Luxurious without bling, environmentally aware without any hand wringing, and feminine without fluff, Lucy McLauchlan's work stands alone and is intensely rewarding.
In the era of extensive preparation using digital tools, Lucy is noted for her use of permanent materials and a one-take philosophy. In her deft hands this unedited process still results in considered and surprisingly slick executions. While working mainly in black and white she creatures a world rich in experience, and ruled by a passionate instinct.
Lucy's art combines ancient, almost prehistorical influences with a graphic modernist sensibility. The creative epoxy that binds these two disparate references together is Lucy's clear personal vision, resulting in the immediately recognisable style that is a hallmark of many memorable artists. A diaspora of other influences including art deco, psychedelia, naturalism and contemporary female figurative work consolidate its spellbinding charm. Four artworks from Lucy are featured in the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert museum.
Decorative, soothing and stimulating, it's no surprise that Lucy's artwork attracts many mural commissions. She is a scion of Britain's second city, Birmingham, where her work provides a compelling contrast with the city's notoriously brutalist civic architecture, including on the exterior of its Central Library. For Ghosts of Gone Birds in Malta she painted potential prey on the exteriors of traditional hunting hides, scaring the true targets away. As part of Norway's NuArt festival she draped the entire tower of a lighthouse in Obrestad.
Lucy can transform the drabbest object, and many more exotic ones, into pieces of art. Her use of unlikely found materials ranges from builder's tools to antique amphorae. Often the objects are given faces, in a style reflecting both sophisticated children's animation and the animist beliefs of our ancestors. Such works include animal skulls, mock tribal fetishes and store mannequins. Her regular use of empty paint pots and other studio detritus is a reference to Lucy's anti-consumerist beliefs; they are painted as part of her passionate support of Britain's Buy Nothing Day.
Unorthodox sonic artworks are a peccadillo of Lucy's. These include The Beast, a colossal structure made from junk with a baby pictured growing within its rusting iron womb, which greeted visitors at Lazarides' The Minotaur exhibition.
Lucy McLauchlan has been represented by Lazarides since the exhibition Expressive Deviant Phonology in 2007 and continues to show with the gallery regularly. She lives and works in Birmingham, UK.