Joya: AiR / Merissa Weatherhead / UK
‘During the spring of 2016 I had been working on a theme titled ‘A Table in the Garden,’ which involved putting objects on a tabletop in an outside environment. This was to challenge the idea of a traditional approach to Still Life painting.
I planned to explore this theme during my residency at Joya, with the title now slightly changed to ‘A Table in the Sun’. I brought paper, charcoal and an iPad, I only had a week and knew this time would be precious in developing and reevaluating ideas and ways to move forward with my work.
When I arrived at Joya in March 2017I felt a beautiful sense of calm and honest simplicity here, found in the environment and an unspoken understanding of creativity that needs time.
I found the landscape humbling and hauntingly beautiful. Out of this white clay, a great pine forest covers the mountains and in the valleys, farmers grow almond trees which were just coming into bloom with their pink and white delicate flowers. So beautiful and mesmerising were these almond trees with their dark trunks and pretty flowers against the blue sky, it was tempting to draw them but I found myself looking down into the white of the stones that covered the earth
I have returned to the UK full of inspiration, my ‘Table’ has been upturned and I’m already working on a series of paintings from the drawings I made at Joya: AiR, it was a wonderful residency, so precious, in so many ways..
Thank you Simon and Donna for giving me the opportunity to share a little piece of Joya: AiR as an artist in residence.