Current Exhibition > Highlights from the Senior Seminar

Highlights from the Senior Seminar
Highlights from the Senior Seminar
Lara Foley
2021

Lara Foley

Using imagery sourced from drawings and photographs of personal experiences, I paint scenes and still lives from my own life in order to understand the resonance of memory. I am interested in the way our subconscious holds onto unanticipated, often peripheral aspects of life, turning small afterthoughts into the moments that continue to hold significance in our lives. By creating paintings that are quietly small in scale and meticulously detailed, I invite a viewer to slow down and recall a time in their own lives, to connect viscerally with the imagery presented and the ways in which we hold onto our past and rely on it to inform our futures.

For example, my large piece, Dezember in der Husumer Straße, has enabled me to confront themes of death, life, and the in-between, the watery figures floating to the surface appearing on the page as if they were images coming to life in a dark room. Guiding the viewer’s eye through the negative space and landing on each small moment creates a dynamic and yet intimate interaction.

In the Tree Rings triptych, I explore the memory that the plywood holds of its past as a tree, it’s ridges and its impurities, and layer onto it my memories of a distant San Francisco, allowing the watercolor to seep into its cracks, taking on the shape of the wood in curious and unexpected ways. The imagery of those vague horizons hold the sentimental understanding and acceptance I have felt, that those fleeting moments were becoming essential memories of my early adult years.

“When I first began to write, I had been a child for most of my life, and my childhood memories were vivid and potent, the forces that shaped me. Most of them have grown fainter with time, and whenever I write one down, I give it away: it ceases to have the shadowy life of memory and becomes fixed in letters; it ceases to be mine…
A person in her twenties has been a child for most of her life, but as time goes by that portion that is childhood becomes smaller and smaller, more and more distant, more and more faded, though they say at the end of life the beginning returns with renewed vividness, as though you had sailed all the way around the world and were going back into the darkness from which you came.”

-Rebecca Solnit, The Blue of Distance