Joya: AiR / Nadya Eidelstein / Russia
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann

 
 

‘Being removed from the pressure to produce and present any outcome in the end, I was able to take time to listen to my intuition in order to understand which creative direction to take next when I am back from the residency. These two weeks were crucial for me to realise how much I used to be driven by my noisy rational mind in any creative pursuits. So I spent most of the studio time doing intuitive drawings with oil pastels listening to my body and being driven by inner impulses, dismissing any reasoning that came from my conscious mind. The process of making these drawings was very helpful for my creative self-liberation because I shifted my focus and put more value into the actual process rather than the outcome.

Every day I spent some time hiking, connecting with the unique environment and biodiversity of Sierra María-Los Vélez, meditating outside. I took the opportunity of being surrounded by so many plant species unknown to me to document the variety of shapes I found, so I can use this vocabulary of plant forms in my future projects.

Studio time and time spent in nature was of great healing importance to me but the interactions and conversations with people I met in Joya: AiR were equally transformative. Every dinner meal shared together was nourishing for the body and mind. Simon and Donna’s impressive efforts put into creating such a place and caring for the land made me expand my understanding of possible ways an artist can contribute to the restoration and healing of damaged and/or abandoned environments’.

Nadya Eidelstein www.nadyscreatures.com

Nadya Eidelstein is a multi-disciplinary artist living and working in Toronto, Canada. She received her BA from Central Saint Martins, London, UK. Since graduation she has been working on the border between machine-made and handmade approaches, trying to define what makes these ways of making different, how they are similar, and how to blur the definitions of man-made and computer-made.

 
Simon Beckmann
Joya: AiR / Milla Eastwood / UK
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann

 
 


Milla Eastwood

Reflections In Sierra Maria - Los Vélez

Contained within this body are the veins of the yellow Vella Spinosa, the mothering Winds and energies of Time. Sinking into the stillness, movements become sounds. Observing the voices of parched grey roots and the graceless tread of beetles. There is a quality in the air, encouraging us to slow our pace. Reaching the zenith of the mountain. Existence here, gives a sense of wholeness. Reminding us of the spheres Oneness. 

Milla Eastwood 

"Then as I leaned, listening, a bud of light seemed to form and expand within me, opening and opening, wider and faster; and the brilliance increased and I was filled with waves of light until I bore within myself a shining universe, worlds of splendour; and through them the wind still blew, another, yet the same wind that blew over the external earth and sky, fusing their outwardness with this world within."

Borrowed from my great grandmother Dorothea Eastwood, Valleys Of Springs.

https://www.millaeastwood.com/

Milla Eastwood completed her BA in Fine Art: Painting from Wimbledon College of Arts, London, UK and her Foundation CCW from Camberwell College of Arts, London UK. Selected exhibitions in London include solo shows Cable Salad and Drunk On Colour, The Dot Project Gallery; group shows include Love In A Cold Climate, The Dot Project Gallery; Mark Shand's Adventures and Curiosities, Hauser and Wirth.

 
Joya: AiR / Andrew Obernesser / USA
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann

 
 

 “As we continue to map, network, and compute the foreseeable future, we neglect to transmit new ways of thinking between the past and present. Uncertainty mars our ability to think through analogy and metaphor. Finding solutions only resolve finite problems. As we attempt to  articulate and decipher an outcome, another moment has passed. Our natural world is now rejecting, rapidly mutating and disrupting our built environments. We must look behind, ahead, around and through in order to reorganize and rearrange. Time, distance, and space now longer become appendages to the conscious.  Time fractures, breaks and falls in-between the scales. Prior to arriving and since leaving Los Gázquez (Joya: AiR) I've been thinking about present time and all of its dimensions. In the poem entitled, The Century— Vek Moi, Osip Mendelstam writes:


So long as the creature lives

it must carry forth its vertebrae,

as the waves play along

with an invisible spine.

Like a child’s tender cartilage

is the century of the newborn earth.


To wrest the century away from bondage

so as to start the world anew

one must tie together with a flute

the knees of all the knotted days.


/But your backbone has been shattered

O my wondrous, wretched century.

With a senseless smile

Like a beast once limber

you look back, weak and cruel,

to contemplate your own tracks.


Osip Mendelstam “The Century (Vek Moi)” extracted from Giorgio Agamben “What Is the Contemporary?” (Stanford University Press, 2009)  pg. 42-43.


Andrew Obernesser’s work investigates myth, meaning, and animism through the process of constructing synthetic ecologies. By the process of object making and writing, Obernesser explores what forms of communication and information are being exchanged among the living and nonliving, what narratives are being ascribed between ancient lifeforms and inanimate objects.

