Slade School of Fine Art, BA Fine Art 

Naughty Root
, 2023
Oil on canvas
180 x 150 cm

The creative process of Maya Nava (b. 1999, London) is driven by a strong affinity with the spiritual aspect of the natural world. Her work reflects the sensations of boundlessness and envelopment that she experiences in nature, and an exploration of the interconnectivity between plants and humans. Nava’s works feed from her interpretation of plant sentience, an often forgotten concept that she feels is essential to an understanding of the human experience in nature.

Nava constructs spaces where the natural world can coexist with people seamlessly on the canvas. In her paintings, strokes and forms often flow into each other with no distinct boundaries, the image embraces the circular and the act of layering. The painting’s formal elements are dependent on each other, puzzle pieces filling the canvas, much like our coexistence with nature.

Nava tries to make her work as a space in which the natural elements in the work reclaim the domestic spaces she paints, boundless and unstoppable. She often subtracts material and images from memories and source material, so there is a sense of segmented reality on the canvas.

Naughty Root, from her degree show at The Slade, is typical of Nava’s approach to palette and form, which is influenced by her memories of the irrepressible vibrancy of colour and texture in the flora surrounding her aunt’s house in Cuernavaca, Mexico.