Meet Lucie Gray
This month we’ve been chatting with artist Lucie Gray.
Lucie is a painter and creative, based out of Stoke Newington, London.
Her works are a thoughtful, but often very raw, exploration of intimate moments in our lives and the specific emotions that accompany them. With titles such as Stub my Toe to Remind Me of You, Lucie’s paintings transport you back to memories of humour, pain, intimacy and love — reminding us of the layers and complexities stored within human closeness.
Her latest work is now live on our website, but it won’t hang around for too long!
CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE JOURNEY YOU TOOK TO BECOMING AN ARTIST?
Yes, although it’s hard to pin down. I have always been creative, and interested in telling stories; acting, drawing, painting. Over the last few years I began to paint more and more. Now, looking back, I can see it was a way of helping me piece together the thoughts and emotions I was having at the time, but when I started out, it was more natural than that — I simply felt I wanted to paint.
YOUR PIECES FEEL VERY REAL – WHAT’S BEHIND THIS RAW STYLE?
I am fascinated by the idea of the human psyche. Our emotions, impulses and reactions, the power they can hold, and the pain they can inflict. This means my art is intrinsically connected to human characters and my inspiration comes from there.
I paint an emotion, or a moment, and my creative process will often involve getting into character – so literally becoming the person who’s experiencing that emotion, and painting the whole picture as that character, a sort of method-acting approach to painting.
YOUR WORK FOCUSES ON WOMEN, IN PARTICULAR THE FEMALE BODY, IS THAT IMPORTANT TO YOU?
I am fascinated by the transformative strength of the female body – our bodies give life, grow, change, and continuously re-invent themselves, but we don’t really talk about it. And yet, if men did that I am sure it would be discussed a lot more…
So, I guess my paintings are a way of showing this, not celebrating per se, but showing the female form in all its guises. As an image of power, as an image of vulnerability, and as a key part of intimacy too.
YOUR PAINTINGS SHINE A LIGHT ON VERY PRIVATE MOMENTS, WHAT’S THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THESE MORE INTIMATE PORTRAITS?
I try to play with pain, intimacy, obsession, seduction and hysteria in my work. Which I guess goes back to my interest in human emotions. And I particularly enjoy exploring the power of sexuality.
I like to use art to examine the moment when that power is lost; where does the energy go? How does it transfigure into hysteria? Or desperation? And what does that moment look like? So, my paintings are often inspired by, or part of, that exploration.
WHO OR WHAT DO YOU FEEL HAS HELPED YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY?
I have never struggled with the idea of sharing my creativity or vulnerability, but I think lockdown was a big moment for me. I could take stock, connect, create and explore, as I had the gift of time! And other people had the time to find me — I also think at that moment, people were feeling vulnerable, and so my paintings spoke to their audience in a more authentic way.
EVERY ARTIST HAS A PIECE OR PAINTING OF THEIR OWN THAT FEELS VERY SPECIAL TO THEM, WHICH WOULD BE YOURS?
I think it would be my painting ‘Daydreaming About the Apology’ it’s a simpler piece, and it’s a piece where the title feels so intimately connected to the painting. It’s a show of character and emotion, and a moment in time that feels familiar to so many of us, or it certainly does to me!
AND FINALLY, IOTA EDIT IS ALL ABOUT HELPING PEOPLE BUILD UP A THOUGHTFUL COLLECTION OF ART AND BEAUTY, SO IF YOU COULD OWN ONE PIECE OF ART IN THE WORLD, AS A COLLECTOR, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Mine would be ‘After Breakfast’, by Elin Danielson-Gambogi, I love it. It’s an image of a young girl smoking at the breakfast table, it’s such a mundane moment in one way and quite classical in style, but her stance feels so memorable and relatable, which makes it feel totally personal too.