Born in Beer-shava, Israel |
Immigrating to Canada in 2003, Nava followed her husband who had lived most of his life here. For Nava, leaving Israel was a life-changing event, and she left without knowing whether she was departing from her homeland for good – while for her husband it was simply “returning home”. As an immigrant in an unknown land, Nava explains “you have feelings of longing and the sharp perception of your own identity – of belonging or not-belonging”.
“I was pleasantly surprised to find Toronto to be such an amazing city. I love Toronto’s ability to be open and exposed to so many different cultures and how little places in the city can make you feel like you’re on the other side of the world.”
Working as a multidisciplinary artist, Nava paints, draws and sculpts and her critically acclaimed work has been exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions throughout the world. In recent years, she has felt the need to dig deeply into her childhood and early memories.
Toronto as Home
Nava’s studio is located in a semi-industrial area, on the outskirts of Markham. Here she finds herself closer to what she calls “her element”. In her studio, surrounded by her work, Nava explores her creativity. As much as she loves the bustling downtown, she prefers to visit the city often and retreat back to Markham.
“Its beautiful here, and you can easily feel like you’re in the country. I love the woods surrounding my neighbourhood and I am very much inspired by it.”
Connection with the Past
Every day, throughout Nava’s childhood, her mother used this silver Moroccan traditional teapot to brew Moroccan mint tea. She used loose black tea, and fresh mint from the garden – adding water and paying very close attention to the colour and sweetness. Nava explains how it wasn’t until recently that she realized how special this ceremony was. She remembers her mother pouring a splash of tea into a clear glass and carefully examining its colour – then pouring it back into the pot and stirring again until it was right, and finally pouring it from a distance to produce a foam. Her mother passed on the teapot to Nava when she moved to Toronto.