I’m half artist duo YARA + DAVINA. At the heart of our practice is a focus on making work that responds to site, context and audience. We use formats from popular culture to make works that are playful and accessible from maypoles, to football matches, whistles, to jokes, gospel choirs, to teaching syllabus, writing quizzes, making mini golf, or subverting games.
We are currently working on a variety of projects in 2021, with a focus on touring Arrivals + Departures, in the UK and internationally with
Artsadmin as our producers. It will be opening at BAM in New York on 14th March -11th April. You can see us talk about this work with Jonathon Reekie, the director of Somerset House. We are also working on 3 other large scale commissions including Kick Off, with the National Trust. Davina and I, at our Arrivals + Departures event at Artsadmin, Sept 2018.
We believe in using simple devices to produce powerful artworks. We enjoy working together because we have different ways of engaging with audiences and bring different things from the table. While our modes of making are different, ideas are at the heart of all our work. Davina’s practice is rooted in participation – working with large organisations, while my practice is rooted in making works which necessitate active participation by the viewer. Both of us make relational art works; our works don’t exist without active participation, so we naturally came together to work on projects and form a duo.
In 2016 we were joint British Council Fellows at Portland State University exploring Motherhood, and sustaining an arts practice. We began collaborating over the last 10 years, when we both became mothers, and felt a sense of urgency to address some of the issues we ourselves were going through, as artists and mothers, with limited time but still the same ambition. Our work was part of the article Contemporary Mamactivist Artists: A Forum on Maternal Activist Art for the Studies in the Maternal Special Issue on The Everyday Maternal Practice: Activist Structures in Creative Work, Summer written by Natalie Loveless, published in 2016. In 2016 we were commissioned to create Quiz: Which Vacuum Cleaner suits your personality type? for Idle Women, as part of “The Grand Domestic Revolution” .