By Erin Heiling
The uniquely beautiful work of Lucy Glendinning will soon be on exhibit in the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s Allen Priebe Gallery. Her show will include eight sculptures, some from her feather child series, and a collection of ink drawings. Hailing from Somerset, England, the artist will visit Oshkosh to discuss her work at an opening reception on Thursday, September 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the Arts and Communication Center on campus.
Glendinning studied fine art at the University of the West of England, and early in her career, worked as a mold maker for British artist Elizabeth Frink. Since that time, she has focused on sculpting, collaborated on team projects, worked as an installation artist, and served as a visiting lecturer for her alma mater. She says that she has “made things” for as long as she can remember. As a child, she found education challenging due to dyslexia, so she was drawn to building and creating with her hands. As a sculptor, she enjoys using all different mediums, mainly casting works, which change with each piece she creates. She especially takes pleasure in developing materials specific to the piece she is making.
When asked what inspires her, she replies that there are “many things, from humans and human nature, medical science, and physiology to philosophy, magicians and science fiction.” Rural life and its landscape are influences in her work – not so much the big picture – but in the small details that surround her. She is fascinated by her fellow inhabitants, plants and living organisms, and how they change and evolve. She says she is particularly interested in the future and how the human race will develop. In fact, she wishes she had a time machine to see what is going to happen.
Glendinning is also inspired by other artists, both old masters and contemporary artists. Among her favorites – Rodin’s “Torso of the Centauress,” which she believes shows power through its incompleteness. She is also fond of Berlinde De Bryuckere’s “Pieta”. She explains that to her, it “is like a love affair, so tender, like a moment in time.” And she finds Ron Mueck’s “Ghost” to be extraordinary in the incredible technical skill it demonstrates. And finally, she adds, “I have always loved Louise Bourgeois…her insights and her writing always makes me think something new every time I read her or look again at her work.”
Thinking about her own work, Glendinning reflects, “Of the works I have made, when I first finish them, I find I need to put them away, not look at them for a bit after finishing them, to be able to see them clearly; it’s as if I am too close to them.” She goes on to say “For me making work and exploring ideas is more of a way of life than an occupation; it is a continuous process, it is what gets me up in the mornings with a bounce, it is my passion.”
Viewing this artist’s work is an emotional experience. Her sculpted pieces evoke a sense of vulnerability and tenderness, a feeling that Glendinning has captured one profound moment in time that will never occur again. The fine craftsmanship and lifelike qualities leave an almost haunting impression that begs the viewer for contemplation and interpretation.
Glendinning is currently creating a series of works for an exhibition in Leipzic about Hybris, the historical and classical ideas around it and contemporary thoughts on it. At the same time, she is collaborating with a physiologist and two photographers on a project about depression – how we visualize ourselves and the physical effects of that.
When she isn’t in the studio, Glendinning loves visiting museums and exhibitions; she admits that seeing a good exhibit is her favorite day out. When asked what she considers to be her greatest accomplishment, Glendinning answers, “I don’t know… maybe…hopefully it is to come.” Only a trip in a time machine will tell, but the future certainly looks bright for this talented sculptor.
For more information on Lucy Glendinning, visit www.lucyglendinning.com. Her local show will run from September 10 through October 8, 2014. The Allen Priebe Gallery is located in the Arts and Communication Center, N102, in the main lobby on the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus. There is no admission fee. Gallery hours are:
10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Monday thru Friday
7 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Monday thru Thursday
1 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Saturday and Sunday ν
Erin Heiling studied art at Indiana University and stays involved through photography, design and writing.