Grandfather's House
Ustye art residency, Kedrovaya-Sibirskaya village, lake Baikal
Ustye Art Residency was founded in 2018 and was conceived as a meeting place for artists and guests of Baikal to consciously experience the beauty of the place, unlock creativity and relaxation. In recent years, the residence has grown from 1 house for 5 guests to 8 guest houses with a total capacity of 24 people, a separate kitchen and bathhouse building with a common space on the second floor has appeared. ‘Ustye’ has always been open to artists' proposals: during this time, about twenty authors have taken part in creating the atmosphere of the place and artworks for it. In addition, the residence attracts people engaged in gentle practices of wellness and psycho-physical harmonization. The very life in the residence is inclusive for the guests, they can join any practices initiated by the team: taking care of the garden, restoration of antique furniture, wooden architecture elements, taking care of the physical part of the residence, participation in creative activities of artists, ceramics. The idea of the project is to ecologically reconstruct the ‘Grandfather's House’ with minimal use of new building material and maximum recycling of preserved timber and historical decorative details of other old Siberian houses that have been collected and restored. In the future, this room will become an up&recycling workshop for artists on the territory of the Ustye art residence.

The land itself and the house were inherited by Ivan Kravchenko from his grandfather. It has been family land for 4 generations. As part of the project, the team will have to clear the area around the house: remove the long-standing spontaneous dump, clear the perimeter from grass and dry trees, dismantle the facade, remove garbage and old furniture from the house, dismantle the furnace, dismantle the ceiling, remove the backfill, dismantle the interior ceilings, remove plaster, shingles, dismantle the old rafter system, assemble a new one and lay the roof. The function of the future renovated house is an open studio where artists can work with sustainable practices, including recycling and upcycling. We also see this space as a point of intersection between traditional technology and contemporary art. We intend to develop discussion formats for guests (tourists), local residents, and local "ateliers" who share and promote the values of Ustya.
These are respect and love for the place and the desire to preserve it, ethical practices of visiting/staying in nature, mutual care, self-organization, creative freedom at the individual and village community level. It is important to us to make a magical place, a home, where guests have access to alternative practices of interacting with each other and with nature together. Where the connectedness of everything with everything is felt, and this gives birth to a conscious and responsible attitude towards the environment.

As part of this project, it is also planned to organize separate collection of metal, plastic and glass on the territory of the art residence, and to make "ecological" navigation.

"It is important for me to develop it, to live here and help the village live. The house (future upcycling workshop) stands on Lake Baikal, in the small village of Kedrovaya, on a plot of land near the shore. The Kurkavka River flows to the right, and there is a swamp to the left of the plot. On the other sides Baikal and the road. Here is very picturesque and you can really relax from the bustle of the city and enjoy the lake Baikal in its real beauty and quietness. There are a lot of cedars, birches, hackberry trees. Everything is covered with dandelions and daisies. For the fifth year I have been asking friends and relatives to give me tree seedlings: two kinds of lilacs, Manchurian walnut, juniper, plum, prune, gooseberry, fir and pine trees, apple, pear and cherry trees have taken root and are growing slowly.

In Ustye, we want to make a workshop out of the grandfather's house. To make our Art Residence comfortable for artists and craftsmen, as well as for people who come to learn from them. Of course, it looks more like a kindly ruin. The timber for the house was harvested from cedar by my grandfather himself back in 1951. I really want to rebuild the house, remove the rotten timbers, put on a roof. I will be able to put in windows and restore the house with my father and myself afterwards. We want to turn it into a workshop where visiting artists and craftsmen will be able to do their projects - painting, collecting mosaics, pottery, weaving carpets, sewing leather and teaching it to other people. This is important to me because I want to make a place in the village where artists can come and live. And that people who live in the village can go to and learn new things, learn about the world, skills and people that are not available to them. That's how we'll get closer to creating an art residency in the village.