Lucy Whitehead

Midnight Oil, 2023 50 x 45 cm

My work explores themes of human embodiment; seeing the body as Itself and seeing the body as Other, through the physical act of painting. More specifically, I am interested in the times we encounter our body Itself as the Other. Moments where we become abruptly and inescapably aware of how our physical self is not something we possess or control but rather something we inhabit.

Bruising, bloating, blushing; sagging, swelling, stretching.
The burning pinks and pulsing blues, sallow greens and fading greys.

In becoming aware of our physical misgivings and limitations, we establish our position in the world and what we can make of it. The canvas edge serves as a metaphor for these contingencies. Figures devoid of any discernible identity or gender, squeeze into the boundaries of the picture plain, ultimately dictated by and succumbing to their existence.

By allowing the work to evolve through the unpredictable nature or mark-making, these beings exist on a sliding scale of figuration and abstraction. What appears as a result is neither friend nor foe. Like catching a glimpse of yourself in the bath taps, they straddle the line between the familiar and the absurd; the joyous and the grotesque. Teetering on the edge of plausibility.