Joya: AiR / Bob Lawson / UK
"I arrived at Velez Rubio at night, was collected by Simon and driven through the darkness and indiscernible landscape to Joya: AiR. I was longing for sleep after a fourteen hour journey and was greeted with wonderful food, wine and warmth. I have a vague memory of tumbling into bed.
The morning light was truly astonishing, waking to a view from the bedroom window across the tops of olive trees with a rising mountain set against a clear blue sky in the still , silent air.
I hold firmly to the maxim that everything is defined by it’s context and, given that my allocated studio looked out into a bone-dry mountainous landscape I was wondering to what extent this alien terrain might impact on the work I may produce.
My work is often described as ‘urban’, not least because I have explored ‘bill-board evidence ‘ to generate collages that partake of the social history of a place. A kind of ‘social archeology ‘ where I unpeel the layers of patterns, events and activities and re-frame what I find. It is something I did in other residencies In Thessaloniki, in Venice and in Crete so naturally I collected peeling, torn posters in Granada to enable me to make a start. It is an interesting way to engage with a place and affords focus and time to adjust to the surrounding environment.
Staying at Joya: allowed me to set my own routine, to dip in and out of work when I wanted to and also to remain focused and locked in to whatever I was doing for as long as I wished. I felt completely relaxed throughout my stay and found that even though I worked at a leisurely pace I was able to produce an interesting and varied range of work, whilst appraising and re-appraising the processes I was using.
Each day was rounded with excellent food, wine and conversation and I enjoyed this immensely. Meeting other artists, listening to presentations and also rising to the challenge of presenting and discussing my own practice was stimulating and challenging.
In simple terms, Joya is a tremendous project and I would love to return in the near future".