I met Lucy in Bainbridge Studios in West Norwood, where she was able to spare me a few minutes in between clearing up after a teaching session, cleaning screens, and dealing with SLWA artists coming to collect works and the corresponding digital images [Lucy had offered a service to SLWA artists whereby artists could bring their works to her studio and they could be photographed by a professional for a reasonable sum].

Lucy, you’re one of the SLWA artists exhibiting at Bankside in April/May. How are you preparing for that?
I’m working on a new series of images, so it’s a good thing they’re all ready now.

What’s the media?

I always do screen-printing.

When did you start screen-printing?

Over ten years ago now.

Why do you stick with it?

I like the printing process, like working on the computer, but also like the ‘hands-on’ bit.

How do you work and how do you choose the image?

Normally I photograph buildings. It’s always something quite architectural, buildings or reflections of buildings. I manipulate the images on the computer and then transfer them to the screen. The idea is to photograph a lot of detail then take out as much of this information as possible, so there are just the bare bones left and the image is just recognisable. I photograph in colour but then take out the colour too – it’s different each time. By playing with the image in Photoshop I see how much I can get away with without losing the image completely.One example is a new work, Battersea.

BatterseaScreenprint, 30cm x 30cm

Wow! That looks stunning!

I often take the photos at dusk or in the early morning so it’s often slightly blurry. By the time the image gets to the screen I know exactly how it’s going to look.

Sounds very different to many screen-printers’ techniques?

Yes, I like being experimental and don’t want my work to look like a ‘typical’ screen-print. The aim is with my new work to push the limits of screen-printing, maybe to end up almost Turnerish, at least painterly …
Changing the subject: Lucy, how do you manage to do your own work as an artist and manage your studios at the same time?
It’s a bloody nightmare! About 98% of my time goes on the studios, 2% on my own work.

Tell me about the range of work you do.

Mmm. There are so many different things:• Teaching people how to do screen-printing. There are about 50 people who drop in to use the facilities, but if people have no experience of screen-printing they have to be taught to use the equipment – I give people 4 sessions, with a maximum of two people at a time, as they have to know enough at the end to be able to work independently. Then they can buy a 10-session pass which they can use over six months. [I advertise on Gumtree, in different studios and in artshops]• Working with the council’s Resident Artist scheme to get a window in an empty shop that’s closed down so we can display work there.• Working with Lambeth on the next Open Studios (like the Dulwich Open Studios in May) – we’re just working on the dates, but it will probably be in the summer.• Applying for funding.

How would you sum up your first year of running Bainbridge Studios?

It’s been a busy twelve months, but look how far things have come.Before and After at Bainbridge Studios:

And is Bankside your next exhibition?

No. I’m the featured artist at ORIGINALS 10 – the big print show at the Mall Galleries.

Congratulations! When’s it on?

Start of March. Watch the website! http://www.mallgalleries.org.uk/

Lucy, I do appreciate it that you made time for the interview! Good luck at the Mall Galleries and at Bankside!

Posted: 2010-02-16 05:00:00