The Skinny Showcase: Lesley Guy

Gallery | 22 Oct 2014

Showcase: Lesley Guy

Lesley Guy is an artist, writer and curator based in Sheffield, UK. She is a content curator for Axisweb and co-director of Bloc Projects, an artist-led contemporary art space. She graduated with an MA in Contemporary Fine Art from Sheffield Hallam University in 2010 and has exhibited widely across Europe, Asia and the UK. Group shows include Portmanteau, curated by g39 for Halle 14 in Leipzig; Jeune Création at Centquatre, Paris; Appropriate Response, Vulpes Vulpes, London; and Possession (1) at BACC, Bangkok. Forthcoming exhibitions include Pizza Fest! as part of the collaboration Totaller – First King of the Astrogoths, and Deadpan Exchange VIII at Casa Maauad in Mexico City.

“I use the appropriation and defacement of found materials to construct scenarios or images that manipulate the 'real' or recognisable. For a while I was drawing over the top of obituaries, then I was collecting pizza fliers, now I’m turning waste paper into papier-mâché ‘ritualistic’ objects.

“Most of the time the work I do is compulsive but there is a rationale somewhere deep down; this might be exploring surface or form or whatever, so that within this process there is a struggle between contingency and control. Making things is a tool for thinking and exploring; I enjoy solving artistic problems and can spend hours just looking and trying to figure out where to go next, like in a game of chess.

“The found materials set the boundaries within which to play, but in a perverse way these rules help me to create space for reverie or fantasy. I think I’m challenging the authority of existing imagery to some extent. Images (and objects) have ‘magical’ power, even ubiquitous and mundane pictures of things like pizza or pop stars are powerful enough to make us act and feel things differently. By using pictures of David Bowie for instance I’m tapping into that, harnessing the thing that makes him so special. It seems silly but it's also quite serious. Art is all about manipulating materials into new meanings: I want to turn the tables on Pizza Hut or Domino's who are pushing adverts through my door every day and harvest the power of pizza to make the sort of things I want to see!”