Laura Windvogel, aka Lady Skollie, has garnered wide critical acclaim for her provocative watercolour paintings. And, for her much-needed commentary on issues of gender and sexuality in South Africa today, she’s drawn a diverse and loyal following.
Not one to rest on her laurels, this Cape Town-born, Joburg-based artist is ever busy and has recently been working on a lifestyle collection for an online sex store, including bedding, wallpaper, leisurewear, as well as a wearable BDSM range.
In October 2016, Laura participated in the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair with Tyburn Gallery, which is now hosting her first solo show in London. Lust Politics opened on Thursday, 19 January, and runs until 4 March. An extract from the exhibition text reads:
Using ink, watercolour and crayon, Lady Skollie creates playfully sexual paintings, filled with bright colours, symbolic fruit, and all the joy and darkness of the erotic. In Lust Politics Lady Skollie presents new painterly works considering sex, gender roles, taboos, objectification, violence, power structures, greed and lust.
Get to know Laura in her own words below, through a feature originally published in House and Leisure’s September 2016 issue.
My studio is like shopping in a grocery store for a prolonged period of time: cold. Other than that, it’s perfect. I’ve made arrangements, like 360-degree oil heaters. The space is large and can accommodate studio guests without them getting under my feet while I work. The best thing about this studio is that when I feel challenged, I can take an actual jog around it. The inspiration of a new city has been immeasurable. Johannesburg is a city that’s alive and its inhabitants occupy every bit of it. I love the way every space, corner and building is utilised. Nothing is wasted. My surroundings affect my work greatly. That’s why I have not been in a studio for longer than four months since 2012. I am a nomad studio user – I like to switch it up and often ask institutions, galleries and fellow artists whether they’d be open to me squatting with some watercolours in a corner for a little bit. They always say yes – mostly, I think, because I can be entertaining when I want to be. For me, it’s important to address issues of gender and sexuality in my work because we live in a country that is rife with sexual assaults, sexual abuse and women who don’t know their worth – how are we all not talking about this? Art is an accessible way to bring up the narrative and I think we need to talk about it more and more and more. Anyone who knows me knows that I love talking about sex, and as a child I was a huge Frasier Crane fan – all I’ve ever wanted was to be on radio. So when my position became a bit more lucrative, I approached Lalela Media with an idea for a sex show and, a year later, Kiss & Tell with Lady Skollie is a podcast. I love doing a bit of everything with a common thread running through it all. The tension between a granny-like medium like watercolour and the garish, crayon drawings of sex is what gets to me. Depicting something as visceral as sex with a medium as soft and delicate as watercolour and childlike crayon is thrilling to me.