Photography / Editorial / Print

We speak to LG White, a Dutch artist who has been based in the UK since 2010. Inspired by poetry and music, LG’s work references her life, experiences and surroundings and in her first solo show at Whisper Gallery, LG White exhibited striking, finely detailed works across several mediums from pencil drawings, to screen prints and photo etchings. We asked White if she had a preferred media in which to express her art – or is she exploring new mediums? An evolution?

I don’t necessarily have one specific medium in which I prefer to use. I fit the medium to the message and the concept.

Of course I enjoy working on bigger pieces and on a larger scale.   When I first came to the UK, I could only afford to draw in pencil.  Jamie Wood has given me a great opportunity to get in touch with media that I have always loved working in. I’ve had access to different mediums that I would never normally use. At my exhibition at Whisper, I’ve been given the ability to transform these pencil sketches into screen prints and photo etchings.

I love to explore new media as technology is getting better and better but the question is can you afford to go with it?  I like going on an adventure, to learn, and I’m highly convinced that we continue to learn until the day that we die.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I draw my inspiration from the every day. History, news, music, politics, technology, science, mathematics, literature, poetry and culture.

I’m a very eclectic character and you can see a lot of my experiences in life reflected in my pieces.

Could you tell us about the political, historical and philosophical message that you are trying to bring Muse, your first solo show. What comes first: creating a message, or creating art?

Politics is always very important to me and everything that I am trying to do brings a subtle message. I do not want to tell people what to do, or what to believe as I respect their views. However, I do not like injustice.  I was born and raised in Holland in a time where Greenpeace was very active, when the Berlin Wall fell and the Vietnam War was coming to an end. Martin Luther King once said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’.

I joined the protest at St Pauls’ and I believe that there’s a lot to be said for and against that things were handled there.  However, at least we made a few people more aware about a system that doesn’t work for a lot of people.

Words feature quite heavily across my work. If you look at ‘I have a dream’, you can view propaganda posters on the panther stepping out the box. These are all subtle statements.

Where do you call work and call home?

My work is my home. No matter where I go to in the world my work will always be a part of me. Being an artist is a way of living. You can train anyone how to photograph a (technically) perfect image but it doesn’t mean that they are great photographer unless they capture the soul of the image.

How important is it today for Art to be accessible and for you to get your message across?

Whilst it is absolutely vital for art to be accessible and affordable, it should not be to the extent that the artist should suffer and cannot pay the bills.

It's not that when you are making and creating art as a full time artist that you want or you can afford to be paid with cookies.

This is partly why I chose to exhibit at Whisper. As an artist you can enter different areas of the art market. For example, I produced a lot of my work on screen prints, which made my work accessible to a much wider public without loosing creativity and dignity.

Tell us about your use of skull imagery in your work?

The skull represents Vanitas. My muse and fear for human beings.

A friend once told me a story about a Greek doctor who was obsessed with a skull that he had found. He was examining the skull for years, trying to discover what had happened to it. What was their story? Who were they? What happened to them? After a while, the doctor’s wife got jealous and smashed the skull into pieces with a hammer.

Even after death, we still cannot be sure what will happen to us. Does it present life? Or make us aware of what life and death is? It certainly makes me more aware of what will happen after death. It’s the pure philosophy which I love!

Imagine that you were a butterfly, what colours or pictures would you have on your wings?

Green, white and black. I know that officially black and white are not colours. They observe and project so much in my eyes that it’s even more beyond rainbows.

I chose green because of the freshness, the beginning of a new life that it represents through nature. It’s been my favourite colour from a very early age.

What plans do you have 2012 and beyond?

More work and more shows. Watch this space!

What words of wisdom do you have for our readers and young artist out there?

Know what you really want and stick to it. Never give up, however hard the journey. Believe in yourself, always stay open to learn and grow.

I am a vector, I am a simply a line that connects dots… Although I would love to stick to  one point sometimes!

Prints from LG White's Muse exhibition are available online from

Interview by Nardip Singh

As featured in Unfolded Magazine Issue 08


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