/traveller born in Argentina, resident of the world, looking for an art residency to focus on my work and self.  I’ve stumbled upon Sachaqa Centro De Arte, where I would be helping out as a volunteer.  I was a little bit lost coming into the jungle and thought that this residency would help me clear my mind, enhance my creativity and prepare myself to go back to the United States – to begin the next chapter in my life.  Here I’ve met Trina, the owner, a very peculiar individual full of insights and knowledge of things, which I was able to feel and grasp but unable put into words.    My stay alone has helped me tremendously to understand much of these “unkown” feelings, but an interview with Trina was exactly what I needed to put these feelings into language.  In life there is more than meets the eye, and Sachaqa is much more than an Artist Residency.

Mercedes Llanos

Interview with Trina Lerner Brammah–

Tell me a little about yourself?

That’s got to be a little bit more defined. I mean which part of myself?  I could say I’m from Britain, I have children.  I studied sculpture at Sunderland University BA Fine arts.   I have a post graduate in painting at ‘Cypres College of Art.’ I lived there and worked with thirty other artists.  That’s what gave me the idea of creating an art center.

What would you say that you “do”?

As a job or in my life in general? Well I look after my two children.  I’m the facilitator of ‘Sachaqa Centro de Arte.’  I make sure the artists have everything they need to fulfil their creative goals.  I make sure the artists feel safe, as often the Amazon rainforest can be daunting.  I suggest natural remedies for day to day healing.  So you could say I’m a mother to my children and mother to Sachaqa artists.

What is Sachaqa?  Do you consider it an Artist residency or something a little bit different?

The art center has evolved and grows, as my life changes. Also every artists that visit, in some way help to shape the art center – make it what it is.  Everyone comes to the jungle – amazon rainforest – looking for answers and looking for healing.  The amazon rainforest draws a special type of person.  Especially in these changing times.

Could you describe the evolvement of this Art Center? What did it start as?  What is it now? How have you and the residents changed over time?

We started in Pisac, in the sacred valley of Cusco, which we closed to move to the jungle. We wanted to get away entirely from the tourist flow and recreational use of plants.  I met Daniel in Pisac and he brought me to the jungle.  He liked the innocence – far less polluted than Cusco was.

We started renting in the village of San Roque de Cumbaza.     At that time I was serious about painting and I think that those paintings have shaped Sachaqa in the way it has evolved.   Those paintings were visions, seen through meditation.    I painted only with natural found pigments at the time.   That was the foundation of Sachaqa.

When my son was one year old we began to build the center on a land that belongs to my best friend and I.   We built the houses to use as many ecological techniques as possible.  Now we get mostly visionary artists, ecological artists, and artists that are fascinated by indigenous culture – which is the kind of dream I was looking for.  So I’m not necessarily sure that Sachaqa is a traditional art residency, but it is where we have evolved.  We mostly receive very connected people drawn to the amazon rainforest looking for space, freedom, time for their creative work and learn new ecological, creative techniques.

Vision 2008

What do you foresee in Sachaqa´s future?

I guess the future of Sachaqa is integrated now with Roots Of The Amazon and through our programs. The artists have more opportunities to do adventure tours, than ever before.  People interested in going on hikes, Chazuta, boat trips, courses etc.  So the artists have more possibilities, to understand and integrate more into the amazon experience.

What is the ideal experience that you would like your residents to have during their stay?

I’m always very happy when the artists lose themselves in their creative process and that is my MAIN goal.   For artists to regain the connection to living simply in a natural environment and for that to be shared with a wider audience.

For that reason you prefer for artists to stay at least a month?

For artist to feel comfortable in this extreme natural setting and become lost in the creative process can take two weeks.  But ideally two months.

I’ve heard you talk about experimenting with your residents, can you elaborate on what this experiment is all about?

