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Belle

FINE LINES

Artist Camie Lyons and pieces from her new exhibition ‘Untethered’ at Scott Livesey Galleries, September 8-29. scottliveseygalleries.com (PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF SCOTT LIVESEY GALLERIES)

WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR YOUR NEW WORK AND EXHIBITION 'UNTETHERED'? ‘Untethered’ is an extension of my practice, but there has been a very deliberate shift. I wanted to loosen up, feel unshackled and make more exploratory forms. To let the lines and ideas run from me. To enter a new space.

THE TITLE SUGGESTS A SENSE OF FREEDOM – DID YOU FEEL THAT? Now I’m at the other end of making this show, yes, I definitely feel a new freedom, and that’s great. But this work was made during a time of huge internal upheaval in my life. I felt I was freefalling and out of control and that can be both terrifying and liberating. I think I’ve found a new courage during the making of this body of work. YOU ARE BRINGING WISDOM AND NEW EMPATHY TO THIS WORK. CAN YOU DISCUSS THAT? Life throws curveballs when you least need it, those hard balls hit me right in the gut and left me gasping. If you just carry on and continue, you learn a new resilience and calm. The work is about this, with titles such as Bitter Pills and Spoonfuls of Sugar. 'UNTETHERED' GIVES YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW MORE OF YOUR UNDERBELLY – IS THAT A VULNERABILITY? Vulnerability, raw, yes. Beauty has always been important to me when making, because I search for beauty to keep balanced, upright and moving forward. I notice moments like a beautiful unconscious gesture or how the sun can make a small head glow. That beauty seems to have resonated with my audience as I’ve been doing this now for more than 15 years. So, I am older, not as young and perky and this work reflects this. The line has relaxed in places, stretched in others, oozed over blocks, tied itself in knots. It’s a different kind of beauty, not snapshot perfect, not as poised – I hope more deeply beautiful in its gnarliness and complexity. Yes I’m definitely showing my underbelly in this and it’s soft from births and a thousand family meals and from howling with loss and belly-laughing with joy.

YOUR BACKGROUND AS A DANCER HAS SHAPED YOUR WORK AND DANCE TERMINOLOGY FEATURES IN DESCRIPTIONS OF YOUR SCULPTURE – WAS THAT A NATURAL PROGRESSION OF MOVING FROM DANCE INTO MAKING? It’s been a very natural progression. I’ve been blessed to move from one passion to another and not notice or mourn the transition. Now the dance happens outside my body – but the processes are very similar. I still work physically hard, I still need discipline to limber up and move and make each day. I’m still creating muscular patterns and using choreographic tools such as repetition and phases, so yes, very informed by my past as a dancer. IS THERE A MEDIUM THAT YOU HAVEN’T EXPLORED THAT YOU ARE KEEN TO WORK WITH? I’m soon heading off for my residency at Hill End – a month of isolation with a house and studio to myself. I want to get dirty in clay and paint and earth and pigment. Watch this space! WHAT DO YOU NEED TO STAY CREATIVE AND WORK SUCCESSFULLY? Happy boys [Camie has two sons, Todra and Oskar, and husband Sverker], big dog, a good meal at the end of the day. Easier said than done but that's it really.

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