It is with some urgency that I write this blog.
Work and life in the valley here in the beautiful mountains of Catalunya is peaceful, inspirational and collaborative. I have had the privilege of welcoming volunteers within the workaway project from all over Europe and the rest of the world to help here on the farm with various creative projects, working collaboratively, sharing time, culture, opinions, experiences and skills.
The peace and tranquility of the valley offers space for the creative process.
The inspiration is the blank canvas, the unknown, the uncertain future and excitement of where to visit next, who will come and stay here next and where this takes our minds, our ideas and our problem solving techniques.
I have had the honour of welcoming people here to learn how to exist ‘off-grid’ and to prune and harvest the olive trees here in the finca.
I have had the honour of sharing many an evening meal and glass of local wine with fellow human beings who share the excitement of learning, of not knowing and of helping and supporting each other towards a common goal.
I have friends who have continued to show their support for this project here in the valley; the creation of time and space for people to use to their own advantage, away from capitalist persuasion, away from corporate greed, just the time and the space, and the light.
One of the events here in the valley is the Riba Rocks Arts and Music festival. This started with a very small idea of getting people together from all over the world to celebrate creativity within this beautiful environment.
It has since grown, thanks to the people who join together each and every September, into a wonderful celebration of likeness, of difference, of problem solving, of debating, of making and creating, of talking in various languages, in the reciting of powerful words, in the performing of outstanding musical talent, in the energy of live mixes and disc jockey sessions under the stars.
I am truly thankful to those people, organisations and authorities who have made it possible for me, as a creative practitioner, to be here today working and living in this environment. I have been so fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel and meet truly wonderful people throughout my 2 years studying in Cyprus and again the past 5 years making permanent connections with the culture and people of Catalunya.
Now I enter the 4th year of the arts and music festival and, having organised an Art Project to take place just after the festival in mid September, I will be making work alongside other European artists to be installed in the beautiful village of Riba-roja d’Ebre, with the support of the local Ajuntament (Town Hall).
I cannot begin to imagine how this could possibly be taken away from future generations.
I have woken up in the same place, the beautiful valley (La Vall), listening to the crickets in the heat of the June sun. Physically nothing has changed and yet something has completely altered my perception of who I am, where I am and what is now possible, or not.