About Tracy Luff
Tracy Luff commenced her arts career in the late 1990s studying at the Hunter Institute of TAFE and gaining an Advanced Diploma in Fine Arts; and later gaining a Bachelor of Visual Arts with Honours from the Australian National University. She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Vocational Education.
She is known for her amazing two and three dimensional artworks created from fluted cardboard using the cut edges to create texture and form. In the words of Jennifer Lamb, OAM (2011) “The sheer grace of her sculpture belies the tediousness of its creation, from cutting disks of cardboard and layering them into the rhythm of the sculpture, whose manifestation now suggests ancient landforms, growing or eroding layer by layer over the eons.” The evolution of her technical expertise in working with this sculptural medium has been enriched by a fine sense of aesthetic and of conceptual investigation. Conceptually, and aesthetically, her work is grounded in her Chinese Malaysian heritage and her life in regional Australia.
Living in regional New South Wales, Tracy Luff is like [an] exotic species transplanted from tropical Malaysia to the cold arid climate of Goulburn – the different one – constantly existing within parenthesis. While Luff does not subscribe to cultural politics as a platform for her artmaking, she is however interested in exploring the boundaries of physical and psychological space and to question her own sense of displacement through the metaphor of recycled cardboard, her chosen material.
These ideas come together in her installation, Tip-toe-tip-toe where can I go? (2011), 22 cardboard forms sprouting in the lower gallery of 4A, observed from the street like a specimen rare and somewhat contagious, controlled in its room-sized vitrine. One is witness to something emerging.
An interesting precursor to this piece was the outdoor work, The Different Ones (2009). Taking its cue from carnivorous plants, this small group of vertical forms sat ‘introduced’ to the Wollondilly planes like wild grasses with a resilience to survive. The physicality of the landscape posed a great challenge to the cardboard: Would it hold up? How would its character be altered? While clearly out of place, there was a beauty, a synergy in Luff’s cardboard forms as they sat in conversation with the rural setting. She is also of this place. (Gina Fairley, 2011).
Her artistic achievements include winning the National Art Award; Windmill Trust Scholarship; Jennifer Lamb Veolia Creative Art Scholarship; Goulburn Art Award; and regular selection as finalist in many events including the Woollahra Sculpture Prize, Royal Bank of Scotland Emerging Artist Award, Conrad Jupiters Art Prize; and the $35,000 Country Energy Art Prize for Landscape Painting multiple times. She was selected for major commission by Southern Tablelands Arts to create commemorative sculptures for the Great Southern Line ANZAC Story Commemorative Art Project, as part of the Australian ANZAC Centenary Arts Program 2015-2018. Her artwork, constructed from steel and timber, was selected as one of the three finalists for the National Street Art Award Commemorative Sculpture Category, 2019.
As an exhibiting artist, Tracy has had many solo exhibitions including: Two cubes at Sydney’s Sherman Galleries, East and West Art in Melbourne, The Goulburn Regional Art Gallery; NG Art Gallery, Sydney; Maitland Regional Art Gallery. Her work has been represented in art fairs in Singapore, Korea and Brisbane. She has also exhibited by invitation at the CODA Museum, Appeldoorn, Netherlands; and Museum Rijswijk, Netherlands for the Paper Biennial, Rijswijk.
Tracy frequently works with community festivals and events. Examples include: the Belco50 Festival at Belconnen, ACT; Illuminate Wollondilly at Picton, NSW; and the Lambing Flats Chinese Festival at Young, NSW. Her work involves creating illuminated three dimensional forms as centrepieces for festival parades; and conducting community creative workshops for both adults and children.