An interview with The School of Traditional Arts alumna Lucy Morrish
The Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts' graduate Lucy Morrish on her master's degree
What sparked your interest in illumination, iconography and miniature painting?
I guess I always had an affinity towards Christian art from a very young age. And this was including visits to my local church. And I was filled with joy and happiness and this left a strong impression on me. I was just researching about iconography and I saw Dr Irena Bradley came up and she does courses at The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts. And I decided to do a course with her. She then told me about the Prince’s School and helped me apply. And she was also my reference and that’s how I found about it.
You did your Master’s at the School of Traditional Arts. Where did you study prior to that?
I did a diploma in Graphic Design, and then I did a Higher National Diploma in Graphic Design at my local college.
What made you want to do your masters with The School of Traditional Arts?
For me, the place is incredible. You can’t find anywhere else like it on the planet. I think for me, the most important thing was the experience of learning cultures, traditions and techniques. Also, understanding the craft, not just through the painting techniques but also through the materials and the very origin of where a craft begins.
What skills have you learned from your degree and how do you think these will prepare you for future projects?
Definitely, passing on the techniques to future generations to come. I would definitely love to go into teaching one day. The techniques that you learn, you can’t learn them anywhere because you get taught by masters. And the different traditions that we do, we do Indian miniature, we do iconography, Persian Miniature, Illuminated manuscript, Illumination. I think passing this onto future generations is going to be very meaningful and an incredible thing to hold and to give.
Why do you think it’s so important that we preserve these art forms?
I believe that looking into the past holds the key to knowledge and meaningful beauty. Losing it would be devastating.
What have you enjoyed most about your time at the school of traditional arts?
Meeting the people, like my classmates. Because they’re from so many different backgrounds and cultures, it was just amazing to see a different atmosphere.
What would you say that your most challenging piece to date has been?
Probably my Indian Miniature paintings. The paint cracked off! But in a way, you have to do it yourself to really understand what proportions, and what is right and what needs to be done.
What are your future plans?
I was fortunate enough to win the prize, so I’m working towards that. I hope to continue with my craft and expand on my narratives and themes within my work. I’ll be exhibiting at the Saatchi Art fair next year. I hope to continue painting for as long as I can and to inspire others along the way. And obviously, as the school taught me, to carry with me the traditions for many generations to come.