Opening the Floodgates Artist Announced

The Ring is delighted to announce the selected artist for its open call is Lucy McLauchlan. Birmingham born Lucy was chosen from a strong field of applicants for her outstanding vision of a new artwork to adorn the waterways of Worcestershire in 2018. 

The Ring waterways, local communities and natural environment of the waterways will inspire and inform Lucy’s artwork.  Debris transported by the River Severn will become integrated into her mural and local communities will be approached to assist with the artwork, whereby the themes of sustainability and nature will inform her final mural.

Lucy’s internationally acclaimed, large-scale monochromatic paintings combine ancient, almost prehistorical influences with graphic, modernist sensibilities. She has exhibited in galleries, museums and festivals across the globe, creating work using a ‘one-take’ philosophy that rejects extensive preparation using digital tools.

Her commissions have adorned multi-story buildings across Europe, gigantic billboards in China, huts in The Gambia, windows in Japan, walls in Moscow’s Red Square, water towers in Italy, a Norwegian lighthouse, Detroit car parks and abandoned NYC subway tunnels. Within the UK, Lucy infamously created the ‘Todo es posible!’ mural in 2010 on the outside of the former brutalist Birmingham Central Library, while four of her works are in the Victoria & Albert Museum permanent collection.

Lucy McLauchlan said: “My studio in Birmingham is based on the canal.  I’ve witnessed its lure as an escape and quiet space for many people.  My immediate environment is a huge inspiration in my work.  From my previous project painting murals along the canal-side in Birmingham, I got to know the waterway by canoe. Being on the water gave me a different and new appreciation of the canal.  I’m looking forward to discovering the waters of Worcestershire, getting to know its communities and involving local people in the commission. I’m working in their ‘back garden’, so it’s important they have the chance to get involved and feel a sense of ownership to this artwork.”

Street art star Banksy, whose work can be found along several canals in the UK has praised Lucy’s work. Steve Lazarides, former gallerist to Banksy, has represented Lucy McLauchlan since 2007.  He comments: “Watching Lucy at work on her large-scale murals is fascinating.  She likes to work in permanent materials, and will make a movement several times before committing a mark.  Lucy is one of the few female street artists who have successfully managed to make a name for themselves.  It’ll be great to see how she approaches this new commission and bring her work to new audiences.”

Lucy is the fourth artist to be announced for The Ring, which will invite audiences to explore on foot, by boat or bicycle a series of five public art commissions by nationally and internationally acclaimed artists, as well as a series of works by locally based artists.

Manda Graham, project director for The Ringsaid: “We’re very excited to announce details of this artist commission.  From New York to Moscow, The Gambia to Japan, Lucy’s eye-catching works have featured all over the world and now she’s coming to Worcestershire!  Over the coming year The Ring’s artworks and events will weave through a variety of communities and landscapes, it’s going to be an exciting time on the waterway with more announcements to come.”

The Ring is part of the Canal & River Trust’sArts on the Waterways programme, a collaborative arts programme situated on and inspired by waterways in England and Wales.

Tim Eastop, executive producer of the Canal & River Trust’s Arts on the Waterwaysprogramme says: “We’re thrilled to announce Lucy has joined The Ring. To see her set off along the region’s waterways will be intriguing. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing how she incorporates flood debris that the Severn gifts us into her work. Items that drift into the region on the water can be transformed by artists into something that can inspire wonder and provoke healthy debate.”

He added: “The Ring is a wonderful example of how our canals can celebrate, unite and excite communities about art and heritage, as well as being ‘green corridors’ on our doorstep that contribute to our sense of wellbeing.”

The Ring is a part of the Canal & River Trust’sArts on the Waterways programme and is funded by Arts Council England, Canal & River Trust together with support from local authorities, trusts and foundations. For full details please visit:

For details about the Canal & River Trust’sArts on the Waterways programme visit:

For more information about Lucy McLauchlanvisit:

To receive regular updates sign up to The Ring e-news or follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (@TheRingWorcs).

Visit our Projects pages for more information as each project progresses click here