Crafted objects are important assertions of identity within many cultures. Lucy Irvine explores the ceremonial and symbolic aspects of basketry, and subverts its practical function.
Cultural history, craft and environmental observations provide the context for Irvine’s contemporary art practice. By making the pieces from plastic piping and cable ties, a dialogue is created between the industrially produced components and the handmade / handcrafted. These sculptural vessels evoke both natural forms and ceremonial objects.
Irvine is also interested in the negative spaces created by these hybrid vessels. Each object beckons the viewer to peer into its throat or belly. The interiors can be smooth or textured. Subtle patterns can be discerned. The cable ties that bind the piping sometimes point inward, filling the cavity with spikes, akin to a carnivorous plant. This playful use of negative space makes these works just as interesting on the inside as on the outside.
Originally from Scotland, Irvine has a longstanding interest in craft. She has been influenced by a resurgence of traditional Scottish crafts and, after completing a travel scholarship to California in 2001, has developed an interest in Native American basketry.