by Lorraine Cooke
I have been developing works surrounding the genre of landscape. My work seeks to address the importance of landscape painting within the current nature of debate centering on the breadth of accepted contemporary practice that remains a valid currency within the parenthesis of visual language.
This subject is important to me because I spent my early childhood growing up in rural surroundings, and my relationship with landscape has formed an important role in my psyche and personal development. It is this relationship with the natural environment that governs the origins of my practice and that first drew me to the landscapes of Cyprus.
I am exploring notions of human relationship with the environment and developing ideas within the context of ‘inscape.’ I have used the banana plantations of the Cypriot villages of Lemba and Kissonerga as a vehicle to communicate a psychological response to landscape.
My personal discovery of this landscape suggested concepts of the ‘uncanny’—a Freudian concept of an instance where something can be familiar yet foreign at the same time, resulting in a feeling of uncomfortable strangeness.
Much of my work explores a disjointed world of amorphous forms which ominously elude to landscape and evoke atmosphere.
The current exploration of what is best described as inscape draws upon the history of landscape genre in painting and is an attempt to rationalize the landscape in which I find myself.
I use landscape in the broadest sense of the word, not excluding the landscape of the mind.
Lorraine Cooke has been working as a professional artist since 2003. Her talent was acknowledged after completing an AA2A residency at Norwich University of the Arts, when her work was published in a-n magazine and she was awarded the coveted title AA2A Artist of the Year in 2009. Cooke was then offered the position of Assistant Director and Art Consultant of Art1821 gallery, where she curated Rebirth, a major international exhibition in collaboration with the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Cooke was presented with the Cyprus Bonarota Award for a series of paintings made in response to Cyprus (2010/ 2011). She was featured by Saatchi as an Artist-of-recognition with work included in the Inspired by Miro Saatchi collection (2014.) Cooke initiated a number of projects in Cyprus for European Capital of Culture 2017 and her recent work was shortlisted for the international Artzine Art Prize in 2018.