“I have always had an interest in people around me and the emotional states underpinning the creative process. Performances seemed to be a good channel for transmitting these intense feelings during the pregnancy. I had amazing amounts of energy and got involved in various projects. I felt very inspired and instinctive.
Becoming a mother has put a different perspective on the interactions as I observe my daughter growing. Reading stories to her seems to be transporting me into a faraway place back in the past and it has proved to be a surprising source of inspiration.”

‘This is where I am’ (2013)
‘This is where I am’ is based on ideas of Transactional Analysis (TA), a theory of behaviour that emphasiseshow our adult behavioural patterns originate in childhood. The theory describes three ego states (Parent/Adult/Child);
Parent is a state in which people behave, feel, and think in response to an unconscious mimicking of how their parents acted, or how they interpreted their parent’s actions.
Adult is a state of the ego in which we process information and make predictions absent of major emotions. While a person is in the Adult ego state, he/she is directed towards an objective appraisal of reality.
Child is a state in which people behave, feel and think similarly to how they did in childhood. The Child is the source of emotions, creation, recreation, spontaneity and intimacy.
The aim of change under TA is to free ourselves from our childhood scripts and move toward constructive problem solving as opposed to avoidance or passivity.
Inspired by observations of my daughter learning to walk and reflections on my personal ego-states led to the performance ‘This is where I am’. This was a durational performance working with two focal points: The Wall (a symbolic anchor for the Parent) and The Floor (a symbolic anchor for The Child). I am slowly walking between both for two hours, falling on the floor and picking myself up again, then trying to hug the wall. Using chalk (favourite childhood material) I carefully outline as much of my body as my position would allow me each time. The physical and emotional difficulty of this performance is unexpected.

Dolly (2011)
Dolly project explores the concept of ‘Narcissistic patent’ who is possessively close to their children and may be especially threatened by their child’s growing independence. It was based on a book by a Swiss psychologist and psychoanalytic Allice Miller who is known for her writing on child abuse. I am expecting my first child and I am full of hope. At the same time, I am questioning my ability to become a ‘good enough mother’. I am thinking about my own childhood and my mother’s childhood a lot.

I sew myself a baby sized doll in preparation for the project using an old bedsheet. I make my dolly a crib out of materials which I collect abandoned outside such as bits of wood and wire. I sew objects such as hearts to decorate the crib and make it ‘pretty’. During the performance I speak to Dolly and I rock her in the crib. I repeatedly rock her and sing a traditional lullaby in my native language until my voice starts shaking.

Prometheus (2011)
Prometheus explores the concept of togetherness between contemporary men and new mothers to be in the time of economic crisis. It is equally a more private encounter between myself and my husband, as we are about to have our first baby. My husband is made redundant in the recession and is attempting to rebuild a new livelihood while I am building a new life.
I attempt to remove my existential anxiety by translating his long days of physical labor into a project by using the heroic myth of Prometheus. I feel as if he is being punished in a similar way as he is taking part in a daily repetitively punishing performance. The Laser level instrument becomes Eagle the torturer.

Ceramic Art

The Odd one out – recent work
Most recently, I have started developing some ideas based on my daughter’s favourite stories and games.Through play, we begun making ‘Odd one out’ drawings for each other.These ideas progressed onto making things out of clay. Using the kitchen utensils to create the bears (which were made jointly with my daughter) brought back my own childhood memories of baking cookies. I have remembered how much I enjoyed baking and reading and how vivid my imagination was, when I was her age.

At the same time, I have been taken aback by the brutal undertone of some classic children’s stories, often involving absent mothers and wicked witches / step mothers. The idea of ‘The Odd one’ or ‘The Other’ resonates with the current immigration debate. It raises the questions of my own identity as well as the identity of my daughter, born to a migrant mother.

more about Nuša…

Born in 1978 in former Yugoslavia, Nuša graduated in sculpture and ceramics at Famul Stuart school of Applied Arts in Ljubljana in 2005. Also a qualified and practicing social worker, Nuša combined her twin interests in art and society in her Sociology MSc which considered the therapeutic value of postmodern ‘death art’ in 2010.

Primarily interested in performance art and installations, she draws inspiration from a wide range of sources but regardless of the form, her artistic work could be considered as some type of ‘social commentary’ as it is often inspired by people and events in her vicinity.

Nuša has been living and working in London for nearly a decade and has a small ceramics studio in her home. Most recently, she has been producing artworks with her little assistant.