Interdisciplinary in approach, Lucas primarily uses video, photography and sound to explore the intangible, immaterial experience of being, against institutional constructs such as capitalism. Notions of absence, failure and control are poetically encapsulated through visual and auditory artworks. Elements from the urban environment are collated, references to the fragile body are digitally archived, and futile actions are carried out on repeat. All of these constituent parts examine markers of time that contribute to our perception of what it is to be human.
The subject of materiality in the 21st century is a reoccurring theme in Lucas’ work. Remedy (2012) is a photographic series that alludes to the current economic crisis in Greece, whilst offering a solution against failing capitalist structures. Similarly, 12 Months of Neon Love (2011) comprises a billboard constructed for the sole purpose of advertising ‘love’ to passing train commuters; something so intangible that it cannot be bought or sold by its consumers. Whilst the empty monolithic billboards in Greece present the stark reality of austerity, the ironic ‘remedy’ signage suggests that beyond capitalism is a solution. Comparably, the neon lyrics that were defiantly installed by two artists on a roof top bring a message of hope and endurance to an unsuspecting audience.
Interruptions (2012-13) is another work that documents the urban environment in order to give prominence to the people who are associated with the scenes portrayed. Notions of presence, absence and temporality are examined through a series of empty staircases, taken in various stations in Europe and the US. This archive presents us with a stillness, alluding to the fleeting movements of their former temporary inhabitants. The intangibility of time and memory is explored through these empty staircases, and similar to the empty Greek billboards, they move away from what has been to what could be. Like theatre sets, these silent interruptions impart a new perception of time through the mundanity of these functional everyday structures.
The intangibility of emotion, time and memory is something that Lucas strives to capture and archive as part of her practice. Sound is an impalpable entity that dissipates and leaves only a trace as memory. The Search (2010) presents a recording of the artist and her two siblings searching for a sound that no longer exists. Using their own voice, they individually strive to replicate their mother’s laugh, a sound that they have not heard since her death. In this work and others, the fleeting nature of existence is conveyed as a way to question what matters, what is gained and what is left in the end.
Victoria Lucas is a British artist based in Sheffield. She holds a BA in Fine Art Sculpture from Norwich School of Art, and a MFA in Fine Art from The University of Leeds. Her work has been exhibited in Europe and the US, including solo exhibitions at Grizzly Grizzly, Philadelphia and Untitled Gallery, Manchester; and group shows at The Hepworth Wakefield and PSL in Leeds amongst others. Her recent commissions include a permanent touchscreen artwork for the NHS Wilberforce Health centre in Hull, and a photographic billboard project at Bloc Projects, Sheffield. She has work in both the Tate Archive and the V&A collection amongst others. In addition to this, she has worked both independently and collaboratively on a number of curated projects, co-directed a Berlin-based residency programme in 2008/9, and is co-founder of Arts_Hub, a listserve that connects a growing network of visual artists and arts organisations in the Wakefield district. Lucas is currently a Fine Art Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire.