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Scarlett Lingwood: Repetition as Atmosphere

How vain is the human being! He wakes up, brushes his teeth, gets through the day, and into his bed, only to repeat the same pattern the very next day. The credulous notion that this perpetuating similarity packs some revelation that must be unpacked is both baffling and fascinating. For the majority, it’s the séance of life, the rite of passage that has come to be, a pragmatic reality that cannot be denied and by extension, should not be subjected to rebellious interpretations. If there’s no reprieve from it, it functions as a reprieve in and of itself. Few question it. Even fewer are captivated by it. This ruse that eludes our attention at every turn serves as a muse for visual and performance artist Scarlett Lingwood.

Scarlett Lingwood, Let's Heal, 2020. Courtesy by the artist

Originally from London, Scarlett moved to New York after finishing her first degree at Goldsmiths and has been residing here for the last 6 years. She completed her Masters in Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts and is now enrolled in Masters in Integrated Media Arts at Hunter College. Her work explores repetition, color, and how they navigate certain patterns upon juxtaposition. “I have been interested in repetition for many years now, both on the macro-level of repetition with the daily rituals we all have from waking up in the morning to brushing our teeth, eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner, going to the studio, going to bed. Alongside the micro details of repetition. For example, eating the same breakfast every day at the same time and what happens when this routine changes”, she told me.

Her drawings explore the micro details of repetition: the repeated lines, patterns, shapes, colors, and the comfort they aspire her to. A subjective outlook of the human consciousness permeates throughout her work; an appreciation for the sameness, all the while knowing that some patterns cannot be repeated no matter the effort. Even though she prefers drawing and painting, she has worked in several different mediums including putting on contemporary post-modern pieces as well as a performance artist.

Fascinated by the sound when she made a large scale wall pencil drawings at a 2-week residency at the Museum Of Contemporary Art Calasetta, she put on a one-night performance at Stationers Hall, London to recreate the experience. From large-scale wall paintings to drawing installations, you can find her work on her website Scarlett Lingwood Studio.

Scarlett Lingwood, Red, 2020. Courtesy by the artist

I was imagining people dancing, moving around, going on a journey”, she says about her most recent work, a 15-foot drawing called Together While Apart which is a reverie of a porous world during a global pandemic. When I asked her about her influences, she quoted her immediate environment as the source, “I first became interested in triangles when I visited Palestine nine years ago and I was particularly drawn to a see-saw I saw which was pointing to the sky in a diagonal direction, yet no one was on the see-saw, it made me think of something being unbalanced whether that was relationships that had fallen apart and were unlikely to be repaired or geographical conflict between 2 countries.” This ritual of seeking inspiration from the minimalist beauty of life is visible in the Map of Mount Edna she drew. Enchanted by a family tour to Sicily, she drew the map of the area and its different routes and passages. Even the drawing that later birthed Calsetta Calling — the performance piece mentioned above — was inspired by a trip to Italy.

Scarlett is one of the finest contemporary New York artists to look out for. Her work is decidedly unique and charmingly monotonous, a refreshing approach that revitalizes the mind towards atmospheric intimacies and rewards us observant idlers.


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