My Echo, My Shadow presents new paintings and drawings made over the last few years, delving into the practice of one of the North East’s most celebrated and accomplished painters.
The source of Lancaster’s paintings and drawings are found photographs, slides and cine films of strangers, purchased from online auction sites, flea markets and junk shops. She translates the lost and discarded memories into paintings which sit ambiguously between abstraction and figuration. The highly gestural, visceral and expressive application of paint allows the everyday and mundane to become surreal, grotesque and poignantly melancholic. Challenging the formal language of painting and photography Lancaster probes the reliability of the photograph as a record or snapshot replacing representation with nostalgia, familiar with dreamlike and lived experience with collective consciousness.
Confronting a gendered history of painting, Lancaster draws upon numerous styles and genres as well as touching on the history of painting as a medium. The artist paints women in classical poses, be it in front of mirrors, in lush green landscapes or in moments of rest. However, these motifs, reimagined by Lancaster, avoid a simple passive reading, instead they allude to confinement, vulnerability and control. Guided in the direction of abstraction the paintings refrain from the voyeurism historically associated with female figures within the conventions of traditional painting.
Laura Lancaster (b. Hartlepool, 1979) lives and works in Newcastle upon Tyne. She has shown her work in solo exhibitions worldwide including Laura Lancaster: Closer and Further Away, Workplace, London; Laura Lancaster, Wooson Gallery, Korea; Running Towards Nothing, Night Gallery, Los Angeles; Shadows and Mirrors, Workplace, London; Laura Lancaster, The New Art Gallery Walsall; Shapeshifter, Workplace, London; and A Stranger’s Dream, Sargent’s Daughters, New York.
Lancaster’s work is represented by Workplace and is included in numerous international collections including The British Council Collection; The New Art Gallery, Walsall; Nerman Museum, Kansas; The Government Art Collection and numerous private collections worldwide. Her work has recently been published in Vitamin P3: New Perspectives in Painting (Phaidon), and Picturing People by Charlotte Mullins (Thames and Hudson).