This time we had a subcultalk with British artist Elizabeth Prentis aka "Lizzie". Lizzie escaped England's grey, rainy weather to gain some new light and inspiration in her new home town Lisbon.
Get to know her a bit better during our interview with her below and meet her in person during one of her Ceramica Erotica Workshops that take place at her studio in Lisbon.
What’s the art you’re doing?
I am a multidisciplinary artist working across sculpture, performance and painting - often combining all of these elements into installations. There many materials I enjoy making sculpture with but I’m particularly interested in ceramic.
How did you find your way into your art?I never really considered an alternative! Growing up in the countryside I was always desperate to go to art school in London, I ended up studying at Central Saint Martins & Chelsea College of Art and absolutely loved it. My practice is totally autobiographical so my art stems from reflecting on personal experiences.
What is the reason why you keep doing your art?
The beauty of making art is, it provides the space to make noise about issues that make you angry! My art practice investigates issues surrounding gender expectations and sexism from a hetero-normative perspective.
Much of my work looks at my own sexual encounters and the social issues/politics that arise from the various power dynamics I’ve experienced. I keep making art to encourage dialogue in the hope to educate and encourage open discussion about challenging topics.
This in particular is why I really enjoy facilitating workshops, it allows an intimate space to create but also welcomes discussion around the topics I explore in my practice.
What do you do when you feel stuck?The best thing to do is to have a conversation, iron your thoughts out with a friend over a beer. Showing work to others and hearing their immediate response allows you to see what’s not being communicated in the work.
How do you deal with setbacks?
Working with ceramics there are a lot of setbacks!
It’s a surprisingly volatile material – a change in temperature in the studio might cause a crack, a glaze might not behave how you were expecting, an air bubble might cause an explosion in the kiln…the list is endless!
There’s the potential for lots of problems, but the best thing is to take a deep breath and try and look at what is in front of you with a new perspective. Yes, my sculpture has exploded, but maybe these broken elements can be combined into
a new piece…
These cracks actually form quite an interesting pattern, can this be
combined into a new design… It’s frustrating but failing and problem solving are daily occurrences in the studio!
What is your personal highlight during your whole time working as an artist?There was a panel discussion with Phyllida Barlow in London and my work was mentioned in conjunction to hers by the curator hosting the conversation. I was in the audience and I died - I admire her work so much, I was fan girling so hard.
When do you feel most productive?There’s joy in the chaos of a busy studio when your head is buzzing around ideas for lots of different projects, I thrive on a deadline for an exhibition. The last days before a show is really stressful but I think that’s the most productive time for me, it’s amazing how fast your brain and hands can work with the adrenaline when a last-minute idea pops in to your head.
Do you have a vision or a goal you're working towards?There are some exciting exhibitions I have planned for 2024, I want to work on a larger scale and incorporate more textures.
For you personally, what is a life well lived?A life well lived is a life where you feel you can speak your mind. The freedom to vocalise things that are important to you and to feel confident and supported in the process.
What’s your favorite feeling?
What’s the feeling you like the least?Disappointment!
Your favorite guilty pleasure?It’s absolutely not ok, but … a big mac.
Thanks for the interview Lizzie!
When you wanna meet Lizzie in real life, join her at one of her popular Ceramica Erotica Workshops at her ceramic studio in Lisbon, Portugal!
Until next time :)