Why Amy Lockhart Rules by Scott McGovern (2015)

 In Why This Rules
Amy Lockhart

Amy Lockhart

Amy’s work is uncensored, delectably odd, and always unpredictable. She’s an animator, but also exhibits sculpture, painting, drawings, and more. Amy blends new and antiquated technologies and her work comfortably resides in contemporary venues; she’s equally comfortable at a zine fair, museum exhibition, video screening, or music festival.

For Kazoo! Fest, Safe Place Soft Sculpture Bowling invites visitors to create makeshift sculptures on plinths using random objects. Others attempt to bowl them down using a projectile while keeping score. It is a
drinking game she invented at a party as the only sober attendee. Anyone can make lazy sculptures, but who can make them last the longest?

As is often the case, University of Guelph graduates move to Toronto before their mortarboards hit the ground. Amy completed her MFA and stayed in Guelph, working away on her art, and gaining international recognition.

I’ve been honoured to know Amy (and her partner, renowned artist Marc Bell) since they moved to Guelph about five years ago. Amy’s work is natural and unapologetic. I’m really proud to call them friends and to have worked with each of them.

I asked Amy if she’d like to present something at Ed Video, and she said she wanted to throw some Youtube Parties. These events featured two projectors hooked up to laptops so the audience could select two Youtube videos to play simultaneously. Amy hosted and encouraged participants to live mix videos in an ultra-widescreen presentation of juxtapositions and sound collisions. Later in the evening it became a karaoke youtube party.

In 2014, Ed Video presented some of Amy’s drawings and videos at an art fair in Stockholm. The drawings depicted a half nude Casper the Ghost-like character, who is bald with a little top hat, smokes a pipe, has breasts, but often no arms. Certainly an intriguing character, but a bit creepy too. The video was entitled Landscapes and was a roughly animated set of characters created on an Amiga computer, often seen pissing and shitting. There was no controversy at the art fair, only glowing compliments received from all ages.

Amy is a wildly talented animator, and has a uniqueness of vision and aesthetics. Part art video and part weird cartoons, her animation has captured attention from equally wide audiences, gaining admirers from around the world.

I think Amy has to make the art that she does; even and especially when nobody else is doing it. She is often at the tragedy of the vanguard when her work defines tropes later attributed to other artists. Those who pay attention know Amy got there first.

That is why Amy Lockhart Rules, and why you should come knock over sculptures with her at Kazoo! Fest.

Scott McGovern is the program director at Ed Video Media Arts as well as a respected visual artist and curator.


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