Lucy Read | 18th February – 12th March 2011

House of the lovely dark summers of my childhood.

The need to seek shelter and protection is an instinct embedded in every living animal. It is a necessity to survive in the same way it is to eat, drink and sleep. This exhibition explores the basic human need to seek refuge and create a protective space during times of transition and change.

Lucy Read has constructed an installation that delves into the heart of human survival during these uncertain times. “We comfort our selves by reliving memories of protection” and our senses take us back to nostalgic thoughts of child hood. (G. Bachelard: The Poetics of Space)

Read has created her own personal space seeking inspiration not only from domestic dwellings, like a Welsh cottage but also of the womb. This maternal space is formed by ones body taking form from the inside. Read states that “it is the desire to build a space with my own hands and body that has the greatest appeal for me, as in doing so I leave traces of my existence and memory behind. Ultimately these are shifting spaces or bodies that I create in which to seek comfort”. Read sense of scale becomes a memento of childhood and fairy tales.

The materials that Read wield evokes memories of process, touch and smell. The ephemeral properties of bread, the main material in the construction of House of the lovely Dark Summers of my childhood is indicative of a global society always on the move, either through choice or necessity, in need of sustenance.

The vulnerability of these materials and senses has also been explored by the artist Antony Gormley. In his seminal work Bed (1980) Gormley returned to the theme of a sleeping place, a temporary place that also celebrated bread as the staff of life with its the accompanying rituals of consumption bound by cultural and religious connotations.

Over the time of the exhibition the sculpture will undertake a transformative process. Any growth of mould will indicate a breakdown of materials and become a metonym for the cyclic nature of life and death within self, family or society

“I say Mother. And my thoughts are of you. Oh house. House of the lovely dark summers of my childhood.”(O.V. de Milosz: quoted in The Poetics of Space)

Lucy Read is an emerging artist from Somerset, who graduated with a BA Fine Art degree from Swansea Metropolitan University, 2009, and currently living in Swansea. Read has continued her practice developing themes of human needs and protection where she utilizes a wide variety of everyday materials. There is a performative element in her work as she interacts with her sculptures, which are recorded through lens-based media.