Joya: AiR / Maria Prestmo / Norway


photo: simon beckmann

Joya: AiR

“I arrived at  Cortijada Los Gázquez (Joya: AiR) late one November evening. In the middle of this alpine desert of southern Spain these five beautifully restored farm houses suddenly reveal themselves in front of me. Houses filled with beautiful and strange objects from around the world. 

I structured my days by photographing at sunrise and sunset, and in the time between I went walking in the mountains, the valleys or the barrancos taking in the breathtaking view, the silence and the immense smell of thyme, rosemary and lavender. In the afternoon I read books and wrote small texts before I photographed by sunset, ending each session by sitting on a chair on the back of the houses. I loved sitting there contemplating. At 9 o’clock each evening we ate the most wonderful dinners with Donna, Simon and the other artists. And just before bedtime Simon put on his French music in the kitchen. I loved that. You actually can find Joya: AiR playlists at Spotify where they encourage the artists to make a playlist with 10 of their favourite songs. What a great idea!

The days went both fast and slow at the same time, and I am leaving full of inspiration and warmth. I normally photograph people. On this stay I was forced to look at the nature to photograph, the nature is so close to you out there and there were not too many people there. That made me think of my projects in another way. The hosts Donna and Simon have this lovely balance between making you feel like home and at the same time leaving you alone. That made the stay so great. Thank you Donna and Simon for letting me come to this place “out of time”.

I made a visual diary of my stay at Instagram @mariaprestmo and of course a playlist at Spotify…”

Maria Prestmo

Simon Beckmann