Series #1 Maya Meets: KANA London
Welcome to the first edition of our new mini-series: Maya Meets. Join us as we meet up with like-minded makers, thinkers and creatives. It's a space to connect and deep-dive into other people's creative processes. We'll be finding out why they create and, like us, how they came to choose creating as a daily practice.
Tell us a bit about yourself and KANA
Kana is my art and design studio and a project where I explore different materials, collaborations and teach others. KANA stemmed from my fine art practice and explores functional objects which we live with. It explores materiality, techniques and draws ideas from the principle that “materials and knowledge of the past are materials and ideas for the future”. KANA encourages the practice of investing in objects for life that would be passed down for generations. It's also an ode to sustainability as a humble attempt to promote a life celebrating functional objects for daily rituals.
How would you describe your style of work?
All of my work is very tactile and deeply emotional. I explore a few different lines of subjects and ideas which directly inform and drive the narrative and aesthetic of my work. I love bringing together aspects of my fine art practice which heavily influence and inform my functional work and objects.
Where does inspiration for your designs come from?
Life and people. Living life and celebrating food, family, friends, beauty, love, cultures, habits and learning about one another.
We find London a great source of inspiration - can you tell us your favourite place in London and why?
I agree. It's a very inspiring place. My favourite places are the publicly accessible galleries, Tate Lates at the Tate. Besides enjoying the exhibition, I love people watching in art galleries on the street, on a bus, walking through areas of the city that are my local or new parts of town and observing the diversity. It feels like many worlds coexist here together.
Like us, you choose to create by hand, can you explain a little about why it is important to you to create this way?
I believe that touch heals, in many different meanings of the same word. Making objects with hands, leaving traces of your fingertips, caressing and smoothing a surface, you breathe energy into your work and that is felt when you hold them and use them. Creating by hand makes you relate to objects and care about them...and that translates to life around you, so small and yet so profound.
Tell us something that you have learned through your creative process?
Patience! It really has changed my character. All of the processes I work with take a lot of time and it changes my relationship with time...and my relationship with work too! It can be hard sometimes to stay interested in the same piece after you've been handling it for a few months. You learn to embrace that time has passed and that you are changing and that each piece of work is a monumental fragment of your thought, and reflection of your existence. It's a lesson in letting go. So much letting go hahahaha! There is a special lesson in surrendering, letting go of control and accepting that not all creations will work out.
Do you have a piece of jewellery that’s special to you? If so, why?
I do! I have few rings that have a strong emotional charge and hold a lot of meaning for me.
I found it very empowering to buy myself a ring to mark a very personal poignant occasion, it's a stunning Australian sapphire that is bicoloured and has a moon crescent shadow in the stone. I also love a few pieces I got from my family and friends. I wear them daily and they are incredibly precious to me.
What piece of Maya Magal jewellery have you got on your wishlist?
I really love the Molten Chain Necklace - I love the two tone metal and the texture of the chain.
If you weren't doing this, what would you like to do instead?
If I wouldn’t be an artist? I would want to be a chef and have a small restaurant with few tables that is open for lunch and there is a daily menu that I decide on the day when I see how I feel what I want to cook.
Lastly, what does creativity mean to you?
It's a philosophy of life. It's about asking questions, listening and learning and always being problem solving and curious. It feels like there is no answers always just more questions.. and exploring to find ways to think about them, have conversations about them.