Lucy O’Doherty likes to present a moment and let the viewer form their own narrative. Each of her works deals with abandonment, a theme she has been interested in for a number of years, but handles it in a deliberately ambiguous way. A science fiction fan, O’Doherty could be depicting a post-apocalyptic scene, but equally, there may be a perfectly benign reason for the emptiness.
Her recent works come from her travels and residency, through the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship, at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. Canvases are larger than O’Doherty has used before, partly as a reaction to not being able to use oil paint when she was on the road. Metaphorically, however, it could be viewed as representing the experience of travel. Where previously she found her subject matter in her own backyard, or close by, with her imagined interiors, here she’s exploring a much broader world, including that of landscape.
And in a break from her normal practice, recent interiors are of real public spaces, such as New York’s Russian Tea Room and Sketch in London. But, in her customary hazy style and slightly surreal take, she has managed to transform them into places she might have dreamed up herself.