Lucy Beech

Lucy Beech

b. 1985, Hull

2011–2013 MA Fine Art, Slade School of Fine Art , London
2004–2007 BA Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London

Artist’s Statement

Lucy Beech’s recent work explores ideas around emotional capitalism where economic and emotional discourses mutually shape one another. 

Cannibals (2013) was developed out of research around the online community - ‘Women Empowering Women’, the all female support group adopted the ethos of self-change; therapeutic discourses are transformed in this context into a vehicle for a non-sustainable business model. In this instance notions of female empowerment operate as an authoritative branding tool, WEW emerges as a traditional pyramid scheme; a microcosm of a capitalist system, mirroring an image of unsustainable growth. Before they eat, the women participate in ‘emotional circuit training’; the body is ‘tenderized’ in preparation for self-consumption. The fictional process deteriorates when one of the participants observes this pseudo-therapeutic process to be eating away at itself.   

Well Being (2013) takes the form of a workshop in ‘emotion entrepreneurship’, where emotions are circulated as the principle commodity. The film is developed out of a body of on-going research into pyramid schemes and home-spun therapies. The fictional group are learning to lead, in order that they might disseminate their own working method amongst a network of friends, colleagues and neighbours. The leader is creating a sales force who in turn trade on their personal charisma and contacts to move the therapeutic product.   

Buried Alive (2013) operates as a sequel to Well Being (2013), a participant from the leadership workshop has brought together her own group of women, instituting her own methodology and leading in her own domain. In a rented beach house the group strategise and enact ways to banish the “unnecessary burden of guilt”.  

Recent exhibitions

2014 Zabludowicz Invites, Zabludowicz Collection, London
2013 Left Behind Together, Outpost, Norwich
2013 Buried Alive, Plaza plaza, London

2014 Radio Calling, Liveness Tent, Rotterdam
2014 Passive Aggressive, Camden Arts Centre, London
2014 Other People’s Lives, Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen
2013 Young London, V22, London
2013 21st Century, Chisenhale Gallery, London
2012 Open House, South London Gallery, London

Awards and Residencies
2014 Elephant Trust Grant, Elephant Trust
2013 Camden Arts Centre Performance Residency, Camden Arts Centre, London
2011–2013 Arts and Humanities Research Council Grant
2012 Grants for the Arts, Arts Council England

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