Liza Lou

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Britain is in the midst of a heatwave (well, what we call a heatwave) and it’s too hot to write properly. So instead here’s a quick look at the work of Liza Lou, whose obsessive work with beads naturally appeals to me.

Liza Lou first came to prominence with her beaded kitchen – a work that took her five years to make and involved her covering an entire kitchen in beads.

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Liza Lou: Beaded Kitchen (Sink Detail)

Her more recent work has taken a more overtly political turn with beaded wire fences and prison cells that are partly inspired by her move to South Africa, where she now works with skilled local artisans to produce her sculptures. I find it intriguing that she’s scaled up her production in this way. Originally she did all her beading herself but she was finding it impossible to continue working that way after developing acute tendinitis in her hands.

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Liza Lou: Security Fence

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Liza Lou: Security Fence

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Liza Lou: Security Fence

Make sure you check out this interview with her – I love what she has to say about artists using their powers for good. The rest of that online textile magazine, HandEye, is well worth a look.

And here’s another article that explores the deeper motivations for her work.

I am an artist & purveyor of obsessive projects based in Hebden Bridge, England. My work involves the accretion of large numbers of small objects - pins in fabric, knots in string or hundreds of envelopes - to make sculptures that deal with fragility, loss, repetition, obsession and time.

5 thoughts on “Liza Lou

  1. Absolutely fascinating interview by an artist I hadnt known before until I read about on your lovely blog. I particularly like the way she explains the link between labour and mindfulness. Alot more needs to be said about how deeply restful it is to work on something so labour intensive, and not an obsessive plight for perfection. Its something I love experiencing when I go about my daily routine and not just in my work as an artist (albeit a lazy one!) Doing things without thinking of the end result and letting it be a destessing exercise in the process.

    [Reply]

    Kirsty Hall Reply:

    Thanks for your insightful comment, khairun. Part of the reason that I work the way I do is that I find it so meditative. I’m quite a restless person and performing my repetitive self assigned tasks calms and soothes me. I know people often think that it’s incredibly dedicated of me but actually, I get a lot of benefit from it.

    [Reply]

  2. Absolutely fascinating interview by an artist I hadnt known before until I read about on your lovely blog. I particularly like the way she explains the link between labour and mindfulness. Alot more needs to be said about how deeply restful it is to work on something so labour intensive, and not an obsessive plight for perfection. Its something I love experiencing when I go about my daily routine and not just in my work as an artist (albeit a lazy one!) Doing things without thinking of the end result and letting it be a destessing exercise in the process.

    [Reply]

    Kirsty Reply:

    Thanks for your insightful comment, khairun. Part of the reason that I work the way I do is that I find it so meditative. I’m quite a restless person and performing my repetitive self assigned tasks calms and soothes me. I know people often think that it’s incredibly dedicated of me but actually, I get a lot of benefit from it.

    [Reply]

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