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Holding Space / Solo Show at Assembly House Leeds, June 2023

‘Holding Space’ is an exhibition by Maja Novak, exploring the concept of (internal) space, exposing familiarities between container, and the human body as a vessel.

Using clay as a medium for philosophical enquiry into the nature of matter, Maja kneads and stretches materials to its limit, and exposes an inquiry of function, (dis)order, containing, grasping, expansion, contraction, emptiness, breathing and being human.

Through sculptures, vessels, body casts, places and spaces, she marks and evokes connections between the known and familiar – towards the mystical concepts of ideas and the insights we are surrounded by in life, and yet can’t put them into words.




The concept of holding space, arrived in my interest through my research based practice.

It is juxaposed from personal experiences and observations.

The personal experience of the concept of 'space' is noticed and understood through a meditation practice, and projecting interests in daily life observations of 'human spaces'.

The action of 'holding' or containing, came from the exploration of clay and internal spaces of vessels. Internal spaces transfers from the interest in meditation into an explorations of making. Vessels become an allegory for the human body and our experience in life.



'Holding space' can have many meanings.


I have been holding space for people through creative facilitation; teaching yoga, meditation and guiding cacao ceremonies.


The vessels hold space.


Our bodies are the vessels.


The artist is holding space through sharing their practice with the audience.


Holding space is the action of allowing.

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