Unlimited 2014 artist Lea Cummings talks to Shape about developing his latest exhibition 'INFINITE PSYCHIC LOVE EXPLOSION!', a symphony of colours and concepts.

'INFINITE PSYCHIC LOVE EXPLOSION!' is at Project Ability gallery, Glasgow, until 14 February 2015.

How does this exhibition relate to or develop from works you have created before?

There are various themes that I’ve found to be present in my creative output, whether it’s visual art, performance, audio or video - themes such as overload, distortion, bright colour, and high volume.  The drawings in this exhibition are created in a stream of consciousness kind of way where I try not to think out and plan what I’m doing. I feel that there’s purity to them because of this.

This working process, used to create elements of this exhibition, definitely relates to the KYLIE MINOISE performances that I’ve done over the years - both are about being in the moment and not blocking the flow of expression. Both are high volume, albeit in different ways. In some aspects they are the opposite, however, as one is about physicality, high energy and speed, while the other is calm and meditative. I feel that the finished drawings express in a visual way the same essence that my noise ‘music’ recordings can express in an audible way, which is why I call them ‘Transcendental Noise Drawings’. I’m interested in accessing altered states through overloading of the senses.

Lea Cummings The exhibition also features some installation - something that I’ve never done before, and which I really enjoyed working on. These elements express the power of frequency, life force energy and the vibrational nature of reality, and include (among other things) a sheep skeleton animated using bass frequencies, and a live projection of my blood using a digital microscope.Before working on the majority of drawings which make up this exhibition, my main creative focus was the feature film NIGHT OF THE BLOODY ANTLER, which I made with Sarah Glass. This was a huge challenge and an incredibly ambitious project which took a long time to complete, as we were working out how to do it as we went along. After completing the film, I needed some time working on something less goal-based and less technical, so the drawings were a good way of being more free-flowing for a while.     

There are also two videos, one of which covers the elements and themes of this exhibition and is part of a bigger project called WISH FULFILMENT TRAINING, which will be performed by the group KYLIE MINOISE AND THE TEMPLE OF KOVOROX SOUND in 2016.  

What impact has being supported by Unlimited had on the work you have produced?

It was Project Ability that presented me with the idea of getting involved with Unlimited. Working with Unlimited has opened up opportunities for showing my work which I wouldn’t have been able to access without their support. It’s also put me in a position of contextualising my work more, and thinking about different ways to present my ideas.

How would you like people to react to your art?

I don’t think too much about it. Thinking about how other people might react to what I do would dilute it. I’m interested in creating art, not entertainment. The success or failure of entertainment is measured in how many people like and consume it or don’t. It’s ultimately a numbers game which is something I’ve never been interested in being a part of. I work instinctively. That’s not to say that what I do can’t be entertaining though. Lots of people are entertained by it, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s just not created with these concerns in mind.

What direction do you see your art taking next?

The next things to focus on are the second film from Sarah Glass and myself, and the completion of the WISH FULFILMENT TRAINING project, which will in a lot of ways be a culmination of everything I have done so far.

After that, I’ll go and live on a desert island, and spend my days staring at the ocean and eating coconuts.

Open until 14 February

Project Ability
103 Trongate
G1 5HD

0141 552 2822
[email protected]


Find out more about Unlimited here.

Read Paul Cockburn's review of the exhibition for Disability Arts Online here.

Image: Lea Cummings 'MIRACULOUS ELIXIR' 2014
Banner image: from 'INFINITE PSYCHIC LOVE EXPLOSION!' exhibition by Lea Cummings