• Ruby Savill-Downs

Getting to Know: Lottie Mac and Language and the Space In-between Zine

Visual artist, spatial creator and exhibition curator Lottie Mac is nothing less than innovative when it comes to her work. Her variety of experimentation when creating pieces places her as one of the most interesting and unique artists at the front of the Leeds scene, consistently developing new ideas and methods to showcase her work (and others’). Since attending the University of Leeds, studying Fine Art and History of Art, Lottie has already curated two female-only exhibitions in aid of Solace Women’s Aid and Abigail Housing – two charities that focus on helping disadvantaged women and refugee families searching for housing, respectively. Countless projects, a few magazine features and a BBC interview later, Lottie is ready to show her latest venture. A product of the many hours freed up by lockdown, Language and the Space In-Between is an exhibition-that-should-have-been - adapted into a zine for the time being. We spoke to Lottie about the process behind creating this alongside other artists – whilst all being isolated – and the struggle of finding a venue for the next stage of this project.

Congrats on the success of this project! Tell us a bit what this zine means to you, and the inspiration behind it.

Thank you! Language and the Space In-between is an exhibition that explores language and all the power it possesses, or at times, the lack of power it can possess. We are considering what it is to be told, to be confused, to be interpreted and misunderstood. Many artists are addressing language through the consideration of loss of mother tongue, reflecting on barriers within language and within their heritage; and through this addressing duality, this being the ‘space in-between’. The zine is essentially a pre-exhibition catalogue. I was due to curate my third exhibition in May and for obvious reasons it was postponed. I thought I had to think of a different way of keeping the 16 artists’ spirits up and thoughts running around the theme of the exhibition (language) during this mad time. That’s what lead me to create the zine, which gives readers an insight into the 16 different artists contemplations around language and all the space in-between. I guess it was this mad time and the lack of/no exhibitions running that inspired me to create the zine.

Jenna Coombs, 2020

When choosing artists, how do you go about this process? What pushed you to channel your work into women-only art?

For every exhibition, its different - this particular exhibition there was some artists I had been watching/following for a while and others that reached out to me through open calls. I only want to work with artists who are passionate about their craft and the theme of the exhibition; if I could see language was prominent within their work for a while and they had addressed it in diverse ways, then I wanted to work with them.

All female line ups within the exhibitions are largely driven by the environment I want to create at the final exhibition. I want it to be an environment where the artists (and audience) feel empowered, and what greater way to feel empowered than surrounded by powerful, intelligent, talented women?

Foe Yong Hai, 2020

You mentioned on your Instagram that this zine took the whole of lockdown to create – did a more isolated creative process help or hinder your work?

I lost all connection with time at some moments in lockdown, that’s what largely led to the zine taking up a large majority of that time. I think the isolated creative process slowed down my work, I’m sad to say. But without this isolation, it wouldn’t have happened at all probably, so I’m not hating on the experience. It was a hard time for a lot of people; artistically, emotionally, economically (and for a lot of other reasons), so communication with all the different artists was difficult.

Jenny Wright, 2020

What are your plans for the next step of this project?

Finding an exhibition space! For the original exhibition (due to be held in May 2020), I had secured a space for free, now with a lot of spaces struggling and normality coming back so quick it is proving difficult. Everyone’s work is so amazing and needs to be seen in person by everyone - so finding an exhibition space is the next step for sure!

If any readers know of an exhibition space suitable to house Lottie’s exhibition, do not hesitate to contact her at lottie.macaskill@gmail.com.

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