Lucy Pratt Exhibition 2019
Wednesday April 24, 2019
Introduction to Fosse Gallery Show – Under the Big Blue Canopy
I must have been ten years old when I first encountered a painting by Lucy Pratt. The memory now is hazy, but I can recall fishing boats dragged up on the beach, gently listing on their sides, there are children scampering between them, a dog perhaps, white stone cottages and beyond an idyllic bay, the cerulean blue of the sea melting into the pale cornflower sky… ‘Under the Big Blue Canopy’ is Lucy’s sixth one woman show at the Fosse, an enduring relationship built on friendship and a shared artistic conviction.
There are plenty of familiar friends and places and all the things we have come to love about Lucy’s painting but there are also new horizons and characters for us to revel in. Lucy’s panoramas of Rhoscolyn on Anglesey are startlingly bold and ambitious, with sweeping vistas bathed in brilliant blue and punctuated by little sail boats, dancing over white capped waves. Closer to home we meander with Lucy down hot Cotswold lanes, hedgerows bursting with flowers, the roads flanked by bucolic hills and rolling fields. We also see these same lanes in different seasons, Lucy’s palette turning from autumnal notes to a paler wintry tone. All of Lucy’s landscapes are bathed in wonderful light and practically reverberate with colour.
There is a harmony and balance to her compositions with as much attention paid to the skyscape as to the countryside or sea below. I had the wonderful pleasure of visiting Lucy at home and together we spent time in her studio, flicking through stacks of canvases and propping them on easels and tables. I was struck by the sheer variety of her work and this exhibition represents new artistic ground and ever-expanding boundaries. Dudley and the Runners is a fabulously sophisticated composition, carefully built with striking angles to create a dynamic and joyful picture. There are also a number of still lifes, which are carefully composed and arranged. These have a subtler more delicate tone and a chalky palette which is in the wonderful tradition of British still life painting and redolent of Christopher Wood or Winifred Nicholson. Lucy has added new strings to her bow and is a more complete artist as a consequence Lucy imbues each painting with her wonderful spirit and individuality which bursts off the canvas and it is impossible not to be moved by her work. Her painting is joyful and life-affirming. She captures all of life’s wonders and joys, played out for us under the big blue sky.
Specialist, British Art