by Cormack O'Connor in New Art on Tuesday 17 September 2013

Sydney-based artist Lexi Land is known to be as mysterious as she is revealing; creating amazing works of art that dabble in the strange and dark. Ahead of her new exhibition ILLUMINATING DARKNESS ‘Dissected Dreamscapes of a Lunartic’, we sat down with Land to discover what makes her tick. The answer? Whisky and porn, of course.

LAEM: How did you start out as an artist?
L: I was pretty much brought up as an artist, in the sense that I was encouraged to explore my internal world and to express it in whatever way it chose to come out. I’ve been recording my experience creatively since I was a kid; my bookshelf is basically a library, filled with loose paper and journals. I started sharing it with people when they started questioning if I was ever going to show the endless amounts of work I was creating for myself. I submitted some stuff in a group show, sold it all and figured I may as well continue to do what I do naturally and hopefully be able to make enough money to fund my whiskey and porn addiction.

LAEM: How did your partnership with Leonard Mattis and his studio begin?
L: Leonard and I go way back. He told me he was expanding the studio and wanted to commission me to do a site-specific artwork for the interior. I was super excited to get involved. Leonard has such a cool attitude about things, he has guts and a great eye. At the time I was developing a self-portrait series (Pieces of Me). I had just finished shooting a bunch of images and there was this one freak image that occurred by accident. I thought it was too cool to ignore, so I made a massive photographic print and pasted it to the wall. I then drew and painted and added collage elements to the surface. I was pretty happy with the end result and asked Leonard if I could exhibit there… I love producing and coordinating my own shows and I saw it as a good opportunity to expose the wall feature along with the rest of my series in an amazing space!

LAEM: Tell us a little about the concept behind ILLUMINATING DARKNESS.
L: ILLUMINATING DARKNESS ‘Dissected Dreamscapes of a Lunartic’ will be a series of mixed media images and drawings.
The mixed media images have been pieced together using my visual library of body parts. I’ve taken self-portraits of every part of my body by candlelight and then spent hours cutting myself into pieces to form surreal dreamscapes and figures.

The physical reality of my flesh is deconstructed to explore existence, emotion, madness, dreams and the unconscious. I hope to uncover what lies beneath the surface and to illuminate the mysterious beauty of the dark unknown.

ILLUMINATING DARKNESS ‘Dissected Dreamscapes of a Lunartic’ opens on Wednesday, September 25th at Leonard Mattis Studio in Surry Hills.

(Photographs of Lexi by Brock Elbank and Kiki Sjoberg.)