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Lucy Ash is an abstract painter who draws on her life’s experience to express an emotional response to Love, Death and Injustice. Mathematics, Time, and the battle against the odds are subsidiary, key themes. Lucy has exhibited internationally including solo and group exhibitions in London, Amsterdam and New York. In 2012 her one-woman show 49 Frames of Love was transferred from the William Road Gallery London to The Heartbreak Gallery in Marylebone London. She was invited to contribute to 10 days Creative Collisions 2013 in Winchester Cathedral, and in 2014 to Art for Youth at the RCA Kensington. In May 2015 In the Wriggle Room, a series of paintings that respond to the spontaneity and vitality of Jazz music, was exhibited at the Stash Gallery London. This was followed in September by What is the Point a group show at the Mall Galleries London, and 10 days Chalk 2015 in Winchester Cathedral where Lucy was invited to show her major, pre-eminent triptych. She has undertaken a number of commissions for commercial companies, most notably the Sony Radio Academy Awards brand identity. Her illustrated cookbook A Taste of Astrology (Knopf 1988, Sainsbury’s 1993) was serialized by Gourmet Magazine USA. Originally a student at Central St Martins London, she also studied at Camberwell College of Art. Lucy was born in London where she lives and works. Her most recent work is her annual Calendar of 2016, and a new development to incorporate associated, figurative fragments on to the canvas: an exquisite series of Alchemy. With three exhibitions currently running, she has lively, on-going plans in train.

LUCY ASH | PAINTINGS

photo Charlotte Bromley Davenport


Alchemy Alchemy looks at water poetically through the eyes of an artist - as if it is magic in motion. Reminiscent of Zeus, the Greek God of Gods, Ash sees water as a great force able to transform itself into many forms, both below and above the surface of our Earth. Alchemy (the painting) pulls together these seamless forms, visualizing the flow of streams into rivers into the sea. Steam and clouds born from atmosphere that, with a drop in temperature, can suddenly become snow or ice. This is a work about these extraordinary changes that we take for granted. A work about water, our most precious resource which we need to treasure like the simple, perfect form of a dew drop that encompasses the beauty of the universe.

TIME | SERIES


Alchemy 01| mixed media on linen | 42 cm x 42 cm | 2017


Sum of Parts triptych The title of this work is Sum of Parts; the artwork is about chalk. I like working in series so, when I made the discovery that chalk was made up of the 3 elements, Oxygen, Calcium and Carbon, I knew I wanted to paint a triptych. The triptych allows us to consider the constituents of chalk and how the 3 elements differ: we can see their separation and combination and can make comparisons between the component parts as well as imagine how they transform as they come together - one thing into another - in the material we know well. It also gives us a sense of the time that it takes for chalk to evolve. Chalk is formed when tiny organisms fall to the sea floor and consolidate and compress – slowly - over time - into chalk rock. The formation is about change and transformation. Oxygen presents part of a landscape – there are references to plant life, to breathing, to lungs, to organisms and to sea life. The artwork is bluer and greener than the other two. Calcium is produced in the explosions at the end of the lives of massive stars; in some of the artwork-segments we can see fragments of the universe spilling out towards us. There is a centre area of fluidity that suggests pouring milk and references to bony structures and shells created over the course of geologic time. Carbon: this element is the chemical basis of all known life. Its different forms are graphite, diamond and amorphous carbon, the name used for coal and soot and other impure forms of carbon that are neither graphite nor diamond. The forms vary widely. Graphite is opaque, black and soft, diamond is transparent and incredibly hard. The artwork is dark and shows these different forms that coalesce over time with calcium and oxygen to become chalk.


Oxygen | panel one | triptych ‘Sum of Parts’ | mixed media on linen | 168 cm x 213 cm | 2015


Calcium | panel two | triptych ‘Sum of Parts’ | mixed media on linen | 168 cm x 213 cm | 2015


Carbon | panel three | triptych ‘Sum of Parts’ | mixed media on linen | 168 cm x 213 cm | 2015


Pieces of Eight This title-piece of the show by the series by the same name Pieces of Eight, puts together themes of Injustice, Love, Time, Rhythm and Dimensions that are constant throughout the artist’s work. The artist is a ‘number eight’ in numerology - and the key painting, physically, suggests Time with it’s narrative format and timeline. Within this, Ash has taken eight significant periods rendering them as if they were the building blocks - aspects - of her life. Painted with depth and colour, this painting tackles these themes abstractly with layering and intensity of paint that gives the work its emotional weight and binds the collection. Ash plays further with Pieces of Eight (series and title-painting) by deconstructing the key themes within the main canvas into eight new works. This juxtaposition of perspectives on the same themes over time offers a further rich dimension to her work.


