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EXHIBITION: Wrong place, wrong time

An exhibition of paintings by artist Lucy Ash.

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On September 25 2009 at about 10 PM Ian Baynham was attacked in Trafalgar Square in a horrific homophobic attack by three teenagers who had been drinking heavily and were out looking for trouble. The teenagers hurled homophobic abuse at Ian and the friend he was out spending the evening with. As Ian remonstrated he was hit in the head, he fell to the ground and was knocked unconscious. The teenagers then stamped on his chest and head, before leaving the scene of the crime while he lay fitting on the ground. 18 days later Ian died from his injuries, an innocent victim of homophobic abuse.

At the time of this attack, Ian’s subsequent death and the trial of the three teenagers, Jenny Baynham, Ian’s sister was living in Lucy’s house. It was a dark time, when they were left facing a really awful situation that was done and couldn’t be reversed. The one thing that could be done that was positive was to try to stop it happening again. It is a horrible and frightening fact that gay hate crime is growing, threatening and overshadowing the lives of gay people. Lucy’s response as an artist, in collaboration with Jenny, was to create a series of paintings and works on paper that were born out of this very personal experience. They show the effect of a mindless act of violence and the hidden tragedy of the family and friends who are left behind.

This exhibition has developed out of the course of a year. Early paintings and works on paper reflect the initial horror and shock and the dialogue between Lucy and Jenny Baynham in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy. The work then moves on to explore the complex set of emotions, timelines and the themes of chance and fate that we are all subject to and are a recurring feature in Lucy’s work (Wrong Place, Wrong Time; Twist of Fate). More recently, Lucy has begun to consider how one can begin to move on (Best Foot Forward) from such life changing events and try and generate something more positive.

Lucy has chosen to work primarily in oils and mixed media. The techniques she has employed are integral to an appreciation of the work. The rich layering and texture of the oils gives a depth to the paintings and has enabled images and words to be buried within the canvas - virtually invisible to the naked eye - but always there. The overt use of sharp objects to build up and remove the paint is also suggestive of the profound psychological scars experienced by those who have been affected by such terrible acts.

To coincide with the exhibition, an evening event is being held at the gallery on 8th June specifically designed to raise awareness of the very important issue of hate crime. Lucy hopes that by bringing people together she can, in a small way, generate some good from these dreadful crimes. In addition, Lucy has designed a unique t-shirt so that something of the event can be carried on beyond the confines of a particular evening. The t-shirts are available to purchase and all profits will be donated to Stonewall to help with their educational work.

If you would be interested in hearing more about Lucy’s work in the future, please sign the visitors book at the gallery or contact Lucy on T: 079 7363 2482 E: la@lucyash.com

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