By Megan Murray
London-based artist Lucy Mahon's skill is putting everyday things - rearranging your book shelf, sitting outside a cafe on a sunny day, watching a balloon float into the sky - back into focus. Simplicity is part of the magic; Mahon's subjects feel familiar and are often grounded by a sense of comfort or home, brought to life in her trademark colourful, naive style.
'I look for a spark of interest in normal life - it doesn't have to even be a scene or an object, it might be a colour combination, a pattern or some tiles. Often it can be quite childish, something that just catches my eye,' she explains about her process, which has evolved significantly over the past few years.
While Mahon started in architectural line drawing, a gift of colourful pastels just before lockdown inspired her to look to children's books and drawings, tapping into a more playful feel. 'I have an inclination to make things "perfect" or "correct", and it felt like an unlearning and a way of letting go,' she says.
This meditation on just enjoying the moment might be why her pieces are so loved. While the experiences and phrases she paints are personal to her, the sentiment of sunshine, colour and happiness feels collectively shared. And so, when challenged to create scenes that reflect some of the long-standing Shoreditch House members' favourite times around the UK Houses, Mahon's prints bring a dose of dopamine to any wall.
'I've been a member for around eight years and used to work in the same building as Shoreditch House, so I was there a lot. It's kind of beautiful the way this collaboration has come together, because I spent a lot of time in the Houses drawing and practising before art was my full time job - just sat in a big armchair with my sketchbook,' she reminisces.
The limited-edition collection features eight prints by Mahon spanning Babington House, Soho Farmhouse, Shoreditch House and 40 Greek Street in the UK, with just a limited run of 100 for each design. Throughout the works, iconic Soho House motifs that many members will recognise have been captured through Mahon's eyes - from 40 Greek Street's green door to Soho Farmhouse's milk float.
'With the Soho House collection, my initial exploration gravitated towards water and poolsides. Not only do I love swimming and really believe in the mental health benefits, but it's also about bringing it back to basics for me - how I feel looking at those colours. The joy of seeing bright blue skies, a red striped beach towel, a colourful cocktail on a sunbed,' Mahon shares, before admitting that Shoreditch House's rooftop pool is her favourite subject thanks to the flat colours and memories she has there.
The collection will be on display and available to purchase in Soho.Home.Studio Chelsea on London's King's Road where Mahon has hand-painted an installation, until the end of August.