"Like all printmakers my studio and my practice are full of stuff – presses and scroll-saws and routers, they assist the work but in their own way they become props; they are limiters as well as enablers. The need to get away from the studio is a need to get back to pencil/paper/scissors – to ideas that might suggest a process but not be dictated to by one. I arrived at JOYA (by bus; two and a half days from England) with rolls of black and white paper, a pair of scissors and the beginnings of a series of texts (about our relationship with wilderness) that I wished to match with simple images that I hope may end up being pages in a book.
The studio at JOYA gave me the opportunity to create new patterns for working days – to draw in the mornings, walk in the warm afternoons (the landscape is so ever-changing with that it would have been easy to do nothing else but walk and watch vultures), assemble pages in the early evenings and then meet with the other artists to talk and plan before the, always delicious, evening meal.
I’ve lived off-grid for two years in Wales – a short time but long enough to learn that attention is constantly demanded by the systems that sustain life and that one’s own artistic practice struggles to appear as vital. To live in such a demanding way whilst also providing such a welcoming, creative environment for others is testament to Simon and Donna’s sustained vision, tenacity and generosity".