Leila Price

Artist Catalogue

Virtual Exhibition

Safety, Vigilance and Isolation; the effects of the body and the mind

The exhibition focuses around the safety, vigilance and protection and a personal, social and emotional level. Growing up in very dangerous areas of Cape Town, we learn very quickly the different ways to keep physically safe; how to carry yourselves, how to spot danger, what to say and what to wear to minimise the possibility of attracting any sort of trouble. Moving to a predominantly white high school and university as a coloured Muslim person, I experiences new levels of racism, discrimination and isolation. Here I had to develop new techniques of keep safe and navigate this new environment. My work focuses around of the changes and effects the constant state of vigilance has on my physical, mental and social well being.  In my exhibition I explore the use the use of paper and origami techniques, a very meditative and creative practices and outlet for me through the years. Paper folding holds deep familial and cultural importance for me. The soft paper is mean to be a manifestation of the intimate and personal sides of me. The inner most parts my psyche; the folds and creases showing the changes and affects the constant state and vigilance and strive for safety and belonging has taken on my mental and spiritual health.

The stone and plaster used in my works are a representation of the body, the raw material built up, moulded and effected by our experiences, our environment and our psyches. The hard stone and plaster is still pierced and punctured by the nails and the metal shards; serve as both battles scars and as armour against possible assailants. The clean and cold aesthetics of the stone work might attract viewer in as we ourselves do with our smiles and fawning, but the sharp nails and jaggered edged metal serve to keep everyone at a distance regardless if they mean harm to ourselves or not. What is the prices we pay for safety? is it worth keeping everyone at a distance to keep the assailants away? What are the walls we put up to keep our physical and mental selves safe and secure?