Alix Edwards, whose work ‘Buddha of Trees’ is published in the second issue of Lucent Dreaming, is a visual artist and writer. Her work explores motherhood, despair, resilience, entrapment and how we interpret statistics about people. She has MAs in creative writing (Goldsmiths) and photography (Central Saint Martin’s 2016) and her art has been shown at Angus Hughes, 198, Sutton House, Tab Centre, Oxford House, Russian Club, Truman Brewery in London and featured in Shutterbug, Artsy Shark and the Creator’s Project.
Following the traumatic disappearance of her son from her life, she moved to Cardiff in 2017 where she is writing a novel, Nada, performs spoken word, has an Instagram series about domestic violence and death called 104 locks, and runs the open mic event Company Of Words. Her photographs have been exhibited in Cardiff at Foxy’s Deli, Cardiff Made and The Gate Arts Centre. Buddha of Trees comes from her current series working title Falling In Love with Wales which explores perceptions of nature, grief and loss. Read our interview with Alix where she tells us what creating art means to her.
What inspired your piece, ‘Buddha of Trees’ and how did it find its way to Lucent Dreaming?
It was a bleak winter scene I wanted to capture in the snow and the dark [that] I wanted to turn into a dream, something surreal. The Buddha-like shape alludes to figures in Aztec art and sculpture and their emphasis on crops, the passing of the seasons and the importance of nature and how time and being part of something bigger has a healing effect in the darkest times. I love the colours, the images and the precious feel of Lucent Dreaming, how the words and stories are presented like something valuable, a special gift.
What does creating art mean to you?
Creating art means freedom to me. I took up photography at a point in my life when it was not possible to write because I could say what I wanted through an image. Creating art is something I have to do in order to feel OK within myself. Images to me are like Louboutins to a shoppoholic – I see something and immediately frame and edit it in my mind and have to capture that image. When I paint, I use my hands as well as a brush and it is the physicality of connecting with the canvas that matters to me.
What writing/creative projects are you currently working on?
I am in the process of writing a novel working title Nada about a maid who takes on the mafia. Each week I post images of locks on my Instagram feed. This series is called 104 Locks and draws attention to domestic violence in England and Wales as that is the number of women who die in this way each year. Ongoing photographic projects Falling In Love with Wales which explore how light and nature help us come to terms with loss and OutSide-In which questions the role of women in the 21st Century
I also write and perform spoken word fiction and run an open mic and guest event Company of Words which takes place every couple of months in LittleManCoffeeCo in central Cardiff.
What are you most excited about right now and for the future?
I came to Cardiff in traumatic circumstances so being here and creating again is great. I am looking forward to exploring Wales some more as what I’ve seen so far is stunningly beautiful. And to doing a lot more writing and finding some interesting stories about what it was like to live in Cardiff in the last century. And finishing my book of course!!
How and where do you find inspiration to do your craft?
Stories, poems, paintings, especially medieval ones and the altars and paintings in churches all inspire my art/writing but the biggest inspiration for my photography is nature, how it always flourishes no matter what in the most inhospitable environments. I also work with statistics – series like 104 locks (women murdered through domestic) and 29 (children murdered being forced to see perpetrators) and Foetus Flowers.
What advice would you give those who want to do what you do?
Just do it and don’t think about it – make the art- sometimes you have a concept that you can imagine – but when it comes to actually creating the work it always takes on a life of it’s own – so it’s best to just make the art. Do what is in your heart – projects that you believe in and then the opportunities will come to you. And most importantly believe in yourself – don’t compromise your work to make yourself marketable – walk tall and love what you create and above all carry on creating no matter what!
Where can people see more of you and your work?
You can see some of my work on my website and I have a Facebook page. I will be showing some paintings called Foetus Flowers that celebrate women who were imprisoned in Magdalene laundries (for having babies out of wedlock) at Anna Loka, Cardiff for the Made In Roath festival, I will also be holding a vision board workshop in Roath Yard on 20th October and an open mic session on 15th October. I will also be opening an on-line shop over the next few months so that people can see more of my work and buy prints of some of the pieces.
Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine publishing beautiful, imaginative and surreal short stories, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Our aim is to encourage creativity and to help writers reach publication! Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.