Residency at the Fundación Valparaíso
In April 2011 I spent one month in Mojácar, Spain as Artist in Residence at the Fundación Valparaíso, which was established in 1989 by Paul Beckett, a Danish artist, and his wife Beatrice, who both have a lifelong knowledge of art and conservation patronage.
The retreat is situated on the edge of terraced almond, orange and olive groves, 150 metres above sea level, and enjoys a beautiful panoramic view, which includes the Mediterranean, the Sierra Cabrera and the white hilltop village of Mojácar. The retreat was formerly an olive oil mill house.
Although I went there to be inspired by the landscape, it was the residence itself that began to fill my paintings, perhaps because it was the scene of many lively discussions amongst fellow artists-in-residence… a Portuguese poet, a Bulgarian composer, a French photographer, an Icelandic textile artist, a New York academic and painter, a German mixed media artist, and a drawing artist from France. A life changing experience.
As I later travelled around Morocco, then Spain, I responded to the surface patterns of both of these countries’ interiors and their landscapes and the work here reflects that experience.