Archive for December, 2011

Feliz Navidad

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Joya: arte + ecología / The Unseen… (final post)



Joya: arte + ecología in the media

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Photographs by Roberto Lacalle for the Granada Millenium Biennale. You can find more images here.



Joya: arte + ecología / ‘The Unseen Exists and has Qualities’

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Joya: arte + ecología / Lights Going On / AGUAZERO

Once again friend and collaborator of Cortijada Los Gázquez and the Joya: arte + ecología residency/opportunity, Gill Nicol of Lights Going On has created another post on her fantastic web site in support of our AGUAZERO award. Joya: arte + ecología is inviting submissions for a competition which has an environmental agenda.

This is the thirteenth weed Gill Nicol, as an independent arts consultant specialising in contemporary art, has looked at an artist who has engaged with environmental issues through their work. These ‘posts’ are designed to be ‘inspirational prompts’ for those considering applying for the award.

Anya Gallaccio

Gallaccio1-222x300Anya Gallaccio was associated with the Young British Artists movement in the ’90′s, working with materials – flowers, fruit, ice – which, when placed in unfamiliar contexts to their original use, inevitably decay. A kind of beauty that will never last, but lead to a death.Her work is less a straightforward comment about the impact of man on the environment; but inevitably the work reminds us of how fragile life is.

Back in 2000, she was in a show called ‘The Greenhouse Effect’ at the Serpentine, that looked at the idea of mediated enjoyment of nature ie increasingly, the natural world is seen to exist behind glass, so giving or forcing a kind of closing off from Nature.

Gallacio’s work is very successful in terms of mediating that sense of nature and culture infecting eachother, be it with noise, air, or by simple placement of a tree inside a room; or a carpet outside in a wood.

In 2002, she placed seven felled oak trees in the grand Duveen galleries at Tate Britain, standing like columns with their limbs amputated. In 2008, at Camden Arts Centre she installed another tree, this time a section of a horse chestnut, that had been removed from a London park after it had died. The tree filled the space trying to escape from the confines of the white cube. But it looked alive and yet dead at the same time, its branches hacked and held in place by ropes.

She says in an interview published in a-n in 2000

My work has consistently been concerned with place, time, life, decay, death, beauty and renewal. I am not a studio-based artist with a pre-determined project to complete; rather the materials I choose – and the form they take – are triggered by the experience of the site. This site specificity is more than just an architectural response to a space – a successful work ‘fills the gaps’, articulates that which I feel unable to put into words. The desire to induce physical or emotional reaction also demands the actual presence of the viewer, to experience first hand the heat, smell, texture and context as a total reading. The sensuality of the work not necessarily expected – should invite and allow for an intimate experience. We experience so much of the world at a mediated and sanitised distance, so I try to make art that is not complicit with this structure. The works mostly exist for a moment in time, and then, maybe, in memory…

This blog is one of 13 written to inspire artists to take part in the opportunity/residency award AGUAZERO/Joya: arte + ecología – see here for more info – the closing date is Dec 31st, so not long now!.



Joya: arte + ecología / ‘The Unseen Exists and has Qualities’ / penultimate day



Granada Biennale / ‘The Unseen…’ / day #3


This image shows the beginning of the third elevation.


The earth is ‘rammed’ so tightly into the mould you can see the grain from the wood.


The stones, along with other material from the excavation, plug the gap at the bottom of the mould.


Here are volunteers Géronima and Pátricia ‘ramming’ the earth into the mould.


And here is the installation viewed from the terrace above.



Granada Biennale / ‘The Unseen…’ / day #2


and the cross braces of the mould which hold the upper part of the shuttering vertical gently come away to see what the results are…

IMG_3234and here is stage one, no air pockets (crucial for it’s overall structural integrity) and no cracks.

IMG_3239and here is stage two going up. The mould is elevated on the previous days ‘rammed earth’ and the excavation begins. We now have volunteers too, Gerónima, Patricia and Andrés.



Granada Biennale / ‘The Unseen…’ / day #1


The mould was installed on a level site and the ‘excavated’ element of the work was started as was the ‘rammed earth’. Day two I know will start with stiff muscles.

We were also invited to lunch by the organisers to be introduced to the other participating artists. It was nice to meet other contributors from France and Brazil etc. but it did put us a little behind schedule. Tomorrow we are to be interviewed by ‘Canal Sur’ for their arts programme which should be fun!

At the end of day one it was only the light that stopped us working…



Granada Biennale / Leaving Los Gázquez


With the three meter shuttering for the rammed earth construction on the roof rack and a trailer full of tools, additional parts and wood kindling for the kiln, yesterday we left Los Gázquez for Granada and the commencement of the project ‘The Unseen Exists and has Qualities‘.



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