‘I came here to be IN what inspires my work. Living and working in Brooklyn, NY, I make things that connect me to what I would call the tendencies of natural places and their elements. For me, this has a lot to do with nature’s gestures and movements, a signature to all things natural that translates regardless of form.
I didn’t bring materials knowing I wanted to be impressed with the place and know myself through that impression, deciding later what form my work at Joya: AiR would take.
There had been heavy snow a week or so before I arrived, followed by warmer weather which softened the land into clay. Two experiments with clay took shape in the studio, both of them involving multiples to create larger compositions. Both of them meditative and intuitive in process. Both of them coming about organically and revealing meaning as I made them.
The experience of shaping (with only my hands and a little water) the ground I’ve lived on for two weeks has been intimate and immersive. I’ve been loaned a red bucket and a shovel. When I run out of clay I walk down the hill until my feet feel soft ground, I fill the bucket, and take it back to the studio. The seamlessness of making something in this way has allowed me a degree of focus and freedom that has blended the process into something entirely fluid. It’s quiet, there is no interference, no middleman between self and materials, no speed bump (so to speak).
The home has also been a very important element of staying and working here. Everything is beautiful and kind to the senses. The Beckmanns are welcoming, generous, warm, and utterly respectful and encouraging of their guest’s process and needs. I would describe it all as mindful luxury. Here we are mindful of water, mindful of sounds, mindful of the electricity we use, and this makes for a very present experience that is coherent with the human appreciation of nature.
I took long walks up hills and down barrancos without running into a single person and saw colours, shapes and textures that very much delivered what I was looking for in coming here.
This time at Joya has been extremely meaningful and has given me the space to clearly assert why I make art and how I want to make art. I am grateful to Simon and Donna for this opportunity which I hope to repeat in the near future’.
Melanie J Moczarski