Archive for September, 2009

Joya / escribir también

RABCortijada Los Gazquez would like to extend it’s residency, Joya, to include writers as well (escribir también) as artists.

The same principles apply as with the artists residency. Writers are required to engage with issues of sustainability, to engage with transition culture.

We at Los Gazquez agree with Joseph Conrad…

“The pursuit of happiness by means lawful and unlawful, through resignation or revolt, by the cleaver manipulation of conventions or by solemn hanging on to the skirts of the latest scientific theory, is the only theme that can be legitimately developed by the novelist who is the chronicler of the adventures of mankind amongst the dangers of the kingdom of the earth”.

The photograph is not Conrad but my grandfather in Latvia  around 1910. Half German, half Scottish and living in Riga. One of the first modern Europeans perhaps?



Joya. artist residence / no.9 Jessica Hargreaves 15.02/1.03.2010

You Fell Asleep in The Snow

In my paintings I use the figure in space to represent certain emotional states. By employing allegory I shift the focus beyond any one particular person and towards a more universal situation.

I am not really concerned with painting an observed reality. The cinema and its narrative devices are more significant to me. Sometimes I paint a similar image or scene over and over, changing colors, angles and gestures.  Formal issues and how they too affect the perception and emotional resonance of an image are also important in my work.

While at Los Gasquez I intend to use its particular atmosphere and remoteness in my painting to create a visual drama that could only happen there. I want to explore the residence and its surroundings as much as possible initially, then allow something to happen in my work that is organic to where I am, what I see and how that makes me think and feel.

JH portrait bnw

Jessica Hargreaves currently lives and works as an artist in New York City.

She completed her MFA at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006.

While there she taught a multi level undergraduate figure drawing class. Since graduating she has been a visiting artist for the Teacher Institute in Contemporary Art, as well as for the Multi Level Painting and Drawing Class. Most recently she has shown in the 3rd National Juried Exhibition at the Prince Street Gallery in New York, Contemporary Baroque at Gallery X in Chicago and will be in an upcoming group show at Liz Heskin Contemporary in spring 2010.

Prior to returning to school to take her MFA, Jessica worked as a fashion designer and illustrator.



Joya. artist residence / no.8 Mick Finch 04/10.09.2010


Mick Finch’s practice is centred around questions of painting. He exhibits internationally most recently in a solo exhibition at Galerie Aubert, Paris and a forthcoming exhibition in 2010, with Guillaume Paris, at the Galerie Thermale in Nancy, France.

He has published regularly since 1994, mainly for Contemporary magazine. A book in the ‘How Art Thinks’ series, on his work, will be co-published in 2010 by ICFAR, London and IFCAR, ZHdK, Zurich.  Between 2000 – 2007 he was the professeur de l’atelier de peinture at the Ecole des Beaux-arts de Valenciennes and since January 2008 is the 2D Pathway leader of the Fine Art course at Central Saint Martins.  In 2005 he was a Senior Scholar at the Terra Foundation in France.

See for further information.



Joya. artist residence / no.7 Beata Kozlowska 28.11/12.12.2009

abstract abject 1..My practice is rooted in drawing as a process of articulating bodily gesture. I am interested in exploring the destabilised, deconstructed and symbolic in order to create my own visual language.
The work is highly influenced by linguistics, feminist discourses and disparate aesthetics, and a broad set of creative influences enable me to reflect upon my experimentation with form, material and colour.
I work within a variety of disciplines, from photography to site-specific installation, using an intuitive choice of material and location. I am  also experimenting with a wide range of objet truvé such as plastic, cement, latex, wood and papier mâché, which will be a significant element in the development of the work during and after the residency at Joya.

I am excited about the coming encounter with the Andalucian landscape and my hosts at Cortijada Los Gazquez.  I am convinced it will be an important step in my artistic practice.

Beata Kozlowska (born Poland) lives and works in London, studied Drawing at Camberwell College of Art, Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London and also Polish Literature and Linguistics at University of Warsaw. She has been exhibiting in many group exhibitions in London, Manchester, Warsaw and Bielefeld. In addition she has been curating several shows and projects in London.  Recent group shows include ‘Invisible means of support’ in Rochelle School, collaborative project ‘Ponglish for beginners’ in Victoria Baths Manchester. Recently was awarded for contemporary sculpture by UH Galleries in ‘Eastern Approaches’ in Hatfield.




swale 1Here at Los Gazquez, with the help of able bodied Wwoofers, we are building a large swale. Permaculture design advocates the swale as a means of catching rainwater run off by contouring the feature across the landscape and enabling water infiltration into the soil. Here at Los Gazquez the first of these swales is to the front of the house within the new olive grove.

The concept of permaculture design is normally applied to the manifest application of bio-mechanical systems to enhance and preserve ecology in a sustainable fashion. That these designs approach maximum efficiency through strict adherence to mechanical lore reveals the vernacular within land usage as well as residential architecture. The result can often reveal the abstract integrity that is attached to the practical, which writer Jonathan Meads calls ‘art born of artlessness’. However, the vernacular is the unconscious work of craftsmen based on knowledge accumulated over years, whereas, design in the conscious pre-meditated application of a concept that appeals to the intellect.

But it is the spirit of the vernacular that appeals to us here at Los Gazquez. It is the pared down ‘first call’ of logic that excites us. Where there is only one way to make a construction with a pack of cards we intend to maximize the tolerances, the symmetry and the balance. The aim is not to achieve height through elevation but through art.

Our swale is not just a construct, it is a design to enhance contemplation. It’s dry stone fabrication is not elevated to restrict passage but hollowed  to keep possession of that rare event in this alpine desert, rain. Boulder upon boulder is laid to retain the earth on either side. It’s alignment is not magnetic or celestial but at the bidding of gravity and it’s influence upon the elements in shaping the contours of the earth. It’s appearance is rectilinear as any other form within it’s relatively short 16 meters would be artifice, the contour being too large to induce a curve.

