Any painter of Rebecca Sitar’s generation must inevitably evaluate the act of making a painting self-consciously. Neither figurative nor abstract, Sitar’s practice has been described as ‘hermetic’ in its resistance to following any single orthodoxy . The paintings are self-evidently process led. Their surfaces bear the trace of a post –Richter detachment and yet they also show things that seem profoundly personal. Particular objects or incidents in paint are held up for inspection , requiring and eliciting a subjective response.
- Emma Hill, Director of the Eagle Gallery , Hinterland 2004
The title of Rebecca Sitar's last solo exhibition Present & Elsewhere (2006/2007) referred to an implicit duality that exists in the paintings in part by art historical context ; Present with reference to subtle characteristics that bring attention to the painting as an object, simultaneously recalling traits of modernism revisited. These culled languages of formalist abstraction are subverted with a fusion of figuration that set up a narrative of a fictitious landscape, a no place, a painted illusory place, through which emblems hover, in a space that is ungrounded, somewhere ‘other’ most certainly someplace elsewhere.
The series of paintings exhibited depicted an unusual fusion of objects, seemingly organic and anthropomorphic, often informed by observations culled from museum ethnological artefacts and particular landscapes. These remnants appear dislocated in uncanny environments, that at times appear to be resonant with unsettling ambiguities.
The project was supported by Arts Council England, The British Council, The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia and City Office of Cultural Affairs, Zagreb.
More recently Sitar has been working with digital photography. Found objects are selected and arranged; assemblng a staged, fabricated setting that appears to mimic a natural environment in which these objects are then placed .
Particular writers have influenced her thinking and research undertaken such as John Banville’s Idea of Landscape, in which he refers to landscape as theatre and Michael Ondaatje's narratives that draw from landscape imagery to create philosophical atmospheres.