Leila Peacock

"Sing. Speak. Scream. Sigh" (2008)

Sing speak sigh scream
I'm a sunken mouth you cannot see
I am the music of your laugh
I am the gills of your every gasp

Scream sing speak sigh
Without me you can speak no I
Hewn by lips and cut by teeth
I relieve the [ressure of speech

Sigh scream sing speak
from these doors of breath will your last breath leak
I am a pipe with out a reed
I am the crown of an upturned tree

Speak sigh scream sing
Just don't forget to keep breathing in, in ,in ,in

Orpheus had a sister, descendant of Pandora, cousin to the sirens, whose voice was so sweet that it unseamed space. Exquisite chaos followed in her wake, buildings collapsed, people went mad, snakes threw themselves into the sea. Thus was she imprisioned for the greater good in a box made of mother-of-pearl, the first music box, where she ended her days. Once those days were done the gods preserved her voice and it was divided amongst the birds, some was gifted to the wind, some dispensed among mankind where it was kept in boxes much like me. What remained was but a whisper and that haunted the seashells in memory of her own pearlescent imprisionment, thus was she forgotten by history but remembered by the sea...




"Love me tenderised", a cannibal murder ballad (2010).

The first time I ever laid eyes upon you,
my heart skipped two beats and my teeth wouldn't chew.
Nothing that after passed over my tongue,
could ever excite my saliva to run.
You gave me a hunger I never could sate,
so now you're served up for me here on a plate.
But you need not worry that you died in vain,
I took utmost care that you would feel no pain.

You wouldn't love me tender so tender the way I loved you,
Tender so tender the way I loved you.
Tender so tender the way I loved you,
So now I have lovingly tenderized you.

My darling i'm sorry that it was your lot,
I could never be satisfied with what I got.
I knew from that moment the closest we'd be,
was if I swallowed you down and you passed straight through me.
For these few hours as you wind through my gut,
I no longer feel that my heart's in a rut.

For this man about whom I came to obsess,
my stomach has now truly come to posses.

You wouldn't love me tender so tender the way I loved you,
Tender so tender the way I loved you.
Tender so tender the way I loved you,
So now I have lovingly tenderized you.




"Lecture on the Intellectual History of Cannibalism" (2010)





Leila Peacock's work spans many mediums but the approach in all her work is the same and that is one that is characterized by the term 'knight's-move thinking'. Interested in the subversion of mediums and the potential therein for probing tired forms and creating new subjectivities, she seeks new ways of making strange.

As an artist she is interested in the notion of contemporary creativity as a cross-disciplinary, polymathic hydra, where ideas seek a form not vice-versa. Interested in turning ideas into objects and objects into ideas, but also in the transubstantiation of an idea from one medium to another; how ideas transmit and how they can become deformed. Her first major art project was ‘The Cannibal’s Cookbook’, a satirical cookbook containing twenty recipes for ‘humeat’. This began as a self-published book, then became a lecture at the School of Advanced Studies in London on the intellectual history of cannibalism complete with a self-penned murder ballad, which was turned into a radio piece accompanied by a soundtrack of digestive noises for Resonance fm and then became a performance lecture given in Berlin justifying the need for a ‘civilised cannibalism’. The most recent incarantion of this idea was a performance piece entitled ‘Dinner’ that was produced for the Arches Live festival in Glasgow last summer.

With a Masters in literature she wrote her thesis on experimental form and failure in Samuel Beckett’s radio plays, and this focus on Beckett galvanized her own creative practice. She writes essays for a range of publications that always have a hint of the absurd; she gives lectures that play with the formalities of academia and the sanctity of information. She is particularly interested in satire, simple subversions in familiar formants; also places where society performs itself and habitual social rituals like those that surround eating; the line between fact and fiction and what psychological impulses generate fictions; the mechanisms of fortune-telling and ways of reading the world; and something that she has come to call ‘the space inside the story’.

A trained bookbinder she is interested in the idea of ‘unbinding’, of undoing these staple mediums and habitual practices and ideas to reveal the hidden depths within the familiar. Thinking about stories as sculptures in print; reading as an alchemical process where thoughts are conjured out of paper; essays as technology, lectures as performances, words as images and thoughts as acts.

She has lived and worked in artistic communities in Glasgow, London, Montreal and presently resides in Berlin.