Ayshia Taskin: coming together to bring down the walls that surround us

It's impressive how a single story can inspire such diversity through different mediums! Visual artists from around the world are taking part in WHISTLE project, in an attempt to present a multi-sensory experience never attempted before in the Greek visual art scene. And that's because we do not think of visual art as an experience that when viewed fades away, but as an excuse, a triggering event, a reason to produce an artistic conversation and a literal dialogue with everyone interested. This is the way we feel visual art should work.

In this short article we meet visual artist, Ayshia Taskin, from Scotland.

How did find out about Whistle project and why did you decide to participate?
I found it on an open for calls website and was interested in the idea because I am Mediterranean and was also raised with similar suppositious beliefs. I liked the idea of putting a performance spin on this cultural phenomena.

What intrigued you?
I love all things mythology and include contrasts like mythology/fact magic/science in my art practice… Greek and Middle Eastern myths and legends from the past were a big part of my childhood.

What was your workflow?
Performance idea translated into video.

What was your artistic style, any influences?
I am inspired by Antonin Artaud and his ideas of theatre – I like to surround people in the action and wanted the film to have a sense of the person watching being the one in the film and not just observing.

Do you believe in superstitions?
I am a contrasted individual… one day I’m superstitious the next I only believe in visible facts… there are some things I won’t do like put shoes on the table or break a mirror on purpose.

What do you want people to see in your works?
To feel a sense of something being there and not there at the same time… a kind of searching but never knowing what you may find… a little bit of apprehension.

Can you make a comment on the idea of collective storytelling?
I think through collective storytelling and information sharing the world will become better… we place walls in front of ourselves and this stops us being open to other people and cultures. Artists are in a state of privilege to change this through cultural and creative exchange.

Why should people support this project?
Because it is artists and actors coming together to create a film based on an important cultural inheritance… which is also a shared one across the world. It gives artists a platform to share their stories and ideas.

Why go to the exhibition?
Be embraced by the unknown… the known and everything in between!

Tell us a few words about the work you submitted to Whistle. How it is related to the story?
It is based on a performance idea but translated into video… it is about searching for entities that may or may not be there… they are in the walls, the litter, items strewn about the streets… whistling to them is a code of openness… look I’m here come meet me… but do they?

What is visual art for you?
EVERYTHING that is movement, form, colour, sound… things that are beautiful and not beautiful… everything is an aesthetic… even anti-aesthetics. Visual art is coming to terms with deep seated emotions and logics and a vehicle to express them without shame.

Why did you become a visual artist?
Democracy of culture and arts… everyone is an artist in their own way… art as an outlet even helps us with potentials we didn’t know existed.

All the works created for WHISTLE project by Ayshia Taskin, will be available to the public during the transmedia exhibition.

Ayshia's work revolves around everydayness and the beauty present within the mundane yet magic-like elements of life. She articulates ideas by exploring cultural, biological processes, emotional, mental and physical contrasts, subsistence, power structures and how they interconnect and weave the fabric of society. She investigates these topics by utilising her fascination surrounding “Actionism” and “Absurdism” – including immersive and sometimes ritualistic and cult-like repetitive practices. There are elements of participation and collaboration in her work because she considers it essential to include people in the process and outcome. Her intellectual interests lay in ideas surrounding power structures, politics, culture, food and economies – specifically how they interconnect within communities and impact personal lives and societal structures. She likes to put particular ideas into practice - this is what she aims for in her art practice and explore a multitude of methods from engineering, writing to simple actions.