Farm Studio Residency January 2024. Andore, India.

My recent artistic journey has been with multi-disciplinary creations to tap into other senses of creativity. For many years I have been a photographer, although am exploring and producing bodies of work that include ceramics, drawing, research, and installation. The conceptual content and issues that I approach are all one and the same; the only difference is that I have been choosing other mediums to make up this language during the current stage of my visual dialogue.

I was attracted to this residency in India primarily to have the solitary time to create and delve into my inner self, and to be surrounded by other artists with the rural and cultural backdrop I was searching for that is found in this region of Rajasthan. The village where the residency is located has a long tradition of pit-firing pottery and they specifically smother pots that stain black which they still use for practical purposes. Just like in most places in the world, traditional ways of life and the artisan way of doing things are getting lost. One of the main interests in my ongoing projects, is my contemporary expression of ruralities, the use of clay earth, and the natural ways of life that have been lost in the region of Spain where my mother is from. I recently built artistic studios on my land in this place in Spain and want to continue my research and exploration of similar issues, such as social erosion and pollution, climate and migration effects on ruralities, and within this, the change in landscape upon my discoveries.

My background and professional life have been in photographing mainly picture stories about similar international issues, always focusing on humanity, the social landscape, the way our societies are built, these changes and how they affect our cultures, and the inter-related problems that are now becoming global. To connect the purpose that I have in my work, locations are relative, and depending on the situation within my nomadic journey I look for the ephemeral beauty to highlight.

My intention for this residency was to produce a series of multi-disciplinary works based on the rural life that I would find during my stay. Upon my arrival, I was introduced to a potter family and they kindly took me in, teaching me their wild clay processes and techniques for creating pots. Not only did I learn a great deal but was able to observe their daily life and sketched my observations and sensational feelings on the surface of the pots made during this time. They are pitfired with the burial technique.

Reflecting on the relationships that were carried out during this time, a studio-style photography shoot was organized to portray the different roles in the village. Portraits included people such as the tea staller, a seamstress, a rickshaw driver, a carpenter, farmers, vegetable sellers, brick workers, the Potter family, animal herders, and so on, grouping the portraits in the final exhibition installation.

Farm Studio is located a few kilometers out of town therefore allowed to experience life out by the plotted farm fields nearby. I was immediately intrigued by the abandoned thatched huts of migrant worker families and the way that they were bound by beautiful pieces of cloth. They suggested attention to careful and important detail as a metaphor for the rich aesthetical culture that can be found in such simple but complex ways of life in this tier of society that must move around looking for work for a means of survival. Industry and global ways of life are removing these traditional lifestyles and in many places around the world, this lifestyle is also disappearing. These pieces of cloth are also found lying on the ground and with time their colors and textures are revealed in telling their own profound stories.

Not only did I photograph what I found to be beautiful in found objects, mostly the cloth I have spoken about, but also photographed these places and then made carbon (carbon taken from various old fires) drawings of the shadows that the huts made on the ground during midday.

The different mediums were then brought together in a group exhibition at the end of the residency in a gallery in Udaipur where a few of the artists and I then traveled to.