Landscape is the context and source of inspiration for Lucy Strachan’s Sculpture. Her work addresses how we respond to the environment and presents new ways of looking at the world around us. Principally she is an object maker working within two main areas. One aim is to create forms that in someway visually interact with the view, questioning our visual expectations of a scene and exploring the transition between a 2D image and the 3D reality. For example ‘Landscape Eclipsed’, is a 2.5 meter black sphere, but looks like a hole that has been punched in the vista revealing an infinite blackness behind the scene, flattening reality into a two dimensional image. The giant ball is covered with a black, deep piled, tufted polypropylene whose texture absorbs the light making it a negative object or black hole. Similarly, Slash is made to look as if the background has been cut through with a knife like a slashed canvas. Both pieces defy our spatial expectations and question the reality of our surroundings.
, The “Blue Dribble”, another piece in this series was inspired by the idea of a dribble of paint on a glass fronted photograph, again trying to make the scene look like a backdrop, reducing reality to a rendering of its self.
Sometimes, to balance the prescriptive nature of those sculptures that have a specific visual function, Lucy has been developing a series of works that attempt to create new forms. These new forms that pay tribute to the miracle and complexity of objects found in the natural world but use her own simple set of construction parameters. She makes free hand drawings of spirals and serpent forms, using her own instinctive geometry unencumbered by the strictures of formal mathematics. The drawings are then cut out and the edges joined together in such a way that the flat material is forced to take up three dimensional space. By marrying the process of pattern cutting to her chosen materials objects are born that are structurally managed but have their own autonomy. and is rewarding in its act of creation. The arbitrary nature of this modelling method means that the objects almost create themselves. ‘Vortical’, ‘Ghost’, ‘Whinnets’ and Aurgerlit are all made in this way.
I have been exploring the interaction of form and surface for some time. I enjoy using many different materials and processes but am continually drawn to synthetic turf (astro turf) and a pattern making process; covering my forms in a tufted green camouflage skin, making them become an integral part of the natural surface and surroundings. Or sometimes using the same turf material but brightly coloured, revelling in the depth and strength of hue – at once alien to the natural world while enhancing and/or changing the space that it inhabits.
These pieces are tactile and have a interactive or ‘live’ structure that moves with the elements or by the hands of the audience. The form of my objects is often led by a visual idea of playing with/manipulating the surface of the land in order to cause interaction with it in some way. Or capturing a moment in time and moving with the elements like it belongs in the natural world. Whatever the works genesis, the relationship between the form and the surface it sits on is of utmost importance. I intend that my work provokes curiosity and makes the audience question what they see in their visual environment. From wherever they are derived, the objects have a common purpose – to attempt to exist on equal terms alongside the miraculous objects of nature with integrity and a sense of place.