Tique | art paper asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Lilah Fowler.
Lives in London, UK
How do you describe your own art practice?
Layered; I have long-term projects and themes with continually evolving ideas that culminate in a variety of forms and media. A lot of recent work has been the outcome of collaborations with professionals from other disciplines, such as quantum physicists, geochemists and computer programmers. Mostly the origin of my ideas and interests stem from a background in making: producing three-dimensional objects and installations, and combining this with a fascination with how my projection of the world, as a tactile maker, influences the way I can use and understand technology. It’s about looking at landscapes, whether digital or physical and breaking my visions of them apart and then pulling them back together again.
What was your first experience with art?
It’s hard to pin down. My father went to art school and is a designer, on my mother’s side my aunts were ikebana artists – creativity and making were always present from a young age. I also loved spending weekends at Saturday pottery classes at Camden Art Centre in London, I went to my first class there aged 5.
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
Everyday situations, buildings – architecture, narratives and histories, landscapes (material and immaterial), travel, new encounters. Specifically, I often find the space for thoughts takes place with movement; moving is my best method of thinking, whether walking, driving or traveling in any form; it helps me frame the places I usually inhabit.
What do you need in order to create your work?
Time! – To nurture thoughts and develop abstract connections with past and present ideas. I need periods of time being completely immersed, working in isolation ¬– but collaborations and conversations with friends and family are just as essential as a balance. Discovery and challenges are important and, of course, a place or space to connect the dots between my thoughts and unknown, new encounters. But a simple walk and a distant view from a window to stare out on always does the trick.
What are you working on at the moment?
I tend to have multiple things happening at once. Right now in the studio I’m developing two different installations for shows next year. Each of these are developments from older works that incorporate new ideas in the form of display frames and dropped ceiling panels. They host various made and found objects: woven rugs, cast concrete and plaster, solar panels, fans, photographs, laminate panels, rocks, etc. I’m also finishing off the last of four permanent public art works installed in the UK this year – the final one is in Bristol and covers an 11m high external staircase façade with colourful abstract digital images that I made during one of my collaborations with a computer programmer. We designed software with the purpose of generating unlimited arbitrary and unique patterns; and I am also currently hand weaving these patterns into rugs.
What work or artist has most recently surprised you?
Anne Tallentire’s work, ‘Shelter’ in 2016, commissioned by 14-18 NOW.