FOR OUR SPIRITS - Camden Art Centre

Nissa Nishikawa’s installation, FOR OUR SPIRITS is seeded with encoded ancestral rituals through the living mediums of ceramics, glass, textiles, steel, wood, moving image, olfactories, sound and dance.

Created in receptivity to calls of rage, growth and solidarity, Nishikawa intuits ceremonial artworks and movements that honour co-creation as a mode of retrieval and exploration.

In the universal system of animism, specifically that of Shinto, kami are revered forces that take form as physical, natural and mythological phenomena. This collection of work is not a referential gesture to this tradition – they exist as the kami in themselves and as manifestations of divinities in the earthly realm. They are the spirits interpreted anew.

They are to be beheld, felt and moved with.
They are of the living and also, the dead.
And this requires a fire in the dark; a circle around the flame; mandalas and wood for burning to shield against the miasma; a movement that embodies the collective, dancing with their solar information.
Infused with found, raw and handcrafted materials to sculpt with the element of fire, Nishikawa’s process weds somatic and spiritual bodies as a locus for the transformation of crisis.

Sonic smoke composed in a triangulation of cymbal and gong tonalities by Austin Williamson.

Nissa Nishikawa’s FOR OUR SPIRITS is made possible through the generous support of The Arts Council of England. Produced with John Leach Pottery, Aurora Irvine/Olfactory Specialist, Chokokuji Temple and the animals, Beatrice Brown, Rochester Square, Jack Cox, Cernamic Studio, Rylance Architectural Ironworks, Jawara Alleyne Studio, Holmes Glass, Akihide Monna, Eloi Guri, The Glass Foundry and The Bethnal Green Nature Reserve/Phytology.

Images The Artist

The Artist

Nissa Nishikawa’s multidimensional practice comprises performance, poetry, painting, sculpture and moving image. She researches and interprets traditional forms of dance, ritual and craft in ways that illuminate animistic and alchemical philosophies with an embodied and structural approach. Nishikawa often works in the open-air and studios equipped to house fire; interconnecting the layers of the arcane with the supra-sensual, the living earth and various conscious inhabitants.

Particular past site-specific works include Pattaya (Thailand), the Archaeological Zone Tepozteco (Mexico), and Abu Gorab Temple (Egypt). Workshops have been offered at The British University of Egypt (Cairo), Het Nieuwe Instituut (Rotterdam), Architectural Association (London), American Language Centres across  Morocco, Volte Art Projects (Mumbai), Victoria and Albert Museum (London) and the Royal College of Art (London).  Her work has been shown internationally in theatres, museums, galleries, fields, forests and film.

Nishikawa holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University in Montréal, and Masters in Performance from Goldsmiths, University of London. She studied Stage Arts at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, and exercised in her formative years with the dancer/farmer Min Tanaka in Yamanashi, Japan.