Lily Bunney London, United Kingdom
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I’m an artist, writer, and teacher, working and living in London. I’m currently a recipient of the Associate Studio Program (ASP7), and a member of Freelands Foundations ArtistTeacher network. Recent exhibitions include the Winter Sculpture Garden at Gallery No 32 (London, 2022), Marx on the Table (Folkestone Triennial, 2021), MAKE (Freelands Foundation, 2021), among other exhibitions.

***In 2014 a large cod was caught and gutted, in its stomach was a dildo. The dildo must have resembled multi-coloured jellyfish, a staple of the cod’s diet.

***The term ‘holobiant’ refers to assemblages of different organisms which work together as one unit. Like lichen, gardens, or a family; systems full of tension which are more-than-the-sums of their parts.

My art explores queer ecologies and world building; holobiants, and dildo eating cod being examples. Researching these systems brings a type of freedom associated with wrestling though paradox, “contamination as a rollicking good time”. Embracing contamination is especially important when working within and beyond art exploring climate collapse, as I am. Too often contemporary climate discourse leans towards a rigid, ‘purist’, technocratic re-appropriation of nature's resources, bringing with it neo-colonial undertones.

Drawing on the legacy of Auto-Destructive Art and the criticisms of Land Art as summarised by Lucy Lippard, uncertainty and the pursuit of destruction is positioned as a material for art making. The history of art as labour, and socially-engaged art, are also present in these discussions; by expanding and fragmenting the perimeters and participants in artistic labour to include that which is often considered ‘subject’. This art legacy is scaffolded by more abstract philosophical research into Object Orientated Ontology, questions around aesthetics, and an ongoing attempt to understand how much contamination can be invited into a work before the art itself is corroded away.

Recently I have moved beyond material into a kind of (but not quite) collaborative relationship with mycelial networks (another example of holobionts; mushrooms acted as plant roots before plants could grow their own). I find mushrooms disturbing to watch grow and hard to trust. Tensions between the artistic pursuit of beauty and the desire for contamination come to odds on the terrain of these newer sculptural works. More generally, I work with material I find uncomfortable or intimidating; wood, writing, nail beds. I assemble these disparate and small bits of work into wholes, or holes.


Untitled, 2022


Woman 1, buried Woman 2, 2022


Untitled, 2022


Projects and exhibitions


Themselves, Also A Disturbed Climate

26/02/2022 — ongoing

An ambitious open air sculpture park, bringing 40+ artists together to exhibit and experiment

Gallery No. 32, Bexley Details

The Boxers


Marx on the Table, Folkestone Triennial, Folkestone Details

Strange News From Another Star


Made in collaboration with Alfie Gibbs

Peckham Pelican, London Details

The Boxers


ACME Open Studio, London Details

MAKE, ArtistTeacher Residency

01/08/2021 — 14/08/2021

make is the result of a two-week residency programme hosted at Freelands Foundation’s project space. We invited ten artist teachers to join us in exploring processes and ideas about making, creating the opportunity to work in an expansive way, unpicking and challenging preconceptions about artistic practice. Together, the group tried out...

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Freelands Foundation, London Details

Untitled (Satelittes)

22/07/2021 — 24/07/2021

An outdoor exhibition in Brockley Community Gardens.

Brockley Community Garden, London Details
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Art Walk/TrailArtist book fairConferenceExhibitionJournal/PublicationResidencyStudio spacesWorkshop
Art writingArtists’ booksSculptureSocially Engaged Practice
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