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.”
 
MIKE STANIFORD
Artist and Writer with storytelling at the heart of both. 
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