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Smoking her `first fag of the day` the artist squats on the toilet. Lucas often uses intimate self-portraits to undermine conventional images of femininity. The toilet is a recurring theme in her work. A social leveller, it functions as a reminder of one of our most basic human needs. Lucas presents cigarettes as another type of need. The idea of smoking as a desire which leads to self-destruction is explored in a number of her works. Uncharacteristically, she doesn''t look directly into the camera, but seems caught off guard; vulnerable rather than defiant.

September 2004