Lara Scouller | Sea Change06 Jul 2021
We welcome Lara Scouller’s first solo exhibition with The Gallery, Sea Change. Scouller draws inspiration from the coastlines of Scotland, in particular the south coast of Fife near her home in Aberdour. Sea Change includes works inspired by a sailing voyage around the Inner Hebrides in 2019, where a new found freedom and appreciation of the islands provided a deeper engagement with the landscape. Working in lockdown offered Scouller an opportunity to explore new ways of working in her studio. The outcome is a series of new mono-screen prints overworked with pastel to create beautiful and unexpected results.
My studio opens onto a hive of activity at Burntisland Port with King Arthur’s Seat in the distance. Large cargo ships from far away places and fishing trawlers load their freight and prepare to set sail, biding time for calmer weather before setting off on their journey. Lockdown has been a time for reflection in my studio and an opportunity to look at new ways of working.
The restriction on travel has meant that the majority of my work has been studio focussed and responds directly to my immediate surroundings. From my studio window looking across to East Lothian, I can see the weather changing as it moves across the land towards the sea, bringing with it the marine life and birds which inhabit the water and air. The beaches and bays along the east coast, strewn with rocks, sand and wildlife form the coastline which have become the basis of my art practice and provided me with a bounty of inspiration.
Working close to my home in Aberdour, I have been able to walk to my studio along the Fife coastal path most days. Zigzagging through the woods or along the railway line next to the Firth of Forth, it’s been an invaluable time to clear my mind, feel connected and inspired by nature before arriving at my studio. Seal spotting is a daily activity whilst walking under the canopy of trees along the coastal path.
Over the last year I have been working in my studio on a series of mono-screen prints and referring back to a sailing trip which I undertook in September 2019.
Setting sail from Mallaig to Oban, I climbed on board the Alcuin and was joined by six other crew members on a journey through the Inner Hebrides. The experience of being on the ocean first hand was very intimate. Sailing is a slow process which allows for an appreciation of time, distance and exposure to the elements before reaching uninhabited islands. The sense of freedom it provided from my home-life, and early parenthood, whilst also creatively freeing me up from my usual subject matter was an opportunity for a dramatic change in my work.
The mono-screen prints were a direct response to the temporary closure of the DCA Print Studio in Dundee, where I would normally produce my screen prints. Following mixed results from screen-printing in my studio with limited equipment, I soon turned to mono-screen printing, a much more painterly approach, applying paint with a brush directly to the screen. Creating one off prints as opposed to a large series, it is an established technique used by many other artists, it works well with pastel and has provided beautiful unexpected results.
You can enjoy a short film below from Lara as she invites us into her studio and discusses her techniques and process.
Explore our Virtual Viewing rooms below and take a tour of Lara's exhibition Sea Change.