Léna Lewis-King

What’s your background?

I came into filmmaking from a practice of drawing and painting, beginning with making short rotoscoped animations. My family are painters, sculptors and sound artists, so I was looking for a medium that could combine disparate artistic practices into one. Using film as a discursive medium is key to my practice and world-view. The content of my work has always been focused on women and forms of representation, and so as my work has developed, so has the depth and variety of my research.

What influences you artistically?

I try to remain open to observing everything around me, so my influences are very broad and intuition based. I’m very influenced by methods of philosophical or physical deconstruction, focusing on specific topics like magic, sexuality, technology and Patriarchal structures. I’m currently reading Carla Lonzi’s book ‘Autoritratto’, and her polyphonic approach is influencing my interest in collaborative practices and complex questions surrounding identity and formation of creative cultures, and so of course reading influences my work substantially.

How do you start a new work?

In order to give my work structure, I write poetic texts that outline how the visual narrative will evolve throughout the duration of the film, alongside exploring evocative visual ideas and potential dynamics, principals or symbols (like water, the sun, the factory conveyor belt, etc) which allows me to form juxtapositions and tension to be explored within the film works. Additionally, I collect visual research over a long period of time, and usually create hand-drawn copies and illustrations of images that inform the content of the film.

What are you working on right now?

Currently I’m working on three projects. The first project is Apertura Institute, an organisation that focuses on forming moving image cultures in Lisbon through conducting interviews, pooling resources and research, and the institute will eventually be housed in a physical location in Portugal to host exhibitions, residency and events.

I’m also working on two personal film projects. One is an impressionistic landscape video exploring Barreiro, Portugal, as a complex architectural and historical location, and the other project is a multi-channel film exploring methods of olive oil processing from picking to the factory.