As a craftsperson, my work has become heavily focused on repetition and practice. Using materials like hot glass and bending neon tubing requires recurring drilling of hand skills and specific techniques to create work in the hot shop and on the torches that accurately articulates my ideas. Repetition has become evident in certain themes of my work as well, as I often work in multiples or with recurring visual patterns.
The ideas in my work and the imagery I use to convey them are simple. I try to address and encapsulate difficult topics, like loss or animal captivity, within succinct and attractive appearances and pattern. At times I have used my art to work through my own personal loss and grief, and to convey both the haunting and hopeful feelings that exist in the aftermath of tragic events. It is my hope that the moments of isolation in my work show viewers the commonality of feelings like loneliness, and how at times many people feel lonely, together.
Lucy Gillis was born and raised in a small town in Southwestern Virginia, and has lived in Richmond, Virginia, since 2007. While earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Craft and Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, Lucy discovered glassblowing. The singular and magical properties of this medium captivated her, and since graduating in 2011 Lucy has traveled throughout the country to Penland School of Crafts, Pilchuck Glass School, and Haystack Mountain school of Crafts, to hone the skills needed to incorporate glass in her work.
In order to create two-dimensional work possessing the same surreal qualities of her glass and sculptural pieces, Lucy began making block prints of simplified imagery pulled from her sketchbooks in 2015. During her most recent class, a Spring 2016 two-month concentration at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, Lucy was introduced to the craft of neon tube bending as well as other methods of illumination in art. This has led her to pursue tutorship in tube bending and to create installations dependent on light for narrative and conceptual purposes.