Displacement and nostalgia are the central themes behind Rebecca Harper‘s vivid and colourful paintings, a British artist who will present her first solo show in London this September.
On display at Huxley-Parlour will be new works that explore how we interact with the world around us, specifically connected to the ideas of transience and alienation. “The works contain deep echoes of personal displacement and narrative,” says Harper. “A storm brews, siblings drape on family trees, the figures journey from place to place much like some of my ancestors in exile.”
The characters in these paintings are situated in what Harper describes as “middling space” – either camping, tree climbing or mid-road trip. Although there’s a reference to the classic British holiday, that initial wistfulness you might feel is quickly replaced by a sense of unease due to the temporary nature of her situations and settings. “In my work semi-fictional characters travel like chameleons, morphing through varied cultures and classes – taking on different guises in different places. I hope to highlight ideas around the notion of the relationships that exist between identity and displacement (the act of moving something from its place or position),” she adds.
Taking inspiration from her own life, Harper’s large-scale paintings are “reconstructed scenes from memories” that she mixes with imagery she’s sourced elsewhere, always using a bold and expressive colour palette. These artworks are “a reflection of the time we are living in; sitting between dreamscapes and reality they engage with the feeling of alienation felt by many in contemporary society” – so says the Gallery.
Concrete Shadows – Rebecca Harper runs from 19 September until 12 October at Huxley-Parlour Gallery in Swallow Street, London.
Trying to Travel the Spaces Between Us, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 190 x 180 cm
Repetition/ Rooted in That Earlier Grief 2, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 180 x 140 cm
Concrete Shadows, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 180 x 225 cm.
Repetition/ Rooted in That Earlier Grief I, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 180 x 140 cm