"Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful enquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other," Pedagogy of the Oppressed, by Paulo Freire.
Leila Houston’s practice investigates the social, political and historical aspects of ‘a place’ through site-responsive work.
“It’s not you, it’s the water thrower” is the result of a 16 month research and development project. The artwork hopes for public participation and looks at receptiveness, humanity, sensibility and vulnerability. The dolphin represents Houston’s study of these animals, analysing their mythology and symbolism, ’the pod’ they swim in and the vulnerability of one particular dolphin calf that died due to mob mentality in May 2016.
Initially exploring wilderness, and our relationship and feelings to a place’s atmosphere, led to the artist exploring the immersive sensation of being alone in particular places and questioning why they can feel haunting to the majority, even without folklore or previous discussion. Further questioning how people influence the way we feel, how we act, and what we choose to do. And how this influences the way we feel in particular ‘spaces’ and places we find ourselves in.
Later residing above the Queen of Bradgate pub (May 2015-May 2016), Leila began exploring the old empty atmospheric rooms upstairs and the subject of ‘community’.
For this particular piece the artist trusts an audience interaction with water, maintaining the wet clay throughout. Some changes to the dolphin will become apparent. And when drying on the last day the visitors and gallery volunteers who will be wrapping and unwrapping the work will be part of the final piece.
Leila Houstons work will be on shown at StudionAme from tomorrow from 12:00.Map /times/address and other details can be found in booklets accross the City (Attenborough Arts Centre Orange tree Leicester Leicester Print Workshop LCB Depot)
or here www.silvervinearts.wixsite.com/summerarttrail where you can find a down loadable map.
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Leila Houston (London, 1977) is a visual artist whose work investigates the social, political and historical aspects of a place.