Lucy Oates is a multidisciplinary artist, with a MA in Mixed Media Textiles from the Royal College of Art. Her practice addresses both social and personal subject matters, creating work that responds to specific contexts, environments, and situations, focusing heavily on the human body and waste material. Drawing in on her own anxieties and the relationship she has had with the body, Lucy explores scenarios around the perceptions and preconceptions related to this. Her work tests the boundaries of comfort and discomfort. Using her own body as a drawing tool she focuses on 'problem areas’ in which she translates through various mediums; print, sculpture and video.
“I use my surrounding environment to inform my work, not just for its aesthetics, but also the physical objects left behind.”
The other strand of her practice has a focus on the environment and how one perceives it. Lucy often utilises waste materials, fusing them with traditional art techniques such as printmaking and embroidery. This has been an on-going investigation in her practice and is how she came to develop her own hybrid printing and joining method involving aluminium cans and plastic packaging. The very action of using waste material within art is a comment on the current state of the environment, although Lucy does not project this to be the dominating message. Instead she aims to celebrate the waste materials characteristic's, ‘rescuing’ them from the bin ‘dressing them up’ to have new functions and appearances. The desire to utilise waste material, stems from growing up in a busy household of refurbishment. Family members would regularly return with items from the skip to renovate. This action of finding materials became ingrained in Lucy at a young age and is evident in her practice as she ‘renovates’ waste, in her prints, sculptures and painting