Joya: AiR / Katrien Matthys / Belgium
‘I came to Joya: AiR with the plan to work on illustrations for a book that has been in my head for a long time. The first week I was here, I was the only artist in residence, which almost never happens, so I had a lot of time to think, draw and write. However, with the beautiful surroundings of La Hoya de Carrascal it was impossible to stay inside and work all day, so I found myself going out everyday a lot, just where my feet wanted to take me. I discovered the most amazing landscapes, sometimes even together with Fufu, the pet-goat. I stumbled upon all different kinds of forests, almond trees, stones, baranco’s, abandoned houses, mountain tops, fossils… and all those amazing colourful flowers…
As Joya: AiR is a place of exploration and discovery, my walks started influencing my work. I took a lot of photographs of the flora and these plants entered my work. I also found myself painting on the treasures I found on my walks… such as stones, branches, bones… and making compositions with them, something I never did before. I think that is the interesting part about being a resident here, is that the place itself enters your work, even if you didn’t plan it.
The tranquility of the place provides you with a great concentration. And the nature almost becomes like a personality, you meet everyday.
I’m a Brussels based visual artist, as well as an anthropologist. So as an artist, as well as an anthropologist, I’m always studing humans and animals and the way they interact and the stories that can evolve. Being at Joya: AiR provided me with a fresh start for the book I want to make’.