Rae and Yuri Bolotin Hosts of the Big Ci Studio Residency / I am Like Lucey Their Loving but Hyperactive Puppy Dog

Essay by Luke Foster

“If we pollute the air, water and soil that keep us alive and well, and destroy the biodiversity that allows natural systems to function, no amount of money will save us.”

David Suzuki

Rae and Yuri’s Big Ci studio residency is adjacent to the Wollemi National Parks in the Blue Mountains. I always get the best room with a view of the forest.

Me dressed up as Joseph Beuys at the Big Ci giving my artist talk at the end of the last residency there in October 2023.

I don’t go hiking off the beaten track with Yuri because I am fit enough but am so sensitive that I find it hard to be around people for hours and I am afraid of falling off a cliff.

“There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen.”

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai international activist for women as wise as Rae.

I have met a lot of Australian and International artists in the past ten years with six visits to the Big Ci. Rae and Yuri are like a mum and dad to me giving me good advice with my art. While I was in Europe last year I met up with Beni Atmueller and we went to the Leopold Museum in Vienna to see the Gustav Klimt’s and Egon Schiele

paintings and drawings.

I get to make ambitious art projects there and have made many large drawings there some over ten mitres long.

“Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?”

David Attenborough

Because I don’t have a studio space it’s my only chance to make big drawings and installations.

Because I don’t drive Yuri always picks me up at the Richmond train station and takes me shopping for food and art materials mainly at Bunnings in Katoomba. So, for that I am forever grateful.

In conclusion I advise all creatives internationally to apply for a residency and there is an environmental award and other awards internationally. They are partners with different galleries such as Redgate Gallery in Beijing.

Me when I was recovering from covid at the Big Ci after a trip to New York.

Yuri Bolotin, author hiker and environmentalist.

Rae Bolotin main host of the Big ci and famous sculptor mainly in China.

Rae Bolotin sculpture

One of Yuri’s books about hiking in the Blue Mountains where he often discovers aboriginal art sites.

Me with a hand drawn T-shirt. Yuri took the photo.
A friend of all three of us was the late Nerine Martini who told me about the residency. She sadly passed from cancer a few years back.

Nerines most famous sculpture.

Nerine with one of her sculptures.

Big Ci a few years back

Me with one of my big drawings at the Big Ci