Obernesser graduated with a BA in Art from Colorado College in 2017. He attended Virginia Commonwealth University’s  Sculpture + Extended Media  Summer Studio Program in 2017. He currently lives in works in Chicago, Illinois. 


 
Simon Beckmann
Joya: AiR / Gin Rimmington Jones / UK
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann

 
 

“I climbed up a mountain today and came back down altered, thinking like a mountain…” notebook excerpt day 8, Joya:AiR residency

 

“I am a lens based artist exploring earth matters, the push pull of the human/nature dialogue, and our Western lost sense of relationship and reciprocity with the animate natural world.

 It is an embodied practice that is in conversation with sensuous encountering from the space in between – walking with my camera and feeling my way into the non-human world around us, in touch with our nested relationship with the planet, and its with us. As such, I felt that Los Gázquez, the home of Joya: AiR, would be an incredible opportunity, and I was not disappointed. From my arrival to the morning I left 10 days later, when the mountains were cloaked in smoky low cloud laying thick dew over the parched landscape, I was enthralled. Simon and Donna welcome artists into their beautifully restored cortijada and together they nurture a collective spirit of exploration, creative endeavour and community stimuli.

 The house is a cool, white flowing space beautifully crafted and decorated where you can find stillness and quiet to work or rest; and then in the evenings a real sense of community emerges with the other residents; I had so many fascinating and stimulating conversations before, during and after the always excellent dinners. Simon and Donna have created a place that just holds and nurtures you, with a strong sense of community that also enables you to make work without distraction; it is a rare combination. 

Each day I would wake up excited by the potential of making. The off-grid remoteness of Los Gázquez instills a sense of peace and calm, enabling you to be within the quiet space of the present untempered by memory and desire. Working at a primal level, I was drawn immediately to the hot, bone white limestone space of the barranco below the cortijada, a fluvial gorge, deep cut, snaking its dry way down the valley, redolent of a huge boiling, rushing and tumbling and roaring mass of water that carries with it rocks boulders, sediment, fossils, tree roots, carving and scratching and gouging out new paths and gullies as it forces its way through the landscape. Now it is almost completely dry and still, save for a few pools higher up that were harbouring strings of black pearls, the beautiful expression of toad spawn. There is a spell that the place casts, and I feel it still, strange beauty and total peace save for the wind in the pines that pepper the landscape above, and birdsong, burning white hot powdered limestone, baked, cracked, moulded, so primal, like the primordial soup we humans climbed out of eons back. Embracing the immediate, unexplored ecologies of the present, untempered by the disconnecting force of language, I was able to work in the utterness of solitude in the thickness of the present in the hot white space of the barranco. I encountered a landscape that returned the strength of my gaze, that I struggled with at times, and where the magic spell of love, of falling, entered my veins enabling me to go deeper and deeper into connecting. 

I do not know yet whether the mass of work I made whilst I was there will translate into a body of work that resonates with others, but I feel, sense that it might. I always need time, lived time to give me distance from any making experience. I can then begin to tease out the various side tributaries that I followed and dig into the core of the work. Whatever the outcome, I know that my experience at Los Gázquez has altered me slightly at tectonic level, like the barranco after a fresh deluge, my banks and bedrock have been shifted…and for that I am very grateful. Thank you Simon and Donna, my fellow artists Sissel, Andrew, Milla and Suzana; and of course Frida the giant schnauzer”. 

Gin Rimmington Jones

http://ginrimmingtonjones.com/

Gin Rimmington Jones, is a photographic artist based in Brighton, UK

2016-2018 MA in Photography at the University of Brighton

 

 
Simon Beckmann
Joya: AiR / Sissel Thastum / Denmark
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann

 
 

“What best describes my stay at Joya: AiR is this passage written be David Abram, so I will borrow his words:

“To my animal body, the rock is first and foremost another body engaged in the world: as I turn my gaze toward it, I encounter not a defined and inanimate chunk of matter but an upturned surface basking in the sun’s warmth, or a pink and sharp- edged structure protruding from the ground like the shattered bone of the hillside, or an old and watchful guardian of this land — a resolute and sheltering presence inviting me now to crouch and lean my spine against it.

