Critical Moss

I am enveloped within a private olive grove valley, surrounded by the Catalan mountains with the nearest populated village of Riba-roja d’Ebre over 3km away. I visit the village at least once a week to absorb the rituals. The Catalan language still mystifies me, only having Spanish as my second language. Catalan has been protected within the home by women across generations. A strong cultural identity pervades this rural, underpopulated place. My studio, in the olive grove, is isolated, I have no neighbours, no ‘passers-by’. My family are in the UK, where I am originally from. My practice and daily life on this wild, off-grid finca merges into one. I chop wood, build, restore, prune trees, landscape, harvest, moving around this place like some kind of performative act. Survival is a daily concern, collecting rain water for washing, ash from wood burners to compost waste, improving dry clay soil for cultivation. My movements and energies are specific to this place. A sense of closeness to the wildlife and the weather here in the valley creates at times a sensorial overload which can only be made sense of by presenting this connection within my art practice.

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