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The Yellow Temple

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Lucy Cade

Lucy Cade (b. 1980, London, UK) is a mixed-media artist. Her process revolves around using manipulated photos and found imagery that she translates into emotive oil paintings. Lucy is well known for her portraiture and figure paintings which are always pregnant with hidden depth and narrative.

Lucy Cade’s Early Career & Inspiration

The artist is mainly self-taught, having studied Classics at Oxford University for her first degree. Whilst there, she spent many evenings as a part-time student in the Life Room at the Ruskin School of Art before completing an art foundation at Oxford Brookes. With a background in Classics, many of her concepts derive from Classical Mythology and Culture. For example, the rural landscape piece Ruins at Norba was inspired by both the 19th-century documentary photography of the Roman ruins in Norba, Italy, and by the Figures in a Landscape paintings of British figurative painter Peter Doig.

Style and Approach

Lucy is fascinated by the effects of light and colour, such as colour polarisation in photography, the blurring of moving images, and moirée effects. She, therefore, often manipulates her images in multiple stages before painting from them. This fascination feeds into Lucy’s interest in evoking lived or remembered experiences and studying the illusory and mediated nature of perception and memory. She uses woven, repeated patterns and shimmering lines to present the world as appearance. In other words, showing how everything is only ever seen through a series of veils and foils, in which the (often female) subject is trapped. Likewise, the artist tends to capture her figures on the verge of an uncertain revelation, playing with the power of paint to explore mood and illusion. This method plunges viewers into a crucial situation and leaves them to decide on its conclusion.

Shows and Press

Lucy’s oil paintings have been exhibited at Modern Art Oxford, at numerous Art Fairs and Midlands galleries and the Mall Galleries in London as part of the ING Discerning Eye (2005). She was also a semi-finalist in the ‘Big Art Challenge’ on ITV in 2004. After just a few shows, her work has already been collected and widely commissioned throughout the UK.

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