Joya: AiR / Tatjana Hirschmugl / AUT

photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann


“Experiencing the drought of a desert-like landscape certainly deepens appreciation for water. 

This was among the first realisations I had during my stay with Donna & Simon. They kindly invited me to spend a few days in their tranquil home which bears a charm difficult to describe. 

In the seclusion of Joya: AiR many things have fallen into place for me. 

Since I am questioning the materialistic aspects of my lifestyle I was hoping to get a glimpse of a verified more sustainable approach just as well as room for letting my mind wander and for finding the muse to pick up a drawing pencil again. Joya: AiR turned out to provide the perfect setting for all of that: A spacious exploration area free of schedules while full of opportunities; peacefully embedded in untouched wilderness. 

The harsh conditions for nature would suggest absence of diversity, but the opposite is the case. The air is filled with vibrancy of humming bees and flies, and there was another soothing sound that attracted my attention since the moment I arrived – the wind turbine. This turbine is an essential power source feeding Joya: AiR and its guests with electricity and is just one example of the thought-through concept which implements the natural constraints and benefits given in that area.

I explored the scenery with all my senses. Visually, I grasped the vegetation while going for walks and hikes, supplied with a sketchbook or my camera. Thereby eagles, rabbits and a fox have crossed my path. The odours of dry grass, wild rosemary and pine trees were omnipresent; the taste buds were tickled every night by a delicious food creation. Los Gázquez is also tactile as the ground is based on clay and can be turned into anything imaginable upon moisturising. 

So while my body sunk into a mode of pure relaxation, the brain remained stimulated due to lively exchange of thoughts, worries and ideas with multifaceted artists who were sharing time with me at this distinct place. I got highly inspired to immerse myself further into the artistic world and motivated to work on my personal contribution when it comes to downsizing the threat we pose to our environment. The impact may be a small one, but I hope to become a seed for friends, family and local communities to follow a less destructive path and strengthen awareness. Joya: AiR, made a lasting impression. The spark leaped over”. 

Tatjana Hirschmugl

Tatjana is a research scientist holding a Masters degree from the University of Vienna. She currently works as a laboratory assistant at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Lung Vascular Research in Graz. Previously she worked as a research assistant at CeMM Research Centre for Molecular Medicine in Vienna. Her research interests are the genetics of malignant and immune system disorders.

She also has a strong background & knowledge of  fluorescence microscopy, next-generation sequencing techniques, human genetics, and an advanced application of graphic design/image processing tools.

Simon Beckmann