Bobby Lloyd is a visual artist based in East London who works both independently and collaboratively. Her autonomous work has seen a gradual move away from the studio space and into a preoccupation with found objects, photography and site-specific installation. Since 2007 as artist-in-residence at St Andrews in Bromley-by-Bow (Tower Hamlets) for Barratt East London, Lloyd has worked with a team of architects, builders and technicians to site a number of significant public art works in a mixed need community housing setting. The content of this work exemplifies her current interests and concerns as an artist, namely to uncover and explore complex social, political and cultural shifts within a particular setting often in the throes of significant change, and to make visible the deep traces of place.
Over the past decade and through the privilege of extensive collaborations with other artists – such as her work with Sally Labern on the drawing shed – Lloyd has co-lead socially engaged arts projects within communities experiencing high levels of social exclusion in East London, most crucially to open up an imaginative capacity and aspirational space. Lloyd co-founded On Site Arts in 2004 with Caroline Christie which used a series of mobile platforms to deliver a durational photography project with Traveller and Gypsy communities formerly living on the London Olympic site as well as a parallel exploration on the part of the two artists into the dramatic physical changes within the Lower Lea Valley / Olympic Park area until the site was closed for construction work in 2007.
Lloyd has also worked since the early ’90’s with children, young people and families in contexts of political violence and trauma, social upheaval and deprivation, often in conflict/post conflict contexts outside the UK and where relevant in her capacity as a registered art therapist and supervisor. With Debra Kalmanowitz, she co-founded The Art Therapy Initiative (ATI) in 1994 and has published on work in contexts of political conflict and social upheaval, mostly notably “Art Therapy and Political Violence, with art without illusion”, Routledge 2005 and “The Portable Studio: art therapy initiatives in former Yugoslavia and KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa”, Health Education Authority 1999. Lloyd and Kalmanowitz have further developed Portable Studio over subsequent years, increasingly found useful to both student and practicing art therapists in providing a theoretical and practical frame for work in non-clinical settings. Central is a belief in people as possessing internal resources rooted in experience, resilience and culture, with the therapist actively holding the potentiality of multi-meanings, and the possibility for sustained immersion in image-making even in the most challenging of circumstances. From 2008-16, Lloyd was a trustee/Chair of Trustees for the small charity Art Refuge UK that works through art and art therapy with displaced populations in Asia, Europe and the UK. She stepped down from this role in early 2016 so as to take a lead in the charity’s work, with particular focus on its art therapy project in the refugee camps in northern France, which is ongoing, and its work in the UK with new unaccompanied teenage arrivals.
Lloyd teaches in several higher education settings in the UK and abroad, informed by the work above and by the critically framed practice of the drawing shed.