Secret Britain (2010)
In My Head (2009)
The Lost Domain (2008)
Tracey Eastham uses collage and cut out techniques to assemble scenes of 'nature' that are, in fact, anything but what they first appear to be. Her depictions of nature, landscape and the rural are mediated through mass culture and art history, bringing together images appropriated from both classical and contemporary sources, and high and low culture. The resulting clash of styles, historical periods and skewed proportions between different elements within the one picture frame are simultaneously completely absurd and totally revealing of how we formulate our perceptions of the world through 'second hand' representations that are so common place that they have become part of our daily reality.
Eastham's assemblages present us with fictive landscapes, sometimes in formations akin to heraldic crests that serve to highlight the stylised reality of these depictions of nature. These works reflect the sentimentality for nature and the countryside that has existed for centuries, propagated through art and literature, and one that is at odds with the often harsh and brutal reality of rural life. Ridiculous and beguiling, they debunk the myth of the rural idyll and unpick and expose our pretension that we can ever really understand – or represent – the 'truth' of these subjects.
Paul Stone, 2008
My works are compositions using found and sourced imagery on paper; they explore the beguiling mystery of collage through sentimental landscapes with a hint of dramatic human presence. I use references from the 18th century English school of romantic painting, portrayals of the ‘wild’ Western America, sci-fi and romantic book covers, and images of stylised jewellery and objects of nature.
My collages are made up of stereotypes, representations, and metaphors that whilst being apparently false and superficial still conjure up passions of national and personal identity. I am interested in the façade of landscape that hide ideological messages and meanings. I choose images that can be broken into while still holding on to the dazzling quality that defines their influence.
In my work there is a strong aspect of layering and cutting away to reveal. I revel in the process that allows me to deconstruct images that at once fascinate yet distance myself from the world I think I want to occupy. I call my collages ‘deconstructed landscapes’ and some of my more recent work bevels around a figure or architectural form that has been cut away to reveal what I like to think are hidden constructs or varieties that speak of beautiful impossibilities. This contradiction of beauty is that they are unattainable and also, surprisingly in this way, slightly distasteful, languid and ridiculous. There is certainly a dark side to my collages; one that questions our pull to certain types of imagery. I revere the type of image that at once allows us to love our surroundings by offering another parallel image that makes the former slightly unsatisfactory. John Wayne is a hero of mine; I am enraptured by the superficial yet meaningful preservation of heritage properties and land; novels of science fiction and drama can capture me alongside description and fancy.
I extend my artistic career to facilitating creative workshops, tutoring in further education and also to producing the critical debate arts journal ‘The Liverpool Art Journal’.
2006 MA Fine Art Painting, Wimbledon School of Art – Distinction
2005 BA Hons Fine Art Painting, Loughborough University – 2:1
2002 Foundation Diploma Art and Design, Runshaw College – Distinction
Past and Ongoing Projects
Editor of ‘The Liverpool Art Journal’ – critical debate arts journal.
www.theliverpoolartjournal.blogspot.com Includes special ‘Collaboration’ issues working with other artists and writers.
Visiting Artist/Tutor for various including UCLan, Liverpool John Moores, Uni of Cumbria, Blackpool Grundy Art Gallery.
Lead Artist with NHS for a £9,000 budget creative project to integrate service users with their new building – involved designing a stain glass window and producing artwork for the new building with the service users - 2009-2010.
Writer for various on-line and hard-copy publications and exhibition catalogues.
MAStar selector for Axis.
Selected Recent Exhibitions
2010 – Exeter Phoenix Contemporary 2010
2010 – Foyer show at Cornerhouse Gallery, Manchester
2010 – They Do Things Differently There, Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh
2010 – Stories, Wolverhampton Art Gallery
2010 – Cure Leukaemia Art Auction, Birmingham
2010 – Haiti Art Auction, CUBE, Manchester
2010 – Post, in assoc. with TROVE, Birmingham.
2009 - 2010 Collaged: Tracey Eastham with Louise Bristow, Harris Museum, Preston
2009 Narratives, Landscapes and Myths at Harrington Mill Studios, Nottingham with Hayley Lock
2009 Manchester Contemporary 2009, Castlefield Gallery
2009 Coller-Elective, Arena Gallery, Liverpool
2009 Soul Satisfied (solo show), The Vault Gallery, Lancaster
2009 Slick Dessin, Cynthia Corbett Gallery, Paris
2008 Interchange, Liverpool
2008 Future50, PSL Leeds, Leeds
2008 Not For Your Eyes (self curated), Wolstenholme Projects, Liverpool
2007 Cut and Colour, Blyth Gallery, Imperial Collage, London
2006 AntiFreeze, Cynthia Corbett Gallery, Stockwell Studios, London
2006 Centre for Drawing Project, Wimbledon Collage of Art
2005 Emerging Artists, Warsaw Project Space, Ancoats, Manchester
AA2A residency, UCLan 2009-2010.
Selected for Arts and Business ‘Visual’ scheme for the North West region www.visualforbusiness.co.uk
MA Star Award, Axis 2006.