Mia Meets… Liv Thurley

Interview by Mia Kingsley 

For this weeks ‘Mia Meets…’ I will be chatting to artist Liv Thurley, a young Londoner living and creating in Brighton. Making art that is inspired by her own personal experiences Liv’s pieces are infused with intimate details and often have a humorous and somewhat shocking factor. We talk about the stories behind her creations, the good the bad and the ugly sides of the internet and that particular pair of pants entitled ‘The weapon’. Meet the wonderful & truly inspiring Liv Thurley…

Hey Liv! Tell us a little bit about yourself, how was it growing up in London?

Hello! Presently I am studying Sculpture at university but come back to London as often as I can. As London is my hometown I know my way around and there is always something happening and worth checking out.

Do you think living in London has had an influence on your work and the way you express yourself creatively?

Growing up in London has definitely been influential in my practice. It’s allowed me to meet fellow creative friends and I’m always able to visit a gallery to suit the mood I’m in. Even walking the streets leaves me feeling inspired.

Have you always been creative?

My parents are graphic designers and my grandfather was a painter so I guess you could say art runs in the blood.

You’re currently studying in Brighton at the moment, tell us about your course..

One of the reasons I chose Brighton University is because I could specifically study sculpture as a subject. The course itself is very open and encourages creative independence. Our tutors are constructive in their criticism and experienced in their field, something which is inspiring.

Your current works take on a very personal approach, being inspired from personal experiences. Choose one piece and tell us the story behind it?

My current works are products of extracted incidents from my personal experiences, creating questions about femininity. These can be from social interactions I’ve overheard, as with Weapon, which revolves around a situation where I overheard a conversation between a group of boys on a train discussing pubic hair on girls. Upon hearing one of them exclaim that he would never sleep with a girl who had hair below, I immediately thought of the hair acting as a mechanism, built to scare. This inspired the brutal title of the piece and the harmful use of pins.

As your works are expressions of your intimate and personal life do you feel this makes sharing your work a challenge at times? 

I never intend for the viewers to realise my work is particularly personal to me, it’s more therapeutic on my part and I love to hear other people’s take on it without my influence.

Tell us how you approach the on going theme of femininity in your work?

I frequently use libraries to investigate female artists and have recently taken a serious interest in the world of feminism by delving deeper into literature and discovering feminist theorists.

What sort of response from viewers have you received concerning this theme, your piece ‘Weapon’ must have caused a mixture of reactions..

With ‘Weapon’ I found that people were impressed by its simplicity in conveying a message. I like to make provocative pieces to act as a catalyst for conversation and thought for the audience, as the viewer’s reaction is just as much a part of the work as the object involved.

That piece recently caused a mixture of reactions in another context, tell us about your current situation in protecting ‘Weapon’ as your own..

I’ve had that work online for a while now, so it’s done the rounds! It was brought to my attention by other artists who knew the piece and contacted me, telling me that the idea had been copied. So I guess the internet has actually helped me to protect it.

How has this made you feel about using the internet as a platform for artwork, in one way it has enabled many artists to share, communicate and grow but it has also become an easy way to get inspiration, ‘steal’ ideas and in more serious cases commit plagiarism.

The whole situation has made me a bit worried but at the same time I’m glad people recognised that it was actually my original idea. I definitely think that the internet is an easy way for other people to steal ideas. This ordeal has encouraged me to start documenting my work and making sure it is copyrighted.

What advice would you give to artists that have come across similar situations as your own?

Don’t be afraid to confront the thief!

The internet isn’t all bad though, you are currently part of ‘The Coven’ an all female art collective, tell us about it and how you as a group support and encourage each other..

I think that the group is so diverse that we all feed off each other, we’re scattered across the globe and so couldn’t exist without the internet. The Coven is curated by Laurence Philomene and Luna e los Santos who are dedicated to the group and do a great job. We have a show coming up in October which will be showcasing a few of the members’ work.

Apart from your friends who else inspires you, what artists do you admire?

At the moment I’m mesmerised by Yago Hortal’s work and I’m also really into Jürgen Klauke, who calls conventional gender roles into question.

How would you describe your style in 3 words?

Infused with humour

What would be your dream collaboration?

I’d love to work with some of my friends from different corners of the world but I guess my dream collab would be to work with Bill Viola. As a fan of his work I’ve followed his productions over a period of time and have noticed a change in motives and techniques which have gradually grown and evolved with the progression of modern day technology. Video installations are something which I would like to experiment with and perhaps work further into as seen in Viola’s work.

Whats next Liv? Any new and exciting projects to look out for? 

I’ll be helping Jump From Paper with their pop-up shop and launch party, where I’ll be selling my book, PINKD, filled with beautiful images by artists all over the world. It explores how pink is looked at in society and how it is explored in today’s art. We’ve also been asked to help out on the decoration, so I can’t wait to show some of the pieces featured in the book off.

Thanks so much Liv, we cant wait to get our hands on ‘Pinkd’! If you loved Liv’s work and want to find out more check out her sites linked below:

As for interviews, you can read all previous ‘Mia Meets…’ here and for more Mia check out the links below…

Until next time have a wonderful week! xxx

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