Lucy + Jorge Orta collaborative practice draws upon ecological and social sustainability issues, to create artworks employing a diversity of mediums ranging from drawing, sculpture, installation, couture, painting, silkscreen, photography video and light, as well as staging workshops, ephemeral interventions and performances. The most emblematic series include: Refuge Wear and Body Architecture: portable minimum habitats bridging architecture and dress; HortiRecycling: the food chain in global and local contexts; 70 x 7 The Meal: the ritual of dining and its role in community networking; Nexus Architecture: alternative modes of establishing the social link; The Gift: a metaphor for the heart and the biomedical ethics of organ donation; OrtaWater: the general scarcity of this vital resource and the problems arising from its pollution and corporate control, for which 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 (2007). Two recent bodies of work include: Antarctica: focusing on international human rights for freer international migration and Amazonia: the value of the natural environment to our daily lives and to our survival.
The Ortas’ artwork has been the focus of major solo exhibitions, including Barbican Art Gallery in London (2005); Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa in Venice (2005), the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam (2006), and the Galleria Continua in Beijing, San Gimignano, and Le Moulin (2007–8); Biennial of the End of the World, Ushuaia, and the Antarctic Peninsula (2007), and the Hangar Bicocca spazio d’arte in Milan (2008); Natural History Museum, London (2010); MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts Rome (2012).
Their work can be found in public and private collections and has been the subject of numerous monographs, notably: Lucy + Jorge Orta: Food Water Life. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2011; Light Works. London: Black
Dog Publishing, 2010.; Antarctica. Milan: Mondadori Electa, 2008; Lucy Orta. Contemporary Artist. London: Phaidon Press, 2003.