Theme: Simply Beautiful

Artist Lucy Jane Turpin says that her work, made up of many gestures and colourful marks, is self-generating. “One mark determines the next mark,” she says, “and the colours inform each other and arrive according to the given situation. The colours can be evocative of many sensations and provoke a multitude of emotions.” Intuition, impulse, memory and experience are just some of the aspects influencing these colourful oil paintings that have also been translated into handbags, velvet scatter cushions and silk scarves by Wanderland Collective.

Although based in Johannesburg, where she exhibits with Kalashnikovv Gallery, Turpin has worked in various countries, having enjoyed residencies in Morocco and Iceland, the latter being the country where she transferred her skills from drawing to painting in 2016. “Often all my experiences meld into different forms along the way,” she explains. “I remember certain colours that I encountered and experiment with colours and forms continuously.” Italy, where she is currently participating in a residency in Milan, has introduced her to an entirely new range of tones which she suspects will appear in future works.

Unpacking this exploratory use of colour, Turpin describes a piece titled Unearthed and breathless in the sea of the blue night: “The colours push and pull and provide distance and intimacy at the same time. I enjoy this mass of colour that one cannot escape. It spans a large area and the colours almost cascade off the surface into the environment around the work.”


1. Figure attempting to fall into his own reflection

2. Artist Lucy Jane Turpin, image courtesy of Wanderland

3. Small scale studies 6

4. Leopard Velvet Scatter Cushion for Wanderland

5. Plum Forest Velvet Scatter Cushion for Wanderland

6. Unearthed and breathless figures in the sea of the blue night

7. Small scale studies in orange

100 Beautiful Things is presented by the V&A Waterfront in celebration of South Africa’s creativity, compassion, ingenuity and resilience. Every week we will be showcasing five amazingly beautiful creative things that make us proud. It is curated in partnership with Platform Creative.