Romy Northover finds inspiration in the earth.
The lifelong visual communicator studied fine art at Goldsmiths, University of London, and worked everywhere from Hong Kong to Venice to Berlin before opening her first studio at Togei Kyoshitsu in Manhattan.
Combining European ceramics and traditional Japanese techniques, her work reflects an “ancient future” aesthetic. At her art and design house, No. (‘nō), she collaborates with interior and landscape designers, architects and private clients, as well as selling through select retailers and galleries.
Here, Northover describes the role nature plays in her impulse to create and engage:
Live The Process: How did you discover your impulse towards the visual—design and art specifically?
Romy Northover: It’s the way I am, so I really don’t know any different. Sensory visuals and objects are my method of communication. It can be compulsive, so informing and refining that is important. I feel my challenges are clearing the way and dealing with all the other functioning aspects of having a creative career.
LTP: Why is ceramics the right primary medium for you?
RN: My connection is to the earth and body, and what that experience is all about. Clay is a medium that encompasses earth, the visceral and the ethereal. By its very nature, it is a flexible and malleable material, but it is also transformative.
LTP: How has your work shifted and morphed since you started your line?
RN: I launched my line in 2012 and, now, my work is transgressing. It often feels like what inspires me is almost a whisper away, so I am in pursuit—and this is the work.
I’m at a point where I need to connect deeper with the earth to explore and understand the sensory experience. I am working on some environmental installations, collaborating with hotels and brands on creative experiences that enhance awareness.
The scope of the work is becoming more integral from conception, realization and documentation. It’s all about being part of the process on a continuum.
I am also working with a new sustainable beauty brand launching in September, which really has my heart pumping—stay tuned!
LTP: What are some of your current beauty and/or wellness obsessions and/or rituals that keep you feeling balanced and healthy and creative?
RN: Tea! I have a selection for different moods and states of being. It’s such an important part of my day.
I have a little pot, a bowl; I light the incense and take a moment in the garden, if I can. Tea is prevalent and varied in so many cultures, so the history of tea rituals is in itself very rich and educational. It’s my favorite way to connect to my body—and nature through the leaf—while living in a metropolis like New York City.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
RN: To me, to “Live The Process” means to understand and work with where you are at.