Visiting Artist’s Talk – Maja Novak

For this week's Visiting Artist's Talk we welcome Maja Novak.

Maja Novak uses clay as a medium for philosophical enquiries into the nature of matter, kneading and stretching materials into spaces, exposing questions of function, (dis)order, change, breathing and being human. She makes large-scale vessels, installations and organic living sculptures, that offer insights into the processes of making, building, and being. 
Maja moved to Leeds from Slovenia in 2016, as an exchange student of BA Visual Communications at Leeds Arts University. Working from her art studio in Leeds since, she exhibited and worked worldwide across sculpture, ceramics, painting and installations.

In 2023 she completed her MA Fine Art at Leeds Arts University and is now one of several artists embarking on a twelve-month AA2A placement in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds.
Within the last year, she was one of the chosen artists for the 2023 show Ones to Watch at Sunny Bank Mills and exhibited her work at: Work in Progress (Leeds Arts University); IWD Showcase at Left Bank Leeds; Inside-Out at B-Gallery; Collective Unconscious at Seagulls, Leeds, The Big Show (Leeds Arts University); Holding Space Solo Show at Assembly House Leeds. Maja also worked as artist assistant for This is a Forest (Leeds 2023). 
Maja believes using hands to create, make, destroy and re-create is one of the primal acts of humanity. Her continuous interest in the primal and what makes us humans results in informative bodies of work, that offer an alternative solution for healing of the planet, well-being and (climate) change – through simple practices such as making, moving, sharing and building.

These are the aspects investigated through her experimental workshops (Travel Diaries: Assembly House 2023, Contemporary Sculpture: Left Bank 2023), which often accompany her bodies of work or work as the art itself. The audience becomes the maker and is invited to participate, to embody the transformative power of making, and creating sustainable changes in our behaviour patterns relating to nature, body, environment and each other.

Interested in changes in the ecosystem, place, nature, land and liveliness, her work is a poetical exploration of internal spaces, expanding, growing, containing and grasping for freedom and transformation. .

About the Visiting Artists’ Talks series

The Visiting Artist’s Talk (VAT) series hosts talks by an exciting range of arts practitioners from around the world every Monday afternoon 2–4pm during teaching weeks.

All of our talks are compulsory for our Fine Art students but are also open to anyone else who would like to join us.

For more information, please email Anna Douglas.

Directions to the Conference Auditorium

See the campus map.


Artist Maja Novak with one of her pots. Photo by Donovan Doherty, 2023.