From Jess T. Dugan’s interview with Lori Nix for Strange Fire Collective:
JTD: Your work has so many elements within it- disaster, serenity, fear, humor- and doesn’t settle on a simple narrative or fall into predictable tropes. How do you assure that each piece remains complex and impossible to reduce to one simple idea or emotion? Is this inherent in your working process or is it something you do more consciously?
LN: It is definitely a conscious effort to make the scenes complex. Just the fact that we build or select every element makes it be a conscious decision. I see each of these images as narrative, a story to be told, and a good story takes a while to tell. I don’t want the image to be read quickly. I want the viewer to spend more than the average four seconds of viewing. So the longer one stays with the image, the more they will be rewarded. I try to address the image on several levels. The overall scene needs a good color scheme and interesting overall design. We then strive for well-made, thoughtful objects. And then there are sometimes personal or symbolic references which can add another layer of meaning – “Vacuum Showroom” has advertising posters on the wall that reference famous paintings.
There are often contradictory elements in the scene. We’ve been working the past three years on urban landscapes. The scenes are still full of destruction and abandoned buildings, but they are combined with lush vegetation and beautiful skies. I have a former professor’s voice in my head saying “reel them in with beauty and poetry, then hit them over the head with the idea.”