Nyanda is primarily a self-taught artist by methods of observation, research, error and just simply doing what feels right. On her creative expeditions, she has used many forms of media, such as drawing, photography and CAD, each one laying way for and providing insight into the next. Sculpting stone and wood provided a direct route way into her jewellery making, albeit scaled down for wearability.
With an ingrained passion for the creative process, Nyanda returned to Jamaica in her twenties for a three-year stay and met Lancelot Bryan, the internationally renowned artist who taught her how to carve Lignum Vitae - 'Wood of Life'. He said, "Whatever you want is in the wood, all you have to do is take away what you don't want and release it".
It is this 'releasing' that is at the heart of her practice. Reading the 'chiromancy [*]' of the material and 'listening in' for its own inherent narrative rather than imposing an idea upon it, thereby obliterating its character. Nyanda handcrafts each piece, working directly on it without any preliminary sketches or ideas. By fettling the raw wood she gets to know it and from this a connection develops. "Carving is like a good two-way conversation, you give and receive, listen and speak". Later, she would use this same 'call and response' approach to carving stone.
Nyanda is a graduate from Middlesex University with a BA (HONS) in Fine Art. She now lives and works in London.
FOOTNOTES: [*] It has been documented that the physician Paracelsus referred 'to the art of reading the inner character of a person or thing from its external character'. He used the term 'Chiromancy' to classify it, a word usually designated to palm reading. He said, 'There are other kinds of chiromancy... one of wood, one of rocks... one of landscapes... People who work with wood... have to understand their wood by chiromancy of it, what it is apt and good for'. (See Michael Baxandall, 'The Limewood Sculptures of Renaissance Germany', p32).