Art in the Dark With Lia Kent Mackillop

"Art in the Dark is a project I’m involved in at the moment that is focused on reclaiming Western Park in Ponsonby at night to make it safe and accessible to the community. This ties in nicely with how I approach my own work; presenting areas within a landscape that people tend to shy away from."

Who are you and what do you do?
Hi! My name is Lia Kent Mackillop.

What do I do? I tend to drift between working in a bookstore, playing music/conversing with the listeners of bFM on Monday Drive and occasionally trying to make some art.


What gets you up in the morning?
My blaring alarm and a ridiculous amount of coffee, but mentally I tend not to wake up until about midday.

What inspires your work?
For the past couple of years I have focused mainly on large and medium format photography, playing with the use of long exposure at night time. I find darkness, emptiness and desolate spaces inspiring.

There's something about capturing that sort of space and feeling within an image that is so exciting to me. (I'm a happy person at heart, I promise.)

What is your most exciting achievement?
In my third year of university I won a scholarship for my artwork that was focused around taxidermy and animals. I then used it to travel around the US to make more work for my final honours year of Elam. It was such an inspiring and exciting experience to be immersed within that landscape. I love small town America and everything that comes with it; I can't wait to get back over there.

But my most exciting achievement? That would have to be meeting Ghostface Killah from the Wu-Tang Clan and getting him to sign my chest. Obviously.

Tell us about your school ball dress My nana used to be a dress maker; she makes all her own clothes and is immensely talented. I was lucky enough to have her make it for me, so it was very well made.

My taste at the time, however, was a bit confused. The dress ended up being a beige paisley chiffon something-a-rather.

Make us a playlist of three songs that you have on repeat at the moment.

  • Fabulous/Arabia - Tony's Chord
  • Washed Out - Before
  • Beyonce - Countdown

Here is an example of Lia's work and you can see more at Art in the Dark, Western Park, 11th & 12th November.