Liberty Gilks

Liberty Gilks BA (Hons) Fine Art 2020

My practice focuses mainly on themes of sex, sexuality and queer identity. Inspired by artists like Prem Sahib, Sarah Lucas and Julia Kunin, I aim to celebrate the taboo and under-represented, reject stereotypes, and encourage people to explore sexuality how they please. The need to make this art seemed to come from my own experiences of the ways in which sexuality is represented in the media and the stereotypes and expectations that are held against particularly queer female sexuality. Although I often also use humour to mock certain ideas or evoke a lighthearted-ness, my work is a genuine expression and representation of female sexuality, focusing on aspects of sex which are often ignored.

My work is a multi-media, object based practice which uses bodily imagery, often placing intimate parts of the body in strange or unsettling situations. I sometimes combine imagery of the body with imagery of food and eating, which prompts the audience to envision oral engagement with the body, thus creating a sense of amusement and a light-hearted approach to sexuality. As a whole, my practice includes a variety of materials. I like to use imagery that may shock or seduce an audience, which has led me to draw on ideas of the ‘abject’ and use materials that realistically resemble body parts, as well as using food – particularly chocolate with its associations as an aphrodisiac – as a material in order to seduce.

I am keen to be part of the currently emerging ways in which art can be more accessible to people of different backgrounds – rather than just the well-educated – and how it can evolve into being a less serious exploration of creativity and self-expression – a celebration that challenges the typical codes and conventions of exhibiting art in an institution.