Lisa Rayner

Lisa Rayner’s paintings are both a meditation on the materiality of paint and a sense of place. In these works the idea of place sits in a liminal gap between a real and imagined space.

  • Opening Date: Tuesday, 9 June 2015
  • Closing Date: Sunday, 28 June 2015
  • Opening Time: Tues to Fri 11-5pm, Sat 11-4pm

Lisa Rayner's paintings are both a meditation on the materiality of paint and a sense of place. In these works the idea of place sits in a liminal gap between a real and imagined space. The balancing of these states is key in Rayner's depictions of landscapes; thus setting them apart from a mere illustration of a scene taken from the environment around her. The paintings shift in a fluid manner between cues of place and an underlying sense of placelessness. They hover around a fragmented recognition, whether it's from a scene sliding past our car window or from the background of a photo in a hallway passed every day. The work speaks to something we have seen before but can't quite recollect. These paintings are of scenes that reside and flicker on the periphery of our memory, subtly resisting our efforts to pin them down.

Rayner's works are firmly located in the realm of a painterly discussion around the act of painting. A process built on a continual to-ing and fro-ing between surface and mark, of proposing and revising. Rayner's paintings do not present an image that is easily won; they are etched out in a constant addition and subtraction of marks. The shapes of trees and shrubs, skies and plains are broken down into essential strokes to suggest form.  There is more going on within the work than a depiction of site; first and foremost Rayner's work is an engagement with the act of painting - of surface, tone, hue, density and mark making. The suggestion of a trunk and a branch simplified to a few essential marks become more about a dialogue of abstract painting between one colour butting up against another and opposing forces of directional brushstroke.

Lisa Rayner's paintings are iterations of scenes that trip an activation of memory in their evoking of place, one that oscillates between reality and fiction. They could almost be representations of places that we have experienced. However, these works leave the viewer with an overarching sense of placelessness in their refusal to give up something concrete and stable; while simultaneously presenting the viewer with a shifting painterly construction of colour, space and form. Rayner's expression of scenes inhabiting the margins between place and placelessness could ultimately only exist in the field of painting.

By Claudia Jowitt

 

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