Pieces of Eight | mixed media on linen | 60 cm x 150 cm | 2016


Calendar 2016 This is a substantial work and is Ash’s latest annual contribution to her Calendar series which she started in 1978. Calendar 2016 is a daily account of that year in paint. It tracks dramatic ups and downs of world events through the eyes of an artist, who is equally concerned with the minutiae and ordinariness of the everyday. Working on many levels, the painting pulls together traumatic external happenings, into Ash’s own traumatic year. This narrative painting is constructed of 365 segments, which seamlessly flow, one into another, to tell an abstract story of highs and lows, through the artist’s own visual language. It depicts a year of unprecedented celebrity deaths, terrible war, as well as dramatic political change; the same year which saw the death of Ash’s father and the near-death of her mother. It is a work of dark and light, contrast and depth. Ultimately, this is a very personal work about inevitable change, both in the small and the large; the self and the world.


Calendar 2016 | mixed media on linen | 56 cm x 122 cm | 2016/2017


Equality of Love This body of work is concerned with the huge step forward towards equality that happened on 22 May 2015 when the Irish voted to legalise same-sex marriage and reject the old and out-of-date views of the Catholic Church. This vote will change lives. Gay people have moved, from having the pain inflicted by their love being treated differently under the law, to being equal citizens. It has been a long and hard journey but this significant “yes” to gay marriage in Ireland shows that dignity and human rights can triumph over hate, bigotry and fear. The artworks in the series celebrate this achievement and capture the transformation that has taken place over time. They are heavily worked with layers of paint, cut back in places to reveal the pain of what lies beneath, and covered over in other places to mask that pain. But what is important is the hope for the future; the paintings strive to capture the emotion and dynamics, social, religious and political that led to such a significant “yes” to gay marriage in Ireland.

LOVE | SERIES


A big gay rainbow over Dublin | mixed media on linen | 86 cm x 86 cm | 2015


Love Wins The series Love Wins focuses on the power of love, when people stand together against adversity . . . the sense of community and outpouring of humanity in Orlando, that followed in the wake of the shocking murder of 49 people in the gay nightclub ‘Pulse’ on 12 June 2016. The artworks chime with the Stonewall #ByYourSide Campaign that offers solidarity to LGBT people in Britain and abroad and encourages people to stand together to overcome hate, so that everyone, everywhere, can be free to be themselves.


Love Wins 02 | mixed media on linen | 30.5 cm x 40.5 cm | 2016


Love Wins 03 | mixed media on linen | 30.5 cm x 40.5 cm | 2016


Love Wins 04 | mixed media on linen | 30.5 cm x 40.5 cm | 2016


Rhythm This body of work is Inspired by Jazz; the individual works intend to express the spontaneity and vitality of the music. They are colourful, raw, textured, created ‘in the moment’. They are not pre-planned and no sketches are done before starting the work. The creation of these paintings is always changing and shifting until finally it settles into place. The process of doing the work is exciting, improvised and unexpected - a performance in itself.

RHYTHM | SERIES


Welcome Blues | mixed media on linen | 40 cm x 60 cm | 2014


Welcome to my world | mixed media on linen | 40 cm x 60 cm | 2014


A master drummer must have seven eyes | mixed media on paper | 55 cm x 75 cm | 2015


Dimensions . . . dimensions of love through space and time The use of thick oil, spray-paint and ink creates a rich and sensual texture. Lines, geometric and random shapes: these are scored into the paintings’ rough surfaces that have been built up layer on layer, evoking our relationship with the universe and its many dimensions and abstract spaces that are separate from the physical space we inhabit. The dimensions are infinite - both mathematical and poetic. Memories make us what we are, like marks on the canvas. We are journeying through time but our fleeting present can hardly be grasped and disappears before our eyes, becoming dreamlike, a void, as we pass through time. These metaphorical marks affect our relationships with others; in some cases a connection can be so profound that it can propel us into another dimension in time and space.

