A Friday Chat with Lisa Lloyd4 November 2022
A Friday Chat with Lisa Lloyd
This week, we sit down with Lisa to talk about her unique installation which has gone on show at Searcys at the Gherkin. This is our inaugural partnership with amazing artists as part of our ART OF PERFECTION curated experiences.
Working entirely with paper, Lisa’s sculptures capture the movement and flow of nature with bright colours and plenty of joy; which our mixologist team at The Gherkin have mirrored in two limited edition cocktails. Lisa has created several bespoke pieces of art specially for Searcys at the Gherkin. You can view it online (LINK) or when you visit the venue. The artwork will be displayed at the Gherkin until 30 November 2022 and will be available to purchase afterwards.
Hi Lisa! Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into paper art?
I’m a full-time paper artist, I live in Hove with my husband Jon and two kids – Finlay and Martha. I’ve worked in the creative industry all my working life. I worked in London for 15 years, having started out in graphic design, moved on to animation, music video direction and then a founder and co-owner of an animation company based in Soho, London.
Whilst working with the animators I discovered a passion for paper craft, but as creative director I couldn’t get hands-on and I really missed creating my own stuff. As life moved on, I got pregnant and life threw me a few pretty big challenges. We moved out of London and down to Hove, which is near Brighton on the south coast of England. I realised I needed to take the pressure off and find a creative outlet which would be more immersive, less stressful and not screen based.
Tell us what inspires you?
Nature is my main inspiration. I love the beauty of its symmetry, texture, colours and patterns. Paper is the perfect medium to express the beauty of nature, with that unique tactile quality and vast range of colours and styles. I’m particularly drawn to birds; they are incredibly beautiful and expressive. I think their ability to fly and rise above things really resonates with me. I try to capture as much of that energy and movement as possible in my work, I want to try to bring my pieces to life. I’m also inspired and affected by what’s happening in the world now, I want to express that both emotionally and visually.
And why have you decided to do this pop-up event at the Gherkin?
I’m incredibly excited to be exhibiting my work in such an iconic building in the heart of London. As I mentioned, it was where I lived and worked for so many years, so it’s a really big deal for me and I’m also a big fan of Norman Foster’s architecture.
My current style is inspired by the movement and wings of birds and is circular in composition. When I saw the Searcys space in the Gherkin my heart skipped a beat. The interior walls and architecture mirror the design of the external architecture. Everywhere I looked there were curves!
What have you prepared for Searcys at the Gherkin, and what inspired them?
I’ve prepared 3 large wall art pieces which are over a metre squared in size. They are mounted on painted back boards and made entirely from paper and card. I’m also creating a large abstract sculpture of a bird for the lobby which is over a meter tall.
There will also be 6 large prints on display in the foyer. I love the incredible details and geometry of nature, so the radial geometry of the Gherkin really inspires me. It felt like an amazing coincidence that my current style fits so well with the space, I can’t wait to see it in there.
With the focus on wellbeing and mental health at home and in our working life- what does happiness at work mean to you?
Happiness at work for me, is a feeling of autonomy and free thinking. Having the opportunity to grow emotionally and professionally in an atmosphere of trust and respect is really important.
Do you think art plays a part in our wellbeing?
I think it really does, yes. I have constant mixed feelings of joy and anger, hope and frustration. I find that the mindful and immersive nature of working with paper helps me to channel my emotions and express them; creating a kind of meditative escapism. Creativity and art enable us to have mental space to process emotions and thoughts. Creative projects give our minds a chance to be present while not being stressed, it’s healthy mindfulness that helps us express our feelings.
Is art important today?
Definitely, more than ever! We are all going through a huge cultural shift, there are stressors everywhere we look. Whether it’s the environment, inequality, or financial worries, it’s everywhere. We are constantly exposed to stressful news and it can feel overwhelming. Art gives people an opportunity to express those feelings, we saw it during lockdown as people came to terms with the pandemic, and more recently world events have shown us the power of art. It has the power to connect and unite people.
Do you think art and gastronomy go hand in hand?
Yes, I do. This year I exhibited at Homo Faber at the biennale in Venice, it was a celebration and showcase of master crafts people and artisans. While I was there, I met incredible artists: everything from violin and jewellery makers to wood carvers and chefs. When I talked to a chef about her or his work, I was struck by how much we had in common. We talked about our tools, the importance of working with good materials and how it takes a lot of time and patience to create good quality work.
Tell us about the cocktails that’ll be served during the unveiling of your artwork?
Cocktails are my favourite drink, so I’m really excited by the two cocktails that Searcys have come up with the unveiling of the artwork. There’s a ‘terracotta’ coloured one called ‘Rise’ no 1 which is a refreshing mix of elderflower liquor, grenadine, lemon juice, toped up with champagne. Then there is ‘Rise no 2, which is made from violet liquor, lychee liquor, curacao liquor, lemon juice, topped up with champagne – it has a wonderful blue tone, inspired by my artworks.
Searcys is 175 years old this year. Any Searcys memories and birthday wishes from you?
I’m excited to say that this is my very first visit to Searcys and I’m blown away that I will be experiencing it with my work on display. Thank you Searcys, and happy birthday!