Each thing organizes the space around it, rebuffing or sidling up against other things; each thing calls, gestures, beckons to other beings or battles them for our attentions; things expose themselves to the sun or retreat among the shadows, shouting with their loud colors or whispering with their seeds; rocks snag lichen spores from the air and shelter spiders under their flanks; clouds converse with the fathomless blue and metamorphose into one another; they spill rain upon the land, which gathers in rivulets and carves out canyons; skyscrapers slice the winds and argue with one another over the tops of townhouses; backhoes and songbirds are coaxed into duets by the percussive rhythm of the subway beneath the street. Things “catch our eye” and sometimes refuse to let go; they “grab our focus” and “capture our attention”, and finally release us from their grasp only to dissolve back into the overabundant world. Whether ecstatic or morose, exuberant or exhausted, everything swerves and trembles; anguish, equanimity, and pleasure are not first internal moods but passions granted to us by the capricious terrain.”

Excerpt from “Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology” by David Abram - Alliance for Wild Ethics 2011.

Sissel Thastum is a visual artist working with photography, video and sound. She is currently based in Trondheim, Norway, where she is taking her masters at Trondheim Academy of Fine Art.
Her current work evolves around the notion of kinship, care and belonging between species; sentient and non-sentient beings. Through the mediums of moving images and sound the work explores (re)connection to nature and its sensing language, and how we might be able to learn and exchange through this natural language.

In 2013 She initiated and co-founded the art organisation The Independent AIR, which arranges exhibitions, artist talks, artist residencies, workshops and cultural events in Silkeborg, Denmark and internationally. Between 2014 and 2017 The Independent AIR was collaborating with the Aarhus 2017 Foundation, officially being part of the “Aarhus 2017, European Capital of Culture”. The current focus of work of the organisation is interdisciplinary collaborations within visual art, creative/poetic writing, research and non-profit art organisations addressing global warming and ecological crisis.

www.sisselthastum.com www.theindependentair.com www.independentsustainability.com

 
Simon Beckmann
Joya: AiR / Karen Radford / UK
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann

 
 

“Simon and Donna have converted Los Gázquez (Joya: AiR) into a place of beauty and solitude. It has a warmth that feels supportive without being intrusive and the pace is easy and unhurried. It is also gives you a fascinating insight into a life-long project of ecology and sustainability in one of the driest regions in Spain. 

Arriving at night after a long day travelling, I immediately felt at home surrounded by an inspiring personal collection of art, textiles and ceramics and an impressive display of local fossils that became my daily riverbed challenge!

Placed in the most extraordinary landscape of the Parque Natural - Sierra Maria, Los Gázquez is surrounded by a panorama of breath taking views. Walking or climbing, there are mountains, forests, fields and riverbeds where you are unlikely to see a soul. Coming from a small busy town on the Kent coast  that in itself felt like a luxury. 

This is a visual, and sensory landscape of textures, colours and aromas and if you are lucky you may get an occasional sighting of Andalucían wildlife. 

Walking became part of my daily routine, both thought provoking and meditative, feeding into my work, making subtle shifts and taking my creative practice in new and unexpected directions. 

In the evening, the main focus in the house was tasting the most wonderfully creative dishes prepared by Donna whilst sharing our stories and experiences. It’s not often in life one has the opportunity to share mealtimes with a disparate group of artists from around the world. It was a deeply enriching and inspiring experience”.

Karen Radford

https://www.theprintblock.com/section628947_688290.html

 
Simon Beckmann
Joya: AiR / Jihye Seo / South Korea
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann

 
 

“Joya: AiR is a beautiful space with vast landscapes. I felt that just breathing in the area was satisfactory.  

The studio with amazing view made me productive so I started my first still-life drawings with the objects what I found there. 

Everything that I met there was inspirational from stones to a goat. One of my drawings inspired by the surrounding environment was like a children's book illustration so I am planning to make a book about the goat 'Fou Fou.'

This was the best choice for my first residency. Simon and Donna was very considerate and all the artists were dedicated.

I appreciate that I could have the experience in Joya: AiR and look forward to see that how the experience appear in my art and life¨. 

Jihye Seo

www.artjseo.com

Education:
2014-2019 Goldsmiths, University of London, BA Fine Art

Solo Exhibition:
2019, Roastingrobo Gallery, Daegu, S.Korea

Group Exhibition:
2018, SEA-FEVER, The Auction Collective, London
2018, FLOCK 2018, GX Gallery, London
2017, Emerging Artists Breaking Out To The World, Goldsmiths ICCE x Art, London

 
Joya: AiR / Nourhan Hegazy / Egypt
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann

 
 

“The future can feel like a faraway place. Uncertain. Uncared for. Intangible. My current practice explores how we can build proximity with the future. Materialise the unknown. Give voice to its hidden narratives. Using design fiction and reverse archeology, my work aims to provoke a creative dialogue about sustainability. I do this by finding artefacts from the future in my present environments. While archeology recovers artefacts to build narratives about the past, “reverse archeology” both recovers and creates artefacts to speculate narratives about the future (Candy, 2013). During my time in Joya: AiR, I began to recover artefacts from the surrounding land of Cortijada Los Gázquez. Using photography and creative writing I began to contemplate: What would these artefacts share about the future of the land? The residency gave me a space to explore with ease, learn from nature and to question whats next for my practice”.

