Lucy Mackenzie was born in Sudan, Africa in 1952 and moved to the Isles of Scilly as a young child. She received a B.A. at Bristol Polytechnic and an M.A. from the Royal College of Art in London where she received the Princess of Wales Scholarship. The artist resides in Gloucestershire, England.
Tying all of Mackenzie’s work together is an underlying motif of peace and timelessness, calm and order. Her paintings, drawings and assemblages are mesmerizing, contemplative objects that draw the viewer in, to a serene, private, and timeless world. Her practice is a devotional one in which she spends up to six months working on a painting that measures no larger than 3x6 inches.
The artist’s still lifes are simple, distilled objects against a simple background. Certain motifs recur throughout her oeuvre as leitmotifs in the composition of her shows, Mackenzie icons. Some of her objects are ordinary, such as a dappled pear elevated by its placement on an elegantly decorated English plate or a bouquet of snowdrops, her favorite fragile flower of spring representing her love of the garden; others spring from memory and her own collections gathered over the years. This is most clearly seen in her “Three Shells and a Feather” and “Box of Shells,” both paying homage to the place where she spent her childhood, the Isles of Scilly.
Mackenzie’s compositions are carefully considered for color, shape, atmosphere, visual priorities. The viewer is privileged to “read” a philosophy that celebrates the simple pleasures of life, its joys and its sadnesses.
In addition to her paintings, Mackenzie creates drawings and assemblages. Her box-like assemblages are composed of bits of wood, shells, beach moss, twigs, stones on which the artist sometimes paints an image, an elephant or a mermaid. Each of the assemblages is a magical little world unto itself. With the paintings and drawings, these box-like ensembles complete the artist’s poetic vision.