LEX THOMAS A Few Questions and Answers
Lex Thomas’ primary concern is the idea of belief. A mistrust in the nature of reality drives this as well as the stories we tell ourselves. Thomas examines a range of unexplained natural phenomena, such as the supernatural and paranormal as well as altered psychological states, magic, cults and UFO religions.
Recent work has come about from a combination of automatism, subconscious association and chance. The starting point for the IFIF paintings are intuitively made clay fetishes that reflect on previous studies in Anthropology and Sociology. The title derives from the International Federation for Inner Freedom, a psychedelic cult founded for reasons of both scientific research and religious awakening.
|IFIF (Myop) 2015
Can you describe your practice in a few words?
An ongoing fascination with the idea of belief and reality.
What is your earliest memory of art?
Making mud pies with the boy next door.
Have you shown your work in a non-white cube space before?
Stately homes in Richmond and Hereford, squatted warehouses in Bristol and Europe, paste-ups on London, Bristol and Berlin walls, models, sets and animated sequences on TV, within the pages of a book, in the blacked out basement of the Rio Cinema in Dalston where you could tunnel a direct line to my old studios....
What does this sort of space bring to your work?
Changed context creates new/different meanings and accessibility to the work as well as having control over the means of display.
What is the future for art outside the gallery context?
More art-lite, art as entertainment theme park slide action. On the flipside, more authentic, engaging, challenging, and innovative work being made.
What was your first experience of King's Cross?
A night out at Bagley's with a drug dealer fresh out of prison...
What is the future for art?
The continuation of a unique mode of expression reflecting the human experience in all its forms.
If you could meet one artist living or dead, who would that be and why?
Van Gogh in Arles for the intense creative exuberance.
What is your greatest weakness?
What was the last exhibition you visited that unnerved you?
Frieze Art Fair.
What place do aspects of traditional craft play in your work?
I used to make all my paints from pigments and oils out of interest and alchemy and quality (and economy) of materials but less so now due to impatience. I still make my glazes and gesso from old recipes. Drawing basically underpins everything and I regularly make myself do a life drawing work out for the rigour and discipline of it.
Who have been your main influences over the years, both in historical and recent terms?
The girl in the year below me at school who stole the entire two years worth of my GCSE artwork to pass off as her own, which I never got back.
What projects do you have coming up in the future?
An exhibition of Editions at Simmons Contemporary, an Artist's Book event at the Exchange and a group show with the Lawrence Sterne Trust at Shandy Hall.
|IFIF (Vodun) 2015
Lex Thomas lives and works in London. Having read Sociology at the University of Greenwich Thomas studied Fine Art for three years at the University of the West of England and subsequently a Postgraduate Diploma at Chelsea College of Art. Since then she has exhibited in Europe and the States and widely throughout the UK including at the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition, the Princes Foundation Gallery, the Mall Galleries and Orleans House Gallery. Solo exhibitions have been Of Truth of Clouds, South Hill Park Arts Centre, Berkshire (2013) and Future Proof, Opus Gallery, Newcastle (2011). She has been shortlisted for the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize, the Rising Stars Prize and won third place in the Woolgather Art Prize. Her work is held in private collections in the UK, USA and Germany as well as the Cill Rialaig Arts Collection, Ireland. She has recently published an artists’ book In Search of an Author (ArtCircus Books).