Zuleika Lebow

Panel Member or Speaker

A woman with dark hair and red lipstick facing the camera

Zuleika Lebow is an artist and cultural producer born and raised in London. The diverse cultural wealth of the city and its history as a home for migrant communities is central to both her practice and her personal identity – her mother is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, born from 19th Century immigrants from the Baltic islands, and her father came to London in the early 1950s from Jamaica.

Lebow interrogates the politics of representation and marginalisation in accessible, playful and convivial ways that generate alliances; recognising knowledge and culture as an inherently diverse, shared resource. Since graduating from Middlesex University in 2015 with a 1st Class BA in Fine Art, Lebow’s practice has coalesced into three distinct strands. Collaboration, with collectives The Common, Collective Exchange and the Guttural Living project. Personal work, centred around themes of identity, the sick body and lexicon via sculpture, photography and writing. Cultural production, as a facilitator/organiser for feminist network Women of Power and her own new platform for marginalised artists, The Blackbird. These strands all share a commonality – social engagement as a means for personal and societal change.

Utilising philosophical texts, popular culture, sci-fi and esoterica as starting points, Lebow creates spaces, events, and artworks that facilitate a different approach to discussions of class, race, gender and language beyond the standard colonialist patriarchal norms.

Lebow thinks spatially and privileges the embodied over abstract, praxis over theory and actions over talk. Her work is process-based, allowing the uncertainty of the social to shape and reform ideas as they develop into physical form – her dialogical practice always feeding her material outputs. Her process is centred around slow methods of making which have their roots in craft, leading to repetitive actions that result in a meditative state, a temporary “loss of self” into the work.

This is part of her multidimensional approach, the irony of making work about one’s own identity but losing yourself to the process is what Lebow considers to be her side of the conversation. It is important for the viewer to look at the work and be moved by the time and effort such an endeavor would take and then to ask, “Why?” – provoking a domino effect of dialogue in the audience.

Visit her website here.

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