Nourhan Hegazy

https://nourhanhegazy.myportfolio.com/

 
Simon Beckmann
Joya: AiR / Emma Mackilligin / poet / UK
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann

 
 

“In the weeks leading up to my residency at Joya: AiR, and during my time there, I kept coming across quotes by Simone Weil in everything I read. It felt like the philosopher was following me through books in order to remind me of the importance of paying attention.

‘Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.’ 

In the Sierra Maria - Los Vélez I found a place where I could truly focus on paying attention – broadly and generously – to myself, to others, to the landscape, and to language.

‘Attention, taken to its highest degree, is the same thing as prayer. It presupposes faith and love. Absolutely unmixed attention is prayer.’  

There is a quiet solitude to be found at Joya: AiR which feels sacred. Time behaves strangely there, stretching to accommodate long hours of exploration and reflection. A week opened out to an abundance of space that I passed through slowly, practicing receptiveness, paying attention and taking care”.

Emma Mackilligin

Emma graduated from the University of East Anglia in 2015, with a first class degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. In September 2018 she completed her masters degree in Poetic Practice at Royal Holloway, passing with merit. Her work has been published in 2 UEA creative writing anthologies, Lighthouse Issue 9, and online at newwriting.net, Killer Whale Journal, and Hotel. The 3 poems published in Hotel's online archive have been selected to appear in the journal's forthcoming anthology, Twenty-Five Rooms, published in partnership with Dostoevsky Wannabe. She has read and performed at various events including 2 iterations of 'The Enemies Project', Praxis 10 at Cafe Oto, Back2Back at SET, the Small Publishers' Book Fair 2017, and supporting Mervyn Morris at a Live Lit Lounge event in Norwich. She has written, designed and produced 4 bookworks - 'Cochineal', 'For Want of Memory', 'You're Not in This Origin Story' and 'Other Peoples' Bodies'. She is currently in the process of finding a distributor for these works.

 
Joya: AiR / Melanie King / UK
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann

 

“My residency at Joya: AiR was supported by the Grantham Art Prize, an award from the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Royal College of Art. I had proposed to make spinach anthotypes of the B46 Iceberg that has become detached from the Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica. The detachment of this iceberg will contribute to rising ocean levels and is a clear indicator of warming in the polar regions. Some of these images were created by the NASA Earth Observatory, a satellite which monitors the Earth from space”.

Melanie King

Melanie King

“As part of the Grantham Art Prize, I wanted to draw attention to this tragic and monumental event, highlighting the rupture point where the iceberg departed. Instead of using environmentally damaging photographic process, I used the spinach anthotype process and sunlight at Joya Arte and Ecologica, to bleach the image into existence.  To make an anthotype, you blend spinach leaves into a paste with a small amount of vodka and water. The next step was to strain the paste into a thin liquid, which can then be painted onto watercolour paper”.

Melanie King

Melanie King

“I built up three layers of “paint”, leaving each layer to dry between each coat. At Joya, I placed a positive transparency of the NASA Earth Observatory images of the B46 Iceberg on top of the coated paper, clamped underneath a heavy piece of glass. After four hours of strong sunlight, I was left with an image due to the naturally photosensitive properties of the chlorophyll within the spinach. Within the exhibition at Imperial College London, the anthotypes will slowly fade with time, mirroring the fragility of our natural environment”.

IMG_1718.jpg
 

“At Joya: AiR, I was particularly struck by the dryness of the landscape,  apparently the driest landscape in Europe. Unexpectedly, I was drawn to photographing the dusty, pale limestone ground as it resembled the surface of the Moon. Out taking photographs of the stars at night, I imagined standing within a lunar landscape observing the cosmos”.

Melanie King

Melanie King

Melanie King

Melanie King

“I was inspired by the sustainable attitude to building and adapting to the local environment. Simon says that the building is 98% carbon neutral, due to the clever use of solar and wind energy production. Waste from the building is filtered into reed beds, meaning that this waste doesn’t enter the landscape. It was also interesting to hear from Simon about his plans to regenerate the land surrounding Joya: AiR, and how the introduction of culture to the area may help to re-cultivate land that has been abandoned”.

