Show: L. A. Y. L. A. H. Hayley Lock.
Tell: “L. A. Y. L. A. H. is a digitally manipulated image mounted on foam core board that references the symbolic secretive order used by the occultist Aleister Crowley, re-appropriated images from the Internet and a digital rendering of a hand drawn relic from nature herself.
“My starting point is always research. As a response to researching key cultural figures in English society having had, or are maintaining relationships bound by secret personal and, sometimes public, coding. The occultist Aleister Crowley and his muse Leila Ida Nerissa Bathurst Waddle, named affectionately by Crowley as Laylah, came immediately into mind.
“The journey of romantic love, it’s leaning towards power, subservience and romantic ownership, as well as Stendhal’s theory of crystallisation, which recognises falling in love as a form of mental illness – a sign of momentary madness and quite often the gateway to irrational yet justified thoughts and behaviour – has become completely encompassing within my practice.
“This work took a while to be contained as I became embedded in research waiting for the outlet to emerge. It’s sometimes really hard to wait for that moment to arrive without forcing a false situation and many pieces were binned along the way. It still feels a little undone but this is often how I work, allowing the thing to work its way out of my psyche and onto the page. In terms of time constraints this can sometimes seem scary.
“Leila was known to have allowed Crowley to brand her between her breasts with The Mark of the Beast and I am particularly interested in consenting mutual violence and the sense of control that is formed through ritualistic and imagined belief systems.
“I have started to re-read Freud’s Totem and Taboo that references savages and neurotics, childhood and religion. A sense of ritual, object-hood and repetition is contained within my work and these readings but I am more interested now in allowing these readings to have a sense of the present, by coming alive within the work. I have many unresolved questions.”
Info: Hayley Lock. Lives and works in Suffolk, UK. L. A. Y. L. A. H. appears in the exhibition, Tainted Love, which tours London, Coventry and Herefordshire between May and November 2012.
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