After gaining an MA with distinction at the Slade School of Fine Art in 2001, British artist Lucinda Metcalfe was selected for the New Contemporaries exhibition shown as part of Liverpool Biennial and at the Barbican Curve. She has since undertaken residencies at the Cyprus College of Art in Paphos and with singer/songwriter Imogen Heap at the Round House in Essex. In 2015, Lucinda was a contestant on Sky Arts’ Landscape Artist of the Year.
In her current body of work, Lucinda explores water as a vital substance always in flux and the impact of man-made structures on its natural forces. She treats us to dazzling sunlight reflections on the water’s surface, snaking streaks of refracted light and mesmerising distorted grids of mosaic swimming pool tiles, creating a tension between illusion and abstraction.
Lucinda is fascinated by our society’s obsession with travel and accumulating digital images. Her vivid paintings are inspired by the ostensibly idyllic places featured in holiday brochures and advertisements, but her work has a melancholy edge, often showing deserted scenes depicted too early or late in the day for a tourist presence, which disrupts our escapist longings.
The artist’s use of colour, most notably the ever-present fluorescent underpainting, references the over-saturated images of holiday advertising and of the world viewed through Instagram filters. Lucinda is interested in what French philosopher Paul Virilio called the “square horizon” of the screen. The idea that society increasingly interacts with and faces the world through the screen, as digital images prevail over the things they are images of.
Lucinda draws inspiration from her time spent living in Cyprus but also from places closer to home in the British Isles. She first started exploring artificial landscapes as a subject when she lived near Clacton-on-Sea, a place she still photographs for its garish amusement arcades and often abandoned fairground rides on the pier.
Lucinda’s fluid painting style sees abstract areas incorporated into some works, often in the surface of her swimming pools, where reflections and distortions interplay. Visible paint drips invite the viewer to look beyond appearances.
Lucinda shows her work in exhibitions and art fairs around the country and abroad, including The Long Echo at Terrace Gallery, London, in October 2021, Battersea Affordable Art Fair in July 2021 and March 2022, Gala Fine Art’s group exhibition Escape into Colour (London) in May 2021, a two-person show, Paradox Amusements, at Lewisham Arthouse in 2020 and a solo show Enjoy at Bearspace gallery (London) in 2018. Past events include a solo show at Cyprus College of Art, Christie’s Multiplied art fair, group show No Place with Bearspace at the Royal Overseas League in 2017 and the Sir Terry Frost Gallery showcase of emerging artists. Lucinda’s work can be found in private collections all over the world.
Her work was exhibited on the Gala Fine Art stand at London Art Fair in April 2022.