Meet artist Joi Murugavell, who turns life into quirky works of art
Artist Joi Murugavell takes us into her mind, an abstract and colourful place filled with quirkiness, humour and play.

What makes you feel the most wild and alive?

Not knowing what comes next and discovering the new.

When did your love for creating art first begin?

Since I can remember. As a kid I always liked play acting with my toys, then it seemed unacceptable for a 12-year-old to keep doing that, so I made drawings that play-acted with each other. I still do that and now I’ve started play-acting with toys again.

Talk to us about how and why you bring humour and play into your work

I find life quite ridiculous, particularly the frustrating mystery of the wonky human mind (and the death part). Having a sense of humour helps me deal with the absurdities of life and it’s also entertaining. Humour has to make its way into my work because it never leaves me.

Tell us about your Ask Me Anything exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art

Ask Me Anything was a performance at a group exhibition with Marnie Ross and Ariella Friend, organised by Art Pharmacy. The three of us sat on a chair and invited visitors to sit opposite us and “ask us anything”. The Museum of Contemporary Art sent visitors our way through their Young Ambassadors Program and it was a really fun learning experience. I realised that when I feel uncomfortable or a sense of “stranger danger”, I ask a lot of questions, so as it turned out I asked more questions than I gave answers.

Please share with us your creative practice

I do whatever I want whenever I want. I don’t have a schedule. There’s the admin side of making art, of course, but when I’m in the studio I’m basically playing.

What would be your dream collaboration?

I’d love to make some art with New Zealand artists Rob McLeod and Mark Braunias. Discovering their work was like finding that last bar of chocolate you didn’t know you still had. And, even better, the realisation that the newly discovered chocolate bar was full of nuts.

What are you …

Listening to: The Beatles, Nat King Cole, Be Svendsen, Kerala Dust and songs from The Lion King.
Reading: Carlotta Carlyle series by American writer Linda Barnes on the daily adventures of a private investigator
Watching: I’ve gone back to South Park; it’s been a while
Learning: I’ve been learning from all of the above as well as friends, family and my dog Jerry Lee.

What’s next for you?

More of this until I die.

For more, visit @joi.murugavell on Instagram or