Posts tagged Central St Martins School of Art
Joya: AiR / Nasia Papavasiliou / CYP
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann


“Joya made  the words of Edmund Husserl make much more sense to me,

Bodies are given as having the sense of being earthly bodies and space is given as having the sense of earth - space. The totality of WE, of human beings or ‘animated beings’, is in this sense earthly and has no contrary in the non earthly. The earth is therefore neither just a globe (a body among many celestial bodies) nor just a spatial container for human life, but the horizon of the world and the precondition for sensation. 

The isolation, the connection with nature, the silence and the closeness to the stars, the crickets, the sunset theatre every 9:15 pm, the wind that became a sensible background sound and the vast landscape of the mountains reminded me how small we are in comparison to our surrounded earth and universe but at the same time the human intervention in a cooperation and inevitable connection to the landscape that could be felt so deeply. I could feel the earth, I could feel life and dryness co-existing and I could pay attention to it. I did  many walks to observe it, shared many chats to describe it, spent a lot of time doing nothing but being in sync with it - with out any guilt of not being productive, It felt so important and pure to do this. 

Simon and Donna’s house felt like home. Like an invite to come and bring us back again  to the basic notions of belonging. We shared chats, life stories, dinners, laughs, sensitive talks and and a vibe and energy not too easy to find. A remembrance of how innovative but yet pure humans can be and remain. I should mention the amazing food Donna prepared for us and Simon’s music that was adding the right note for us to feel so engaged to the place and to each other. 

I developed work that  emerged in a very natural and intuitive manner  from the thoughts that nature is not a site that is subjected to human signification. Nature cannot be contained within, or reproduced as, an artwork, the earth appears as a temporal or sensorial plethora at the limit of representational form. 

Using the land as a sculptural medium, I looked into earth art a lot, something that initiated to me an interrogation of how the elusive presence of nature problematizes the drive to represent. I was drawn to contradictions, to natural sculptures I could find around and the visual metaphors and the ironies they brought out to me. That of course after I gave meaning to them through the way I looked at them, and that itself became part of the work.  I could feel that I was trying to find ways to interpret the place in my mind yet I was also trying to understand all the circles and connections that I could make to the human body. I remembered why humans are part of nature, something we usually forget just because we usually work against it. 

The results challenged the way I usually produce work concluding to a combination of elements like  post-minimalist sculpture to body art performances, installation and photographic/spatial interventions.  

obra - Nasia Papavasiliou @joyaair

obra - Nasia Papavasiliou @joyaair


Joya: AiR, found a way to immediately get me back in touch to my senses and then my practice. Two elements that shouldn’t be separated, and that was a great reminder. 

The sunset meeting point was a great example of how similar we all are, and how as simple as that, we all have something in common, we are observers who may have come from different parts of the world yet the sun and the moon will always be understood the same way. 

Joya: AiR, muchisimas gracias”. 

Nasia Papavasiliou

Nasia is a Greek Cypriot performance practitioner and graduate of Central Saint Martins college of Art and Design in MA Performance Design and Practice. She is currently a Teaching and Learning Assistant tutor for the equivalent BA course of Performance at CSM. Her research and practice is site-specific and she studies the artistic representations of lived experiences in different locations. Her work looks into how these can help to identify thought processes, make critical interventions and engage in conversation about social structures.
Her practice is based on a socio-anthropological methodology that relies on ethnographic fieldwork methods and participant and (or) personal observation positioning. She creates both theatre and gallery based work, whilst she uses both outdoor and urban spaces. Her most recent works were shown and exhibited in London (Zabludowicz collection, Barbican Centre and Platform Theatre King's Cross), Athens (Metaxourghion Theatre) and Cyprus (Point Centre of Contemporary Art).

Joya: AiR / Nana Sawada / Japan / Elliott Haigh / UK
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann


“Joya: AiR for us was the beginning of a collaborative process after both graduating from Central St Martins UAL, last year. We approached the residency with very little forethought with the intention to let the experience of the place and people guide our approach, with only one set of ideals which was to respond in sculpture. 

After arriving at Joya: AiR it became apparent that the physicality of the landscape captured our attention in the potential of the abundance of clay. We had used clay as a sculpting material before, primarily to make moulds for casting however prior to Joya: AiR we had never worked with natural clay on the spot. We therefore began a learning process of how to refine and mix the clay beneath our feet and the use of cob as a building material. This led to a range of sculptural pieces with process and the heart of the work, through experiments with the clay we also discovered that the making process and outcome were also beginning to emulate the landscape itself in terms of the building of layer after layer evoking the sedimentary layers visible in the landscape. 

We also spent much of our time walking and hiking in the local area, especially in the winding baranco’s where we became captivated with the opportunity to find fossils and the experience of the scale of time that this generates. Over the 2 weeks we developed a small collection of fossils and rocks with which we attempted to weave in to our work to explore the notions of time and place, resulting in a pseudo scientific lab within our studio.

The residency challenged our previous perceptions of making work, which made us reconsider our approach to making art both technically and conceptually. 

Nana Sawada Elliott Haigh .

obra Nana Sawada Elliott Haigh

obra Nana Sawada Elliott Haigh

obra Nana Sawada Elliott Haigh

obra Nana Sawada Elliott Haigh

obra Nana Sawada Elliott Haigh

obra Nana Sawada Elliott Haigh

Joya: AiR / Roman Sheppard Dawson / UK

“The time to reflect and reconsider your practice is often overlooked or neglected in favour of production. While at Joya, the opportunity to slow down and pay attention to some of the natural anchors in your work cannot be underestimated. It has been a privilege to walk in the beautiful Sierra María-Los Vélez national park and to bond with a group of artists varying in creative disciplines. The type of thinking achieved here is unique and has made powerful ripples in my life.

As you allow yourself to commit to Joya’s temperament, you become aware of the detail and care that has been taken to create this experience. The subtlety of both Donna and Simon to be available and yet hidden from view allows you to safely commit to deep thinking and the ability to separate yourself from the daily routine that we are all seeking to forget.

The landscape and the people get under your skin in a way that is hard to do justice in words. It is something shared by those who have been in residence at Joya and I imagine every group who passes through has a different shade or hue that colours the landscape.

I look forward to bringing what I have discovered back into my continuing practice in London and hope to uncover elements of my practice I was not aware were going through a transformation.

Thank you”.

Roman Sheppard Dawson

Roman Sheppard Dawson is a moving image artist based in London and a Central Saint Martins graduate in fine art 4D. His work has evolved from moving image based sculptures into a practice exploring movement/gesture in the moving image and space.