An interview with Kathleen Lolley
Please talk a lil’ bit about the general idea/vibe behind your new series of works for “Away From The Things Of Man”. What can our gallery patrons expect this coming May?
I know this sounds silly, but “Away From the Things of Man…” is a line from the film ‘Joe vs. the Volcano’. It’s the last line in the movie, when the two characters are floating on some luggage out to sea. The paintings in the show aren’t about the film, but they are just as dreamy and fanatsy-like. I created these works mostly in seclusion and was inspired by letting my imagination run wild while doing the daily chores. Most of the characters in these works are alone and day dreaming.
Portrait of the artist
What’s your earliest memory involving art or creating art?
Making animal sculptures out of play dough, then eating them 🙂
When are you most productive / when do you normally work on art?
In the morning, right after my first cup o’ coffee
“Goodbye Dear Friend”
You excel at a variety of mediums – oils / drawings / sculpture / impressive installations – do you have a favorite amongst them all, or does each deliver a different feeling of satisfaction?
I love oil painting because when i mix mediums I feel like a mad scientist.
You currently reside in Louisville, Kentucky – how do the rugged woodlands surrounding your home area help to influence your work?
When I was young I used to take long walks in the forest on my grandfather’s farm. I used to think up elaborate stories for all the little woodlin critters. Each animal had a home life and career path (the raccoon was the go-getting business man…), I still walk through that forest every now and then, doing the same thing. Except the stories are more dark and complex.
Progress shot of critter coming to life for this May
For those new to your work, can you give us a lil’ background on the meaning associated with some of the recurring imagery / symbolism used in your work?
I just wanted to see how far I could push my own imagination. I just wanted to create something from another realm.
Close up front view of Kathleen’s 5 foot tall owl sculpture
Tell us something about yourself that someone would never guess in their wildest dreams.
I used to be an avid skate boarder in high school. But I wasn’t that good. I could do three and a half tricks (ollie, nollie, shove-it and a shaky kick flip). Back then, I was intent on getting better. I was a serious tom-boy.
Close up of the mid-section of the five foot owl sculpture
Are you reading anything right now?
Yes, ‘Geek Love’ by Katherine Dunn.
Do you listen to music while painting/drawing? If so, do you have a current favorite that inspires?
I listen to music while I create. It’s a combination of internet radio, NPR and Pandora. Whatever I’m in the mood for that day.
The studio desk of Kathleen Lolley
You are well known for creating some amazing lil’ pieces of ephemera and keepsakes. Any cool projects planned that you hope to debut soon?
Bob, my step-dad, helps me build my large wooden creatures. After this show, we are going to build a large wooden pony. I’m excited about that.
If you had to explain your work to a stranger, how would you do so?
I usually just say it’s somewhere in between folk art and surrealism.
Favorite artist (living or dead) and what makes them special to you?
It’s a toss up between Leonora Carrington
and Edward Gorey
. Leonora’s art and life story is an inspiration to me. She rejected ideas of female stereotypes back in the day before feminism. And her imagination is boundless. Edward Gorey appeals to my love of macabre. Plus, growing up, my dad used to give me a book of his each birthday.
What have you got coming up in terms of shows after “Away From The Things Of Man”?
First I will be taking a break and visiting my new to the world niece, then building a large wooden Pony.
Be sure to check out the recent ’20 Questions’ short feature that Juxtapoz did with Kathleen here.
Kathleen will be in town for the opening all the way from Kentucky, so please be sure to come on through to say hi.
…Away From The Things Of Man
Opening Reception: Fri, May 8th 7-11PM
4210 Santa Monica Blvd (near Sunset Junction)
Los Angeles, CA 90029