"I came to Joya: AiR with three objectives in mind. One was to simply to (re)learn to contemplate and be mindful. I seem to have slipped into a mode of living which involved constant ‘doing’. Second was to just simply respond as a photographer to this unique landscape. No concepts, no preconceived ideas - just ‘to be’ in the landscape and see what happens. Thirdly to research, so as to be able to articulate what I think my work is trying to achieve, how I am trying to achieve it and what this means in terms of how it is outputted. I had layers and layers of rambling thought collected over time swishing around in my head and not being particularly helpful. Joya: AiR seemed a wonderfully tranquil place to try and sort it all out!
So, what of the outcome. Well I’ve had wonderful and inspiring time just going with the flow, taking it as it comes. I’ve made some photographs which I am happy with and which I believe can be related to the nature of the environment and my ‘feelings’ towards it. More importantly the process of making those images has iterated productively with the thinking side of my visit. The clarity of the air has crept into my thinking and I feel I understand what I am trying to do better than at any point in recent years – and I think it leads to some ideas for outputting my work which I am finding exciting and uplifting. Too little space here for the details so I will just repeat some thoughts which have been more than helpful from Richard Povall of art.earth and Schumacher College in a talk/essay on ‘what is ecological art?’
‘An ecological arts practice is about a way of being in the world, open to all its wonder and complexities, feeling rather than seeing, expanding rather than reducing……a truly a praxic opening-out, a re-embracing of wonder, of enchantment, of the power of the mind and the soul.
A lithographic representation (Untitled 1966) of the ocean by Vija Celmens - a square of agitated water entirely without context, drawn in fine, extraordinary detail - is not a backward step towards representationalism or ultra-realism, but a spiritual meditation, a re-telling of a place to which we seem inexorably drawn'.
he Mersey Sound – Adrian Henri, Roger McGough, Brian Patten
Falling Awake – Alice Oswald
The Hundred Thousand Places - Thomas A Clarke
Ametsuchi – Rinko Kawauchi
The Living Mountain – Nan Shepherd