Lacy Barry's artwork is inspired by the natural world and its myriad of shapes, textures, colours and subtle complexities, and this fascination permeates her work and artistic practice. Lacy utilise's various airbrush techniques and other tactile materials in her work, breathing life into flat or di...
Lacy Barry's artwork is inspired by the natural world and its myriad of shapes, textures, colours and subtle complexities, and this fascination permeates her work and artistic practice. Lacy utilise's various airbrush techniques and other tactile materials in her work, breathing life into flat or disregarded materials to embody elements of the natural world in a dreamscape fashion. Lacy creates mainly with recycled and/ or disregarded materials as nature has been one of her main passions in life, something she believes has given her so much.
Lacy Barry's describes her process in this way ; "I dream up and conceive conceptual formations, choosing materials that are conducive to the construction of a particular form. From there I create blueprints, mapping every origin of detail, and even though the blueprints may change throughout the experimentation process, the initial ideas remain constant. As folds are placed and layers are compiled together, the forms take shape, imbued with a life, mind, spirit and body of their own. Fine unique details are added as finishing touches the work in its completion projects its own visual and visceral language.”
At an early age Lacy performed as a dancer with dance company Youth Dance Unlimited in Calgary. Alberta then went on to apprentice her sign-painter father on feature films as an adolescent. Lacy found joy in many facets of self expression under the guises of art.
Lacy’s childhood otherwise was relatively simple, first growing up in a city suburb then moving into the wilds of the Canadian Rockies when she was only ten. Lacy believes living amongst nature is where her creative space and exploration became broader. Between her dance classes and apprenticeship under her father, Lacy would often find natural substances, weathered or discarded materials to develop concepts and formulate imaginative works. However since Lacy was cripplingly shy form very early on, dance helped her to gain confidence, however she found this exercise of creating, a familiar escape into herself, helping her to understand the world and herself better.
When Lacy became a young adult, computers became a necessary form of visual communication, after enrolling in a graphic design course in 2002 with a Technical College in Calgary Alberta, Lacy was able to digitize many of her ideas, although she was always strongly attached to building with her hands. The combined digital & handmade attributes were all she needed to make imaginative works a reality. Visual expressions of her broad grasp of materials, she could more easily translate through various art forms rather than words and Lacy could keep herself occupied for hours developing a single idea and daydreaming all its significant components into place. After graduation Lacy then tried her hand in fashion design, which seemed expensive and hard to maintain until moving to London, England at age 22. It was in London she worked in boutiques in fashionable district SoHo, while creating custom dressmaking and tailoring for a finite group of private clients. Having the opportunity to them relocate to Hollywood, Los Angeles, after a couple years, Lacy was able to transition her dressmaking skills into creating costume and props for independent films and TV shows. However after loosing her US visa in 2009 due to the recession, Lacy was forced to give up her life in Los Angeles and move back to Canada, where she took up residence in Montreal, Quebec. It was there she obtained a studio and began working independently again alongside other artists. Beginning first as a tactile artist, creating most of her works out of recycled wool and found objects, Lacy retained a budding career applying her fiber works into her prop and set design projects. It wasn’t until later in 2010, Lacy started sculpting with cardboard & paper significantly, un-intentionally she had some commercial projects on request that presented paper as more than a material to draw and paint on, but rather to sculpt 3-dimensionally with. Looking closer at the material, Lacy found how truly durable yet malleable paper and cardboard could be. So she began to make the interior structures of her work with it, then embellishing with sculpted papers over top. It was exciting and accessible, she loved taking a common material and giving it life beyond its original intended use, and of course saving it from the bin. Lacy quickly found herself mixing even more mediums such as paint, silicone, plastic sheets and mirror, new and recycled, onto this array of paper materials, still retaining the delicate yet strong and sometimes surreal qualities of paper & cardboard.
After living and building her art practice in Montreal, Lacy then relocated to New York for a short time where she began to be inspired by the city and tell her story through her colorful paper works. Still working partly as an applied artist for advertising, Lacy debuted her first self-directed show in September 2013 at The Church of Ascension in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Mixed with the strong influence from her childhood growing up in Western Canada’s Rocky Mountains, she had fond memories of her youth, growing up amongst local first nations tribes and their colourful head dresses. Lacy found immaculate beauty in all of these concepts, often mixing her memories to formulate colour rich structures of natural shapes. Lacy showcased a variation of paper wings and floating floral bouquets in the churches 200 year old sanctuary.
Shortly after her first debut Lacy began to take part in many shows in New York and Los Angeles before finally situating herself in Berlin, Germany. Leaving her position as a applied artists for advertising in 2019, Lacy currently lives and works in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin, where she continues her practice with paper, cardboard and other mixed mediums.