Laura Lancaster 'My Echo, My Shadow' at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art

Published on

21 March 2024

My Echo, My Shadow is the largest solo show to date of British painter Laura Lancaster. Presenting new paintings made over the last few years My Echo, My Shadow delves into the current practice of one of the North East’s most celebrated and accomplished painters.

The source of Lancaster’s paintings 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 by water, 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 and beauty standards historically associated with female figures within the conventions of traditional painting.

A large 24 panel painting by Laura Lancaster featuring frames from film stills

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