Immersion Q&A [Question and Artist]: Lily
Meet Lily Reeves. The Brea Gallery is excited to have Lily at the Gallery for the first time in our show Immersion. Lily was gracious enough to answer a few questions about her process for us to share!
[BREA ART GALLERY] : What medium are you working in for Brea Gallery's Immersion group show?
Neon and natural elements like sand and plant life
[BREA ART GALLERY]: How did you become interested in this type of large scale work?
I have always made large scale work since I started working in sculpture. Everything seemed natural and me-sized. I also work a lot with the human body, and so when I began seriously making sculpture, that had a huge influence on my practice. Sculpture became something you could step inside of, something that became a place instead of a thing to look at.
[BREA ART GALLERY]: Who encourages you to create?
Getting public reactions is a big driver for making work. I love seeing people react and feel and experience because of something I did. That is so rewarding to me. There is also this unreasonable and very passionate side of me that never stops creating sculpture. I feel the need to create community and shared experience through art, and even though I’m often alone when I’m making something, the end goal is always to connect people to each other.
[BREA ART GALLERY]: How do you think/want other people to respond to your art?
I want to make people more mindful. I would like to use my art as a bridge for people to understand how to address environmental, societal, and personal trauma. Often, we are so oblivious to what is causing us anxiety or physical sickness just because we don’t practice living in the moment and processing cause and effect. The goal in my work, which spans a lot of disciplines, is to have people address this. We don’t realize that sometimes correlations like mass deforestation have anything do with a political climate of hateful rhetoric, or a spike in Americans taking prescription medication. We don’t even realize the food we are eating is making us sick. So, in a nutshell, mindfulness and compassion is what my work always centers back to. It’s hard to understand that just through one piece though.
[BREA ART GALLERY]: Where else can we see/experience your work?
I currently have a show up at Var West Gallery in Muilwalkee, WI, and I’m working on a public art project for the Bonnarroo Arts fund in Nashville! I do design commissions all over the country though, so even though you may not realize you are looking at my work, you might be!
[BREA ART GALLERY]: Instagram: the best friend or worst enemy of artists?
I love Instagram! I think it’s a great way to connect with people you normally would never know to connect with.
[BREA ART GALLERY]: What's your next project?
Lots of design commissions at the moment. I plan on making new work in March and showing in NY state and Phoenix AZ!
Lily Reeves was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on Oct 12, 1991. After moving to western New York to earn her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Alfred University, she went on to attain her Masters of Fine Arts at Arizona State University in Phoenix, AZ, where she graduated in April 2018. Reeves’ public work is in the permanent collections of The University of Montevallo, Salem Art Works, and Franconia Sculpture Park, among others, as well as private collections around the world. Her public work ‘Quasar’ is on loan to the City of Atlanta through the Atlanta Beltline, Inc, until Sept. 2019. Reeves has an extensive registrar of national exhibitions for an emerging artist, including group shows with the Museum of Neon Art in Los Angeles, The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, and The Tucson Museum of Art in Arizona. Reeves has held residencies at Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, NC, and the Takoja Institute in Taos County, NM, and has received numerous awards and grants including the prestigious graduate completion fellowship from the Graduate College at Arizona State University as well as awards from Arizona Commission on the Arts, Penland School of Crafts, and the Naomi-Winston Foundation. Reeves currently lives and works in Birmingham, Alabama.
Growing up in the Southeastern United States has forever contoured my practice with notions of magical realism and Southern Gothicism, with roots in the uncanny and the supernatural. Using light and space as my medium, I center viewers in a mystical world that nurtures wonderment and openness; ‘the beginning of wisdom’ as Socrates claims. My sculptural work encourages emotional well-being in my audience by employing invasive tactics such as light, built environments, and participatory performance. Through research in color theory, homeopathy, and systems of belief, I work to invoke preventative psychic and physical healing which addresses individual and collective trauma, and challenges the disenchantment and monotony of everyday contemporary culture.
See more of Lily’s work here.
Thanks so much to Lily Reeves for her time to answer these questions and letting us get to know her better! Be sure to check out Lily’s latest work on display in Brea Gallery’s group installation show Immersion, opening February 9, 2019.