Joya: AiR / Karen Radford / UK

photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann


“Simon and Donna have converted Los Gázquez (Joya: AiR) into a place of beauty and solitude. It has a warmth that feels supportive without being intrusive and the pace is easy and unhurried. It is also gives you a fascinating insight into a life-long project of ecology and sustainability in one of the driest regions in Spain. 

Arriving at night after a long day travelling, I immediately felt at home surrounded by an inspiring personal collection of art, textiles and ceramics and an impressive display of local fossils that became my daily riverbed challenge!

Placed in the most extraordinary landscape of the Parque Natural - Sierra Maria, Los Gázquez is surrounded by a panorama of breath taking views. Walking or climbing, there are mountains, forests, fields and riverbeds where you are unlikely to see a soul. Coming from a small busy town on the Kent coast  that in itself felt like a luxury. 

This is a visual, and sensory landscape of textures, colours and aromas and if you are lucky you may get an occasional sighting of Andalucían wildlife. 

Walking became part of my daily routine, both thought provoking and meditative, feeding into my work, making subtle shifts and taking my creative practice in new and unexpected directions. 

In the evening, the main focus in the house was tasting the most wonderfully creative dishes prepared by Donna whilst sharing our stories and experiences. It’s not often in life one has the opportunity to share mealtimes with a disparate group of artists from around the world. It was a deeply enriching and inspiring experience”.

Karen Radford

Simon Beckmann