Studio intro

A photograph of a monitor between two curtains. The monitor is positioned in the centre of the image on a brown block in front of a window with bars on it. On the monitor’s screen is a close-up of a blonde woman. Two white curtains are positioned either side of the monitor. The wall behind the two curtains is pink. In the centre top of the image are silver balloons which spell out the words ‘STAY SICK’.
Laura Lulika, An Ode to Marge (or how i taught myself to speak again by watching the real housewives), 2018 (installation photo) Image courtesy of the artist. Credit: Judy Landkammer

Hi, I’m Laura Lulika, thanks for stopping by at my virtual studio. I’m an artist, researcher and community cultural worker with a focus on unconventional care methods and community support networks. I am interested in how we experience our bodies and how we care for ourselves and each other.

I have spent most of my time recently delivering workshops and talks on care and accessibility, working with the collective and peer support group, Sickness Affinity Group, and being a new parent.

This residency has given me the timely opportunity to return to my own personal practice and reflect on interests and curiosities that I have yet to explore. In my own experience of being housebound, which started long before the pandemic, I became interested in the culture we

consume in isolation and how that impacts our sense of self. During this residency I am going to dissect the cultural fascination with ‘hyper-able’ bodies, in sports, cartoons and popular culture. The obsession with body limits is simultaneously jarring and relatable to my personal experiences of having an unreliable body. Sick and disabled bodies are commonly perceived as ‘unhealthy’, something to be cured rather than cared for.

And at the same time, we are often pushed to perform feats of ability to be deemed worthy by capitalism. I have gently titled this project, ‘Body Builder’, in reference to my deceased Dad who was a body builder and where I think I can mark the beginning of my own awareness of hyper-able bodies.

This research will inform some playful explorations into how I have consumed, digested, absorbed, adopted or rejected these performative tropes and characteristics.

Please feel free to look around the studio and leave comments and questions in the comments section if you want to.

Hope you find something that speaks to you,

Laura Lulika

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The Champs Vol I

I love the Champions League anthem theme song because it’s so pompous and dramatic in every way, for something that is, well, just footy. If you haven’t heard the original, you can listen to it here. I decided to do a cover to hopefully develop into a soundtrack for a video with some of my own lyrics later. I made it with my partner, carer and collaborator, Hang Linton.

My cover of The Champions.

Image Description for track video: The video has a still image of a football foul on a very green pitch involving two players. The player on the left is wearing a dark blue kit, he is on his hands and knees bent forward, his back arched and his head looking slightly to the left towards the other player on the right of the image. The player on the right is wearing a white kit, he is balanced on his right knee and right hand, the rest of his body is arching backwards, as if twisting and falling. His eyes are closed and his mouth open as though he is in some pain. On both sides of the image is a border created from the The Champions League logo which is a black and white football where the black sections are stars. They are stacked on top of each other to create a border either side of the photo.

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Oddy-Body

Someone wearing an unofficial teletubbies costume of the character Po, who is a large round red alien looking type creature with big ears and a circular antennae coming out the top of it's head and a blue square on it's tummy. They are standing at the bottom of a set of stairs in a white hallway. The costume is saggy and mishapen and the face is slightly menacing with wide eyes and a smile. The image has been edited to accentuate the sagginess with a slight swirling all over the costume. White text with a black background in two arches says 'feelin more oddy-body than body-ody'
Po from the Tellytubbies

A long-term enthusiasm of mine is mascot costumes. I have a collection of images on my laptop and phone of my favourites. I especially like Tweety for reasons I will explain in a later post.

Two costumes hung on stands, one is of Sylvester the cat and the other is Tweety Bird. Sylvester is a black cat with white feet, hands, stomach and cheeks. Tweety is yellow all over with an orange beak and big black eyelashes. They are hung in a small fabric cubicle, the fabric is cream coloured. They look creepy and awkward with no human bodies inside them to fill them out. At the top of the image is some white text with a black background which says 'when you both feel more oddy-body than body-ody'
Sylvester and Tweety Bird from Looney Tunes
Continue reading “Oddy-Body”

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Interview with resident artist Laura Lulika

Jamie Wyld (Vital Capacities’ director): Thanks for being part of the Vital Capacities residency programme! Can you say a little about yourself and your work, perhaps in relation to what you’re thinking about doing during the residency?

Thanks for inviting me. I am a sick and disabled artist, researcher and community cultural worker. My practice challenges the preconceptions of what it is to be sick and disabled. It acts as a reminder that sick and disabled bodies are actively political even in states of what might look like physical inactivity to someone who is able. In reality, ‘resting’ isn’t really rest if you don’t have a choice.

Continue reading “Interview with resident artist Laura Lulika”

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