Inside Conversations With Friends, our new social series
Our three-part Instagram docuseries features discussions with some of the creative industry's most exciting up-and-coming talents
Thursday 20 October 2022 By Soho House
Conversations With Friends is Soho House’s new three-part social media content series in collaboration with actor, writer and director Thea Gajic. It spotlights exciting emerging creatives in our Soho Friends membership, touching on topics beyond the work they produce.
First up in the series is west London-based recording artist, Risky Javan. Known for his energetic performances and fun lyrics, Javan’s music seamlessly goes between dance, pop and Afro-Caribbean music. The second instalment will focus on creative and founder of GRL GNG, Naysap. Wearing many hats within the fashion world, Naysap works across styling, costume design and nail art, with experience working on a range of different creative celebrity projects. The series will then conclude with visual artist Dulcie Davy, who specialises in sculpted functional art inspired by the beauty and diversity of the Black female community through an afrofuturistic perspective.
We caught up with Gajic to chat about the thinking behind the project, the value of conversation and collaboration, and what we can look forward to in the series.
What was the thinking behind Conversations With Friends?
‘The series offers an intimate window into the thoughts and ideas of the friends and artists I’m closest to, and others I may meet along the way. I wanted to use my network to highlight people beyond their work. There is such richness in the conversations we have with friends and I guess this is my way of bottling a little bit of that magic. ’
What is it about speaking to friends that’s so important?
‘In short, there are fewer things as life-changing as a good conversation.’
What is art to you?
‘Art is movement and expression. The segue between thought and thing. It’s anything that moves you into something else. The film you wrote, the nail colour you choose in the salon, the ASMR video on YouTube, the barber cutting hair on the pavement, the song you spent 12 hours in the studio making. It’s water. It’s everything stagnancy isn’t.’
Is collaboration important to you and your art?
‘Absolutely. I initially enjoy working in solitude when I’ve got a handle on a new idea, but then once I’m confident about what it is, I share it. When you’ve found the right collaborators, there is a clear elevation that happens. It’s exciting seeing your art reach new heights because of other artists you respect. I love it when the project shifts from “mine” to “ours”. None of my favourite pieces of work have been executed alone.’
What’s next for you?
‘My debut feature film Surviving Earth has been in development for a few years now – we’ve been casting and are moving into pre-production with the support of Film 4 and the view to shoot in spring 2023. It’s been an exciting journey with lessons in patience, dedication and craft. I’m also shooting a new short film this month with long-time collaborator Olan Collardy, and I’m one of five writers commissioned to write a play for Knock Down Brixton – a collaboration between local talent and local businesses to celebrate and explore the memories and stories of those who call Brixton home – at Brixton House theatre.
‘As well as my own work, I’ve also started Rushroom (@_rushroom) in collaboration with WAB Studios in Croydon. It’s an inclusive space for actors, writers and directors to practise, play and collaborate.’
What does Soho House bring to your life and/ or work?
‘It has been a really uplifting and motivating space for me this year. I’d been feeling quite isolated in my work – especially after lockdown and new motherhood, and it gave me a place to socialise and work with friends and colleagues. Soho House has been paramount in joining the dots for me, and a lot of the time that comes from the conversations that are able to happen when specific people are all in the same place at once (often Shoreditch House). I have reasoned and laughed, and created and collaborated there.’