Melanie King

Melanie King

“Due to the remote, quiet location of Joya: AiR, I was extremely productive during my six day residency. I created anthotypes, had plenty of solitude for writing towards my PhD, took analogue photos of the stars for my “Ancient Light” series, went on many restorative walks and even had room for unexpected projects that I hadn’t planned”.

Melanie King

Melanie King is an artist and curator with a specific focus on astronomy.  She is co-Director of super/colliderLumen Studios and the London Alternative Photography Collective.  She is a lecturer on the MA programme at the Royal College of Art, and on the BA Photography course at University of West London. Melanie is a part time doctoral student at the Royal College of Art. 

Melanie's solo exhibitions include Leeds Art University and the Blyth Gallery, Imperial College London. She has exhibited in group shows at The Photographers' Gallery, Argentea Gallery, Guest Projects, Space Studios and the Sidney Cooper Gallery. Melanie has also exhibited in a wide range of international galleries, such as the Williamson Gallery in Los Angeles, CAS Gallery in Japan and Unseen Amsterdam.  Melanie has attended residencies organised by Bow Arts, Grizedale Forest and SIM Reykjavik, Iceland.

Melanie has been involved in a number of large scale commissions, including Green Man Festival, Vivid Projects, Bompas and Parr X Citizen M Hotel,  Mayes Creative, Design Miami x COS Stores, Chelsea Flower Fringe and the Wellcome Trust.

Melanie regularly presents her work at conferences, universities and galleries. Notable venues include the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Photographers' Gallery, Tate Modern, Art Center Pasadena, University of the Arts Helsinki, The European Geosciences Conference: Vienna, Kosmica: Mexico, Kosmica: Paris, Helsinki Photomedia and Second Home. Melanie has provided guest lectures to Bath Spa University, Leeds Art University, London South Bank University, London College of Communication,  Central Saint Martins International Space University: Space Studies Programme.

Melanie has demonstrated Moholy Nagy's photogram process on-screen for the BBC4 Bauhaus Rules documentary. Melanie has also provided an on-screen interview and telescope demonstration for the "She Takes The Night" film produced by Museum of London and Photofusion. 

Melanie also organises participatory workshops in relation to her practice. She has developed workshops for the TATE Modern, Whitechapel Gallery, The Photographers' Gallery, TATE Exchange, the Institute of Physics, East Street Arts, Kosmica: Mexico, SALT Festival: Norway,  London College of Communication Short Courses,  Photofusion, Phytology, Hackney Arts, Ditto Press and Brighton Photo Biennal. 

BELOW: more photographs from Melanie Kings ‘Ancient Light’ series of photographs taken at Joya: AiR…

Melanie King

Melanie King

Melanie King

Melanie King

Melanie King

Melanie King

Melanie King

Melanie King

Melanie King

Melanie King

JoyaStars6.jpg
Joya: AiR / Ya Tien Shih / Taiwan
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann

 
 

“I started my masters research about environmental issues last year, I have been thinking about how art practices can reflect to it. Having a residency at Joya: AiR is no doubt a place where brought me inspiration and provided an environment for me to push my research idea further than staying in an urban city.

A week staying in Joya: AiR is a short but memorable experience. In the first few days, I finished a short essay for a magazine, and drafted another one with me fully able to concentration in the spacious studio with a French window facing the spectacular landscape. When I was not working, I took long walks, exploring the area with other residents. We shared ideas, our projects or even just talking our life stories while hiking in the rocky mountains, spring forests and the steep riverbed. It was inspiring to work together and to go through the whole processes of exploring, coming up with ideas, and testing the found materials, such as clay, stone, and plants. The rest of the days, I also did reading about the topic of materiality which concreted my research and formulated my potential future plan of making a publication. Joya: AiR is truly a good place for meditating, working productively and meeting amazing people from all around the world”!

Ya Tien Shih . https://yatienshih.wordpress.com/curatorialproject/whentheyflow/

 
Joya: AiR / Kimberly Callas / USA
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann

 
 

“I went to Joya: AiR seeking patterns of place and how place marks us. Specifically how we hold these markings in the body memory: the smell of home, the topography of the sight line, the way the foot holds the ground.

Inspired by environmental artist, Michele Stuart, I came with paper mounted on muslin to do rubbings in graphite and crayon to collect patterns literally from place: bark, cracks in mud, olive tree leaves.

While looking for patterns in nature, Joya: AiR inspired me to consider human patterns as well. How can our daily habits (our patterns) help ecosystems, create better water systems, restore soil, use energy when it is abundant and not when it is scarce? Fitting into to these natural systems and supporting them seemed to create a whole new form of beauty. Could it be that when we are most naturally aligned with the cycles of life patterns of the earth is when we, too, are most beautiful? 

