How would you describe your practice?
Everything, Live Art, Colours, Shapes, Play not about Boundaries. Attempting to establish a heartfelt connection with people
What do you use as a starting point on each new work?
If I told you I’d have to kill you. I don’t always know where I’m going or what it’s going to look like, but there are a few approaches.
– Autobiography- my experiences as a British Asian Woman- growing up between two worlds and the Shapeshifting experiences of living with distressing ‘Mental Health’.
– I Collect Observations, make palette and Play with- Objects, Images, Textiles, Shapes, Movements, Postcards, Articles, Videos, photos. At some point certain ideas start to stand out and stick- it’s intuitive and it’s immediate.
– People/ Audiences and Places inspire how I go about things- I’m always asking what is the experience and relationship I want to evoke?
What motivates you to keep working?
People – good, bad, ugly and everything in between. The pleasure I gain from that connection and the people that evoke something that inspires and those who provoke me. Basically I’ve got something to say. At the same time just how amazing it is to be exploding with ideas and feeling stuff in your body and having an imagination that roams into new territories all the while…
What’s your connection to Leicester?
Born, Bred & Educated here, worked most of my life here.
How do you think the city has supported your arts? Has it?
When I graduated there was nothing. There were zero platforms and commissions for developing and platforming new work let alone live art. Arts Graduate retention was dire in Leicester. I was among a radical group of individuals working across forms to make that platform. In 2003 and 2004 we ran a National Live Art & Performance Festival. We expanded from the first year, one day, one venue, the following 2 days and all kinds of venues from Toy shops to strip Clubs.
The scene has enormously changed over time, the last 5-7 years, especially I think things started to take a real shift and I now feel more connected to the city than ever before and slowly I think the city is becoming more connected.
What do you consider your successes to date?
What is success? Ugh it’s never enough! I love working and collaborating with others, so I’ll tell you something I loved doing: Working with my Live Art- Cabaret idol Marisa Carnesky on Carnesky’s Incredible Bleeding Woman – for a run at Soho Theatre last year. We were the Panto- Soho style. A show with Magic, Menstraution, Witchery, and real PHD behind it and lots of sticky fake blood pouring out at every crevice.
What kind of artist do you aspire to be?
A Human One
Making the brave and risk fuelled decisions OR the ones I enjoy the most- not the ones other people tell me I should make.
Priya Mistry has a busy first half of the year. A Gallery take over at Attenborough Arts Centre from 22nd Jan to 3rd Feb: Horses, Therapy, Lament & Intimate Conversations with and Furniture. Her performance piece Tropical Awkward Bastard in on 20th February at Attenborough Arts Centre. Breaking Bread: A Dinner to hatch plans and take over the world is at Secular Hall on February 26th as part of DMU’s cultural eXchanges Festival.