A local voice, conversation series iiii, collective sculpture - essay booklet (click to view)
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A Video, sound & installation
Showing at Summer Art Thread
LCB Depot, Leicester
An expansive collaboration between Leila Houston,
participants and musicians.
"Freedom and the question of what keeps people together and indeed what drives people apart?"
The Newsagents, Resonance radio 104.4fm, 8.7.17
Feature: Leila Houston, The Great Central magazine, 8.6.17
Graduate Leila Houston sees her work showcased in world-leading arts festival in Venice, De Montfort University, 23.5.17
Empire II is an artist led satellite project devised and curated by Vanya Balogh for the 57th Biennale di Venezia, FAD: cool art & stuff, 7.5.17
Vanya Balogh Curates Immersive Film Hub Satellite Project For 56th Venice Biennale, Artlyst, 6.4.17
A Local Voice – Art connects with Leicester community, Arts Council England, 23.8.17
Age of Anxiety, :venews magazine, issue 216 venice guide
DONATED TO ART 4 GRENFELL. 'How to survive'. Unfired clay sculpture with artist's marks left reflecting on how our surroundings leave marks on us.
‘How to survive’ (2017) was the first part of a major project funded by Arts Council England. The work derived from a dream Houston had perhaps, due to living in poor conditions in England. The dream featured a rotting, barely alive baby. This vivid image was moulded into a sculpture for this project, reflecting her own experience of vulnerability and anxiety.
The work was featured as part Houston’s recent live event ‘A Local Voice, Conversation Series IIII, Collaborative Sculpture’ (2017) (see booklet). ‘A Local Voice’ was in part a search for the genuineness of face-to-face interaction, a reestablishment of compassion and a step away from the strident individualism encouraged online. Over two days in Two Queens Gallery, local people of Leicester came together to take part in an installation and create a collaborative sculpture using clay.
Activities and prompts were placed in the space with microphones recording the interactions and conversations. Participants worked in groups to film each other’s hands or eyes whilst telling truths and lies, moulded a clay sculpture in response to cut-out phrases from newspapers, and worked together to rearrange strips of grass varieties into an order that made sense to them. The recording and unplanned, naturally occurring awkward moments were developed further as an installation alongside artwork made by the participants, later exhibited at local event ‘Summer Art Thread’.
It is in part an attempt to understand space and its impact upon us, and our impact upon it. It is a platform for many voices. It is an ongoing expedition, a journey down a sprawling path with no single destination.
'Houston grew up in North Kensington Community Centre, London, which was run by her parents for 11 years between 1977 and 1988. Purpose- built in 1936, the large building was later demolished, thought to have been due to regeneration in the area. New housing and streets were paved in its place, with the community centre later replaced with the much smaller Dalgarno Gardens Community Centre, which is still open today.
Growing up in a place of discussion and exchange, the impact of spaces that foster both communication and quiet reflection has been a long- time fascination of Leila’s. The centre gave both a social platform for development, whilst also allowing a degree of individual ownership of the space. '
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Taking Local Voice: Conversation IIII to London exhibiting with over a hundred artists in a multi story car park.......pv this friday 6pm!
Taking Local Voice: Conversation IIII to London- exhibiting with over a hundred artist in a multi story car park.......in a suit case, sachet and two carrier bags - a role of grass turf, 3 rolls of fake grass, two patches of other fake grass, clay, two pot plants of long grass, 1 picture, clay models, two recorders, 150 booklets and printed labels....
Leila Houston (London, 1977) is a visual artist whose work investigates the social, political and historical aspects of a place.