Lana Locke’s second solo show with LUNGLEY Gallery, Making (Babies), transforms the basement space into a semi-domestic environment where Locke continues to explore her interest in the ‘feral’, as an out-of-place existence, between wild and domestic spheres.
Here relics of procreation and childrearing appear as creaturely waste that has outlived its above-ground functionality. Billowed underwear and children’s garments float like sailboats dried out from a flood, some papered with brown tape, others shaped only by liquids – PVA, glass-wax and paint which dribbles onto doggy pee-pads and drawings of nappies, like splattering’s of bodily fluids.
Her videos Making (Babies) (2019) and Mother’s Milk (2016) reveal in gory, humourous detail some of the practical problems she faces in pursuing her art practice whilst managing her gendered responsibilities as a mother. Yet her approach is not to wear motherhood as a fixed, heteronormative identity, but to break it into clumsy, bodily fragments: precious, fleeting and borne out of manual - as much as reproductive - labour.
A repetition of hermaphroditic sexual organs punctuate the installation – from a bronze male bedpan with caesarian-cut and labial-head, to a John Terry Chelsea FC shirt, pregnant with ball and sporting bright-pink kicking-legs that lead to both an open womb and a male erection.
The reclining figure in Locke’s painting Four and Twenty Blackbirds (2019) is similarly double-sexed, but the golden-beaked birds that emerge from its brown paper belly seem to speak as much to the treasure and trash materiality that surrounds it as to any reproductive biology.
On Friday 6 March, Locke’s video Making (Babies) 2019 will also be screened at You Burn Me, a film and performance evening at the Freud Museum, to mark International Women’s Day https://www.freud.org.uk/event/you-burn-me/
Lana Locke (lives and works in London) has exhibited regularly in the UK, including twice in Bloomberg New Contemporaries (2013 and 2016, at the ICA London; Spike Island, Bristol and the Bluecoat, Liverpool); and in solo exhibitions at Liddicoat & Goldhill Project Space, Margate (2018), DOLPH Projects, (2016) and Schwartz Gallery (2014). She has also exhibited in-group exhibitions at Kingston Museum (2019), with LUNGLEY Gallery at MOCA Taipei, Taiwan (2018), the Nunnery Gallery (2018), Block 336 (2015), APT Gallery (2013, 2015 and 2017) and the Royal Academy (2012).