I come away still wondering how we can remember that we are not separate from the earth, but part of it. And that that relationship, this vital relationship, should be of primary concern, not a thoughtless consequence of living. 

I’ll bring back these patterns and combine them with a figurative sculpture through 3D printing. I’m interested in this ‘Embodied Place’. Can the body and body memories of place (of home)  - info in the body – these patterns, images and symbols from nature that become an intricate part of us – part of our body memory  be a valuable metaphor for deepening our relationship w/nature and ourselves”?


The night is beautiful,
So the faces of my people.

The stars are beautiful,
So the eyes of my people.

Beautiful, also, is the sun.
Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.

Langston Hughes

Kimberly Callas is a sculptor and Social Practice artist working in both Maine and New Jersey, USA. She uses both handmade and emerging technologies to combine the human body with patterns and symbols from nature focusing on the idea of an ecological self. Art New England called work from her series Portrait of the Ecological Self, “Unforgettable.” Her work has been exhibited internationally in galleries and museums, including Flowers Gallery in New York City and the CICA Museum in Korea . She has received national and international grants and awards, recently a Pollination Project Grant. Callas received her MFA from the New York Academy of Art and her BFA from Stamps School of Art at the University of Michigan. She is an Assistant Professor of Art and Design at Monmouth University.

Kimberly Callas

 
Joya: AiR / Nana Sawada / Japan / Elliott Haigh / UK
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann

 
 

“Joya: AiR for us was the beginning of a collaborative process after both graduating from Central St Martins UAL, last year. We approached the residency with very little forethought with the intention to let the experience of the place and people guide our approach, with only one set of ideals which was to respond in sculpture. 

After arriving at Joya: AiR it became apparent that the physicality of the landscape captured our attention in the potential of the abundance of clay. We had used clay as a sculpting material before, primarily to make moulds for casting however prior to Joya: AiR we had never worked with natural clay on the spot. We therefore began a learning process of how to refine and mix the clay beneath our feet and the use of cob as a building material. This led to a range of sculptural pieces with process and the heart of the work, through experiments with the clay we also discovered that the making process and outcome were also beginning to emulate the landscape itself in terms of the building of layer after layer evoking the sedimentary layers visible in the landscape. 

We also spent much of our time walking and hiking in the local area, especially in the winding baranco’s where we became captivated with the opportunity to find fossils and the experience of the scale of time that this generates. Over the 2 weeks we developed a small collection of fossils and rocks with which we attempted to weave in to our work to explore the notions of time and place, resulting in a pseudo scientific lab within our studio.

The residency challenged our previous perceptions of making work, which made us reconsider our approach to making art both technically and conceptually. 

Nana Sawada Elliott Haigh . https://cargocollective.com/elliottnana

 
obra Nana Sawada Elliott Haigh

obra Nana Sawada Elliott Haigh

obra Nana Sawada Elliott Haigh

obra Nana Sawada Elliott Haigh

obra Nana Sawada Elliott Haigh

obra Nana Sawada Elliott Haigh

Joya: AiR / Pamela Aldridge / UK
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann

 
P_Aldride_text.jpg


About Joya: AiR

Two weeks working in a friendly environment in which contemplation or interaction can

 be freely chosen has been an invaluable opportunity. Listening to people talking about

 their work, including looking at the night sky with an artist who is working with scientists

 involved with new discoveries, has been an important element of the residency”.


Pamela Aldridge . http://pamaldridge.co.uk/





   

Joya: AiR / Alizée Gazeau / France
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann

 
 

“When I arrived at Joya: AiR I had with me one book, Pablo Neruda’s memories.

"Luminous solitude"

There is an old lavandería (hand wash) near the house. One of the stones in the wall of the lavandería was scored with lines and formed a space-time grid.

Una flor que crece.

Flowers, compressed between the paper and this stone, appear on the surface of the drawing. Placed between the space of the paper and that of the stone, the flowers mark a continual temporality. The history of the site mixes with the present realisation of the drawing and the imminent future that the plants represent.

A luminous solitude floods this residency in the heart of the Sierra Maria - Los Velez. I wanted to testify to the luminous sensation that I lost myself in in this dramatic landscape. Long solitary walks along the rocky, arid trails allowed me to find silent answers.

All time limits seemed to be abolished during those weeks.

I wanted to make a second series of drawings that would evoke this idea of radical, absolute and permanent present. I used a mixture of acrylic and clay. By their furtive passage on the surface of the paper, the plants marked their light imprint in reverse.