Our swale is an interruption within our landscape, it is an orchestration of indigenous form which at once enhances the ecology and arrests our attention, like a ravine without a bridge forces one to work out a strategy to reach the other side. Our swale is an interruption that opens the relationship between the viewer and the space.

Our swale draws us near to an historical narrative, to land use, climate and transition, to strategies born upon perceptions of inquiry.



Joya. artist residency / no.6 Richard Elliott

elliott-moon buggy

The Joya residency happened at a crucial juncture during the making of the moon buggy sculpture for the exhibition Complement, curated by Field ( in Peckham multi-storey car park in London this summer. I had already decided that the sculpture I was to make should be based around the original lunar rover that was used on NASA’s Apollo moon missions, but I was debating how much the vehicle I made should be a replica of the original.  Having obtained the necessary chassis and mechanics to build the sculpture before coming to Losgazquez, I had the time to contemplate how I should approach the sculpture’s fabrication. The studio window looks out onto a landscape that is not dissimilar to that in which the astronauts did there early geological field trips and so seemed the perfect backdrop to my early drawings based upon archive images of the original Lunar Rover. Of the many people I have talked to about this project they have particular memories of what the vehicle looked like from either childhood toys or from the black and white images that appeared on television and in the press. The most important signifiers were the camera and satellite dish on the front of the buggy, these did not appear on some of the plans as they were added later to the design. Early test versions driven around the Cinder Lake crater field in Arizona had mock ups of some of the equipment attached to the vehicle which had car tyres at the time. I hoped to create a vehicle which not only reflected the spirit of the original but which would allow passengers to experience the thrill of riding something close to these test vehicles and perhaps think about the nature of this holy grail to the American car industry.



Arco Iris @ Los Gazquez


“….someone fetch a spade, quick!…..”


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Joya. artist residency / no 3 Kathryn Lynch 19.10-02.11.2009

UnknownThe everyday becomes evocative in the hands of this New York City artist. By Maura Egan

Kathryn Lynch wrinkles her nose when people refer to her work as landscape painting. “That’s like something you get at a tag sale.” says the NYC-based artist, who is more likely to align herself with tortured Expressionistic painters like Francis Bacon and Frank Auerbach than masters of the pastoral Hudson River School. Though her large, moody canvases show the beach outside her Long Island summer house on Shelter Island and the skyline viewed from her SoHo studio, Lynch regards her images as abstract rather than realistic. In a process she calls ” a combination of remembering and forgetting,” she collects visual data from her daily surroundings, then transforms it into dreamlike depictions.

In her paintings of the Hudson River at night, for instance, the water and shoreline buildings are rendered in impressionistic brushstrokes of cobalt and midnight-blue dappled with pale-yellow dots that represent lights twinkling from the bridges and windows. “Kathryn deals with notions of space and light, and then with the slightest application of color, a form such as a boat or a tree comes into play.” says Ken Jones Jr., who has shown her work at his gallery, Mercantile Home in Easton, Pennsylvania.

The scenes may have a tranquil air about them, but Lynch is an intense person. She decided to become an artist during her junior year of high school when her mother was dying. “I just realized that life was short and I wanted to make a mark, to create beauty,” says the painter, who is included in a group show at Manhattan’s Sears-Peyton Gallery, July 2- August 14. Today that means spending long days in her studio, taking breaks only to stroll the city streets, gathering inspiration for her next piece. “When I’m working,” she says, “the whole world goes away.”

2d95521eKatheryn Lynch is represented by Sears-Payton Gallery, Manhattan, New York. You can find out more about the gallery here.

You can learn more of the work of Katryn Lynch here.
1983 William Smith College, Geneva, NY
1991 Skowhegan, Skowhegan, ME
1990 MFA University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
2008 Sears Peyton Gallery, New York, NY
2007 Nina Freudenheim, Inc. Buffalo, NY
2005 Alycia Duckler, Porland Oregon
2004 Victoria Munroe Fine Art, Boston, MA
2002 Alycia Duckler Portland, Oregon
1996 Charles Cowles, project room, New York, NY



Last Night I Tossed the Moon…

moon toss

…with varying degrees of success. A single point of light as opposed to multiple forms is harder to hit. Also being darker you have a longer exposure requiring multiple or compound tosses. David the mediator for the group over in California has given me a few tips to refine my skills.

“When performing multiple/compound tosses (and even simple tosses), try to catch you camera with one hand covering the lens. This will minimize the irregular light streaks that result from when the camera is in hand, and maximize those light streaks that result from camera flight and physics”.

Camera flight and physics, that’s it isn’t it! This is more gestural than I first realised. What did Greenburg say ‘the use of characteristic methods of a discipline to criticise the discipline itself’. David goes on to say…

“Also, try integrating some soft reflected light sources (or even distinct brighter colored light sources) into your attempts to toss the moon…adds a little more character than the simple wide whitish lines. In example, my recent “Kinetic 1389″. The moon tends to create fairly simple patterns owing to it’s great distance from the camera, and requires significant control of camera motion to produce interesting shapes”.

Mmmm I’ll have another go tonight although the standard David sets is very high…

For example here and here and once again here.


Comments (1)

Camera Toss 3

fairy light 4

With every toss my confidence grows and I am learning to control the results a little more each time. For example this is a long exposure that allows me to toss the camera twice in quick succession.

The first toss is a spin and the second is a lateral spin. The first gives you the spiral and the second the horizontal.

It’s full moon again tonight. Maybe it’s time to toss the moon.



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