Joya: AiR / Ania Mokrzycka / Poland

photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann


“I arrived in Vélez Blanco on an early morning; as we drove with Donna to Joya: AiR through the arid landscape, I realised how secluded the residency was. The house was calm and quiet, I quickly settled in and went for a short walk which turned into a five hour hike. When I returned I felt jet-lagged and a bit disoriented - the passage of time felt very different, a sensation that would stay with me during the whole week.

The first few days I was just walking and exploring, going back to places that resonated with me the most, trying to navigate my way and my thinking through them. I was looking at the soil, the dried and cracked clay formations changing colours as I continued walking. Before coming to Joya: AIR I naively assumed I would be able to easily extract wet clay - a material I have recently worked a lot with. Instead, digging in the ground that has not experienced rain for months, I was left with fistfuls of chalky pieces of various sizes.

I spent the week working with still and moving images, sound recording and reading. I experimented with rehydrating clay and making small objects thinking about ancient Iberian idols. I experienced the Equinox, the moon’s bright light and the pronounced shadows it casted. I thought about the gesture of mark making, its duration and transient nature. Reading “Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More than Human Worlds” by María Puig de la Bellacasa I was drawn to the concept of making time and searching for different ways of engagement with alternative temporalities.

It felt like for a week I was in a different state of being in the environment and with my work. In the silent and beautiful interior of the house I had the needed space to process intense experiences of the outside. Coming together every evening after days spent mostly in solitude, talking with other residents and volunteers and enjoying incredible meals cooked by Donna was nourishing and very special.

I am yet to go through all the gathered material, but I know it is full of new threads, thoughts and sketches, and I am curious to see how they evolve”.

Ania Mokrzycka .