Artists in Residence

Featured AiRs – May 2025

Nicky Pelligrino

Novelist, new Zealand

Nicky Pellegrino is the author of 14 bestselling novels, including PS Come to Italy, Tiny Pieces Of Us and To Italy, With Love. Her stories have readers around the world and have been translated into over 12 languages. 

Nicky is also an award-winning journalist, writing about health, science and lifestyle topics for a number of publications. Her recent non-fiction title about menopause Don’t Sweat It: How to Make ‘The Change’ a Good One was also a bestseller. Her first ever published book was a memoir, written about a leading broadcaster.

Raised in the UK, she now lives in Auckland, New Zealand with a husband, an adopted greyhound and a lot of books.

Fizza Saleem

Artist, Pakistan

visual artist and educator based in Karachi, Pakistan, Fizza loves to draw, wander, write and hug trees. Her journey has taken her across local and international platforms, where she explores consciousness through various mediums. She has exhibited her work in India, Pakistan, Italy, UAE, UK, and Sweden.


She currently runs Fizza Saleem Studio, a platform for students to pursue painting on a large scale. With a background in teaching at institutions such as The Karachi Grammar School, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture and Szabist, she brings a diversity of experience to her practice.

Fizza has been an artist in residency at The Lemon Tree House and GCAS Jehan, as well as the Hic Rosa Residency “Anti Maps,” where she actively collaborated within the South Asian artist community. 

She is currently pursuing her MPhil in Art and Design from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. Her research is rooted in a profound connection to trees, finding solace in their tranquil embrace. Her work reflects an appreciation for the interconnectedness of all life forms, finding inspiration in the quiet murmurs of the earth and the wisdom embedded in nature. She takes note of the still in the moving; listening, wandering, and mapping moments. 

Jennie Lee

AUTHOR Nonfiction • Director of Essere

Jennie Lee, Founder and Director of the Essere Residency, is a Nautilus Book Award winning author of three nonfiction books, SPARK CHANGE: 108 Provocative Questions for Spiritual Evolution; TRUE YOGA: Practicing with the Yoga Sutras for Happiness & Spiritual Fulfillment and BREATHING LOVE: Meditation in Action.

A recognized expert in the fields of meditation, yoga therapy and spiritual self-development, Jennie is a frequent guest on podcasts in the wellness sector. Her writing has appeared in numerous national magazines, and she has contributed chapters to the books: Yoga Therapy Across the Cancer Care Continuum; Yoga Therapy Foundations, Tools and Practice; and Love- The Ultimate Answer to the Meaning of Life. 

Exploring other forms, Jennie has written feature length screenplays, poetry, and even greeting cards. She has coached private clients for over 25 years, written themed curriculum for 15 international retreats, and facilitated groups in practices for personal development and wellbeing. 

At Essere, she manages the program on-site, guides meditation sessions, mentors nonfiction writers, and is available to participants for personal and professional coaching around their artistic pursuits.

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