Rachel Howard presented a significant body of new work in At Sea. Large and small-scale canvases drew parallels between the sea, memories of childhood and ideas of being adrift. They continued her investigations into the accepted rules of using oil paint, unpicking, dissolving and destabilising the surface of her canvases.
In addition to the exhibition, Howard curated a one-room display which showcased some of her favourite works from the Jerwood Collection.
Skye Sherwin’s thoughts on the exhibition, in The Guardian:
“…Like abstract expressionists of the 1950's, she’s interested in how paint can convey emotional life, building up colour and varnish or degrading her surfaces with turps, in a two-step between artistic control and chaos. As with the tumultuous landscapes of 18th-century Romantics, the resulting semi-abstract vistas of pigment are springboards for awe and rapture. Her latest series, At Sea, evokes both the natural world and inner confusion. In the mix of luminous acid yellows and oranges and ghostly greys and blacks, she’s lately favoured shadowy streaks, dark lines and juddering inky squiggles suggesting watery horizons and psychological states.”