Gillian Lacey

Gillian Lacey - 'Charred & Marked Oak'
Gillian Lacey - 'Charred Oak Knot on Slate'
Gillian Lacey - 'Charred Oak with Hole I'
Gillian Lacey - 'Cradle'
Gillian Lacey is enjoying a second career in fine-art, having had a successful career as a film maker/lecturer, teaching for many years at the National Film and Television School. In 2013 she began sculpting and Sculpt Gallery hosted her first major solo exhibition in 2016, entitled 'Offcuts' .

Initially inspired by her visits to Australia and the many forms and growing habits of the native Gum Trees, Gillian began by taking photographs (some of which featured in her solo show). Four years ago this evolved to include sculpture and sculptural installations, many of which which are reminiscent of the burnt stumps and forests of charred trees which Gillian had seen peppering the Australian landscape after bush fires.

With the help of Alan Smith (a Kew trained tree feller) at The Sculptors' Yard, she began working with wood-offcuts, and it wasn't long before Alan Smith suggested she 'have a go' with a blowtorch. Gillian immediately took to the process and became a regular visitor to the Yard to work on interesting offcuts and to use the blowtorch. Shortly afterwards she began to experiment with planing, sanding and polishing with the help and guidance of Tony Tuke at his joinery in Shropshire.

With each of her sculptures Gillian makes a decision about what to retain and what to develop, using both the natural grain of the wood and any chainsaw marks inflicted during the cutting of it. Sanding accentuates the chain saw marks and grain; polishing, varnishing and charring contribute additional elements of interference, contrast, depth and texture. Placed outside her work will continue to change and evolve - there may be rot or fungus, cracks and gaps may expand or appear so that there is a slow breaking down; no piece is fixed or static.


Gillian Lacey worked as an animator for many years having started on Yellow Submarine in 1968. In the late 70's she set up Leeds Animation to make educational and campaigning films. For 12 years she headed the Animation Direction Masters course at the National Film & Television School, (NFTS) in the UK whilst continuing to make her own documentary films with digital manipulation.