Drawing Breath PosterDetail from  Drawing BreathAncestral Picnic PosterDetail From Ancestral PicnicWind Song PosterImages From Wind SongsFord Programme


This page describes my main solo and group shows since 2000. You can see the work in the online gallery.

Solo Exhibitions

2003 “Drawing Breath“
Welfare State International, Cumbria | Gallery

Artist's Statement

"Planning doesn’t work for me. Sketching is like learning a language. If you look at a chin that is a particular shape, you add that to your repertoire of what chins can be.

Sketching isn’t drawing. Sketching is a process of coming to understand the object to be drawn. Drawing is creating an image that has meaning. I sketch from life, and draw from memory – from within.

When I start to draw, I know the scale at which I shall work, but not much else. I sit before the paper, staring, until I can see a shape in my head. It won’t be a version of the image I want to create. It’s more a premonition of the important forms I want to communicate.

When I started Sounding the Bridge, which shows a judge in his robes, the shape in my head was of interlocking arches, moving forward and back, at a diagonal to the page.

I use a pencil taped to the end of a broom handle for large pictures. The distant swoop of pencil on paper feels like a dance striking up. These first marks are thrilling. They start me on a journey, a relationship with an image that can last for days.

Drawing can be like jazz improvisation, riffing off what has gone before. It’s fascinating to meet the characters that emerge. A title can come before the image does. Knitters started as part of a phrase in my head, became a light-hearted picture, and ended as you see it, darker and more complex."

Gallery Statement

"Amanda has been our artist in residence since September 2002 (on an Arts Council North Encore scheme). As a passionate teacher she has inspired many local people to draw on their imaginations. Working in a long historical tradition of fine hand drawing Amanda is very skilled and her poetic line can be both lyrical and fierce.

Journeys into one's own inner hopes and anxieties are not easy. Unexpected discoveries and wayward memories can trigger whirlwinds of emotion. Amanda has had the courage to lasso her raw and sometimes fragile vision into artworks of considerable beauty. We are privileged to enjoy the fruits of her labour."

John Fox  Artistic Director  Welfare State international

2001-2 “Ancestral Picnic”
The Vortex Gallery, London, The Barn Gallery, Surrey and Welfare State International, Cumbria | Gallery

With music especially composed and sung by Carol Grimes with Mark Hewins.

Review from Printmaking Today Vol 11 No 4

"Ancestral picnics and other tall tales
Amanda Lebus is a multi-faceted printmaker whose work hovers delicately between print, sculpture, puppetry and theatre, writes Jim Anderson RE. Using storytelling and atmospherics, her exhibitions have the atmosphere of rituals.

As a student in Edinburgh in the late 80's, Lebus produced some of the most physical printed matter I have ever seen. With mud featuring amongst the ingredients, she made some of the grungiest aquatints south of Emil Nolde. These creations grubbed around in some very earthbound zones indeed, so it is intriguing that her current work makes a virtue of its lightness and near-invisibility.

An Amanda Lebus exhibition now consists of a space hung with diaphanous banners of silk, printed in translucent greys and greens with curious shamanistic images. The effect is like being caught in a mist inhabited by vaguely recognisable ghosts from our collective unconscious. From a certain angle, everything is invisible, but move a step to one side and the light picks out baleful owls, prancing neanderthals and strange half-human half-animal beasts.

Part of the joy of Lebus's work lies in the fact that these ethereal images are basic woodcuts, gouged out of cheap-and-cheerful plywood. (In the past she has exhibited the blocks as well, as if to remind us of their essential simplicity.) The erriness of the display is all in the presentation.

It makes perfect sense that this artist should now be working with Welfare State International. Welfare State is a loose collective of artists and performers who have devoted themselves to investigating alternatives to our threadbare, modern rituals. Lebus's work - witty, ethereal and earthy - suggests ways of re-animating our relationships with the natural world and our own natures."

2001 “Wind Songs”
The Fire Exit Gallery, London | Gallery

gallery statement

Amanda Lebus uses painting, woodcuts and linocuts in several series of images about wind and change.

Some pages are layered, spliced, furled and pleated. Others lie flat and still.

Some images are quickly made, gouged from the printing block. Others, delicately incised, reveal the deliberation of the well made object.

All suggest stories: a boy's foot becomes a wing, a man's spine turns into a tree.

Ahab, Icarus, Baba Yaga . . . ghosts of adventurers whisper through the pictures.

 

Group Exhibitions

I have shown my own work and collaborated with other artists for group shows in many parts of the U.K. and in Europe. Examples include:

2005 Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey | Gallery

A group exhibition on the theme of "Light goes with Darkness as the Sequence does of Steps in Walking".

2002-3 A Child's Eye View | Gallery

A collaborative winter installation by Welfare State International's ensemble of artists with Cleveland Theatre Company. More information on Child's Eye View.

2002 “Fleet of Ideas” | Gallery

101 paper boats on a river of salt and sand from "A Sense of Occasion", a MAC Craftspace Touring exhibition at Welfare State International, Cumbria. Also exhibited at Hereford Cathedral as part of the Good Grief conference on bereavement, and as part of 'Marking the Moment" advanced training courses for celebrants at Welfare State International.

2001 Ford | Gallery

An installation by a group of artists from Welfare State International at Higherford Mill, Lancashire. This event marked the first phase of the project to restore the mill as a cultural and educational centre.

 

Collections

Amanda’s work is in numerous private collections in the U.K. and U.S., and in the public collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum and Tate Britain. | Commissions