10 x 8 inches
Wood and mixed media sculptures with gold leaf
LUCY GRAY 'Extraordinary Birds' An Exercise in Translation
“My work is a form of communication. Through a state of prayerfulness I try to translate the tipping point of an idea. The point at which you are almost seeing two things at once, the metamorphosis.”
For this commission Lucy set herself the task of 'translating' prints into sculptures, using the prints as her only point of reference therefore severely restricting the information she had to work with. These are translations therefore, not copies. She attempted to include the 'sensation' of the print e.g. in the case of the Guinea Fowl, she felt that there would be the sound of cascading tiddlywinks if it ruffled its feathers. Their purpose is a reflection on translation. The resulting ornithological sculptures are extraordinary 'Chinese Whispers', being the essence of the species combined with elements of the prints.
The exhibition, held at Isaac and Ede in December 2013, was inspired by a visit to the Natural History Museum. In their 'Images of Nature' display there is a fascinating explanation of how the Dodo came to be misrepresented after Richard Owen aligned the first set of bones to conform to the outline of the earliest known painting of a Dodo by Roelandt Savrey, itself an interpretation and somewhat stylised. Richard Owen realised his mistake but already the public perception of a Dodo had been fixed. This misperception was further compounded by the illustrations in 'Alice in Wonderland' by John Tenniel.
Lucy completed an Art Foundation course at Chelsea School of Art, followed by a Fine Art Sculpture Degree at Central School of Art & Design where she achieved a 1st Class Honours Degree and was awarded the Phoebe Lleweyln Sculpture Prize. Following a print-making Diploma, also at Central School of Art & Design, she began her training in the restoration of lacquered and gilded surfaces. The influences of her work in this field can frequently be found in her sculpture. Prior to 2012 she was occasionally sculpting from her studio on the West Coast of Scotland and exhibiting in group shows such as the R.G.I. Since 2012 she has focused on her Sculpture.