Currently living and working in London, UK
When were you at Metàfora and for how long?
Academic Years 2017-18 and 2018-19
What did you enjoy most about the course?
What I enjoyed most about the course, was its enriching international environment. It felt like starting anew in a very diverse and open-minded atmosphere. This sparked my creativity and allowed me to be bold in my art-making. I didn’t fear misunderstanding or judgment. The tutors took me very seriously and did their best to help me in a direction that would benefit my art practice. I felt very respected and cared for.
What were you looking for in a studio arts program at that time?
When I came to Metàfora I had studied at two other art programs in Denmark. In both of these programs, I felt a lack of support and understanding for who I am as an artist. Therefore, I was looking for a place where I could develop artistically without being told to completely change who I am and what I do. I was looking for a place that would support me in becoming the best version of myself and not someone else’s idea of what I should be. I imagined that an international crowd would be more helpful towards this.
Going to Metàfora was a life-changing experience for me. I believe this is mostly because of my curiosity and openness, which led to intense artistic collaborations and deep personal connections. To get the most out of this course, I think one should come with an open mind and heart, and the magic will inevitably happen. The environment at Metàfora provides a unique opportunity to learn about different cultures and help each other grow as artists and people.
What have you been up to since then?
After graduating from Metàfora, I moved back to Denmark and worked for a year, while applying for bachelor degrees in Fine Art. I was accepted into several schools and chose Camberwell College of Arts in London. Amazingly, I was able to start on the 2nd year, because of the credits I acquired at Metàfora. I am now in the third and final year of my BFA.
How do you describe your art practice at the moment?
I am a dollmaker, performer, and sculptor who works within the realm of queer fabulation and transgender issues. I wonder about questions of gender, sexuality, and biology seen from my own situated knowledge as a transfeminine person. My work departs from notions of essentialism, anthropocentrism, and the gender binary and speculates about a post-gender, post-human reality. In doing this, I employ a wide array of disciplines including sculpting in felt and polymer clay, drawing, choreography, and sound, which come together in vibrant live performances and video pieces. Most recently, my projects have expanded to also include costume design, music production, and text/poetry.
Joa’s advice to future students:
Don’t be afraid to reach out and learn from other people’s experiences and get inspiration from their art practices. The course offers a direct gateway into the art world. It is only up to you as a student to grab this opportunity and make it happen.