Threshold, 2015

Hong Kong 2015
Workplace Gallery
Oil on Linen
Laura Lancaster Threshold, 2015 Oil on Linen 240 x 480 cm This composite work is made up of 24 individual paintings, with a single super 8 film frame as its source.  Hung sequentially, the paintings represent one second of footage based on the cinematic frame rate of 24 frames per second. This work focusses upon the dichotomy of stillness and movement, the animate and the inanimate inherent within the painted film still. As with painting, it is the “persistence of vision” that allows the viewer to see past the single frames and see the image in motion when projected.  The title of this piece refers to the works transitional nature of changing from state to another, from still frames to moving projected film, back to still frames which are then reanimated through the painting process and then stilled again.  The word threshold also refers to endurance, of the paintings being made and undone simultaneously throughout the painting process, and the opposing forces of creation and destruction. The repetition of the figure in this work re states its own artificial, constructed nature over and over again, whilst imbuing this mundane source image with a sense of the iconic and the uncanny.  This split second of recorded time is analyzed and revisited throughout the painting process.  As a result my presence is woven into the temporality of the film, as an unseen observer.  In many of the home movies viewed as part of this project I was struck by the body language of the subjects filmed and how apparent their self-consciousness was when they are captured on film and in front of a camera.  In “Threshold” the subject is turning away from the camera, hiding her face. This awareness of being recorded interests me and I have also explored this in other work based on still photographs.  It touches upon the function of photographs and home movies themselves as a record of lives lived, and their fixing of the temporal. There is also an intimacy when watching a cine film, as you feel that the subject is reacting and responding to you, the viewer, making the absence of the photographer even more apparent and giving a sense of voyuerism.  In the repetition of the subject in this work however, this self-consciousness becomes powerful, as we are confronted with multiple versions of the woman filmed, and we are outnumbered by her.  I am interested in using painting as a way to elevate the mundane to the monumental in this way.