Lucy Orta

1966 | Sutton Coldfield, United Kingdom
— Studio Lucy Orta

British visual artist.

After graduating from a fashion design school, Lucy Orta turned towards visual arts as of 1991, when she met Jorge Orta, an Argentinian artist with whom she has collaborated since. Experimenting with sculpture, photography, as well as interventions in the public space, her work, which she defines as “body architecture”, addresses the boundaries between architecture and the body. While she chooses to show her work in museums and cultural institutions, she also insists on showing it outside, in that she considers the street a crucial element to re-assess our social realities through the use of poetic and metaphorical forms made to explore the notion of exchanges in the public space. With her first Refuge Wear and Body Architecture pieces in the 90s, which were made out of humanitarian equipment like tents, survival blankets and sleeping bags turned into temporary shelters and portable architectures, Orta took an interest in means of survival.

Her Nexus Architecture Interventions (1994-2002) were interactive interventions during which volunteers wore outfits that linked them to one another to create modular structures. The work of the Orta duo tackles major social issues such as water, food, migration, and the environment. The series Orta Water (2005), for instance, highlights both the importance of water access for all and the dangers of its overconsumption. For their project Antarctic Village: No Borders (1992-2008), Lucy and Jorge Orta built an “Antarctic village” consisting of fifty or so dwelling units made out of flags, pieces of clothing and gloves, like symbols of a welcoming world without borders, a symbolic shelter for citizens of the world. Amazonia (2010), their most recent series, uses photographic and sculptural pieces to show the diversity and beauty of the natural world that surrounds us. The couple’s work has been the subject of monographic exhibitions in many museums around the world, and was featured in various biennales.

Laëtitia Bahuon

From the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices
© 2013 Des femmes – Antoinette Fouque
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
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