Ayesha Tan Jones has many strings to their bow. Predominately they're a non-binary artist and a musician. Ayesha is also co-founder of a kick ass self-defence class, a regular musician and performer on London’s circuit and has held a month-long residency at Yorkshire Sculpture Park this year. But if you ask Ayesha to explain what they do, they’ll reply modestly, “I make optimistically dystopian films, meditative sculptures and dream n bass music”.
Ayesha’s debut dystopian film was titled Indigo Zoom. What started as something of an experiment soon developed into a character-lead story about an “eco-superhero” who lives in an alternate reality and makes a silent commentary on London’s pressing pollution problems. Each concern mirrors Ayesha’s own feelings of being suffocated in a city in which basic human rights are in danger of being capitalised. It was back in February this year that Ayesha screened Indigo Zoom alongside an immersive sculptural installation at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and it was during this residency that Ayesha birthed their next project – Whychcraft? – a film through which they've been educating themselves about witchcraft, and exploring in-depth the way that society interacts with nature.
When they're not crafting their art, Ayesha can be found hosting Shadow Sistxrs fight club with their best friend Monique Etienne (who we’re told is an ace wrestler). In short, it’s a meta-physical and physical self-defence class that provides a safe space for women, non-binary people and QTPOC to learn important self-protection skills, whilst being encouraged to metamorphose from “Worriers to Warriors”.
When they're performing and playing music, Ayesha goes by the name of YaYa Bones, and they play “music that will make u wanna go out and punch fascists, summon your ancestors and commune with trees”. But it’s Ayesha’s upcoming project – the YaYa Bones EP – that sees each of their skills fluidly combine. Encompassing a four track EP, it will also be accompanied by a concept music video directed by yours truly before being launched as part of a fundraiser for Shadow Sistxrs Fight club, so that Ayesha and Monique can keep running the classes on a donation basis. Over to you, YaYa.