Lucy Stein Studio Visit, Photo: Ian Kingsnorth

Lucy Stein, Porthmeor Studio 5, 2015 
© Ian Kingsnorth

Lucy Stein 2015

Lucy Stein (born 1979, UK) was a resident at Porthmeor Studio 5, from January – June 2015 as part of the Tate St Ives Artist Programme. Stein’s work builds on an engagement with British modernist painting, feminist theory and women’s literature. Her work ranges from painting to performance and film. 

Stein describes her painterly language as less a postmodern play with visual codes than an extrapolation of a contemporary female painter’s relationship to painterly traditions. Personal history and art history are given equal significance, and the mimetic relationship between the female artists and the landscape bind ideas together. 

Throughout the residency, stein has utilised the studio space for her painting practice whilst embracing a steady flow of public facing activity ranging from talks and film screenings to performance rehearsals in the studio itself. In the development of her practice she has also worked towards a new performance work The Wise Wound which culminated the residency in June 2015. 

The Wise Wound, a collaboration with artists, musicians and others, explored the concept of the underwater woman and ideas of female sexuality in relation to the sea. Performances included a mixture of songs and improvisation, poem reading, visitor participation and Stein’s band Death Shanties performance in Studio 5.

For the participant, it was an immersive experience – Stein and her collaborators used sound and imagery to create a psychological landscape. This built on the histories of the site of Porthmeor Studios and the Island, St Ives, and drew on common folk traditions and imagery. Over the course of the evening, the performers moved from the Island to Porthmeor studios, taking in poetry, free jazz, video projections, a mannequin called Lynda and an extremely pungent bouillabaisse (a traditional Provençal fish stew), making for a truly multi-sensory experience. 


Stein studied at Glasgow School of Art and de Ateliers, Amsterdam. Recent solo exhibitions include Moonblood/Bloodmoon, Gregor Staiger, Zurich (2015), Retention (with Shana Moulton), Gimpel Fils, London (2014) and On Heat, Galerie der Stadt Schwaz, Schwaz / Tirol (2014). Recent group exhibitions include Stopping the Sun in its Course, curated by Jesse McKee, François Ghebaly Gallery, LA (2015) and In Search of an Author, curated by Chiara Giovando and Andrew Berardini, UKS, Oslo (2015). Alongside The Wise Wound other recent performances by Stein include You can’t hide your lying eyes without a face, (with Shana Moulton and Andrew Kerton), Silencio, Paris (2015) and The White Hotel Revisited with Andrew Kerton, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich (2015). Stein has written for various publications including MAP magazine and Turps Banana. She regularly performs live paintings with her band Death Shanties.