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Artist Interviews: Lucy Naylor


Artist Interviews: Lucy Naylor

Lucy Naylor shares with us her inspirations, creative processes and obsession with colour. taking inspiration from Architecture, Lucy works primarily with ceramics and more recently has explored other 3D forms using textiles.

Q: Can you tell us about your Artistic background/education?

I’ve just finished a BA in Design Crafts specialising in ceramics at DMU in Leicester, I also did Textiles there in 1997. DMU has amazing facilities, technicians and teaching staff so I was lucky that it’s only an hour from where I live.

I’ve always made things, the inspiration, materials and process have changes over the years but if I’m not making or thinking about making my head gets a bit wobbly, it keeps life balanced.

Q. Do you work in a studio or from home?

I’ve been super lucky to have access to studios and workshops for the last 6 years while I was studying (part time). Now I’ve graduated I’m currently working from my home in the sticks. Ive realised recently that the hour long drive into the city has been an important part of my creative process. Things you see (I should probably be keeping my eyes on the road!), the time to think and the time to transition between home head and work head really helps to get everything in order for me.

Q. Who are your Art Influencers? inspirations?

Architecture is a massive source of material, concrete stuff, council estates, playgrounds, military and industrial sites turn me into a woozy, dribbly kid, but if I’m thinking about people that have had a big influence on me then Ettore Sottsass is the fellow! Colour and form are very important within my practice and his work is like a time machine that zaps me straight back to growing up in the 80’s.

Textile artists Sheila Hicks and Caroline Achaintre are favourites and I’ve recently discovered the work of the artist Judy Scott whose work and life were incredible, she was institutionalised for over 30 years because she had Downs Syndrome, was profoundly deaf and didn't talk. After her sister took her from the institute she began making the most beautiful wrapped sculptures. Her work and life are definitely worth delving into.

Q. What helps get you in "the zone’ to create your work,  music? out in nature? quiet?

A small space and Music! As much as I like to share a studio I get very distracted, so I like to find a hidey hole to be on my own, put music on, usually hip hop or a bit of classical and get down to work. At Uni we had a small glazing room at the end of a long corridor which was pretty quiet. I spent a lot of time in there working, chatting and singing.

Q. Do you keep a sketchbook? How often do you use it and do you travel with it?

I have a million notebooks and sketchbooks in my bag, car and around the house. I’m a sucker for good looking stationary, my intentions are always good BUT I rarely use them, if I’m trying to work a piece out it’s usually just a half arsed sketch on a scrap of paper which I will probably misplace.

I always wanted a notebook / sketchbook like the one Indiana Jones has in ‘Raiders of the Lost Arc’ stuffed full of sketch’s and workings out but I never managed anything like it and am resigned to the fact that I am eternally fated to have sketchbook envy.

Q. Where does a piece of work begin for you? Can you describe your process?

It usually begins with a place, a ruin, a council estate, something I've seen in the distance on a drive out. I’ll take photo’s, if I don’t already have an idea forming I’ll blow parts of them up, print them out to A1, A2 kind of sizes, cut them up and stick them back together, maybe paint over it until something starts to take shape. If it doesn’t I’ll leave it alone for a while, I’m a bit impatient and it’s taken me a good long time to realise that leaving something to sit for a little bit can be a million times more rewarding than to keep fiddling with it

 Q. What technique do you prefer to use?

I like a mix of techniques, at the moment I’m slip casting which is great for reproducing the same piece over and over again, but my degree work consisted of large, one off pieces so I hand built everything using great big slabs of clay stuck together and reinforced with more clay, the process felt part craft, part engineering.

While Ive been at home I've playing around with tufting which is super fun, I use an electric tufting gun which WHIZZES so it feels like you’re painting with the wool.

Q. What are your most important artists tools?

It’s dull but I guess it would be a Ruler ( I’m not sure if that even counts as an artistic tool) no matter which technique or material I’m using, a project mostly starts of with a heap of measuring so I have all kinds of rulers and tape measures knocking around the house.

Q What are your favourite materials?

At this moment in time it is: Clay, Wool, Paint and Fabriano. I keep looking at all the coloured Inks available so I think they will become a favourite soon too. I’m a magpie for colour.

Q. What are you currently working on?

PIPES!!! Ive been casting heaps and heaps of elbow joints, U traps and other pipe shapes for a new project thats based on comforting playful structures like Dens and Nests.

It’s repetitive casting the same shapes over and over again but there’s also an enjoyment in that repetition.

Q. Where can we see more of your work online or in person? 

I’m part of the upcoming UKNA (Leicester) city takeover show in April and you can see new and old stuff on Instagram @co_rd or my website www.co-rd.net.

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