Art and Artefact by Lady Lillith Leveigh
‘Escape from Genesis’
(Sculptural Installation) © 2007
Photographs © Artist 2010
Lady Lillith Leveigh has been a professional practicing artist for the
past twenty years. She designs sculptural installations set on ancient
cultures in a post modern context to address the concepts of body politics,
spirituality and the interrelations on art and artefact. The very nature
of the familiar by cultural identity and heritage, the objects produced
and inherited through artifacts; all go to formulate her interest in Art,
Science and History and a relative process in human history to everyone
on this planet.
Her art practice is a fusion of broader vocations and research. A visual
language that has been conceived and evolved from her passions in Science
and History. Fine Art techniques are combined with other disciplines to
produce three dimensional, sculptural, installations. To address the intrinsic
complexities in cultural and institutional hierarchies. The ideologies
of the canon versus commodification in mass media and popular culture
of art and artefact, particularly to juxtapose such objects in diversifying
spaces from the gallery to the urban and rural landscapes where meaning
Her art has been exhibited in many galleries, but with an added interventionist
approach of public spaces. Some of these creative projects have included
participation to international festivals. She has worked independently
and collaboratively, both as a Visual Artist and Writer with UK and international
She has further worked as a Sculptor on cast modeling for gaming figures
promoted for Sci-fi and Fantasy market outlets and has work, both written
and visual, published in an Archeological Research publications. Her combined
professional activities where Art, Science and History have come together
have included other commissions with international collectors, as well
as writing a fictional pieces of work set on these themes.
She is currently in research and development of a new series of work
to be launched in 2011. This new work is to inspire and challenge societal
preconceptions with a unique twist to be unveiled.
I went to her studio to find out more about her and her work.
‘Peat Bog Man Studies II’
(Charcoal and Pastels on Fine Art Paper) © 2006
VSS: When did you first become interested
in art and recognise yourself as an artist?
LAS: I did not necessarily become interested in art per say. It was and
is more a case of it being a reflex like breathing, the beating of the
heart and the blink response with your eyes. It is a compulsion from my
inception. As for being an artist it is a title like everything else in
life. It is something you are labeled with. What I do is a reflex and
something that is instinctive and intuitive.
VSS: Can you explain your work?
LAS: My work, how can one put this, without repeating oneself or sounding
pedantic. In the dark recesses of one's mind these creations and ideas;
what you will. are there, just there. They surface so I create, just simply
create. It is like an instinctive reflex.
VSS: Your current work is set around
the artefact as contemporary art, such as the mummified sculptures. How
did this evolve?
LAS: Where to start? Firstly, from my very beginning there has always
been a darkness, if you will, that has shrouded me. A fascination of the
macabre. They say a baby's first sense to the outside world occurs while
still in their mother's womb. Maybe, this carries a little resonance,
as my mother read Edgar Allan Poe while she was carrying me. As a child,
I had a natural propensity towards the darker aspects and grotesqueness
of nature. This encapsulated my fascination of fossils from humans and
prehistoric creatures. If you want, all things dead. In its way, this
naturally led onto history and artefacts left by our ancestors, this included
human remain, i.e., mummies. Ergo, the reasons, possibly, for the nature
of what I create.
VSS: You have worked between the commercial
sector of art in model making to pursuing your independent art practice.
How do these differ and where do your passion lie?
LAS: In anything commercial and industrial we are making or creating a
piece for other parties, the rules and boundaries of expectation that
have to be complied with. I am making a product and not necessarily a
creation of free thought. Although the thought process and techniques
and discipline are still to the same requirements. The difference in my
practice is the freedom of will to let those images explode into life
from my mind. A pretty dark place indeed!
VSS: What artists have inspired you
LAS: I could be clichéd and plum for Leonardo Da Vinci, but personally
I prefer the likes of Michel Angelo, Rembrandt, Durer and such. Da Vinci
is overplayed for this reason and has seriously become overrated in my
VSS: What other subjects influence and
shape your work?
LAS: My other interests are Science and History. To a degree even Religion.
There is also the everyday influences of life that shape my work. Although
I will concede religious bigots and bigots in general do wind me up! So,
I like to push back from time to time and challenge preconceptions of
what is and subjects explored within the art. With our precocious religious
'friends' I like to use Galileo sentiment: 'God created the universe and
science helps explain it'. Trust me, mix it with the theory of Evolution
and spice it with a little bit of Leviticus thrown in for good measure
it really agitates them! The same technique using the relevant information
in regards and bigots in other areas can also be used. They do not like
it and I do not like them!
VSS: What motivates you to produce the
work you do and the chosen media?
LAS: As I have previously stated, it is a compulsion to create. Like an
itch that does not go, until it has been scratched properly. That includes
the way I want the work to be presented. Whether it be a drawing, painting
or sculpture. Also, as regards media or whatever I can lay my hands on
will be used through to recycling. This is why the materials for each
piece can vary greatly.
VSS: Do you use any other creative approaches
or media in the research and production of your work?
LAS: I have a compulsion, an urge, so I create and depending what materials
are available I instinctively respond. That pretty much it in a nutshell!
VSS: What do you plan for the future
as an artist in your professional practice?
LAS: You can plan all you want, but the arts arena is far from being a
certainty. Even in times of stability. This does not mean I stop creating,
it just means I could be tomorrow I do a show or even maybe a couple of
years. That all depends on the sagacity of pen pushers. Sorry, I meant
to say bureaucrats! Those who hold the purse string and who dictate and
dictate what and what is not art.
VSS: What are your positive and negative
experiences of being an artist?
LAS: My positive experiences with my practice is when people find something
of themselves in it. I do my work, but I do not feel it is necessary for
the viewer to have the same concepts as me; after all art is subjective.
Although I do get a wicked pleasure out of playing with people's minds
and perceptions. My negative experience relate to the 'Lovie! Darling!'
set, the sycophants, the hangers on. Those corpulent, expressionless vessels
that are less than echoes. Do I need to say anymore!?
VSS: What do you want to be remembered
LAS: I have been told by others: 'Once one was met I was never forgotten!'
I am named after the first woman, Lillith, who had a rather unfair reputation.
Possibly, because she would not be subservient to Adam. In short, she
was one feisty chick who became much maligned with the ages - Pity! I
think I will consign myself to history and the fates decide how I will
be remembered. After all nobody ever sees the same thing. C'est vie!
VSS: Thank you for taking the time with me. Good luck for the future.