My experiment from childhood was to see how I could cure, cure… soul sickness, or unhappiness, maybe to cure pain.   That experiment has taken me to quite some extreme places, such as the homeless of Edinburgh and London – where I used to work.   An experiment of healing.   I thought that love could be the cure, but that was a failed experiment

‘Community’ Vision- natural found pigments -2008

How did that fail?

You love a person that doesn’t love themselves and you end up destroying yourself.  So that experiment lead to me, having to heal myself and painting was the cure.  Through painting – I was directed towards nature and then nature became my cure.  Then I found the cure.  Clean – to clean the chakras and the problems dissolve. The individual is in the power of their own healing process, through close contact with nature, meditation, yoga and healing food.

You talk a lot about healers and healing? What would you define as healing?

To clean.  The traditional, indigenous and ancient techniques of cleaning, is through plant medicine.   Not hallucinogenic – not a road I suggest to take.  It’s a process that works far deeper than the mind.   The plants rejuvenate, repair and clean the atoms, the molecules, the DNA within us.  Which gives us back our direct contact with the light.  I guess that comes in with what my paintings represent.

‘DNA’ vision – painted with natural found pigments – 2008

You have said before that you call healers to come here, can you explain that a little further?  What does this mean for you?

Well I think healers are drawn to the amazon rainforest.  We meet many painters that are connected, receive visions, sacred dreams, the subconscious, and the Amazon rainforest often calls them.  Sachaqa is accessible.

Not all Sachaqa residents are healers.  We also receive professional artists, painters, writers, sculptors, ceramists, looking for time with nature and quality time to create.  The healers and visionaries come here by accident – also professional artists.

So you think the amazon rainforest calls them and not you?

Yes.  Or maybe my visionary paintings do.  Or maybe cleaning through direct contact with nature

You also talk about living in two worlds.  What two worlds?

What two worlds?  I’ve always lived as a child with visions and dreams and that just sometimes calls people.  To most indigenous cultures, visionaries are just parts of ordinary community life.  Most Peruvians are aware and respectful of that.  Where as in the West, we are so focused on the 3D reality.  Whereas in Peru, it’s just normal. I am normal in Peru, when in England I was always just lost.

So you are speaking of a world of imagination and a physical world?

The physical world is spirit in form and beyond the physical reality is a vast, immense universe.  I see that the physical reality is just a small part of existence and as a planet we have got lost in there.

Do you have a connection with plants?  If so, what kind of connection and how did it come about?

I saw David Wolfe interviewed on controversial TV and he talked about healing with raw food. So I tried that for some time and I realized that the plants, eaten raw, gave a different vibrational energy and raw cacao – chocolate opens up the heart.

You’ve said you have let go of painting and are now writing a lot, what is this writing all about?  What are your plans with your own writing? 

I was for a period escaping into painting.   I was becoming lost in them, it was necessary to become grounded.    I was not grounded enough and through writing, it helps me to connect back into the reality.  It is exciting what is happening here at the art center and I just want to share that with people.  Which I cannot express through painting.   I will start painting again soon, but the writing has given me a focus away from painting.   I needed a break.  Now I feel like my paintings will be more grounded, connected back to the earth and reaching up towards the sun.

13442145_1449212525104898_7104626199652342303_nAre you writing a book?

At the moment I’m just interviewing people and its becoming a new form of healing.  It gives the artists closure on their stay.  I have very little time to do anything else, but I will write a book about my life’s journey towards healing one day.

What do you feel is your true purpose in life?

The cleaner we become the more abundance flows through us and we are able to share our light.   Not through our pain, but though a pure connection, it’s a life journey.

I left everything, to be here, living purpose.

How would you define the word love?

Love – begins and ends with the self. Then becomes one with the universe and shared.

Is there any advice or words of wisdom that you would like to gift, to your previous, current and future residents? Like a takeaway?

Come back!  – Advice –  mmmm CLEAN YOUR CHAKRAS!  The basis of all healing, and forget… empty your mind, because that is a distraction.  Through cleaning you will always find inspiration.

Three words that describe you?

#mother #manifester #healer