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Seeing a better future for all by artist Lillian Gray 

Inspired by the bright, bold and loud spirit of Africa, my work is an exploration of the future and past. This exhibition is a body of painted and sculptural works which explore my fascination with the complex relationship between past and future, human and technology, and how we as individuals can incite and enact change.

My artworks often take inspiration from my heritage, I am a South African-born and raised artist. Previously my work drew inspiration from the turbulent social and political history of South Africa. In 2021, I immigrated with my family to Munich, Germany. This led to a significant shift in my vision and the concept of seeing a universal humanity where a fusion with technology enables imagining a very different future, was born.

My work comments on the current social global climate and the past’s role in this. Through my paintings, I confront narratives of division and perspective. This body of work evokes an atmosphere of hope and becoming, my figures are transformed through technology and colour, which are woven and layered into their being. The use of wire as a medium for embroidery transforms the traditional narrative of stitching into one which evokes the future and evolution. Fusion between humanity and technology, as well as the hybrid figure as symbols of change and becoming. The themes of Africa and hybridity come into play through pattern and craftsmanship, contrasted with neon futuristic colours and network wires. The use of glasses and goggles adorn the figures symbolising new perspectives and enlightenment. Glasses as objects can be looked through but can also reflect; in the work, I employ glasses and VR goggles as tools that help us look forward to the future and reflect on the past.

The resulting body of work imbues the power of integration and transformation. The exhibition aims to portray and unpack the undeniable strength and importance of the individual in consciously reimagining a new future for all.