Posts tagged new york arts
Joya: AiR / Hillel O'Leary / USA

'There is a longing here. 

The topography has been molded into a vessel. It bends to the will of water, and forever awaits its return. 

Ruins sit forgotten along sun-bleached banks. Their doors are still open.

There is a lonely mountain in the distance. It is a haze tethered somewhere between solidity and ether, and I visit with it every morning to be sure this balance has not tipped. We have an unspoken agreement that there will be nothing without substance, and nothing too substantial for its own good.

There is a palpable stillness, an enveloping, ever-present silence that flows beneath the sand and clay. It is a kind of sonic negative space whose perimeter is loosely defined by winding stories, and punctuated with sudden fits of laughter.

Maybe it is all a mirage. Another spaghetti western fiction where names are not terribly important, and actions, if they can be proven, are the true measure of one’s worth. (We ate spaghetti in fact last night. It was quite good).

No, it is quite real, quite essential. A place where one who is willing can pare down the tangential outgrowth of a developing art practice, and return to the centre of making. The core of being. 

Here, the water has come back

The house is full'.

Hillel O’Leary is a New York sculptor whose work deals in place, time, and belonging.

He is a recent graduate of the Penn State sculpture MFA program, and he holds a bachelor’s degree from the Rhode Island School of Design. 

His recent work has been featured in the US and internationally, including exhibitions as part of the Digital Stone Project in Italy’s Tuscany region.

Joya: AiR / Melanie Moczarski / New York, USA

‘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