Artist lucy temple has been our client for years. we caught up with her to chat about her SHOREDITCH loft, her work, life and process.
Back in 2010, Lucy Temple’s mother was looking to buy property as an investment. “Property in London is a sure thing,” Lucy told her.“We were chatting, and I told her I would find something cool for her to buy.” After finishing her course at The Princes’s School of Traditional Arts in East London, Lucy knew East London was “groovy and funky.”
She initially came across the property on Space Station’s website and knew it would be perfect.
“I knew straight away, it’s in an old Victorian building that used to be rope factory. The minute I walked in, I though to myself, this in incredible.”
Lucy bought the property and Space Station has been renting it out for her since then. “Space Station seemed interesting, funky and edgy – unlike other real estate agencies.”
“They were amazing, we bought it from them and they immediately found tenants. The first couple who lived there were there for years and when they moved out, they found a really cool woman who stayed for 7 years. When she decided to move out, she left on a Friday and on the Monday, Space Station had another tenant moving in.”
Lucy Temple welcomed us into her West London home to talk about her work, life and process. While the kettle was on, she showed us some her favourite pieces: geometrical, Islamic-inspired, colourful, radiant and spiritual pieces. Much like her art, Lucy radiates positive energy.
“From when I was three or four, I was cutting, painting, gluing, sticking, sewing, making… we didn’t have iPhones or computers. My sisters and I used to just make things. I was always painting and making but never had a genre, nor a signature style. " she says.
Cali Swag 125cm x 125cm watercolours on tea stained paper
But it all changed when she decided to go back to school in 2005 – on her first visit to The Prince's School of Traditional Arts, she was completely taken away by the Islamic mosaics on the way in.
“It’s no joke, I started to walk up the stairs, towards reception, and on the walls, I see these Islamic geometrical patters, and I thought, s**** this is good. I was gripped," Lucy explains.
And although her previous work wasn’t really connected to sacred geometry, she got a portfolio together, did some research and never looked back.
“We learnt to make these geometric patterns with a compass and a ruler, it was so satisfying and interesting. I fell in love with making them." she adds.
She then started colouring them and became obsessed. “I started thinking, you see these patterns on walls, floors, ceilings of the most amazing and beautiful religious buildings. How come no one has made paintings off these patterns," says Lucy
And that’s how it all started. During her degree show, she sold every piece. “It was a life changing experience; it was like falling in love," she remembers.
At the time, Lucy didn’t think about doing this for a living. Her father, renowned art dealer, Sir Richard Temple, has an art gallery and even though he specialises in Byzantine, Greek and Russian art, he offered her a space. “I was really lucky to have that offer,” she said.
Creole 85cm x 85cm watercolour painting on tea stained paper
“This was in 2012, my paintings were in smaller scale and the prices were super friendly, so I ended up selling all of them.”
Prior to creating these works, Lucy was producing radically different work: she supplied football clubs with Female Fan merchandise. This began when she fashioned a bag out of a Chelsea scarf for herself, and then developed into her managing the mass manufacturing of t-shirts for girls in team colours without the logos of advertising sponsors. For Lucy, however, the required ‘ruthless drive to make money’ eventually led her to direct her attentions elsewhere.
She now splits her time between painting and working at her dad’s gallery. This month, one of her paintings will be auctioned by Christie's in partnership with the Leciel Foundation in London and New York. The Wisdom & Nature exhibition and sale, will explore the beauty of our planet, the wisdom of its people and interconnection.
130m x 130m to be included in Le Ciel Foundation Auction at Christie’s in New York and London
Lucy’s work has been bought by, amongst others, Boy George, Emma Forbers, Davina McCall,Lisa Gorman, Danny Katz, Nicola Jacobs, Ed O’Brien from Radiohead, Bill Nighy, Stella Tennant, Colefax &Fowler
Lucy sells her work in art fairs, through dealers, exhibitions, her website and social media. Instagram has majorly increased her outreach, she’s been approach on Instagram, to pain physical versions of other artists’ digital works. Although increasingly popular, she doesn’t want to go digital. “I like the touch and feel of the works, computers are useful, but definitely want to stay with the craft of hand painting. There’s a calm in the process of painting. This is the thing that keeps me sane!”