School of Fine Art Sculpture & Environmental Art

Nadia Zhaya (her)

Nadia Zhaya is a multimedia artist specializing in 3-dimensional art, kinetic sculpture, immersive spatial and site-specific installation. Utilizing conduits of glowing light, fire, fluid mediums, dynamic forces, and vivid aesthetics, the artist explores the universal and inexhaustible realms of spiritual and physical energy. The artist commonly explores the innate to every person energy realm, embodying the realm powers: Energy Axis, Axis on Fire and Axis Mundi are expressive of the intrinsic to a person axis of energy; the Formation mirrors the complexity of mental-emotional formations; the Explosion Realmembodies the ability and beauty of the universal innerworld realm. As an artist of international origin, through her work Zhaya uncovers and celebrates the universal spirituality and mentality as the common ground. Inspired by casually transcendental and inexhaustible in human experience, Zhaya creates works and installations as mesmerizing and empowering experiences. Zhaya holds a BA in Fine Art Sculpture and Environmental Art from the Glasgow School of Art.

Energy Axis
Axis on fire
Explosion realm
Island of 1 flame
Axis Mundi
Industrial alchemy

Energy Axis

2023, Nadia Zhaya & Arthur Start, room-size, 4 min. on loop, audio-visual immersive installation
hologram, triple projection, mirrors, generative art

“You…” exhibition, Reid gallery, 2023

Note: To avoid distorting the sound, the video needs be played through a speaker.

The hologram is made from a real-life pillar of fire generated in a spinning kinetic sculpture. The fire pillar generated restlessly by the sculpture’s constant motion, embodies a resilient and inexhaustible personal energy backbone. The inner source of spirit and light, and the underlying soul-stirring desire and drive, take on the shape of an axis on fire. The installation serves as a personal eternal flame.

The sound is generated directly from the fire pillar’s changing light intensity and motion. The multilayered sound is generated from the layers of the fast-changing flame petals. The two-channel sound is played through a quadraphonic speaker system, immersing the room.

​The hologram projection triples, with 2 more of the same fire formation on the opposite walls. Superimposed with the projections are human-height mirrors, appearing as black voids ablaze. Voids are inherently infinite. As the viewer approaches 1 of the mirror voids, she sees herself in a swirl of flames. The viewer is the axis now.

On the floor, a fiery river flows as a stream of energy.

In the context of the exhibition, the energy axis is associated with the dream as one’s own desire and real-life spirit; a feeling of a dream-fuelled full-on wakefulness.

​The generative sound art coded in Python and composed in Supercollider by Arthur Start.


Axis on fire

     Axis on fire, 2023, kinetic fire sculpture, hologram, immersive installation

gsa degree show 2023


     The pillar of light is one’s axis outside of oneself.

     The formation of light and energy in the work is the vibrant core in one’s own world.

     It’s what one holds and sees as light.


Device 1   100 x 50 x 30 cm
Device 2   187 x 110 x 30 cm

biofuel, turntable found by Arthur, fire-retardant mica, piano wire, fishing swivel, copper vessel, stainless steel


When the device is spinning, the air getting caught up in mesh, together with the spiral wing seizing the air, is fuelling the fire arisal inside.

The hologram is made from undistorted recordings of the activated device 1 in the dark, when the moving mesh goes invisible.


The device 2 is built as an adjustable structure on threaded rods and bolts: the spiral mesh wing can be folded tighter or opened up. The way the air’s coming in changes the fire behaviour, creating different character of light and energy.


The device 2 is slightly taller than a person, creating light larger than oneself.


The device 2 is specifically devised to be lit up in an indoor exhibition space. It is constructed according to a meticulous Health&Safety consideration, has many in-built precautions and is accompanied by a Risk assessment document.


Axis on fire is related with the house on fire in Tarkovsky, the Diogenes torch and the pillar of fire in Exodus.

Explosion realm

2023, 11 x 5 x 4 cm, salvaged plastics


The air sphere produced in liquid plastics by a chemical explosion,

It’s a conception of thought and a birth of a feeling –

– an energy realm born from within.

Made of the ever-lasting material, the realm is eternal.


Island of 1 flame

2021, immersive site-specific installation, 2,2 x 2 x 0,8 m

candle, deconstructed pallets and found objects: glass, wood, metal



Axis Mundi

Axis Mundi, 2020, kinetic sculpture x 2, Mclellan galleries

‘The metal pole is human height long. It is a parallel human body. It is a pendulum. It is a scaffolding. The wooden pole is a phallus. It is a totem pole. It is a found broomstick.’

Below is a video-sketch, exploring the kinetic work interaction that uncovers underlying energies, including the ways the audience interacted with the works at the opening.

A special thanks! to Ewelinka Dochan and Jack Iredale.


Formation (prev. The Thing), recycled plastics, human teeth, 30 x 30 x 100 cm, 2023, made by hand

Through its complexity, the sculpture mirrors the infinitely intricate workings of the human psyche. The crystallizations convey elaborate and interconnected mental and emotional formations, that are as organic as they are mysterious, unique, and unpredictable.

The sculpture is to never decay and together with the teeth in it fossilise in eternity.


Encapsula, kinetic sculpture, luminescent with extracted chlorophyll and electrified from soldered naked wires, mixed media

Pipe factory, 2022

The closed-loop sculpture is inspired by the carbon cycle research by a PhD candidate Beth Langley. Made as part of Creative Reactions, Pint of Science festival.

The work is inspired by how carbon is captured and stored underwater, stratification intermixing, acidity rise. How plankton capturing the carbon blooms. How in the cycle chlorophyll in plants with sunlight turns carbon into oxygen.

Screenshot 2023-07-17 at 16.13.29

Industrial alchemy

Industrial alchemy, 2022, kinetic sculpture, installation

House for an Art Lover

water pump soldered on batteries, aquarium hose, spit and glycerin, stainless steel, mixed media

Installation uniting spit in a closed-loop moving system. Audience is invited to spit into the vessel on the floor, for the pump to take it to the sphere, from where it is seeping back down into the vessel. As its falling, the viscosity of spit is making it stretch into a translucent and hollistic single thread.

The custom-made candles take their appearance from snot.

The installation employs mucus to celebrate total love.