One thing that my Art Residency at Joya: Arte and Ecologia has taught me to do after only one week of being here, is to give myself time and space. Time away from the distractions of everyday life, and space to breathe- to reconnect with myself. Once I had these two elements, the core beliefs within my art practice and even in myself began to rise to the surface of my mind from the unconscious.
A turning point which made me realise the importance of time and space, was when I walked up one of the mountains surrounding the residency. Before I set off, I imagined how I would feel once I reached the top after hours of hiking- that overwhelming sense of achievement brought on after I had defeated the elements and conquered the ascent (it was even more dramatic in my head). However, once I got to the top, I realised that it wasn’t about reaching that point at all. It was about testing myself, seeing if I could go through with something so daunting, seeing if I could overcome a process of rigour, effort and exhaustion. And that was when it hit me. That word- PROCESS.
Photograph: View from the top of the mountain with Joya: Arte and Ecologia in the distance.
Process was a word that has been very prominent in my practice over the last year whilst finishing my degree, as I realised that I valued it above the final outcome of my work on many occasions. What I did not realise until I had climbed that mountain in Velez-Blanco, was that I value the process in everything in my life. When I looked out at the view from the summit, I was disappointed, as the feelings I imagined before I climbed the mountain were far stronger than the actual feelings I felt when I got there. I got such a buzz during the climb, that I was actually disappointed when the only thing left to do was go back the way I came, with just a crippling feeling of fear instead, as all I could see was loose rocks and a drop.
However, I now see that it’s obvious I value the process in my life as well as my art. My art always contains aspects of my life, and with the personal situations and experiences I draw upon, come the values I have imbedded into me as well. So whether it is climbing a mountain, baking a cake, or doing a performance, the process will always be the most important aspect. One thing my mum has always said to me from a young age, is “It’s not about what you end up with in life, it’s the journey you take to get there.” It would seem I took this to heart more than I initially thought.