Posts tagged painter
Joya: AiR / Mike Staniford / Australia

“I came to Joya: AiR, to write and paint and specifically to see if I could bring a fluidity to both disciplines.


In the case of my landscape paintings, to leave behind the physicality of my surroundings and instill a sense of deconstruction in my work. To develop a series of paintings, made with bold gestural strokes , influenced with colour drawn largely from a sense of emotion than pictorial reality.


The landscape of Andalusia and the Sierra María, is both seductive and challenging and forced me to look and look again. The studio at the art residency was like a magnet that drew me back, once I had completed plein air sketches and working roughs. A perfect environment to work large or small, rethink and re-assess and to rub shoulders with other like-minded creatives. I produced an enormous body of work in my time here and opened up my thinking. But more importantly, I felt a huge sense of achievement.


Early mornings were spent sat outside, waiting for the dawn. A perfect time to think about the fourth draft of my fictional narrative. Once again, the surroundings enabled me to think with an uncluttered mind. To meditate on my main character and focus on her journey through my story. To write with a fresh conviction.


Simon and Donna Beckmann provide an incredible escape. Leave artists free to explore and discover but are there for support when needed. Dinner together with them every evening was the final punctuation of the day. A colourful, lively discourse and always with delicious food. I will be coming back.”



Artist and Writer with storytelling at the heart of both. 

Joya: AiR / Taïs Bean / France

‘Coming to Joya, I had intended to continue nurturing the underlying desire of my artistic practice; re-establishing a connection and conversation with the natural environment.

Despite the arid and harsh environment, the natural park embracing the residency shows an outstanding generosity, through its unique beauty and the wealth of natural materials that can be found. The environment offered by Joya and the people present during those two weeks have contributed to a profound feeling of nourishment.

It has been very rich to experience the lacks and thirst of the land, the overwhelming imbalance of what is left of its ecosystems whilst feeling creatively replenished.

The land is visibly eroding and somehow crumbling into new forms, echoing the power and duty of transformation, the emergency of exploration and understanding, and inviting to a bodily experience of the hot, dry and malleable environment. The ephemeral, fragile and yet demanding and resilient nature of existence strongly embodied in the landscapes around Joya have greatly informed my experimentations during my time here. It has been a joyful pleasure and discovery to work with the clay, wood and stones found on site, dedicating time and physical effort to creating ephemeral pieces, engaging the whole body and its entire environment, bowing to the heat and winds, somehow attempting a subtle and temporary union, or at least a focused and honest acknowledgment of nature, its stories and its needs.

I leave with an incredible feeling of gratitude, enthusiasm and ideas, feeling a bit closer to understanding how art can help foster the necessary reconnection to our natural environment.

Thank you Donna and Simon Beckmann, Fred Hubble, Katie Lawson, Ciro, Camille and Aurélie’.

Taïs Bean

Joya: AiR / Pawel Szeibel / Polonia

‘Una mirada al intimidante paisaje infinito. El espacio abierto de las montañas da para pensar sobre el poder de la naturaleza. Sin embargo al comenzar a caminar poco a poco somos conscientes de las posibilidades del cuerpo humano. Paso a paso, lo imposible se hace evidente, empezamos a explorar la natuaturaleza del paisaje tanto lo global como lo microscópico. Mirando el paisaje de la Sierra de Maria Vélez observamos un sinfín de posibilidades. La participación en el paisaje nos provoca a hacernos preguntas y observaciones, tan importante en la práctica del pintor’.

Paweł Szeibel

Joya: AiR / Benjamin Deakin / UK

“I generally prefer not to make too many plans before doing residencies and let ideas develop out of the experiences I have on them instead. In the course of several walking and cycling trips in the area around Los Gázquez I was struck by the conjunction of forest, crags and the geometric forms created by the agricultural practices in the area. Particularly the rows of almond and olive trees set agains the softly shaded earth of the fields. Geometric and abstract forms crop up regularly within the landscape structure of my paintings. I also enjoyed exploring the Barrancos, each twist and turn becoming a minute landscape in itself, a child’s eye view of the world.

This prompted me to try something which I have wanted to do for a long time but had never found the right environment for. I made various geometric props in the studio using some leftover building materials I found here combined with the rudimentary materials I had brought with me. I then carried these to the Barranco and set up a series of stage-like arrangements within these micro-landscapes. I am looking forward to using the photographs of these small installations as starting points for paintings and drawings back in London, but the process itself is something I would like to try again in different environments and with different materials”.

Ben Deakin