Falling without ever Landing: Solo exhibition - Lara Cobden

4 - 29 October 2022

The title Falling without Ever Landing comes from a line in ‘Love Song’ by Devendra Banhart, from the album Ma. On Lara’s studio playlist during 2020-21, whilst painting her swan paintings, the album touches on grief and joy, existential unease and dark humour and echoes ongoing ideas in Lara’s paintings. 


The timeless shift from end of summer days that drift into autumn and darkness that invite seasonal rituals, myths and folklore, fireside stories from the woods and riverside, bonfires, and fireworks, to carry us through dark nights of winter until spring. Drawn by the unsettling nature of seemingly bucolic scenes, Lara is intrigued by the residue of memory left in the landscape and its benevolent capacity to absorb and bear witness, and by the alchemy of paint and its facility to express emotion through intuitive choices of colour, composition and brushwork. It is this trace of experience and memory she is trying to capture and the essence of what her landscape paintings are about; the everyday seen through an alternate lens - the quiet unassuming nature of scenes where nothing is going on, but all feels out of kilter. A desire to capture the essence of experience - a fleeting moment, light and shadows, ephemeral and yet resilient in their presence, are what inspires her to paint. 


Initially starting from a combination of photos, sketches and memories, an image evolves from multiple thin glazes layered with opaque shapes, flicks and dots of paint to reveal tangled branches and foliage. Lara strives to create landscapes wherein  it balances between that of reality and dream, physical and ephemeral, and the play between them - seeing and being ‘in-between’ - an unreliable multi-layered truth.