Archive for October, 2012

Joya: arte + ecología / Francesca Sciandra’s ‘Energy Fields’

Energy Fields is a composition of field recordings captured on site at Joya: arte + ecología by the artist Francesca Sciandra during her residency in October.

‘The recordings, completed through the use of ambient and contact microphones, are part of a larger series of non-traditional, slightly improvised site surveys and geographic explorations. Sources include energy systems located on site, including a wind turbine, photovoltaic panels and wood boiler’.

Francesca Sciandra


Energy Fields (“Campos de Energía”) es una composición de grabaciones de sonido capturadas sobre el terreno por la artista en residencia Francesca Sciandra durante su residencia para Joya: arte + ecología en octubre.

“Las grabaciones, realizadas con micrófonos de ambiente y de contacto, son parte de una serie de inspecciones del terreno no tradicionales y un poco improvisadas y de exploraciones geográficas. Entre las fuentes de sonido están los sistemas de energía del lugar: un aerogenerador, paneles fotovoltaicos y una caldera”. 

Francesca Sciandra



Joya: arte + ecología / short film / art + science residency / Jude and Professor Mark Macklin

In August 2012 artist Jude Macklin along with her husband Professor Mark Macklin made a collaborative art/science residency at Joya: arte + ecología.

Judy is a practising Artist and Educator based at the School of Art, and School of Education and Lifelong Learning, Aberystwyth University.  She is a printmaker specialising in wood and linocuts.  Mark is Professor of Physical Geography and Director of the Centre for Catchment and Coastal Research, Aberystwyth University. He is an authority on river systems and environmental change.

This is Joya: arte + ecología’s short film celebrating their residency.




Joya: arte + ecología / artist in residence Francesca Sciandra / week one…

(En español al final del artículo)

‘It’s been a week since my arrival, and I am wrapped up in the physical, sensory experience of working on site at Cortijada Los Gázquez. Simon and Donna have created a special place within this alpine desert landscape. The building and project is highly self-sufficient, yet connected to a rich network of artists and thinkers…’

 ‘The surrounding terrain and the systems of the house have provided a perfect environment to begin my exploration of sound and light within natural and built systems. As I survey and explore the area through data input of light conditions, field recordings of sound, and photographic studies, I’ve noticed a number of powerful contrasts around tools, recourses and process.

- working with the sensory inputs of the body versus using electronics and sophisticated capture technology
- romanticising the seemingly limitlessness of nature versus acknowledging access to limited resources
- beginning with a proposal, yet allowing myself to discover new paths and questions throughout the creative process

As I work through these, there is a sense of balance. To be outside in a nature-filled landscape has provided me with a perfect opportunity to practice whole body listening and feeling with all senses, an exercise that I’ve always found to enhance my sense of flow. Meanwhile, Simon and Donna have provided a wealth of information and history of the site and area, which has grounded my research. 

On my bus ride from Alicante to Vélez-Rubio, I listened to a podcast on mathematics, which mentioned Georg Cantor’s idea of different sizes and types of infinities. In the late 19th century, he provided a logical grounding for a seemingly radical idea, that there is not only a single infinity, but sets and collections of infinities of different types and dimensions.

Here, walking in the desert landscape, I can find micro-environments embedded in the larger climate, and I can feel the scale and energy around me. An experience like this, which offers dedicated time to work, in a place offering a space for peace and stillness, is its own little infinity, where ideas can circle around and grow, until they are ready to jump over to the next infinity’.

Francesca Sciandra.


“Ha pasado una semana desde mi llegada, y estoy envuelta en la experiencia física, sensorial de trabajar in situ en Cortijada Los Gázquez. Simon y Donna han creado un lugar especial dentro de este paisaje de desierto alpino. El edificio y proyecto es totalmente autosuficiente, y al mismo tiempo está conectado a una extensa red de artistas y pensadores…

El terreno de alrededor y los sistemas de la casa me han proporcionado un entorno perfecto para comenzar mi exploración del sonido y luz dentro de sistemas naturales y construidos. A medida que inspecciono y exploro la zona a través de la obtención de datos de las condiciones de luz, grabaciones de sonido del campo, y estudios fotográficos, he percibido diversos contrastes fuertes en torno a las herramientas, recursos y procesos.

- trabajar con las percepciones sensoriales del cuerpo frente al uso de tecnología de captura electrónica y sofisticada
- romantizar con la idea de que la naturaleza parece no tener límites frente a tener acceso a recursos limitados
- comenzar con una propuesta, y al mismo tiempo permitirme descubrir nuevos caminos y preguntas a lo largo del proceso creativo

A medida que trabajo a través de éstos, hay una sensación de equilibrio. Estar fuera en un paisaje lleno de naturaleza me ha proporcionado una oportunidad perfecta para practicar la escucha con todo el cuerpo y sentir con todos los sentidos, un ejercicio que siempre me parece que mejora mi sensación de fluidez. Mientras tanto, Simon y Donna me han dado mucha información y me han contado la historia de este lugar y de la zona, lo cual ha cimentado mi investigación.

