Liverpool Art Prize 2013: Laurence Payot

Ahead of the Liverpool Art Prize 2013 opening tonight at the Albert Dock, we speak to shortlisted artist Laurence Payot …

Laurence Payot is an artist who works with installation,  intervention and performance. She “Deliberately replicates things that happen by accident.” In May last year she won the Sky Arts Futures Fund. Here we get the lowdown on competition, being adopted by the city, and making an impact.

Hi Laurence! Congratulations on being shortlisted for the Liverpool Art Prize! How does it feel? 

I was really chuffed to be nominated. I’ve lived in Liverpool for over 8 years now, and it feels like home, so I feel like I have been fully adopted now! As an artist, I think it is sometimes harder to get acknowledged by your own city than from other parts of the world, which is quite a contradiction. In Liverpool, I’ll always be a local artist: when I work abroad, I am an international artist, with all the baggage that comes with each of these.

What does the Liverpool Art Prize represent to you?

To me, it is a nice way for Liverpool to recognise and to show that there are some professional artists working here, and to raise people’s awareness of this. I think Liverpool is a very inspiring place and a great base for artists (cheaper than London, and still an active artistic scene). I am part of The Royal Standard which is an amazing organisation to be a part of, with young and more established artists working alongside each other.

Artists are shortlisted for “a piece of work or project they have realised in the previous year” and “the general contribution or impact they have made on the Liverpool art scene.” Does this make you consider your practice in a different light?

I obviously take my practice very seriously, and I always try to ‘make an impact’, it being on a human, intimate level, or as a more global response to today’s world as I see it. I work very hard, so it is nice to know that is all worth it and that my contribution is valued!

For the first time ever, the LAP Exhibition will be housed in the Grand Hall (Albert Dock) – which this year celebrates the 25th anniversary of its official reopening. What was the space like to use? Did it ignite any new ideas in terms of presenting your work?

I love the openness of the space, with its glass frontage which invites people to look in. Over the last few years, all my work has been made for public spaces, so this was a nice to get back in the gallery. But very challenging too. I decided to show a piece which I have been working on for a while, but which needed a more traditional space to exist within. It has been difficult for me to find a way to represent my work in a given space, as I usually like to set the own backdrop (a city / the street / a community) for my work.

Tough but obvious question: is there any competition between the four artists? You have been nominated alongside good friend and long term colleague Kevin Hunt; has that been strange?

I was happy that Kevin was nominated, as I always felt that he deserved to be in the Liverpool Art Prize, but it is a shame we are in it at the same time! Competition and Art don’t match really well. How can you compare four completely different practices, how can just judge which one is ‘best’, when they all have very specific and different qualities…?

Have you prepared a winner’s speech? 

I think I am better when I just speak on the spot!

What other exhibitions/events are you involved with at the moment, current or upcoming?

I have my fingers in different pies and running around like a headless chicken! My biggest project at the moment is looking after my 8-month baby Zachary. Alongside this, I am working on a one year bursary project with SkyArts (there will be a documentary about my project on TV in the summer),  and I am creating a new legend/folkloric event for and with the people of Dunstable over a 7-month period with Bedford Creative Arts. Other projects I am also juggling with include a 120-people human scrabble with the ICIA in Bath, and proposals for new public artworks in North Liverpool. 

Liverpool Art Prize opens Thursday 25th April 6-9pm, the Grand Hall, Albert Dock

Posted on 25/04/2013 by thedoublenegative