"Time is the moving image of eternity" and when time is suspended by this radical present where past and future mingle and merge, we experience the flight of time in which we pass. Joya: AiR makes such an absolute present possible; this retreat in the heart of nature invites a radiant dialectic between the passage and suspension of time”.

Alizée Gazeau . https://alizeegazeau.com/

 
obra de Alizée Gazeau

obra de Alizée Gazeau

Joya: AiR / Pascal Ungerer / Ireland
self portrait for Joya: AiR

self portrait for Joya: AiR

 
 

“I have a long standing interest in marginal topographies and often use these peripheral environments as a starting point in my work and that is one of the main reasons I wanted to do a residency at Joya: arte + ecología / AiR. 

I had a hugely productive week at JOYA. I divided my time between staying at Los Gázquez (home of Joya: AiR) and exploring the beautiful surrounding hills and forests there, where I had time to contemplate my work in an incredibly serene environment, as well as driving around and exploring the wider Almería province. I documented and explored old mines, quarries and abandoned houses, as well as near empty villages, and wide expanses of desert landscape, all of which will form the background material for two of my current projects. 

The remoteness, ecology and landscape in this part or Spain is really unique and inspiring as an artist and I found Los Gázquez to be the ideal location to gather source material and explore this part of the country. 

The standard of accommodation and food at JOYA was excellent and by far surpassed my expectations. The ecological ethos of Simon and Donna and their use of sustainable and renewable methods of conservation and energy production is also really inspiring. 

The company there was also great with a real sense camaraderie, which led to many great conversations over diner and a great week at Los Gázquez”.

Pascal Ungerer https://www.pascalungerer.com/

 
Joya: AiR / poet / Andrea Read / USA
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann

 
 

“Having recently completed a full-length poetry collection, I knew I needed a lot of uninterrupted time immersed in nature – and silence – in order to see what might be next. I spent hours each day walking the dirt tracks that wind through almond orchards, hiking up to the peaks of the surrounding sierra, gathering objects and making sound recordings. As part of my creative practice I make artefacts – using paper, objects from the land, photographs, found language, handmade books, text from a manual typewriter – as a way of unearthing my most elusive material. While these tactile artefacts have long been an important part of my composition and revision processes, I am beginning to understand them as thought-objects in their own right.

One of these artefacts is a book-length erasure poem. What started over a year ago as a distraction from those moments when I couldn’t seem to write eventually took on a life of its own. Something about the process of erasing text one page at a time, leaving only whatever felt resonant as poetry, demanded a certain intuitive focus due to the particular limitations of erasure – namely, once you erase text, the field of possibilities changes, and condenses, instantly. The uninterrupted ´ – and the long hikes – allowed me to finish the last remaining, and difficult, pages of the project.

I am grateful for such a restorative two weeks – Simon and Donna’s hospitality, the beautifully simple accommodations, the quiet, the delicious meals, and the enlivening conversations with other artists and interns (Lucy and Maddie)”.

Andrea Read

Andrea Read’s poems have appeared most recently, or are forthcoming, in Barrow Street, Black Rabbit Quarterly, Copper Nickel, FIELD, Ilanot Review, Lily Poetry Review, Plume, The Missouri Review (online Poem-of-the-Week feature), and Tupelo Quarterly (winner of TQ11’s ‘Call & Response’ contest). Her poetry manuscript was a finalist for the Berkshire Poetry Prize.

She was a co-founder of Newforest Institute (2006-2012), an art+permaculture non-profit, where she developed forest-based conceptual artworks including The Women’s Earth Project, a community-based forest management initiative for local women; and Home Again, a handmade broom and sweeping project between Maine and New Jersey.

Andrea earned her PhD from the University of Chicago in Romance Languages and Literatures (specialising in Spanish and Latin American poetry and drama) and an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University. A recipient of a National Resource Fellowship, a Tinker Foundation Grant, and an Artist’s Fellowship from the Somerville Arts Council, Andrea has taught creative writing, literature, and language at Stanford University, The University of Chicago, and elsewhere. Currently, she facilitates a weekly poetry workshop at the Jeanne Jugen Residence in Somerville. Andrea divides her time between Massachusetts and Brooks, Maine, where she and her family tend 500 acres of forest.

 
Joya: AiR / Ania Mokrzycka / Poland
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann

 
 

“I arrived in Vélez Blanco on an early morning; as we drove with Donna to Joya: AiR through the arid landscape, I realised how secluded the residency was. The house was calm and quiet, I quickly settled in and went for a short walk which turned into a five hour hike. When I returned I felt jet-lagged and a bit disoriented - the passage of time felt very different, a sensation that would stay with me during the whole week.

