So today, I thought I should write about my two week residency at JOYA in Andalusia in Spain. I spent the last two weeks of August in rural Spain, surrounded by mountains and olive trees.
I arrived in Madrid on Monday 15th August, checked into my hotel and then went straight to the Reina Sofia to see Picasso’s Guernica, which was absolutely awe-inspiring.
The next morning I had an absolute travel nightmare, but eventually made it to Velez Rubio, where Simon collected me. We drove through rural mountain roads, with seemingly no end until eventually, I saw Los Gazquez in a valley in the distance, a striking white cluster of buildings, with a wind turbine beside it. We arrived at the house and I was greeting by Donna, Simon’s wife. I had dinner with the rest of the resident artists, which was all homemade and locally-grown before collapsing into bed.
I spent the next day just settling into the house and started reading The Colony by Audrey Magee.
The following day, I got into my studio, a small room on the other side of the house, at the top of a flight of stone steps.
I spent the rest of my time at JOYA working on MRes thesis corrections, scanning slide film, taking quick walks through the landscape surrounding the house and sitting on a bench outside the house with the rest of the resident artists (and Frida the dog) to watch the sun set over the mountains.
On the Wednesday of my second week, I did an artist talk on the evolution of my practice to-date, which is something I probably need to do more of! Afterwards I went out to look at the stars, contemplating how small we are in relation to universe. Saw Orion’s Belt over the fire breaker on the nearest mountain.