Past Exhibitions > Lara Foley

Lara Foley
Lara Foley
Roses up the Staircase Germany, 2022

Lara Foley
remember what it is to be me

“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

Rebecca Solnit, The Blue of Distance

Pulling imagery sourced from photographs of personal memories, I paint scenes from my own life in order to prolong their resonance. Household objects and broad scenic views become recurring motifs throughout my work, indicating not only a locale, but offering the atmosphere of each unique experience. My depiction of these subjects emphasizes their subtle yet poignant importance in my understanding of the world around me. In creating paintings that are small in scale, meticulously detailed, yet hold an indistinct resemblance to the physical, I invite the viewer to slow down and recall memories of their own, to connect with the imagery presented and offer a common ground in the ways in which we hold onto our past.

Recently I’ve been drawn to the fluid materiality of watercolor and the coarseness and ridges of wood. I explore the memory that the plywood holds of its past as a tree, its ridges and its impurities. The watercolor seeps through its cracks, taking on the shape of the wood in curious and unexpected ways. These unique aspects of the material I’m working with provide a deeper layer into the subject matter I’m drawn to: an obscured evening glow, a hazy San Francisco skyline, the remnants of wine at a dinner party.

Rebecca Solnit and Joan Didion’s musings have continuously danced across my mind when realizing these paintings. Their words on coming of age in California and their coming to terms with the difficulty of being women resonates with my own human experience. My earliest memories of painting are of Monet’s pastel-colored landscapes and Degas’ gatherings of women that still captivate me today. I’m interested in the way our subconscious holds onto the unanticipated and often overlooked aspects of life, turning small afterthoughts into the memories that hold the most significance. The imagery of those illuminated objects holds the sentimental value of my understanding that those fleeting moments would one day become essential memories of my early years.