Lucy Skaer (1975 - )

Resin and celluloid


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© Lucy Skaer

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  • About the work
    Country: USA
    City: New York
    Place: British Consulate-General

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    In Me, Me, Me, Me, a group of five wall sculptures in which fragments of celluloid film are mounted in resin, Lucy Skaer is concerned with addressing the past. As she explained in a Guardian interview:

    Me … is an extension of and intervention into one of my previous film works. [I] adapted the film reel by physically punching out the centre of each of the celluloid frames so that, when projected, all that remained to be seen on screen was the very edges of the image. I kept the punched-out bits of the film and cast them into clear resin lozenges; each lozenge contained one scene of the original film. As sculptural objects, these lozenges are a new record of the time and location of the original film. The image has been rerouted.

    In fact, the film material was re-purposed three times, starting out as Film for an Abandoned Projector (2011), becoming Margin of July (2012) once the centre of each frame was removed, and ultimately cast into Me, Me, Me, Me.

    Skaer met the Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington in 2006, an encounter which prompted her to work with historical images and artefacts, opening up new ways of looking at the past. Skaer’s adapted images gain power from containing something of both the original idea and its negation. In this series, the clear resin lozenges are reminiscent of enlarged old-fashioned pieces of jewellery in which the black pieces of film get progressively darker and more intensely (and menacingly) clustered, as if time has literally been suspended in aspic. 

    Skaer makes drawings, sculptures and films, often combining them in installations of all three. Transformation is key to all her work – whether incorporating photographs she has found in newspapers and books, pictures sourced from the Internet, or paintings and sculptures by other artists. Skaer’s curious and poetic images hover somewhere between recognition and ambiguity; figuration and abstraction.

  • About the artist
    Lucy Skaer was born in 1975, in Cambridge. She studied for a BA with Honours in Fine Art at the Glasgow School of Art from 1993 to 1997. She is a member of Henry VIII’s Wives – a collective of artists founded in 1997 – based variously in Scotland, Norway and Germany, all of whom graduated from the Environmental Arts department at Glasgow School of Art. In 2003, Skaer was shortlisted for the Beck's Futures Prize. In 2008, at London’s Chisenhale Gallery, her installation 'The Siege' displayed images and objects depicting the English landscape, British Empire and Neolithic monuments. In 2009, Skaer was shortlisted for the prestigious Turner Prize for her sculptures 'Black Alphabet' (26 sculptures made of coal dust in the shape of Constantin Brancusi's 'Bird in Space') and 'Leviathan Edge', an installation which included the skull of a sperm whale, drawings and sculptures. Skaer has made a number of 16mm films with the British artist Rosalind Nashashibi including 'Flash in the Metropolitan', made in the Museum of Art in New York in 2006. Skaer’s solo presentations include a mid-career retrospective at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, ‘The Siege’ at the Chisenhale (both 2008) and a major show at Kunsthalle Basel 2009, for which she was nominated for the Turner Prize. Other shows include ‘Scene, Hold, Ballast’ at the Sculpture Center New York, ‘Force Justify’, Kunsthalle Vienna and (with collaborator Rosalind Nashashibi) ‘Spies in the House of Art’ at the Metropolitan Museum, New York (all 2012). Skaer lives and works in New York.
  • Explore
    Materials & Techniques
    celluloid, resin, wall sculpture, resin sculpture
  • Details
    Me VII
    Resin and celluloid
    height: 23.50 cm, width: 15.50 cm, depth: 4.00 cm
    Purchased from Murray Guy, November 2014
    Murray Guy, New York (purchase), November 2013
    GAC number