|18/04/19 - 28/04/19
off our new programme for 2019 here at OUTPUT, we have Lucille Swith’s
first solo exhibition in Liverpool. The show brings together work they
developed during a Graduate Residency at The Art House in Wakefield,
where Smith spent the beginning of this year after completing a BA in
Fine Art at Liverpool John Moores University in 2018.
work often relies on found objects, reworking free or cheap items and
materials through collage, illustration and installation to offer the
audience a casual and fun experience with their art. Unlike the
strictness, professionalism and intense craftsmanship of the art world
we are shown through major institutions, Smith’s practice operates on a
different level because it has different priorities altogether.
Politics, identity and authenticity matter more to the artist than
typical success and the market. Art remains expression and a way to
connect with others, rather than a conduit for business and insincere
At the opening event for this exhibition, Swith will
be joined by Liverpool-based Qfolk who brings with them a post folk
punk yelling experience. Set starts at 7.30pm.
|What was it like on your first residency?
was good in that there was a lot of creative support but I was bored a
lot. Because my art is made out of everyday materials/experiences, it
didn’t make sense to be somewhere where my sole purpose was to make
art. It was also strange being given a budget for materials because my
art is made through gathering, which is a slow process that can’t
necessarily be adapted quickly in a new setting. Besides that, out of
town residencies are romanticized a lot, especially at uni, perhaps a
result of privilege; being able to take time off work, to afford to go
(even if it is paid, often it just evens out the cost), and having the
emotional capacity to do it because it is very isolating. I don’t
really fit into ‘professional’ art environments, and I found myself
censoring myself and my identity which made it extra difficult to talk
about work during critiques, because the work I make references the
fact I’m poor and queer. Since then I’ve decided that I’m not taking
part in stuff unless it’s local. Liverpool has provided a home for me,
so it feels only fitting that this is where my work remains.
How has your art changed since leaving uni?
art has become more honest since leaving. I care less about trying to
live up to professional standards which is liberating. The ‘art’
institutions (quotation marks because I don’t believe that most of what
they show is even art) are all dire in terms of lack of support and
exposure for local artists and the working class which has resulted in
me not caring about success. At uni there was a lot of optimism and
ambition, career wise but since leaving, all of that is lost on me.
However, it means that I don’t care about success anymore. Because the
materials I use tend to be disposable, I don’t have to rely on money to
make art. So, to sum up, I can make my art with anything that I have at
hand and I have nothing to lose. I think that’s a pretty powerful
position to be in. I hope that scares some people. That’s also why I
wanted Quinn to play at the opening, because Qfolk is loud, empathetic
and brutally honest, but it’s also so minimal in that it’s just one
person armed with nothing except life experience and a guitar. I think
that minimalism forces the audience to confront things that are not
always comfortable, and I relate to that.
What do you want your art to do?
think I want it to evoke playfulness in the viewer. Art should be fun
and playful because anyone can relate to that, and you don’t need
expensive materials to achieve that. The act of doing is enough and can
lead to self-discovery, and that’s way more valuable as opposed to
being technically ‘good’ at something.