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Zsuzsi Roboz Scholar Spotlight: Livi Mills

Livi Mills is one of the two Zsuzsi Roboz scholars at Morley for 2017/18. We asked her about her art and her experiences on the scholarship so far.

Livi Mills - Profile

Could you describe the kind of art you produce?

My practice explores the notion of passing in and out of ‘place’ and ‘space’. Our experience of space is guided by an invisible system of partition and ownership; an experience often mediated further by the camera lens. Combining traditional, digital and photographic printmaking processes, I attempt to isolate and construct new, sensory landscapes, highlighting these imperceptible structures.

How did you learn about the Zsuzsi Roboz scholarship?

I learnt about the Zsuzsi Roboz Scholarship whilst studying for my MA at Camberwell College of Arts. Visiting tutor Katherine Jones mentioned it to me during a tutorial, and the opportunity was later emailed to our group by the course tutor.

How has your experience been of the scholarship at Morley so far?

I applied for the Zsuzsi Roboz scholarship because I wanted a place where I could continue to learn practical skills and further my artistic practice after the completion of my Master’s degree. What I have gained from the scholarship is more than I could have expected, most importantly joining a community of makers who have supported me, and who I have learnt from. The scholarship has offered me a unique opportunity to explore different processes, from ceramics to sound art, that I may never have had the chance to learn and which have now become central to my practice.

Livi Mills - Terracotta BlueWhat have you learned on the scholarship that has been particularly valuable so far?

I have taken a number of courses in different sculptural practices including metalwork, ceramics and mould making. My work prior to the scholarship had been largely 2D but always explored an illusion of dimensionality. I have now begun to use 3D processes to explore these ideas. I have also been able to gain knowledge of sound editing software and plan to use sound alongside my sculptural outcomes. The scholarship has also given me access to the fantastic printmaking facilities at Morley, where I have taken courses in collagraph, woodcut, photopolymer and colour etching.

Do you have an idea of the overall theme for your end of year show yet?

Approaching the final term, I have begun to think about the overall theme for the end of year show. A lot of the work I have produced has centred on the first object I made at Morley: an incidental ceramic piece created whilst constructing a plaster mould. Chance occurrences often become the inspiration for a series of work, in which I attempt to subject these incidental creations to a structure or framework. In this case, my incidental sculpture looked to me like a fragment of an uncharted land. This sparked the idea to create a fictional landscape. A place to escape the realities of the current world: funding cuts, climate change, Brexit, to name a few. My works in the final show will focus on this central concept, weaving between sculpture, photography and print.

What projects have you worked on so far? How do they fit in with the theme for the end of year show?

I have used my incidental ceramic sculpture to create a number of prints and photographic works. I am now working towards a largescale print, using digitally manipulated photographs of the initial sculpture to create a map or blueprint of a new, unchartered land. I have also been working on a series of slip cast sculptures. The first is a series of funnels; a shape I chose because of its function as an object via which things are passed-through. The second is a series of simple, child-like house structures, cast from a stackable set of toy kennels; an overt sign for ‘place’. In both cases, I have begun to break and malform my cast objects, looking for ways to highlight my key themes. I am working on a series of sound works to display with these sculptures, created by editing together sounds made using my slip cast sculptures alongside field recordings.

What advice would you give to artists who are interested in applying for next year’s scholarship?

The main advice I would offer is to apply! It is a fantastic opportunity and you want to make sure you are considered. There are so many benefits to the scholarship, but crucially the opportunity to continue your creative education with a focus on practical and skills-based teaching, is unique. Before applying, find courses you would be interested in taking and how learning these new skills will contribute to your existing practice, and include this in your application.

You can see more of Livi's work on her website at www.livimills.com, or follow her on Instagram: @livicmills. To see more work by all of our Zsuzsi Roboz scholars past and present, visit our official Morley Arts Scholars blog. The Zsuzsi Roboz Scholarship exhibition for this year, Out of Place, will be open in Morley Gallery between 10-29 September.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2018/19 intake of the Zsuzsi Roboz Scholarship. For full details on how to apply, download our application pack: Zsuzsi Roboz Scholarship 2018/19 Application Pack

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