child wonder: alex lockwood

child wonder: alex lockwood

Artist Alex Lockwood takes discarded or industrial objects such as bottle caps, lottery tickets or car tyres and turns them into beautiful sculptures depicting flowers, elephants or snakes. We are huge fans of his work, not only because it is stunning and joyful but also because of the questions it raises about consumption. 

Hello Alex, do you feel like you are doing the job you intended to do?

Yes and without question - finally. It took me a minute to find. I’m 46 and started art making in my early 30s. I spent the first part of my life searching, often unsatisfied, occasionally finding hand- and foot-holds. Now I know what I will do until - and including I sure hope - the day I die. 

Describe a happy episode of your childhood that connects you to the creative person you have become.

My work comes directly out of my childhood - but not from happiness. I wasn’t permitted a distinct sense of self as a child - not allowed my own unique identity. Through art-making (and other hard work but most significantly through art) I have established who I distinctly am. I wonder sometimes about the childlike quality of my art - big colors, big faces, clear stories. I wonder if that is because the creation of a self is meant for childhood and can best be communicated through childish (no judgement in that word) forms. 

What story/book do you associate with your childhood?

Where the Sidewalk Ends. I disappeared into that and every Shel Silverstein book. I read them to my boys today. He doesn't trying to tell kid's stories. He tells life stories - wicked, silly, nasty, funny, simple and sad. That's what we all want - children and adults - because that is what we are all living.  

How do you keep creative and full of wonder now as a grown-up?

Find the people who get you, ignore the ones who don’t. Become assertive if you are not. Go to therapy if you need it. Work very hard. Pay attention to your ideas, write them down and, most importantly, do them. Commit confidently to projects that scare your pants off and then deliver as best you can. Follow that with bigger and scarier. Support the artists around you, support the artists around you, support the artists around you.

Thank you Alex, all very sound advice! 

Alex Lockwood's current exhibition is running at the David Lusk Gallery (Nashville, USA) until the end of July. Titled "Watch For My Signals" it comprises a stunning collection of flowers made of pressed shotgun shells.