JOYA

  • Joya Arte + Ecologia installation series 

    I completed this series of installations at the Joya Arte+Ecologia residency in southern spain. It was an amazing gift of time. I allowed it to bring my artistic practice back to the essential. I used only what I could find. The installations began to form a loose narrative linked to my own grappling with loss and rebuilding.  

  • Thirst 
    Site-responsive installation | Found galvanized trough, repurposed found tarpaulin. 

  • Thirst (detail)
  • Thirst (detail b.)
  • Division 
    Site-responsive painting | watercolor, earth
  • Mending
    Site-responsive installation | tape, structure
  • Mending (detail)
  • Mending site 2
  • Mending site 2 (detail)
  • Mending site 3 
  • Mending site 3 (detail)
  • Emergence
    Site-specific installation | found wood, watercolor, ash, earth
  • Nightworks 1
    Site specific installation | light, textile
  • Nightworks 2
    Site-specific installation | light, structure


  • There is a longing here. 

    The topography has been molded into a vessel. It bends to the will of water, and forever awaits its return. 

    Ruins sit forgotten along sun-bleached banks. Their doors are still open.

    There is a lonely mountain in the distance. It is a haze tethered somewhere between solidity and ether, and I visit with it every morning to be sure this balance has not tipped. We have an unspoken agreement that there will be nothing without substance, and nothing too substantial for its own good.

    There is a palpable stillness, an enveloping, ever-present silence that flows beneath the sand and clay. It is a kind of sonic negative space whose perimeter is loosely defined by winding stories, and punctuated with sudden fits of laughter.

    Maybe it is all a mirage. Another spaghetti western fiction where names are not terribly important, and actions, if they can be proven, are the true measure of one’s worth. (We ate spaghetti fact last night. It was quite good).

    No, it is quite real, quite essential. A place where one who is willing can pare down the tangential outgrowth of a developing art practice, and return to the center of making. The core of being. 

    Here, the water has come back

    The house is full

    -Hillel O'Leary 2018