The first few days I was just walking and exploring, going back to places that resonated with me the most, trying to navigate my way and my thinking through them. I was looking at the soil, the dried and cracked clay formations changing colours as I continued walking. Before coming to Joya: AIR I naively assumed I would be able to easily extract wet clay - a material I have recently worked a lot with. Instead, digging in the ground that has not experienced rain for months, I was left with fistfuls of chalky pieces of various sizes.

I spent the week working with still and moving images, sound recording and reading. I experimented with rehydrating clay and making small objects thinking about ancient Iberian idols. I experienced the Equinox, the moon’s bright light and the pronounced shadows it casted. I thought about the gesture of mark making, its duration and transient nature. Reading “Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More than Human Worlds” by María Puig de la Bellacasa I was drawn to the concept of making time and searching for different ways of engagement with alternative temporalities.

It felt like for a week I was in a different state of being in the environment and with my work. In the silent and beautiful interior of the house I had the needed space to process intense experiences of the outside. Coming together every evening after days spent mostly in solitude, talking with other residents and volunteers and enjoying incredible meals cooked by Donna was nourishing and very special.

I am yet to go through all the gathered material, but I know it is full of new threads, thoughts and sketches, and I am curious to see how they evolve”.

Ania Mokrzycka . https://cargocollective.com/aniamokrzycka

 
Joya: AiR / Sarah Thomas / UK
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann

 
 

“I came to Joya: AiR at the beginning of a new phase in my life and in my creative practice. I am for the first time making artwork that is explicitly about myself and I wanted to use the opportunity of this residency in such a unique place to be both a contemplative and productive space to further explore this new autobiographical investigation.

When first hearing about Joya: AiR I was fascinated by its location in one of the sunniest regions in Europe and I wanted this to be an area of focus for my practice whilst here. I am interested in the idea of documenting and capturing the physical and psychological influence that such a place has had on me as a person and as an artist. I know that the sun and warmer climates can have a substantially positive impact upon my well being and subsequently my creative productivity.

Before I came to Joya: AIR I read a book by Linda Geddes called ‘Chasing the Sun’ which talks about how our biology is set up to work in partnership with the sun. From our sleep cycles to our immune systems and our mental health, sunlight is crucial for living a happy and fulfilling life. I find living in a light polluted world increasingly looking at my laptop screen either as part of my day to day life or art practice is having a negative impact. This recent default to use artificial aesthetics and digital methods to create artwork was something that I wanted to challenge whilst at the residency. Being at Joya: AiR has given me the space I needed to experience being creative in a physical place and to be in the moment, being here and working in the beautiful surroundings has greatly reduced my dependency on digital technology.

The landscape around Joya is breathtaking from the monumental hills to the colour of the soil to the wind blowing through the pines, it has made me want to slow down and truly observe everything around me. My two weeks at Joya was just what I needed, I have so many new ideas that have been formed here that I want to develop further. I have been able to play, see things in a new way and take risks with my work.

I am so grateful to Simon and Donna, the volunteers and all the artists for making Joya: AiR such a welcoming, inspiring and productive residency, it is truly a special place”.


Sarah Thomas

www.sarahthomasart.co.uk

 
Joya: AiR / Peter Ranyard / Australia
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann

 
 

“I have always been drawn to the constructed object, particularly those abandoned. The fragile nature of made objects is a constant reminder of our impermanence and that sometimes their beauty is a result of neglect and the patina that is acquired through the process of decay. I tried, through my time at Joya: Air, to explore these ideas. The story of Simon and Donna’s efforts in creating Joya: Air is immensely interesting, as is the history of the area. Coming from Australia, I am used to dry, difficult environments: it took me a few days to settle into a rhythm and begin to really look at what was available photographically. Each day bought a better appreciation of the landscape, the history, and the  markers of the place. As we realise how finite our world is, there is a desire to protect what is left of our natural and urban worlds, and indeed to take steps to not only protect but to enshrine them in our collected conscience. Population increases, modernisation, changing diets and war all place immense pressure on our ability to manage our urban and natural landscapes. 

Susan Sontag wrote of our diminishing touch with our past and that our objects should “have a patina, old furniture, grandparents’ pots and pans–the used things, warm with generations of human touch, ...essential to a human landscape. Instead, we have our paper phantoms, transistorised landscapes. A featherweight portable museum.”

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Joya: Air, living for a short time, in an ecologically sustainable environment, and spending time with a diverse group of talented, engaging artists.


Peter Ranyard

www.peteranyard.myportfolio.com

 
Simon Beckmann