The Independent Artist: Working to Commission

Working to commission involves forming a special working relationship with a client. Large works for public spaces require working with architects, planners, and engineers. It involves navigating through time frames, budgets, and fire regulations. The challenge is not to compromise the creative process due to the added constraints. In fact the reverse can often be true: exciting creative ideas come out of problem solving within a working brief.

The same is true of smaller commissions. Lucy is known in the UK for making commission jackets and waistcoats, wonderful clothing vehicles for embellishment – one of a kind pieces. The key is responding to clients: the results are individual works which hold extraordinary stories. Like the young man who commissioned a waistcoat (reversible) requesting a formal outside and an inside representing sensitivity, vulnerability, and fragility – a waistcoat which he would also be buried in! Contrast this commission with her formal collaboration with Bishop, Dean, and Canons of Winchester Cathedral. The group requested two sets of vestments and capes. It was a complicated commission process that involved manipulating symbolic imagery and responding to many personalities.

This evening will present an insider’s story and will be a great opportunity for artists and designers who are looking to embrace more contract and commissioned work.

Lucy Goffin

Lucy Goffin is one of the UK’s leading textile artists, producing individual works for commission and couture collections.

Lucy’s work is constructed by piecing together fine textured fabrics, richly coloured or sometimes understated and subtle. With a strong sculptural sensibility and interest in intricate detail, she uses many stitched, layered, and applied methods in the construction of her final work.

Lucy Goffin has exhibited nationally and internationally. Notable collections containing her work include the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Crafts Council, London. She received an Arts Council Millennium Award which led to a “Year of the Artist” residency at Great Dixter House and Gardens (home of gardener/writer Christopher Lloyd). Her most recent work was the completion of a major commission for the Glyndebourne Opera House.

Lucy has also been a featured artist and instructor at the Jaipur Heritage International Festival, India, in association with the Anokhi Museum. The festival pairs local experts with well-known international designers.

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