C. Lucy R. Whitehead


C. Lucy R. Whitehead (b. 1991, Liverpool, UK) completed her BA (Hons) in Drawing at Camberwell College of Arts in 2013 before receiving her MA Painting from the Royal College of Art, a recipient the Basil H. Alkazzi Scholarship, 2019-2021. Prior to her MA, Whitehead lived and worked between London and Germany.

Whitehead draws many of her motifs from lived experience, using the vagaries of personal and professional relationships to inform the lens through which she perceives her subjects. Often working with the body as a site of a projection, and accordingly, distortion, her figures become fragmented and fluid, responding to Lucy’s desire to capture human essence, as opposed to detail. In doing so, Whitehead’s foms appear at once abstract and familiar, both unrecognizable yet movingly personal.

Selected previous exhibitions include Final, Not Over - again (2021, Unit 1 Gallery, London), HELD (2021, Blue Shop Cottage, London), Let The More Loving One Be Me (2021, The Curators), and Fragmented Intimacy (2021, Grove Collective, London).


Of her work, Whitehead writes:


My work explores the fragile relationship between the physical and material self; between individuals and the collective. I am fascinated by the quirks of our bodies, what happens
beneath the surface, and what is beyond our control. Moments where we become abruptly
and inescapably aware of our temporal existence, the parts of us we cover up and filter out. The burning pinks, pulsing blues, sallow greens and fading greys. The bloating, the blushing, the sagging and the swelling. 


The absurdity of it all.


From fragmented monolithic type structures to figures more whole and familiar, I want my
work to strip the body of the expectations, symbolism and metaphors it has been associated with throughout history. Reducing it down to nothing more than a jigsaw of systems, functions, and signals. This sliding scale of figuration and abstraction in my work challenges the perceptions we have of our own bodies, what determines a ‘body’ as such, and the possible implications that has on us as a collective, as well as on the individual.
We are a body of bodies. These figures which are devoid of any discernible identity or gender are isolated from their surroundings, suspended in space. They push and pull at the edges of the canvas in an attempt to be free from the aesthetic constraints bound to them throughout history. Like catching a glimpse of yourself in the bath taps, what appears in the work is neither friend norfoe, merely physical. Andromorphic structures which straddle the line between the joyous and the grotesque, the familiar and the absurd. Teetering on the edge of plausibility.