Next week will be a time of much mixed emotion- as have been the last few months and weeks of preparations- as we present LUX: an exhibition, an installation, a celebration. At this time of year, my beautiful friend and co-creator of Art Macabre is as close to the top of my thoughts and present as ever. Next week, as part of Crick Crack Club’s 2nd Festival of Fairytales for Grown Ups, Art Macabre presents a special celebration of Lux’s work and our linked series of Death Drawing salons will be on the theme of LUX and light goddesses too.
Looking through and discovering anew more of Lux’s artwork and writing has been a real honour, struggle and inspiration. I can’t wait to share some of her work and unique vision of the world and the way in which she’s interpreted and recorded it creatively with more people, including not only her friends and family, but also strangers who didn’t have the pleasure of meeting or getting to know her. I hope that ‘Art Macabre presents LUX’ shall offer us all a chance for reflection, commemoration, creation and imagination, as we take time to remember or meet for the first time Lucinda ‘Lux’ Chell through this small selection of her creative legacy.
It’s a special time, a precious opportunity and it will no doubt be full of both light, laughter, magic, mystery and sparkle, as well as shadows, questions and darker moments. We’ll embrace and explore both the light and dark, and shades in between.
If you have ever attended and participated in an Art Macabre event, or have enjoyed looking at any of the photos and sketches produced during the past 3 and a bit years of our ‘death drawing’ salons, the you’ll already have experienced some of Lux Chell’s creative legacy, even if you haven’t realised it. Lux was instrumental in developing and shaping Art Macabre to how it is today, especially when it comes to the elements of music and narrative, as well as the historical and cultural myths elements that we’re continuing to try and enrich within the salons, and taking the events into museum contexts. As part of the festival next week, we’ll have a different goddess and female deity of LIGHT from around the world and different cultures portrayed by our model, music and props to be drawn in a series of salons in the interval of the storytelling performances. Lux introduced me to a world of literature, poetry, myth and legends that now feeds into our events and are a delight to learn about and continue to explore…
I know that Lux would have adored and been really proud of the fact that we’ve now held Art Macabre at pathology museums and old operating theatres, where she spent hours meticulously drawing specimens and developing her anatomical drawing skills. Nobody could draw a skull quite like Lux, and you’ll be able to view many as part of our exhibition within the Bargehouse. Our Art Macabre logo was Lux’s original design that we’re very proud of and is in fact now tattoed onto several close friends and loved ones of Lux. She’s definitely left her mark. On friends’ skin. On paper with ink, pencil and charcoal. In images and words. In pages of journals and notebooks filled with her beautiful, curling, flowing script and scribblings. In skills shared and passed on so generously with others.
I met Lux volunteering for Ladyfest Ten and together we literally put hours and hours of blood, sweat and tears into making a festival happen, making plenty of mistakes and new friends along the way. Art Macabre was just one of the things born out of that festival. Reading through some of Lux’s notebooks, I’ve found to-do-lists and notes taken during those times, and remembered how much passion and enthusiasm she volunteered to put part of herself into Ladyfest.
LUX is so missed. Every day. Every Art Macabre event. Every time I visit an art exhibition/museum/cemetery that I know she would’ve loved or find a beautifully dark comic or illustrator, or hear a brilliant song on the dancefloor or in the kitchen that reminds me of her, or listen to the playlists she so skilfully crafted and the songs that she introduced me to that will always remind me of her. Especially as we head towards Christmas, we miss her. But we never, ever forget her, and we hope that you’ll enjoy sharing in some of her artwork and writing next week and that together we can raise lots of money to support young people’s mental health and wellbeing via charity Young Minds.
If you want to know any more about the exhibition, purchasing a print or the events, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org