Rachel Lancaster’s practice is focused on painting and its intersections with the languages of cinema, music and photography. Photographic ‘stills’ from found moving imagery, alongside an archive of her own photographs are selected from, edited and then translated into oil paintings. Lancaster’s paintings represent detailed fragments of a greater narrative. She is drawn to seemingly insignificant passing shots, extreme close ups of inanimate objects, common place domestic interiors; the split second moments that are “in-between” the action. Divorced physically from their position within a narrative structure, these paintings become abstract, ambiguous and open ended as to the unknown events which have preceded or may follow.
The process of remaking these images in paint is used to draw out the uncanny and the potential psychological charge within source imagery. The paintings are made by applying successive thin glazes of translucent oil paint, many layers of colour and texture accrue over time. This technique encourages a dichotomy of definition and abstraction. The surface of the paint creates an array of optical effects; the anticipated details within the surface of the paint often give way to loose and minimal rendering on closer inspection by the viewer. Cropping, colour and mark making are manipulated in order to play upon the latent ‘otherness’ and dreamlike qualities often found in cinema and how this can be reflected in painting.
Rachel Lancaster (b.1979) lives and works in Newcastle Upon Tyne. She has exhibited widely and taken part in numerous projects, performances and artist residencies both nationally and internationally. In 2015 she was invited to be ‘Artist In Residence’ at Alewive Brook Road in New York, former residence and studio of Elaine De Kooning. In 2020 Lancaster granted a CVAN Creative Spaces Residency. Lancaster was shortlisted for the Contemporary British Painting Prize 2018 and the Beep Painting Biennial 2020. Lancaster is a selected member of the Workplace Foundation Community of Artists.