Artist Profiles

Lucy Orta
Born 1966, Sutton Coldfield, Great Britain

Trained in fashion design at Nottingham Trent University England, Lucy began her practice as a visual artist after encountering Argentine artist Jorge Orta in 1991. Her early sculptural work investigates the boundaries between the body and architecture exploring their common social factors such as communication and identity. She invented Refuge Wear and Body Architecture (1992-1998), shelters that become overcoats, backpacks that become sleeping bags, prototype structures, light and autonomous for survival situations. She created Nexus Architecture (1994-2002) in which a variable number of people wear connecting suits shaping modular and collective structures that visualize the concept of Social Link and Urban Life Guards (2004) that reflects on the body as a metaphorical supportive structure. Professor Orta was a founding member of the Man & Humanity Masters Degree in Industrial Design for the Design Academy Eindhoven (2002), a pioneering graduate program that stimulates socially driven and sustainable design solutions, alternative systems and products. She was invested as the first Rootstein Hopkins Chair at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London (2002-2007) and holds the title of Professor of Art, Fashion and the Environment. She is a member of the European Cultural Parliament.


Jorge Orta
Born 1953, Rosario, Argentina

Trained in both fine arts and architecture, Jorge began his career as a painter graduating simultaneously from the Faculty of Fine Arts and the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Rosario. In response to the censorship of the Argentine military regime, his practice broadened to include the avant-garde and alternative forms of visual communication such as mail art and performance practiced throughout South America during the 1970s. He was the first Argentine artist to explore video and light projections, creating highly controversial public installations in the height of the dictatorship. Jorge Orta received the French Ministry of Culture scholarship and moved to Paris in 1982. Parallel to his studio practice, he began experimenting with and developing the technology for large-scale image projection in the early 1980s. In the series Light Works he has illuminated mythical sites and architecture of cultural and ecological importance across the world: Aso Volcano Japan, Capadoccia Turkey, the Zocòlo Mexico City, and the Venetian Palaces along the Grand Canal representing Argentina for the Venice Biennale (1995).


Studio Orta
Founded 1991, Paris, France

Lucy + Jorge Orta collaborative practice focuses on a number of sustainability issues tackling the ecological and the social factors to realize major bodies of work employing a number of mediums ranging from drawing, sculpture, installation, object making, couture, painting, silkscreen printing and video, as well as staging workshops, ephemeral interventions and performances. The Ortas’ artwork has been the focus of major solo and group exhibitions, including: The Curve, Barbican Art Gallery London and OrtaWater, Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa Venice (2005), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam (2006), and Galleria Continua Beijing / San Gimignano / Le Moulin (2007–8); Antarctica, Biennial of the End of the World, Ushuaia, Antarctic Peninsula (2007), and Hangar Bicocca spazio d’arte Milan (2008); Amazonia, Natural History Museum London (2010), Fabulae Romanae, MAXXI – Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo, Rome (2012,) Fantastic 2012, Mairie de Lille, Lille, France, Ninth Shanghai Biennal (2012-13) In 2007, the artists received the Green Leaf Award for artistic excellence with an environmental message, presented by the United Nations Environment Programme in partnership with the Natural World Museum at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway.

Parallel and feeding into their practice Lucy + Jorge Orta are developing a cultural heritage regeneration program along the Grand Morin river, Marne-la-Vallée in the former industrial sites of La Laiterie (Dairy) since 2000, the Moulin de Boissy and the Moulin Sainte-Marie, two historical paper mills, since 2007 and 2009, respectively. They have relocated their studios from Paris and have founded Les Moulins, a non-profit research centre for interdisciplinary workshops and residencies to promote the creation and presentation of experimental in-situ artworks. They live in Paris with their three teenage children.

The work of Lucy + Jorge Orta has been the subject of numerous books and articles including LUCY+JORGE ORTA–FOOD-WATER-LIFE published by Princeton Architectural Press to accompan