Joya: AiR / group residencies / Manchester Metropolitan University / School of Art
‘The first thing students from Manchester noticed is the silence. Arriving after a long journey , dropping the bags of in the rooms, they all went out, sitting on the sloping field, they just kept saying “I can’t believe how quiet it is”.
90% of this years group of students had never seen an unpolluted night sky. Alistair could not sleep, his mind was buzzing with thoughts on the size of the universe.
You learn a lot from each other on a 7 hour walk up to the fire watch station.
The students loved it. Cooking for each other, singing and dancing was as important as scrambling up the hills and creating work.
The night we all turned into blonde Dolly Parton (15!) becoming props for Tulani’s degree show piece was unforgettable.
4 students went out to one of the abandoned houses and created wall drawings .
Lying in the sun, reading and just being with each other .
One of the best and most difficult points of Joya is, that when you are there, you are there. Students can’t escape so to speak, the nearst pub or village is too far away.
Students don’t realise until they leave, that Joya is the realisation of an artist’s vision! (better two artists) And that it is actually possible to make and live a difference. This is perhaps the most lasting experience they take away. Art is much bigger than whatever is in the white cube at any time. It’s about life, having a vision and grafting, so the vision becomes more and more real’ .
Artist and tutor Brigitte Jurack.