︎ INTERVIEW: JOY MIESSI
In the past week, JOY MIESSI has taken London by storm with their solo show “Blue Glass Fortunes” at Beers London! We spoke with London-based Joy, who was born to Colognese parents, about their inspirations behind the incredibly humbling pieces, based upon archiving memories and unlocking moments found within the sub-conscious realm of dreams.
Your solo show ‘Blue Glass Fortunes’ is coming up in Beers London! How does it feel to finally get this collection up on the wall?
It is really exciting. I don’t hang my work up in my studio or have the space to see it on display together, so it really is nice to see this whole body of work up and alongside each other.
I’m fascinated by your methods of creating artwork from inspirations found in dreams. Can you tell me about when you first discovered this method?
I’ve always been interested in dreams and uncovering the meanings behind them. Growing up Christian, we told stories of prophets whose dreams were a way of God communicating to them and revealing things to come in the future. I don’t believe that my dreams are that significant but the belief that dreams are so much more than just fictional stories is probably what has got me into keeping track of them. I used to write them down in a book, but regrettably threw this one away as the dreams from my teenage years made me cringe. I now just document them through audio recordings on my phone.
What’s your favourite artwork from the collection?
The painting ‘Blue Glass Fortunes’ which I named the show after is my personal favourite. When I see the painting I see so much more than what’s on the canvas but remember the dream I had, the sounds of a party and the blue lights, as I’ve thought about this dream so much it almost feels more like a memory rather than something which hasn’t actually happened.
It feels like artists often see themselves as storytellers. Do you consider yourself as a storyteller?
All of my artworks are about archiving memories and retelling them through illustration, so in a way, a visual way, I guess so.
‘Blue Glass Fortunes’ explores the realm of the subconscious. Is being aware of your subconscious a healing process for you?
I’m not sure if I’d describe it as healing, it feels as if it’s opened more questions than answers as I still haven’t properly deciphered these dreams into meanings that would bring healing. Maybe it’s the step before, seeking solutions that comes before the healing.
Could you tell us a bit about the role of identity within your work?
All my work is about my life, my experiences and perspective. Naturally ‘identity’ and socio-political issues come into this as I don’t have the privilege of separating that from my life and therefore my art. I tend to draw myself as the focus of my own work but in this series there are a few exceptions where I have dreamt stories through the eyes of other people I don’t know. This whole show, the choices I make in colour, text, type and my dreams are really a reflection of myself.
On a practical level, do you have any advice for artists who’d like to exhibit in a solo show. What was the process like for you?
It’s worth shooting your shot and contacting the gallery that you are interested in. I would start by contacting a gallery that’s local to you and making sure your website or social media shows your work in it’s best light.
Cortex Creatives forms a creative community whom are all super passionate about creating impactful work. Is community important within your work?
Very! Without it, I wouldn’t have had the experience I currently have. My community has supported my work, put my name forward for projects and encouraged me in times of doubt. Artists like Hamed Maiye, Bernice Mulenga and collectives like BBZ London and United80 really have supported my work and allowed me to feel part of a community that isn’t just online.
Finally, any nuggets of insight into your next creative venture?
I will be working on a really exciting project which I can’t share yet but I am hoping to refine my sewing skills this year and incorporate more textile into my creative practice.
Interviewed by IMI READ
Artwork by JOY MIESSI