I'm a multimedia artist whose practice is ideas led. The materials I use are diverse and include paper, paint, fabric, thread and found materials. I am inspired by the art of Kiefer, Nash, John Piper amongst others. Much of my collage work is autobiographical and is fueled by my Viennese background and my status as a refugee. My online exhibition this year is titled 'Made in Lockdown.' This enforced stay at home has taken me in new directions, with no physical deadlines I've taken time to experiment and play without the pressure of a finished product. Much of the work is inspired by my own village Aynho. Another new thread in the work is a collaboration between myself and a friend who regularly sends me photographs of the seaside town of Eastbourne. I use the images to make sketches and mixed media works I am calling this collaboration 'Wish I was there.' I am also part of a group of seven artists Arts in the Cotswolds who are exhibiting online again this year. We were due to exhibit together in one of the Oxfordshire villages when the pandemic struck, so like last year we will be showing you our work via Facebook and Instagram accounts.
I grew up in a monochromatic landscape, in the slums of Nottingham, it was a harsh environment but I always knew that I would rise above it and find colour in my life. After a very academic school life, I became a social worker, many of my clients were the individuals who had bullied me as a child, because I was different. My art reflects the two sides of my experiences, the reality of being a refugee and the sunshine I have embraced in my chosen life. The extremes of my artistic output range from, dark disturbing memory work, to joyful landscape and flora and fauna, this is reflected in my colour palette, which can be monochrome but also can burst into a riot of brilliant colours. My images are often semi abstracted, I can't quite bring myself to embrace complete abstraction, but they do reflect the rather skewed way I see life. Mixing my media allows me to be led by whatever material suits the narrative, be it paint, fabric and stitch, clay, paper collage and I often will include found objects, such as wire, wood or ceramic.
I am a visual storyteller whose object is to engage my audience with my own narrative, but to also allow the viewer his own interpretation. I even apply these principles to the imagery on my more practical items, even though they may look decorative and colourful, there is always narrative running through my mind as I create them. My style is ruled by a type of visual 'dyslexia', where I sometimes feel I have no control over my image making which often creates itself by pouring out of my subconscious, defying me to bring it to order. My pieces can be quite small but for me the monumental would be my size of choice. As it is, the largest are about A1 and on these large pieces I use texture either in collage and paint or fabric and stitch of maybe a combination. I enjoy the physicality of engaging with large works. All my work is labour intensive, I try to use pre used materials whenever I can and live with a loft full of my old clothing and household linens. I have a studio in a converted garage and a second studio in a spare bedroom, I have a walk in loft full of everything ' I might need one day', every evening I take over the settee in the lounge and it is covered with drawing materials, sketch books my hand dyed silk fabrics with threads, needles, scissors and very errant pins, Because I feel passionate about 'the hand of the maker' I am quite unable to follow rules. One of my favorite materials is clay and I have tried to make it into books following my own rules, despite the help and advice of real potters.
My studio in Aynho will be open during artweeks for covid aware, socially distanced appointments. Please contact me to arrange to see the work in the flesh, hand sanitiser will be provided, but please bring your own mask.
For more on Lis and her inspiration you can also visit the Heseltine Gallery Blog where there's an interesting article from earlier this year: