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Lily Wales is a UK based artist working with handmade photomontage, sculpture and animation. Previously her practice has investigated the appropriation of nature within nuclear weaponry, exploring the mushroom cloud as an icon and commenting on the bizarre naming of atomic bombs, in order to examine the ability language has to anaesthetise public perception. Her practice now aims to reframe the narrative around nuclear energy by exploring its impact on the natural and political climate.

8TH -15TH JULY 2023 | Open 8th: 6pm-9pm | 9th: 2pm-5pm |WV3 0TZ

[ BIO ]

Lily Wales' research has previously explored the historical context of nuclear energy through visits to The Nevada Test Site, Hiroshima & Nagasaki, with support from Engine & Grain practice and Arts Council. this led her to examine contemporary systems such as Trident, exploring the role of the media, power plants, NATO, and more abstract elements like the experience a fish has when it encounters a submarine. Throughout her career she has continued to explore the use of technology in this climate as a resident at Birmingham Open Media and previous Black Hole Club member.


With a background in code and trade, her practice remains multi-disciplinary in nature, with animation as her current primary output and photomontage at its core.

[ The residency ]

Throughout the Soup residency Lily has been developing the project neurocell, which explores nuclear waste storage processes within the UK. The direction of the residency took more of a materials based exploration than anticipated and focused primarily on the hot robotics used within nuclear decommissioning.


Concrete was explored in response to the storage pools used at the Sellafield site and their current state of degradation. With a shift to grout after learning low level contaminated objects such as gloves get encased in barrels full of this material. The textured surfaces of these experiments can be seen in the animation and large framed piece.


During the residency Lily undertook a research trip to Nucleus in the Scottish highlands. Here she visited the photographic archives documenting the site Dounreay. She was also able to use a mechanical arm (manipulator) at The Highlands Visitor Centre. This fuelled the development of photomontaged robots whose forms took inspiration from the hot robotics - Laser Snake, MallARD, Corin and Spot the Dog. For Asylum, Lily has brought them to life in the form of an animation.

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