'Handfast Point', Lucy Annat

Painting of white cliffs by the sea with various oversized animals in a line and two sailing ships in the background

Oil with monoprint on canvas, 90.5 x 122.5cm, 2006

Artist's statement

Animals feature in my work and I use toy collections to create scenes that appear both humorous and unsettling.

'Handfast Point' is a personal interpretation of memory, time and place.

The landscape is based on Old Harry Rocks in Dorset where I grew up. The toy ships on the horizon belonged to my Grandfather, who was a boatman in the area. He kept these ships in his pocket so while I painted them I held them in my hand.

The miniature toy animals in the foreground have been monoprinted onto the canvas to create a more childlike image. The physical process and unpredictable results of the monoprint and the strength of the ink’s outline determine the boundaries of the paint.

The blocks of primary colours initially make the painting look like a scene found in a nursery and yet the content contradicts this. The animals’ broken bodies suggest a sense of time and their stature and solidarity draw parallels between courage and vulnerability.


Lucy Annat was born in 1955. She studied at Chesterfield College of F.E. 1998-99 and Staffordshire University 1999-2004. Her exhibitions include Memoria New Art Gallery Walsall 2001, Derbyshire Open Exhibition Buxton Museum 2003, 2004 and 2005 (awarded Derbyshire Open Print Award 2005), Nottingham Open Exhibition Nottingham Castle Museum 2006 and 6th British Miniature International Print Exhibition Gracefields Arts Centre Dumfries 2006. In 2005 she completed a permanent sculpture and photography commission for the Keele University Science Building.