Lair of the Lotus Eater
Lauriston Road, London E9
Lair of the Lotus Eater
Liz Neal’s Lair of the Lotus Eater is a vision of wild sexual abandonment. Images of women swirl naked on the ceiling, butt-cheeks spread, looking down on the viewer with intent. Legs, thighs, breasts and faces overlap, merging into a riot of flesh. Scenes of Bambi and Thumper frolicking emerge from a hallucinatory tableau of multiple blowjobs. The room is a homage to experimentation, fantasy and debauchery.
Whilst living in North London between 2001 and 2003, Liz Neal used the front room of her flat as her studio – and quite literally, painted herself in. Every inch of wall space, including the ceiling was covered with unstretched painted canvas, stitched together and then stapled to the walls. Material draped onto the floor, paintings leant against walls, and sculptures were worked upon in remaining spaces. Walking into her flat was like entering an Aladdin’s cave of porn magazines, fake jewellery, emptied tubes of oil paint, and spectacular visual decadence. Yet this was an Aladdin’s cave with a particularly English domestic feel – an opening in the installation through patio windows provided a view onto a quiet 70s residential estate in Highgate.
Having recently been featured in BBC3’s series Art and the City, Neal’s Room is now installed at Transition. Images, some of which will be recognisable to those familiar with Neal’s oeuvre, spring out as one walks through the structure. The work inevitably carries the trace of Neal’s former living place, and also acts as an archive of her artistic practice over the past few years.
Neal is exhibiting her paintings at STORE gallery at the same time and the two shows combine to form Lotus Eater, a title that alludes to a state of indolent decadence. Neal will also be exhibiting at New Blood, a group exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery that opens in late March. Talking about her installation there Neal has said, "It’s obscene. It’s over the top. It will kill you with an overload of sensuality”, a sentiment that could equally be applied to The Lair of the Lotus Eater.
Liz Neal was born in 1973. She did her BA in Fine Art at Middlesex University before attending the Royal College of Art. She exhibited in the group exhibition Death to the Fascist Insect curated by Martin Maloney at the Anthony D’Offay gallery. She curated and exhibited in Ausgang and last year had a solo exhibition at One in the Other gallery, she was also in Girl on Girl at Transition in January 2004. Lotus Eater is her second solo exhibition in London. Her work has been featured in Art Review, Vogue, The Face, Dazed and Confused and Arty. She lives and works in London.
Neal is represented by STORE.