Rachel Howard: At Sea

For colour and texture inspiration, we're loving the dreamlike paintings of British artist Rachel Howard

BY DEE IVA

Rachel Howard's multi-layered paintings are like shifting dream sequences. Lace motifs, hazy barely-there colours and a moody darkness combine to create a twilight world somewhere between reality and unreality. A pop of fluorescent orange suggests an otherworldly sunset, foreboding structures emerge from the gloom and scratchy landscapes are bathed in a preternatural light.

ABOVE: 'How To Disappear', 2015, oil and acrylic on canvas
BELOW FROM LEFT: 'Lean To', 2013, oil and acrylic on canvas; 'North', 2013, oil on canvas

ABOVE: 'Pastoral Scene', 2014, oil and acrylic on canvas
BELOW: 'Darkness And Light', 2014-15, oil on canvas

This surreal set of landscapes and textures is part of a new body of work produced specifically for the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings, set beside a historic fishing beach. The Jerwood's coastal location and Howard's childhood home in County Durham provided inspiration for her enigmatic scenes. 'I grew up on a farm near the sea on the North Coast of England,' says Howard, 'Having a permanent horizon to look at every day gives a wonderful reassurance in what can be at times a very uncertain world. My show at the Jerwood explores both these aspects of certainty and uncertainty.'

Fans of Nigel Grierson and Vaughan Oliver's work with 23 Envelope will instantly connect with Howard's art. Plug your earphones in, stick on the Cocteau Twins and drift away...
rachelhoward.co.uk  jerwoodgallery.org

'Rachel Howard: At Sea' is on now until 4 October 2015. Jerwood Gallery, Rock-A-Nore Road, Hastings, East Sussex, UK