Profile of Lucy Wood

Lucy Wood was born in the UK and emigrated to New Zealand in 1981. In 1989, she studied at ASA School of Art, Auckland, New Zealand before returning to London to complete a BA hons degree in Fine Art at Camberwell College of Art, graduating in 1992. She has continually worked as an artist and is represented by Upstream Gallery Amsterdam. Wood has exhibited in the UK and abroad. Current exhibitions include Groupshow at Bonnefanten Hedge House Wijlre, Maastrict, 25 Apr - 14 July and Groupshow at Sculpture-garden Anningahof, Netherlands, from 26 May 2013. Wood’s work is based on issues dealing with social, political and environmental entrapment.

There is more information about Lucy Wood's work at


The Distant Neighbours project

Distant Neighbours. Vicini Lontani. 4
Lampedusa to London
Migrant Boat / Floating Museum / Performance Piece

This forthcoming voyage will mark the fourth chapter of Wood’s 'Distant Neighbours. Vicini Lontani' project - a series of recent exhibitions surrounding issues of global migration and the idea that migrants are trapped economically and politically at home, but also remain trapped en route and at their final destination.

During the past three years, Wood has regularly travelled to Lampedusa to collect and document migrant material through interviews, photography and found objects. Many migrants believe, on arrival at Lampedusa, that they are in mainland Europe, but in fact they are still far from their desired destination. Many face grave dangers at sea on their perilous journey. Any sea swell often tips these small, unstable craft and their passengers into the sea. The voyages they make to Lampedusa sometimes end in terrible tragedy and are reminiscent of Theodore Gericault’s famous painting, The Raft of the Medusa.


The first two chapters of Distant Neighbours were shown at Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam.

Vecinos Distantes. Distant Neighbours 1 (2009)

In 2009, Wood made a show called 'Vecinos Distances / Distant Neighbours' documenting the migration of Mexicans and Central Americans from Mexico to Arizona USA. The migrant boat project focuses on a European geographical location using the natural borders of oceans. It represents similar economic and political issues faced by many along the Mexican/US desert borders.

Vincini Lontani. Distant Neighbours 2 (2011)

The work references the plight depicted in ‘The Raft of the Medusa’ by Theodore Géricault. Central to the show was the installation of a migrant raft made from chrome oil barrels, a glass platform and an old, burnt-out 4hp outboard engine. It represents the fragility of the crossing and the dangers associated with overloading a vessel with human cargo. The sail, made from traditional African cloth and North African flags, maps the geographical reference to the piece, while its dysfunctional mast adds to the chaos of this crude vessel. A number of monitors surrounding the raft screen the migrants’ stories of survival, fishermen’s tales of rescue and the consequences to their livelihood. The Commander of the Lampedusa Coast Guard and local Lampedusans' all speak out across the raft, the audience trapped in the middle being left to stand and absorb the chaotic situation expressed.


The third chapter of Distant Neighbours was shown at Payne Shurvell Gallery, London.

Vincini Lontani. Distant Neighbours 3 (2011)

This exhibition focused on a rescue in Lampedusa Harbour on 8th May 2011. The exhibition consisted of an installation of a series of ‘ghost’ boats, an abstraction of the 'Boat Graveyard' (an area on the harbour side in Lampedusa where the migrant boats are stored whilst waiting to be destroyed), as well as a series of video works of story telling by local people, the police, fireman, fisherman and shopkeepers who were immediately involved in the rescue to save lives.










Lucy Wood

The Chronicles of Lampedusa

Upstream Gallery

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