LILY ASHLEY

b. 1992

Lily Ashley studied at Central St Martins and went on to train at the Ecole Phillip Gaulier. She falls under multiple titles as an actor, performer, poet and artist. She is also one half of the group “Voo Le Voo” and has performed at numerous iconic London venues such as The V&A museum.

Lily's visual poems are all original artworks, often double sided with a poem on one side and a painting on the other. These can be framed to exhibit both sides.

 
 

ARTIST STATEMENT

"Mistakes made man! Let me give you a FUNDAMENTAL example; billions of years ago, little tiny green and blue algae performed photosynthesis using sunshine, water and carbon dioxide. They did it to create carbohydrates but accidentally created oxygen as well. What is “clean” air to us humans is toxic air to the algae. With this, I draw two ideas; one, our existence relies on a mistake and/or two, we humans are here to absorb the toxic oxygen and therefore unconsciously save the planet. More on mistakes...they are how we learn, how we grow, the experience of making a mistake is so much more potent than being told not to make one. Almost all of humanities development has been discovered through mistakes, didn’t the apple drop on Newtons head BY MISTAKE? What I am persistently getting at is that the mistake is the most sacred of action, not to be feared but to be celebrated and therefore it is the mistake that I strive for in my work. The mistake and absolute uncertainty! As a performer you are taught of the instant and to be in it, no matter how hard you try you cannot plan to be in the instant, to quote myself “to do: live in the moment” is such a joke and almost too coded to be recognised (in fact there are quite a few t-shirts with this printed on them by Moncler after my charity postcard won in a fluke bidding war...I really didn’t think much about these postcards and yet there they stood, loved with a red dot, the power of the instant! The power of the mistake!)

I am young and overwhelmingly unqualified for praise or approval, I have had hardships and highs, the constant has been my need to create but that makes me no greater than anyone else. My work is developing, my standards are rising yet I cannot and will not yet try to convince you of my excellence. I write from my heart, I find watercolour beautiful and the perfect medium to slow my mind enough that I can write a poem directly as an art work. My mind maps are an exercise, I write them in stages, the colours come first, the words follow and the descriptions are added if I feel they are needed. When I use more water it is the water that is the artist, I am the interactive audience.

My performance work has been the main focus of my life, the bridging of theatre, gallery and film has always driven me forward and I am not alone in this pursuit. Laughter is the highest of frequency and tears on the other side, to guide people through this epic transition is what I desire to do, to let my audience experience a full range of emotions with me or through me. The work I create with Voo Le Voo is lighter, a lifter of the soul, an ascension to the freedom of love. Performances are intimate, I do not present you anything, I invite you in and let you sit with me for as long or as little as you need.

A word on beauty. The world is in much need of love and, for now, I plan to only add beauty. There are polarities spreading thick and strong across our planet dividing us and conquering us, I will remain open, I will continue to listen and attempt to resist lecturing, I will question everything and I will constantly contradict myself. The beauty is in the mistakes, let us not forget!"

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