3.20. Artist: Lisa Milroy

Lisa Milroy was born in 1959 in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is known for her series of still-life paintings depicting everyday objects placed in lines or patterns.

Milroy’s work was recommended to me by my tutor in Week 5, following my submission of Celestial Spheres for the Maud’s Cabinet of Wonders exhibition. My tutor was trying to get me to think about the role of paintings in my installations, because at week 5 it was becoming unclear why the paintings were what they were. Therefore, my task for the week 6 break was to consider painting in general, and what place the discipline had in my work. I was given Milroy’s name, along with a few other contemporary painters, and I hoped researching the work of these artists would inform my practice from a painterly point of view.

Lisa Milroy, Light Bulbs, 1988

Painting has been quite a significant part of my process this term; however, it is not something I’ve paid the most attention to. My paintings have been abstract, in order to reflect the animations that go with them. It is interesting, therefore, to see where people are going with painting in the world of art today. Lisa Milroy’s depiction of lightbulbs here is fascinatingly perched on the border between ordinary and extraordinary. She depicts familiar items in a non-familiar way. These items are components that fit into obscure places in our everyday lives: lights, which are dotted around our buildings. To see them organised in like groups is strikingly similar to the way a museum might lay out specimens of insects, or something like that. By organising them this way, they are given more importance than they normally would have.


Published by William Fowler

Hello! I'm studying Art and English Literature at the University of Reading, and I'm currently working with art films to investigate philosophical ideas of the 'real.' As always, my aim is to create pieces of art that are more than the sum of their parts.

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