We had a chat to Lucy Roleff, singer, songwriter and artist.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
"I was born in Melbourne, but my parents come from Germany and Malta so I feel a strong connection to Europe and the Mediterranean. I studied Fine Arts Photography at Uni but abandoned any formal idea of an art practice for years and decided to become a freelance illustrator. It's only in the last couple of years that I've been taking painting seriously. I love oil painting, animals, bread, ice cream, solitude, one on one time with friends and family, daydreaming, singing and playing my instruments (when I feel like it.) I'm hopelessly diplomatic and always weighing up both sides to everything."
What inspires you?
"Weather, landscapes, nature, relationships, textures, surfaces and pleasant colour combinations."
You practice as both a musician, and as an artist. How do these two different practices intertwine?
"For me they are different ways of expressing the same thing, though I feel a bit too much of my 'identity' has been wrapped up in music for the last decade so I'm enjoying giving it some time to breathe, and returning to more formal training in classical music which has nothing to do with my solo career. Painting feels much more free and I really just enjoy the solitude and meditativeness of it - I can sit and do tasks for hours and hours so it works well for me. While I don't think my music or art is overly 'emotional', they are both ways for me to express things I'm thinking about or feeling, or sometimes just pondering."
Can you describe to us the style of your work?
"I guess you would call it realism, but painterly and a little abstracted in approach rather than photo-real."
What is it about painting from still-life that resonates so strongly with you?
"Seeing a massive, beautiful realist oil painting has always just sparked something in my heart and brain. It's deeply satisfying to me - textures, colours, and of course the story. From a young age, I assumed painting in such a way was something that only a select chosen few could do, until I got deep into learning about it. I just love looking at a painting and being absorbed into it's world, there's just nothing else like it. Looking at an interior or still life work, you can imagine yourself in that setting or imagine it becoming part of your world and I really feel enriched by this exchange."
What is your first memory of making/creating something?
"My Mum has a framed drawing of a 'skipping girl' that I drew at maybe three years old. Her skipping rope is many many lines but it somehow works. I don't really know if I remember drawing it to be honest, but it was always on display as I was growing up so maybe I took on a made-up memory of making it."
Where do you see yourself focusing the most time over the next few months?
"I think mostly on painting. I do love music but I really need a break from the solo career stuff, and am enjoying spending my time when not painting learning a new instrument. I am keeping it secret from most people because I want to do it properly, and for myself. It will be interesting to see how that informs what I do with my own music, not thinking about how it will be received by others at all really. I have two or three exhibitions next year so am already chipping away making paintings for them."
Check out Lucy's latest music video 'Sometimes Do' which premiered on Good Material back in May. You can watch it here.
You can see more of Lucy's work here: