I’m a visual artist and writer currently researching a practice-led PhD. I work in painting, assemblage, moving image, sound and installation. My current research project looks at revivals of 19th-century imagery (visual and lyrical) in the 1960s and 1970s as an articulation of the escapism and transcendence of the era.
My first degree, a Scottish Masters with Honours in English Literature from the University of Glasgow, was completed alongside continued artistic production and courses at Glasgow School of Art and Glasgow Print Studio. This established a reflexive practice between my study/research and creative output.
I am the author of Finding Frances - the biography of Frances Darlington (sculptor) (The Marble Press, 2013). This was the first biography of the Headingley born sculptor Frances Darlington (1880-1940), a female artist who produced notable public works in Yorkshire (e.g. the monument to Joseph Priestley in Birstall, the Harrogate Theatre Frieze and the Christmas and Easter panels in St. Wilfrid’s Church, Harrogate). The research inevitably informed my practice and I produced several works which formed the foundation for my PhD proposal. In 2014 I won Arts Council England funding to produce an installation in 2014 in response to Darlington’s First World War Memorial held in Ripon Prison and Police Museum.
Artist website http://www.louisiem.com
My current research interests focus on
- The interconnection of music, art, design and fashion in the 1960s and 1970s.
- The nostalgic pastiches created in lyrics and images of that era which have become part of a complex, yet widespread visual language today, e.g. the concept of Alice in Wonderland, which carries not only its original signification but a compound signification associated with the 1960s revivals.
- The retrieval of William Morris & Co. patterns, Art Nouveau, Aubrey Beardsley and other Victorian artists following major exhibitions in London in the 1960s and 1970s.
- Notions of national identity and gender identities that were paradoxically encouraged and subverted by the retrieval of such types and ideals.
Other research interests include
- Psychedelic graphic design and artwork of the 1960s
- The Pre-Raphaelites and their association with The Oxford Movement. The New Sculpture, Arts & Crafts and Aesthetic movements.
- Victorian poets, e.g. Christina Rossetti, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Alfred Lord Tennyson.
- Cinema and the visual narrative, especially pertaining to the surreal or transcendental.
- M.A. Curatorial Practice
- M.A. Fine Art
- Scottish M.A. (Hons) English Literature