Multidisciplinary artist Romy Northover characterises her work as “ancient future.” Working in a range of materials from ceramics, stone and wood to installation and drawing, Northover examines ideas of performance, movement, the interaction between the body and its environment, and an intrinsic connection with nature. “As an artist, my body is my tool,” she says. “Much of my work is about the physiological experience of making. The charcoal mark making on paper is a good example – I close my eyes to make the drawings, so I can focus on the movement and how I am feeling in that space. To me, they have a performative quality; I feel very strongly about performance art, but I do not necessarily want an audience.
Northover trained with British ceramicist Celia Allen before completing a BA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London. In 2010, she moved to New York where she opened her ceramic studio, No. Following a move to the Catskill Mountains in New York state, Northover experienced an expansion of her sensory world, which has fed into her growing material palette, from ink and charcoal drawings to sculptural pieces in ebony, walnut and bronze. “There are a lot of contrasts in my work: dark woods with smooth texture against raw, unglazed ceramics, and minimal porcelain against erratic drawings. I’m exploring space in this metronomic way, between these extremes of energetic and restrained. It’s like a pulsing in and out, an expansion and a contraction,” she says.
“I’m always looking for that moment where I am not caught up in thought, and can access pure, physical being,” she continues. “That is one of my favourite places to be. So many things in contemporary life separate us from just being. I like the idea that, even for a moment, the work could invite a momentary pause in the viewer – the same feeling I experience when making it.”