Lucy Dickens:

The way she sees it

19 May 2021 | 36 minutes
woman sat smiling in doorway

As a great, great granddaughter of writer Charles Dickens, writing plays an important part in Lucy’s life. Her paintings often have a narrative quality, leaving you wondering what went before, or what will happen next. As well as humour, her recent work contains a lot of vibrant colour and exuberance.

Lucy Dickens, A day at the races, collage and gouache on watercolour paper, 76 × 56 cm

Lucy Dickens, Smiley’s people, collage and gouache on watercolour paper, 76 × 56 cm

Lucy Dickens, The towel attendant, 101 × 76 cm

After school Lucy studied fashion journalism and started as a stylist at Condé Nast, where she soon became fashion editor of Brides magazine. Her passion for materials, and how people express themselves through fashion, continues to this day. When she started her own family she began writing and illustrating childrens’ books which were published in London and New York.

Lucy Dickens, Girl in pheasant hat (remembering Isabella Blow), 45 × 30 cm

This May she has a show at Cricket Fine Art and as the catalogue arrived she and Sarah flick through it with Lucy explaining the background behind the pictures. She says she likes to portray groups of people and works in many mediums from oils, acrylics and gouaches, to bold graphic fabric collages. The series of Japanese paintings reflect her love of travel.

Lucy Dickens, Wet windy Sunday, Tokyo, 61 × 122 cm

Lucy often puts in a cameo appearance in her own work. A self-portrait below shows her framed within a picture At the Picasso Museum and again in Cyclists and Whippets, Hyde Park Corner where you can she her as a passenger peeping out of the back of a bus, centre left of painting.

Lucy Dickens, At the Picasso Museum, 2019

Lucy Dickens, Cyclist and whippets, Hyde Park Corner, 101 × 76 cm

A great observer of people, lover of dogs and fan of London, Cyclist and Whippets, Hyde Park Corner speaks of Lucy’s skill to snatch a view from a bus and make it immortal.

Sarah and Lucy, school photo, Littlefields, Hampshire

Lucy comes from a creative family. Her mother Julia Dickens paints, while her sister Sophie Dickens is a renowned sculptor whose work you can see at Sladmore Contemporary Gallery, or on her website: sophiedickens.co.uk.

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