Victoria Lucas:
Lay of the land (and other such myths)

Imaginary Voice, Real Voice #1 | Victoria Lucas | 2016 | video installation | still from video | image: courtesy of the artist

AirSpace Gallery: 6 May – 3 June 2017 | Preview: 5 May, 6-9pm

Lay of the Land (and other such myths) is an exhibition that seeks to challenge anti-progressive forms of power through an imaginary subversive place. Fictional island constructions cite cinematic, geographic and literary references to explore a scene in which radical representations of women control their own space, and their own bodies, on their own terms.

Stepping into the gallery reveals an otherworldly space that blurs the boundaries between fiction and reality. Using JG Ballard’s 1974 novel Concrete Island as a starting point, Lucas has explored the Brownfield sites situated close to AirSpace Gallery to produce new sculptural, photographic and video works for the gallery installation. Interpreting these sites as ‘deserts’ and with references to real and fictional female characters throughout, this location is juxtaposed with Lucas’s recent works inspired by the California Desert.

Punctuating the strong visual aesthetic of the exhibition is a new sound work developed by Lucas in collaboration with singers from across the region. Working from harmony to a chaotic, discordant sound, the all female choir individually and collectively fill the installation with their voices. Celebrating the launch of the exhibition on Friday 5 May, this specially assembled choir will be performing live within the gallery.

Signaling the conclusion of Victoria Lucas’s successful touring project, which previously visited London Art Fair and HOME in Manchester, this exhibition brings together work made over the last 2-years. The Lay of the land (and other such myths) exhibition has been produced by Mark Devereux Projects in partnership with AirSpace Gallery.

Lay of the land (and other such myths) has been funded and/or supported by Arts Council England, University of Central Lancashire, HOME, AirSpace Gallery and Staffordshire University. Victoria Lucas is represented by Mark Devereux Projects.

For further details please contact us.

An interview with Victoria Lucas. Courtesy of Jules Lister.

Image: Imaginary Voice, Real Voice | Victoria Lucas | 2016 | still from video | image: courtesy of the artist

Further information

AirSpace Gallery |
6 May – 3 June 2017  | Launch: Friday 5 May, 6-9pm
4 Broad Street | City Centre | Stoke-on-Trent | ST1 4HL
Opening times: Thursday to Saturday 11:00am to 5:00pm
Tuesdays and Wednesdays by appointment

Accompanying events

Lay of the land (and other such myths): Public preview
Friday 5 May, 6-9pm

Join us for the public preview of this brand new solo exhibition, which will include a premiere performance of a site-responsive sound work, composed by Victoria Lucas, in collaboration with a group of locally based female singers. This sound work has been developed through a series of artist-led workshops, which focused on nearby brownfield sites and their potential as subversive places. Working from a harmony towards a chaotic, discordant sound, the group will fill the installation with their voices in a way that extends their presence away from the body in to the surrounding space.

The Artist Soup Kitchen
Reflections of Belongings and Becomings: Art, Maternity and Family Art Activism with Dr. Paula McClosky
Saturday 20 May, 12-2pm

In 2016, the performance artist Marina Abramovic said that having children would have been ‘a disaster for her work’. She went on to say that, ‘In my opinion that’s the reason why women aren’t as successful as men in the art world. There’s plenty of talented women. Why do men take over the important positions? It’s simple. Love, family, children – a woman doesn’t want to sacrifice all of that.’

Her words follow other female artists, such as Tracey Emin who, when interviewed in The Independent, said: ‘There are good artists that have children. Of course there are. They are called men. Mothers are too “emotionally torn.”’

Recently, there has been a proliferation of women artists who are exploring maternity in all its myriad forms. In this Soup Kitchen, Dr. Paula McCloskey will explore the challenges facing artists with young families. What does it mean to be an artist and a mother? How do you test and challenge the existing art structures and models of traditional art institutions? And, how do you juggle the demands of parenting young children alongside artistic and other paid labour, often with little or no support?


The Artist Soup Kitchens, devised by Anna Francis, have been running at AirSpace since 2012, and are designed to offer an informal creative space for artists to discuss contemporary issues and concerns and the effects they have on their practices. For more information about the Soup Kitchens, including details on how to book your place, please visit the AirSpace Gallery website.

Lay of the land (and other such myths)
In Conversation With
Saturday 20 May, 2:30-3:30pm

In conversation with Dr. Paula McCloskey, Victoria Lucas will tour us around the exhibition, offering insights into and discussion points around this major new installation. Within the talk, Victoria will broaden out her thinking to include the feminist framework underpinning the work. For more information on the Tour, including booking details, please visit the AirSpace Gallery website.

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