En mi viaje en autobús de Alicante a Vélez-Rubio, escuché un podcast sobre matemáticas en el que se hablaba de la idea de Georg Cantor sobre diferentes tamaños y tipos de infinitos. A finales del siglo XIX, Cantor proporcionó una base lógica para una idea aparentemente radical, que no hay sólo un único infinito, sino toda una serie de infinitos de diferentes tipos y dimensiones.

Aquí, caminando en el paisaje desértico, puedo encontrar micro-entornos dentro de un clima más grande, y puedo sentir la magnitud y energía a mi alrededor. Una experiencia como ésta, que ofrece tiempo dedicado al trabajo, en un lugar que ofrece un espacio para la paz y la quietud, es su propio pequeño infinito, donde las ideas pueden dar vueltas y crecer, hasta que están listas para saltar al siguiente infinito”.

Francesca Sciandra



Creative Course / ‘the awesome almond’

paint photograpy

The end of February to the beginning of March sees our spectacular display of almond blossom. It’s a wonderful opportunity to paint or photograph this beautiful event.
The sun is low casting sharp shadows across the landscape and the sky is nearly always blue, the light crisp, illuminating the almond blossom.
It’s an opportunity not to be missed.
contact Simon on [email protected]


We’re back and obviously safe to visit…

Previously visitors to our site might have encountered a Google warning telling them that ‘there is malicious content on this site, enter at your own risk’. Basically some deviant had injected malicious code onto the files of our server. For us this has been a headache  to put it mildly. However the situation seems to be resolved and I would like to say a big thank you to good friends who gave time, skills and energy to fixing the problem.

Firstly Mark Disley (my Mac Guru) of SQUAREEYES Apple Mac Support Services

‘Initial purchase advice and support. Basic installation, setup and tuition. Operating system updates and installs. Broadband advice and connection. iPhone, iPod and AppleTV setup. Wireless internet and network setup - file and music sharing. Data transfer from old mac to new mac, or from camera and video to iPhoto and iMovie. Advice and installation of software and utilities to make your mac work the way you want. iLife and all Apple software help plus advice and training with pretty much any other applications you have. Troubleshooting, spring cleaning and optimisation, preventative maintenance and annual servicing. Remote login to your mac for ‘live’ software repairs and training. Backup advice and implementation. Domain registration, email setup, web forwarding and hosting advice. Wiping your old mac and preparing it for you to sell’.

And secondly, the coincidental and divine intervention of our current resident artist Francesca Sciandra who, whilst claiming to be no expert, put the final nail into the coffin of malware content on our site. You can find out more about here work on this blog in the coming days but in the mean time here…

Thank you both.



Creative Course / En Plein Air

en plein air

En plein air

“I prefer every time a picture composed and painted outdoors. The thing is done without your knowing it”.
Winslow Homer

It would seem appropriate that such a place as Los Gázquez, a primal place, surrounded as it is by a wealth of natural beauty, should advocate painting from observing the natural world rather than from studies in the studio.

This is a course dedicated to painting after nature, the representation of landscape based on direct observation in the open air. ‘En Plein Air’.

A weeks painting in the open is intended to foster a greater connection between artists and the complex environments which surround them, and will hopefully result in the finished painting being completed in it’s entirety outdoors.

Either bring your own materials and equipment or order them in advance from us. Expect a weeks painting in and around the cortijada where there is a wealth of subject matter. And remember, this is Andalucia.

‘Andar’ to walk, ‘luz’ in light.

For more information contact Simon.



Joya: arte + ecología / artist in residence / Anne Harild

Anne Harild

‘My work is mainly concerned with place, with the perception, interpretation and reinterpretation of space. Over the last few years my work has become increasingly site-specific often investigating a place/ a space/ an architecture and exploring how I can re-interpret this through a process where thinking and making are interrelated. I work in an experimental and inquisitive way in regards to materials and processes of making. I think through making, and the act of making is central to my practice. Ideas concerning modernism, systems and structure as well as relationships between man-made and organic, particularly exploring the duality between this and the reality we exist in, are recurrent in the work that primarily manifests itself in drawing, collage and video/animation. My collages have an often poetic, quiet and contemplative nature and come about through a process of deconstructing photographs and using the various textures to construct new versions of something remembered rather than something seen. They are often observations and quiet commentary on vernacular architecture, the relationship between the natural and the man-made environment as well as observations on construction and the built environment’.

To find out more about Anne Harild please click here.