Órbitas is to date, the largest of Bowie's studio projects. It was inspired by and followed the East 5th studio house (where band practices and recordings, resident artists, reading groups, wine making and regular garden gatherings were centered) and informed the Sitges, Barcelona Qurk Studio that functioned as Bowie's refuge music, writing and art studio.
Located in Sámara, Costa Rica, the Órbitas facility was conceived, designed, built and directed by Fiona Bowie.
Central to her mandate (and following the intent of previous artworks), the property was rehabilitated. The previously razed and subsquently compacted lot, was fallow for dominated by invasive non-indigenous plants species was painstakenly hand weeded by the artist over years to encourage the reestablishment of local flora and fauna. Órbitas was a unique residency intended to offer busy creative individuals opportunity to reboot, to play, experiment: supporting research and exploration of ideas that may form the foundation for new works.
Housed on the property of Villa Morpho, Órbitas welcomed International and Costa Rican creative professionals across a multitude of disciplines.
The residency program was curtailed by the pandemic with no new visitors after January 2020. It closed in 2021, but the Villa Morpho and its'forest, biodynamic gardens and reclamated flora and fauna are now stewarded by new owners, who have articulated the desire to continue the legacy of the re-wilded property. No poisons nor pesticides of any kind were ever sprayed on the property which flanks the important Debango Refuge. Órbitas' locale and grounds are designed to encourage a slowing down: time and space to think, pause, conceive.
The location also offered opportunities to experience local culture, wildlife, various activities, ocean views and dips,diverse settings for walks. The forest air, ocean breezes and abundant flora and fauna that make up Órbitas' natural setting, provide a restful environment.
Individuals taylored their stay by curating their residency: choosing who might occupy the facility during their stay
and complement their creative threads. Collaborative sessions are also encouraged. A media and larger studio was available to support research and development of work and media based explorations.
Visiting artists were welcomed to present their work via artist talks, school visits, public work or other means in Samara to the general public.
This facility, conceived, designed, built and directed by artist Fiona Bowie, overlooks the Pacific Ocean.
Residency Living quarters The two residency guest rooms each have two quality queen beds, a fridge, safe, desk, ensuite bathrooms and sunny front and shady back patios. Other living areas are communal and include the kitchen, patios, studios, library, upper deck,
saltwater pool, a large dining/conference table- suitable for spreading out documents and an open living area
suitable for movement/rehearsals/workshopping/experimentation.
Being at the edge of a large forest reserve, Villa Morpho offers great bird watching opportunities. The beach is a 10 minute
walk down a road adjacent to Órbitas Lane. The town is a further stroll of about 10 minutes on the beach.
Due to the reefs, Sámara is an excellent place for water sports: Kayaking, SUP, beginners surfing, swimming
and excellent snorkling.
The facility is 100% pesticide/herbicide free, and grey water is recycled to the forest, therefore all toiletries must be
non-toxic/organic/biodegradable. While there are very few mosquitoes at Órbitas, there are locally produced, very effective
natural non-toxic repellents available in town for those venturing into town or who are particularly sensitive to bites.
Órbitas also has a bio-dynamic garden and forest garden, promoting the knowledge and use of native medicinals
and (seasonal) culinary plants including herbs, vegetables, many citrus, mango, cinnamon, papaya, cacao, coconut, fig,
hibiscus and other edible flowers, moringa starfruit, melons and other fruit. The proximity of the garden to the forest
promotes an understanding of supporting wildlife, both flora and fauna, with sustainable practices.
go to this image link to see the invitation page while the residency project was open.
Orbitas welcomes International and Costa Rican creative professionals across a multitude of disciplines...
Entrance path and garden with gallinas (hens) Frankolina and Coco.
Sunset panorama photographed from upper deck.
Foto: Jenifer Papararro.