Life and work
Lala Meredith-Vula was born in Sarajevo and moved to England in 1970. She attended Trent University, Nottingham (1984–85) and Goldsmiths College (1985–88), then the University of Priština, Kosovo, for postgraduate studies.
In 1988, she was one of the exhibitors in the exhibition Freeze, organised by Damien Hirst which showcased the work of many of the artists who were later to become known as the Young British Artists. Since then she has exhibited widely internationally and is currently part of the 2017 Documenta 14 exhibiton
From 1989, she has lectured at various colleges in the United Kingdom, United States and Kosovo. In 1995, she set up the first photography department at the University of Tirana, Albania, and in 2000 a photography department at Priština University.
A particularly significant experience for Meredith-Vula was a series of photographs in Kosovo showing haystacks built by Albanian farmers. The juxtaposition of her cosmopolitan art experience with her provincial origin, asking the question "What is art?", provided a resolution of the two:
|“||Having studied art for many years and visited many galleries throughout the world I soon found that the context of a work of art played a major part on where it is placed. For all my research, it took my returning home to discover the real significance of my search, it was in the fields of my former home town that I witnessed a way of life as old as the land itself where farmers went about their business, everything had its place. Within all this, I saw that somehow the farmers were unconsciously creating strange, sculptures that had the presence of modern sculptural pieces. Here part of my search was over. I had found the meeting place between my new world of art, being an artist, and my past, in the landscape of Kosova.||”|
She has also photographed women in Turkish baths over a two-year period (6 months of which was gaining permission), and a series showing women standing and moving beneath the surface of water. She has explained this:
- "Women and Water" is about the beauty and imperfection of the free body underwater. Many women feel themselves deformed by social influences particularly in the West. In the water they are free to dissolve and re-appear as a part of nature both classical and expressive.
Her work can be found in a range of major art collections including, but not limited to: Arts Council of Britain, Arthur Andersen Collection, Centre of Photography in Geneva, Collezione La Gaia, Doria Pamphilj Gallery Collection, Doria Pamphilj Palace Museum, The Teseco Foundation, The British Council Collection.
Lala now lectures at De Montfort University in Leicester
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- 1997 London Art Board's "Individual Artists Award".
- 1998 "Special Jury Prize", PhotoSynkria Festival, Greece.
- 1998 "Flash Art" Prize, Onufri '98, National Gallery, Albania.
- 2001 Sargent Fellowship, British School, Rome, Italy
- 2002 "Paul Hamlyn Award" nominee.
- 2006 Bryan Robertson Trust Artist Award.