Libby Bove is a multidisciplinary artist based in North Somerset. An unconventional, home-school upbringing and an early adult life submerged in D.I.Y. culture have helped to shape her eclectic creative practice. Bove’s artist’s practice began to form when she became a member of the Emporium collective in Bristol 2009, her involvement in this independent gallery lead to her first exhibition ‘Feeling Peculiar’ 2010, a group exhibition of mixed media work , shared with her now long time collaborator, Mads Mordigan. In 2011 Bove, Mordigan and a number of other creatives went on the form Standard & co where they specialised in puppetry, scenic design and construction. Standard and co continue to work together, under the name Hells Pigeons Puppetry. 2011 also saw the creation of Cirque du Flop, a surreal and chaotic performance piece in which Bove took a leading role in its creative development. Currently Bove studying for a BA in Creative Arts Practice at Bath Spa University, where she specialises in sculpture, March 2022 saw the opening of her first solo show ‘The Oracles’ , and she has recently been selected as a winner of the Porthleven prize.
My work draws influence from folklore, theatre, nature and the occult. Through my practice I explore storytelling, world building, archetypes, often accompanied by slippage of the status quo. I’m fascinated by the relationship of the practical and the emotional, and how these seemingly opposing forces can work harmoniously. By creating narratives my intention is to spark conversations and sow the seeds for stories yet to be told. For me, the magic is in the process, working in mainly in ceramics, costume and monoprint, I enjoy working in media which allow for spontaneity, which is also mirrored in the more performative aspects of my work which explore puppetry and film. Underpinning my practice is my interest in both historical and contemporary folk culture, I feel as if there is a great importance in preserving folk traditions, shared knowledge and customs, as they can act as anchors to the land, and each other, in these turbulent times.
Roadside Magic is an exploration into an imagined reality where the persecution of witches and cunning folk never too place. If history had taken this route, then our modern day might look very different, with herbal medicine, intention and spirituality forming part of everyday life, ingrained in the mundane and the practical. There would be no reason why the mechanic who comes to your aid in a breakdown, would also be versed in shamic practices, herb knowledge and other unknown magic. By inviting the viewer to imagine a reality where the natural world and the spiritual are deeply ingrained into the everyday, I hope to offer a different perspective and question how these elements are given value in our own reality.
The Oracles is an semi-autobiographical work, realised through the mediums of ceramics, print and cartomancy. The represent experiences, places and moments. They are personal to me, but are also yours for interpretation. I invite you to consult the oracles for yourselves. Take your time and sit with the cards. shuffle them. split them. writhe around in them if you wish. The Oracles can be used to give insight, spark inspiration or simply to tell a story. I hope you enjoy the journey.