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, Hartlepool, UK) lives and works in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. She completed her MFA in Fine Art at Newcastle University and her BA in Fine Art at Northumbria University.
She has exhibited widely and taken part in numerous projects, performances and artist residencies both nationally and internationally. She has been included in group exhibitions at The Auxiliary, Middlesbrough, UK; Elysium Gallery, Swansea, Wales, UK; Art Spot Korin, Kyoto, Japan and Venice, Italy; Royal Academy, London, UK; Rye Art Gallery, Kent, UK; Huddersfield Art Gallery, Huddersfield, UK; Baltic 39, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK; and Kotti-Shop, Berlin, Germany.
Lancaster is the recipient of Ares Mosaic Art Prize, BEEP Painting Prize, and was shortlisted for the Contemporary British Painting Prize. She was Artist-in-Residence at Alewive Brook Road in New York, the former residence and studio of Elaine De Kooning. Her work is held in multiple private collections.