The desire to visually investigate and examine a concept or subject matter is the driving force behind all of Rachel Lumsden's work. This resolute desire to explore a range of concepts to some extent governs the nature of her work, yet its character and aesthetic is driven by an intrinsic intuition and a dedication and passion for paint - which will always underpin and unite all of Lumsden's work, from one series to the next.
Lumsden's paintings create surreal and dreamlike worlds of abstracted life in the everyday. Each series of works focuses on a specific view point, concept or theme, from living room furniture to the interior of a car. By a clever use of scale and extraction, she visually explores the commonplace and turns any sense of reality on its head. Her instinctive sense and feel for paint, enables her to reach a flawless sense of unbalance within a dreamlike accord. Guiding the viewer subtly across tea cozie buildings and lampshade vehicles, her work is beautifully full of contradictions, personality and atmosphere.
2006 saw the unveiling of Rachel Lumsden's latest series of works, Schmarotzer
. Collectively titled Schmarotzer
, a German word meaning parasite, this most recent series, explores the relationship between parasite and host and hopes to create a sense of dynamic between the beautiful and the ugly, the symbiotic and the parasitic. "The first time I heard the word 'schmarotzer', meaning parasite, was in a German language school", she says, adding, "I remember how surprised I was by the negative reaction of my classmates, because they themselves had had the experience of being labeled as 'schmarotzer'. They had earned this label as foreigners in a host land."
Although her latest series of work draws its inspiration from a source that could be interpreted as political, it doesn't propose to be outwardly opinionated or dogmatic. "I don't intend to directly deal with the intellectual implications of racism, prejudice or parasitism, but instead to create a "preconscious" visual language that taps into a deep emotional undercurrent". Lumsden's natural persuasion for paint, her instinctive eye for colour, coupled with a pre occupation with surface quality and texture will always countermand, and ensure that her work doesn't become a political slogan or visual watchword.
Rachel studied her MA at The Royal Academy School of Arts, London in the late nineties. Since then she has been awarded numerous scholarships and has won a number of significant Art Prizes, including the David Murray prize, Landseer prize, CrestCo Art Award from The Bank of England. Rachel has work in private collections across Europe and currently lives and works in Switzerland.
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