We talk to Melbourne based artist Lucas Grogan about collaboration, keeping busy and how his craft is informed by those closest. Incu is excited to be stocking the artist's work on plate, a tongue and cheek partnership with homeware company
Douglas & Hope that simply reads 'Fuck Yeah'.
Hey Lucas, how's Melbourne treating you at the moment?
Yeah pretty well. It could warm up a little though.
What are you working on at the moment?
Well at the moment I’ve just finished a whole bunch of projects and exhibitions. My solo exhibition in Brisbane, The End of the World opens shortly at Jan Manton Art which will run until the 22 December. I’ve just completed seven really great works for The Design Files Open House, and a huge carpet and rug commission for an overseas group - got to hold back for the big reveal on that one though. Now I’m focused on completing a massive commission for a new building in Sydney, a set of nine needlepoint quilts for an exhibition next year and a series of residencies - plus loads of other exhibitions and projects.
Your work is extremely intricate and by the look of it, extremely time intensive, you must be a man of incredible patience?
Ha-ha, you’d think that wouldn’t you?! It does take forever, sometimes too long. Sometimes I make it hard for myself by accident. However, I’m always working on several things at once to keep myself interested and inserting tiny jokes and tricks along the way to keep the process motivating. I’ve been lucky this year to go full time in the studio, so I’ve plenty of time and no real excuses apart from walking and playing with my dog.
We've followed your work for a while now, from your collaboration with Australian label Rittenhouse to your work with one of our favourite restaurants Movida. It must be rewarding to be able to adapt your craft to so many different mediums?
And it is so much fun. Working and collaborating with the people I have, has been a fantastic experience. It’s exciting to see your work shift into different areas for different purposes and then sharing that work with everyone is quite special. Seeing someone walking down the street in a dress you created the fabric design for is something else.
Has there been a favourite project you've worked on?
Well they’ve all been really great, Rittenhouse, Third Drawer Down, Movida, Douglas and Hope- they’ve all been really exciting to see come to completion. Though I do love the scarves from Rittenhouse. I always wanted to create scarves and I did and I think they’re bloody good.
I think they become tiny sound bites that form a story of love and loss...
There seems to be a gentle romanticism and something very intimate about a lot of your work, in contrast there are also a lot of words we couldn't publish on this blog. Is there reoccurring themes or an overriding story you tell with your work?
Absolutely. Though the story shifts from time to time, it’s always autobiographical. Mostly the text based works stem from conversations with my friends and partner. Pithy exchanges and somber promises are my favourites. Together, I think they become tiny sound bites that form a story of love and loss, and the terribly hilarious moments in between. It’s very much sourced from my day to day life. And yeah - I’m a total romantic.
We're excited to be stocking your collaboration with Douglas & Hope... what 'Fuck Yeah' meal would you most like to serve up on your Melamine plate?
You know, as long as someone else cooks it - I really don’t mind.
Any artistic resolutions for 2013?
I am COMMITTED to teaching myself (and mastering) how to make lace properly. I’ve tried so many times this year and have gotten halfway through and the whole thing has either warped to hell and back or it’s completely fallen apart. But I feel like I’m getting closer to creating lace that actually looks like lace. Once I do that I can hopefully transform it into one of my works.