It is with immense sadness that we have to report the death of Jyothi Pillay. Jyothi joined StART at a crucial time in it's early development, while she was an architecture student at Central St.Martins school of art. Full of enthusiasm and energetic creativity, she saw the potential in what could be achieved on the St. Ann's site, and made it central to her degree show. She contributed to the development of our ideas and helped us to present them to the community and other people.
"Jyothi: she was a discrete and intelligent presence in StART; a beautiful mix of knowing how to blend in on the one hand and how to offer a pioneering and different way of doing things, on the other. Idealistic and smart -- the perfect combination. The world is impoverished without her warm spirit."
"Jyothi was a joy to be around. I will always remember her very warm, friendly and caring personality, great sense of humour and her passion for life and her beliefs, so evident through her words and actions. She contributed a great deal to StART, providing lots of ideas and inspiration while not being afraid to be critical about our processes and find alternative ways of ensuring we could move forward.
One particular story comes to mind vividly when I think of Jyothi. This was when we were planning our Chestnuts Community Celebration last year in Haringey. Despite being incredibly busy completing her degree she managed to contribute to the planning of the event. Now those of you that had any dealings with Jyothi, you’ll know she liked to do things thoroughly. On this particular occasion she had agreed to organise the collection of the stall for our event. I asked Jyothi to let me know the size of the stage (which I thought was very straight forward question!). Jyothi replied quickly in her normal enthusiastic manner. She explained she was attaching a sketch, which turned out to be a beautifully illustrated drawing showing all dimensions and possible ways of putting the stage together (see the sketch below).
Jyothi, you will be forever in our thoughts, thanks for all you did for StART!"
"Such tragic news. I am so shocked and deeply saddened by the news. She was so brilliant, thoughtful and lovely. "
"Jyothi visited my house several times when the housing group met there. It was a delight to see her enthusiasm and willingness to volunteer for a project which was hardly likely to be for her own benefit. Hearing that she had been snatched from this world was shocking and upsetting in equal measure."
Jyothi was 27, and drowned in an accident while travelling in Canada. Those who knew her and worked with her will miss her immensely, but we are all shocked and saddened by her loss, and send condolences to her family. We will be creating a more permanent memorial in her name, so please watch this space for more news in the future.