Laura Lancaster (1979 – )
Laura Lancaster was born in Hartlepool, England in 1979. She studied at Northumbria University and lives and works in Newcastle upon Tyne. In 2008 she won The Sovereign European Art Prize.
Lancaster’s work is about memory and loss. Her paintings take their starting point from found imagery in the form of slides, Polaroid snapshots and photographs, uncovered from a variety of sources including charity shops, flea markets or online bidding websites. Often discarded, ownerless and without sentiment, these pictures are re-awakened by Lancaster on canvas and enlarged as part of the process of abstraction. The subjects are present but distorted by thick brush strokes and dripping paint, as if we ourselves are visualising a distant memory that can’t quite be recalled. What was once a personal memento captured for posterity and reflection becomes ambiguous and haunting and there is a literal blurring of the boundaries between history, memory and imagination.
In recent works Lancaster turns her attention to the reverse of found photographs, where names, dates and descriptions have been carefully handwritten. Lancaster immortalises and amplifies these details, tracing the lines of the letters with great care and accuracy. Detached from their related images, the words hint at particular memories and scenes that the viewer can only imagine.
To abstract means to remove, and in the art sense it means that artist has removed or withheld references to an object, landscape or figure to produce a simplified or schematic work. This method of creating art has led to many critical theories; some theorists considered this the purest form of art: art for art’s sake. Unconcerned as it is with materiality, abstraction is often considered as representing the spiritual.
A piece of cloth woven from flax, hemp or cotton fibres. The word has generally come to refer to any piece of firm, loosely woven fabric used to paint on. Its surface is typically prepared for painting by priming with a ground.
An instant film producing almost immediate images without the use of negatives.