Joya: AiR / Hangama Amiri / Afganistan - Canada
JOYA: AiR residency.
"Four words that come strongly from my personal experience at Joya: AiR Residency: solitude, silence, serenity and sincere".
"My first day of arrival at Vélez Rubio on Sunday December 3rd and soon meeting the lovely Donna Beckmann with her welcoming smile, has been a very special day for me. As we were driving towards the Joya: AiR while having a conversation, and looking through the window, the vast landscape had a nostalgic moment to my childhood memories of growing up in Panjshir Valley in Parwaan, Afghanistan. I felt a sudden warmth. And it felt very good to be at this remote, quite land".
"My time as an artist-in-residency at Joya: AiR program has been very productive, creative, adventurous and empowering. Being at my studio space with a big square window, not only inspired me to paint the everyday colour memory, but the warmth of sun from early morning to sun down inspired me to study the colour values of the nature, to experience the tranquil nature of the landscape and the fresh air surrounding the landscape. Especially delving my time into making art away from daily pressure and destruction—a space to focus solitude into my productivity.
At my studio space, I came with a proposed project to create work based on landscaping geography of Cortijada Los Gázquez in Almería, Andalucía. My current project “Gente de España” consisted of 15 small portrait paintings, oil on wood panel (11’’ x 14’’) that depicted portraits of local people in Los Gázquez and Vélez Blanco residents—overlapped against the stunning landscape of Almería. In this painting project, I used to go outside everyday with my journaling, sketching, and recording colour memory while also communicating with the Almerían people, knowing their taste of culture and language, then later brought my visual materials back to studio and used for later in my mixed media paintings.
For me what is more special about this residency was the interaction between other international artists. This has brought a challenging platform, a shared rich-cultural experiences, knowing about each other’s art practice and our day to day experience being at JOYA. Especially sharing our dinner time with Simon and Donna Beckmann has brought so much laugher, fun stories, and art/culture experiences. I will definitely miss those nights.
I would like to extend my warmest and most sincere thanks to Donna and Simon Beckmann’s generosity, hospitality, and critical view on my work. I will for sure miss each single day of my time at Joya: AiR, and I’m hoping to join the community once again to meet this extraordinary nature in summer time".