Lex Stephenson is a gender queer Saint Johner. They hold a Master of Arts in Museum Studies from the University College London and a Bachelor of Knowledge Integration from the University of Waterloo. They currently work as an archivist and live in uptown Saint John. Lex usually channels their creativity into designing museum exhibitions; THIRD SHIFT 2019 is Lex’s first foray into the art world.

DESCRIPTION: LAVA! is a piece about play, recovery from addiction, and the impact of ideas. An important step in addiction recovery is redeveloping the capacity for play. LAVA! reimagines the classic children’s game ‘The Floor is Lava’ as an allegory for recovery.

Caution signs around the piece emphasize the constant vigilance necessary for recovery. The fractured grass patches allude to the artist’s own struggle with alcoholism, and the fracturing of the self that results from addiction. The sudden and frightening nature of the ‘lava alarm’ mimics the experience of triggers.

LAVA! is a piece that is created in part through your interaction with it. Will you embrace the opportunity to play like a child? Will you allow a fictitious notion like, “the floor is lava,” or “I can’t live without my drug of choice” to impact your travels?