Posts tagged printmaker
Joya: AiR / Pamela Aldridge / UK
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann


About Joya: AiR

Two weeks working in a friendly environment in which contemplation or interaction can

 be freely chosen has been an invaluable opportunity. Listening to people talking about

 their work, including looking at the night sky with an artist who is working with scientists

 involved with new discoveries, has been an important element of the residency”.

Pamela Aldridge .


Joya: AiR / Andrew Morrison / UK

"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".


Andrew Morrison

Joya: AiR / Simon Kroug / Switzerland

‘Arriving at Los Gázquez by following tracks between pines and orchards of almond trees, you believe to be lost. You believe to change world or period. Silence is incredibly thick. Colours, smells and material share in the painting. And yet, here more than elsewhere, at the end of your trip, you touch concrete life as it is when in deep connection with Nature.

Without denying technological progress nor comfort, but with respect for environment, Donna and Simon created an artist’s residence in accordance with their ecologist and social convictions. This does not prevent neither the delicious meals (concocted by Donna) nor the cheerful tables or exciting discussions.

From my point of view, this particular place has got a very positive aura that undoubtedly stimulated my work and ideas, helped by the fabulous welcome of Donna and her family.

I regret that my language proficiency has deprived me of more thorough discussion on all the exciting subjects we have broached together.


My warm thanks to the entire team of Joya’.


Artists statement…

Since 2012, I question my need for space and nature. Uncomfortable with my urban condition and overconsumption all around me, I tried to reconsider my place in nature. My goal is to find the link distended with large spaces, back to basics, to experience the elements, and to self-seek a certain frugality. This initial search yielded a series of small format intimate and introspective prints . I titled this series of woodcuts or linocuts “Canopy“.


Working today in a space twice as large and high ceiling, I deepened the desire of space, of movement, of natural environment. Now I explore printmaking in a format such as printing must be done by hand. My report on the matter is more physical, gesture of a woodcut line or of a brush stroke becomes more important.

As a starting point, I use photography but these two-dimensional representations of reality are not sufficient me. Linking photography —instantaneous process of capturing light— with the slow and complex production of a woodcut print raises many questions about the nature of the image that I work.

I use either my own photographs, or I look for images on the internet and social networks. In total contradiction with what they express (contemplation, slow, pause) snapshots circulating ultra-fast. This deep slowdown that is physically felt in nature is the feeling I’m looking into pictures that I choose as a basis. Appropriating these images means living landscapes that are inaccessible to me at that moment. I fantasize these landscapes. I give a subjective reading about it.

Traditional Japanese gouges that I use, as the ink I make or papers made with natural fiber resonate with my project. It’s a pleasure to handle a great tool shaped itself by hand. Woodcutting thousands small recessed surfaces in(ter)dependent who are the light of all to save the solid ones fascinates me. By printing the matrix in hand, I play with chance. I induce more or less controllable shades on raised surfaces. I often enhance the print with brush strokes  of a particular color to add additional vibration frequency.

Sometimes appears a character, usually alone, engages himself … just me somehow! I claim contemplation as a fundamental attitude of existence. And with it, the use of a long time, which helps to get rid of the superficial.

Loneliness, in my work, like that of these characters is desired and assumed. I focus on my perceptions. During the long matrix etching phase, often bathed in a selected music, my mind wanders in the popup image. Idream and shapes and I can further explain why and how. Beyond the succession of technical milestones that mark the achievement of my work, I try to keep a place for my intuition.