Joya: AiR / Charlotte Price / England
“I came to Joya": AiR to experience an environment completely new to me and indeed arriving here was truly breathtaking. Cortijada Los Gázquez is surrounded by pine forested mountains and fields of almond trees. Wherever you walk your senses are immersed in a silence that is almost tangible and a heavy scent of aromatics growing wild at your feet.
I had not encountered a place like this and my initial ideas for the artwork I thought I would create wavered in a desire to explore the land and gather up pieces of and from the ground. I collected plants that were skeletal at the end of their life cycle, dried by the sun and wind. I found rocks with indentations of a prehistoric life. The limestone dusted everything and placed it in a semilunar world.
Collection of objects of natural history was already part of my art practice and I found it impossible not to create a still life of my new findings. The studio table became filled with traces of my experience in this landscape.
My work is normally sited in a rural landscape traversed with pathways through which I investigate a social history of human presence. Pathways of previously utilitarian purpose are represented in imagery of frail plant material collected from their edges. I use print techniques that allude to the sombre tones of a Victorian age of Natural History collection and its museology.
Walking in the landscape and a scrutiny of its geography and detail has been the substance of my practice. Some inspirational reading has been:
Michael Landy Nourishment A portfolio of 12 etchings
Richard Mabey Weeds
Robert McFarlane The Old Ways, The Wild Places
Edward Chell The Garden of England, Bloom
Richard Long Selected statements & interviews
Tom Trevor Three Ecologies Lois Weinberger
Anna Pavord Landskipping
Rebecca Solnit Wanderlust
Christopher Tilley A Phenomenology of Landscape
Nan Shepherd The Living Mountain
Paul Farley & Michael Symmons Roberts Edgelands
Numerous Field and Pocket Guides to Wild Flowers”