Perspectives Of Pioneers: In Conversation with Lisa Price
Using watercolor sourced from foraged pigment, painter Lisa Price creates vegan abstract art that explores and interprets the connection between people and place. A growing consciousness of the world has driven the British artist to explore the use of art as a tool to advocate change. She maps routes, collects pigments and creates watercolor from the earth. „Paint foraged from the ground results in a deep forged connection between my art and the natural world“, she says. Her ultimate goal? Creating a healthier, more empathetic planet.
Having this appreciation for our Planet is what unites Lisa Price and NEUBAU’s latest EARTH COLLECTION, which focuses on natural colors and bio-based materials. That’s why we were curious to talk to the vegan artist about her special connection to the Earth, her unique urge to create something sustainably impactful and how as well as when she feels at one with nature.
"I work very hard to incorporate being conscious of my impact on the earth in everything I do."
Tell us about a situation, where someone changed your perspective.
I am constantly learning from the people I surround myself with and the books I read. I am always astonished by the resilience of people and their ability to find good in things. I am generally a bit of a stubborn person, but that doesn’t mean I am not open-minded. I just want all the facts before I change my mind on things. I like to research and find things out for myself if I can. I find this question tricky, because I like to mull things over and there often isn’t an instant “aha” moment. It’s all the little snippets of conversations I have on a day-to-day basis with people in my community and online that gradually shift how I think about things. I love to talk to people and something small someone says can be the catalyst for a change in opinion, this can be slow and gradual and hard to pinpoint at times. Ultimately, I would say that be open to others, listen to people, and allow yourself to feel what is right.
What is a true pioneer for you?
I think a pioneer is someone who can see the good in something that others don’t see, someone who is willing to push for their ideas/beliefs and work hard to see it through to fruition. There are many pigment pioneers for me, people that spend their life learning about our soils and earth and appreciating our earth in ways that maybe others would never consider. People like Heidi Gustafson an ochre/iron oxide specialist with an archive of over 400 ochre pigments from sacred and profane sites world-wide. Or people like interdisciplinary artist Tilke Elkins, the founding director of Wild Pigment Project, an initiative which promotes ecological balance and regenerative economies through a passion for wild pigments, their places of origin, and their cultural histories. They are both people who care deeply about our planet and work tirelessly to educate and inform others on how they can be a positive part of this process, as well as the history of these pigments.
"The quiet, the wildlife and the elements make me feel completely at one with nature."
You feel connected to nature the most, when…
...I am out walking in the mountains or the woods. They are my happy places. The woods especially. There is something so calming and safe about walking through a forest. I spend a lot of time on the west coast of Scotland and the landscapes are very special there, they are so vast and often a little wind beaten from the Atlantic, it feels like you are the only one there. It makes me feel completely at one with nature; the quiet, the wildlife and the elements.
How do you integrate sustainability in your everyday life?
I work very hard to incorporate being conscious of my impact on the earth in everything I do. I am vegan, I am also lucky that living in London allows me to shop in ‘zero waste’ stores to reduce my plastic waste, I only use natural products for cleaning and personal care. I don’t buy shop bought paints for my artwork. I like to walk a lot and try to minimize my international travel as much as possible. Once you start to look more into ways of being sustainable the possibilities are endless, and I want to do as much as I can on a personal level to minimize climate change and help our natural environment to stay healthy.
Where does a change of perspective need to happen right now?
I think that everyone as individuals can do small things to help our environmental impact on our planet and if you shift your perspective from “we are all doomed, how can what I do possibly help” to a more positive outlook and realize that little shifts in our habits and purchases can really help. We do need the big companies and fast fashion to step up their game but if we all make little changes it will help.
Tell us your journey discovering your art?
I have always loved art and it has always been part of my working life but until recently I was teaching, working for charities, and leading corporate art days. In 2017 I had a big lifestyle change and went vegan. It was supposed to be a challenge to myself for a month for Veganuary, but I quickly came to love it and also started to do more of my own research into animal welfare, environmental aspects and climate change. Once I knew how much leading a vegan life could impact our environment I couldn’t go back. This led me onto researching how I could be more sustainable in my art practice. I discovered the art of making inks and then watercolors and quickly became obsessed by making my own. I haven’t bought shop bought paint for 4 years now and I can honestly say I will never go back to it. There is something really special about going out foraging for color and the surprise of each individual rock, the colors it produces and the connection to the earth. All the pigments I use in my paintings have a personal story for me, where I collected it, what I was doing, how I was feeling. They influence how I work, and each place has its own unique color palette, it’s a very special process.
Earth tones or neon colors?
Earth tones all the way!