Joya: AiR / Natalia Kasprzycka / Poland

photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann


“The moment I arrived at Joya: AiR, the only noise I could hear was the ringing inside my own head –  no doubt a symptom of a city creature being transferred outside of its habitat. As days followed and every step I took into the quiet air of Sierra María-Los Vélez sounded like a bag of stones being dropped into the undergrowth, I wondered about the invasive potential of human presence on a previously unknown territory.  

Joya: AiR, however, is a place where intelligent human intervention becomes a form of care for the land. Simon and Donna built their residency on the unique history of the landscape and constructed their living space and resource systems with respect to its nature and limitations, without asking it for more than it can give.

So, human intervention as cooperation with the landscape.

I kept that in mind as I worked around this question: how to be present without being invasive?

I played with the idea of leaving gentle traces, objects which in their own time will dissolve, disappear.

I experimented with the land's native materials – limestone, white, green, red clays, pigments, pine resin as well as its strong, unique vegetation, often spiky or thorny, or otherwise adapted

to the difficult, dry climate. 

My mind went out to Robert Smithson, Anthony Goldsworthy and Chris Drury. 

Claire Fisher, a common friend of Simon's, Donna's and mine and a big supporter of my work was the one who thought I should come here. Claire, you were right, thank you for making this happen. 

Thank you Simon and Donna, all the artists and volunteers for making this a very special, productive and though-provoking time”. 


Natalia Kasprzycka

Simon Beckmann