Lucy Roberts’ Treasure Boxes are created in the tradition of the ‘wunderkammer’ or curiosity cabinet, the precursor to modern museums. Museum visitors these days expect to see objects categorised and displayed according to form and function, or grouped by type or theme. By contrast these Renaissance ‘wonder rooms’, most popular in the sixteenth century, were designed purely to delight and inspire. They reflected the passions of the collector themselves and were often presented in an eccentric or unexpected way – unusual and exotic specimens from faraway places and freaks of nature sitting aside curios and articles made by the most skilled artisans of the time.
Lucy finds great pleasure in organising these various ingredients in a way that my eyes find harmonious. She likes to pair both curious and everyday natural forms with familiar old and worn man-made objects – some as banal as a coin or a rusty nail, which have journeyed through life for many years collecting their secret stories along the way.