DIMENSIONS | SERIES


Dimensions C_01 | mixed media on linen | 60 cm x 150 cm | 2013


Dimensions 05 | mixed media on paper | 36 cm x 26 cm | 2013


Dimensions 06 | mixed media on paper | 23 cm x 31 cm | 2013


Wrong Place Wrong Time 25 September 2009 at about 10pm Ian Baynham was attacked in Trafalgar Square in a horrific homophobic assault by three teenagers who had been drinking heavily and were out looking for trouble. The teenagers hurled homophobic abuse at Ian and the friend with whom he was out spending the evening. As Ian remonstrated, he was hit in the head, he fell to the ground and was knocked unconscious. The teenagers then stamped on his chest and head, before leaving the scene of the crime, while he lay fitting on the ground. 18 days later Ian died from his injuries, an innocent victim of homophobic abuse. At the time of this attack, during Ian’s subsequent death and the trial of the three teenagers, Jenny Baynham, Ian’s sister was living in Lucy’s house. It was a dark time, when they were left facing a really awful situation that was done and couldn’t be reversed. The one thing that could be done, something positive, was to try to stop it happening again. It is a horrible and frightening fact that gay-hate crime is growing, threatening and overshadowing the lives of gay people. Lucy’s response as an artist, in collaboration with Jenny, was to create a series of paintings and works on paper that were born out of this very personal experience. They show the effect of a mindless act of violence and the hidden tragedy of the family and friends who are left behind.

INJUSTICE | SERIES


Defiance | oil on linen | 100 cm x 100 cm | 2010


Wrong Place Wrong Time 01 | mixed media on linen | 85 cm x 120 cm | 2010


2017 WITP ‘Every Drop Counts’, TOTO Concept Gallery, London 2017 WITP ‘At this point in time’, The Scottish Arts Club, Edinburgh 2016 ‘Winter Exhibition’, Highgate Contemporary Art, Highgate, London 2016 Curwen Galleriy, Fitzrovia, London 2016 WITP ‘is het wat je verwach?’, Hille & Zotova Art Gallery, Amsterdam 2016 ‘Talking to the Masters’, West Ox Arts Gallery, Oxfordshire 2016 WITP Artists Pop Up Exhibition, Greek Street, Soho, London 2016 ‘Summer Exhibition’, Highgate Contemporary Art, Highgate, London 2016 ‘Pieces of Eight’, Highgate Contemporary Art, Highgate, London, One woman 2016 WITP Artists Exhibition, Clerkenwell Gallery, Clerkenwelll, London 2016 Affordable Art Fair, The Art Movement, London 2016 ‘Pieces of Eight’, West Ox Arts Gallery, Oxfordshire, One woman 2016 ‘What is the Point’ Salon Event, London 2015 ‘Group Show, ‘Artists of Vout-O-Reenee’s’, The Stash Gallery, Whitechapel, London 2015 ‘Group Show, ‘What is the Point’ pop up show, Sacred Space Gallery, Notting Hill, London 2015 ‘Group Show, Curwen Galleriy, Fitzrovia, London 2015 ‘10 Days Winchester, Chalk’ Winchester Cathedral 2015 ‘What is the Point’ The Mall Galleries, London 2015 ‘In the Wriggle Room’ The Stash Gallery, London 2014 ‘Mixed Show’ Chelsea Arts Club, London 2014 ‘Art for Youth’, RCA, London 2014 ‘Works from the Studio’, Radcliffe & Newlands , London 2013 ‘Heroes and Villains’ Chelsea Arts Club, London 2013 10 Days Winchester, Winchester Cathedral 2012 ‘49 Frames of Love’ Heartbrake Gallery, London, one woman 2012 ‘49 Frames of Love’ William Road Gallery, London, one woman 2012 ‘Love Is...’ Heartbreak Gallery, London 2012 ‘The Body Clothed in Art’ Chelsea Arts Club, London 2011 ‘Wrong Place Wrong Time’ William Road Gallery, London, one woman 2010 ‘Open House’, London, one woman 2010 ‘re-framing’, antennae, London 2009 ‘Equisite Corpse’, Chelsea Arts Club, London 2008 ‘The Birds & The Bees’, Chelsea Arts Club, London 2005 Heseltine Masco, Petworth 2004 Ozten Zeki Gallery, London, one woman 1997 Art’97 Austin Desmond Fine Art, London 1994 Austin Desmond Fine Art, London 1986 ‘Vital Space’ Mokotoff Gallery, New York 1985 On The Wall Gallery, London, one woman 1985 Royal Western Academy, Bath 1982 Cork Street Fine Art, London

LUCY ASH | EXHIBITIONS


STUDIO e: info@lucyash.com t: 07973 632 482 www.lucyash.com MEDIA e: caddy@tiscali.co.uk

photo Jennifer Baynham

LUCY ASH | CONTACT

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