John Lancaster

Artist, Curator

Concepts Artistic invention of sacred and religious themes in Painting, Sculpture and Architecture have been a constant influence on my paintings and drawings since 1986. In 1997 this interest broadened to include Islamic and (more recently) Japanese sacred influences alongside the strong Western cultural influences particularly of Baroque and Medieval Art. The four series of Paintings titled Sacred Interiors was initially inspired by a visit to the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. The Islamic design with its emphasis on elaborate decoration, symmetry, inventive use of interior and exterior space, the importance of geometry, and the creative use of water in all of its forms, have all helped to inform my work. Series 4 - This series of paintings and drawings has evolved yet again moving from the busy 'Islamic' inspired work to a more quieter and minimal expression informed through the writings and philosophical interests of Zen Buddhism. In particular the Zen Gardens and Temples of Kyoto. The work since 2003 explores the idea of surface ambiguity (creating a composition which has two readings) One reading is based upon constructing a geometry of interlocking circles that acts as a stabilising structure. The second reading relies upon orchestrating a pallette in order to animate the circle into a series of visual rhythms. This series of work is titled Wave Motion Key Words Geometry, Location, Islamic Design and Architecture, Deconstruction, Visual Rhythm and Movement, Spatial and Surface Ambiguity, Zen Buddhist Gardens Career path My interest in the artistic invention of sacred and religious themes began in a serious manner in 1986 during my studies as a painting scholar at the British School at Rome. The two years in the studio, combined with the contact with fellow artists, architects, archaeologists, scholars and historians in the school created a deeper understanding of the relationship between my work and Western art, and to the world. The work during this time focused upon Baroque Art as a primary influence. In 1997, after a brief visit to Granada and Seville, I discovered the beautiful Alhambra Palace. The Moorish Palace greatly impressed me and helped to broaden my interest to encompass wider cultural references. In June 2003 during a six week artist-in-residence programme at Seian University of Art and Design in Kyoto, I took the opportunity to research and experience the Sacred Gardens and Temples of Kyoto, Japan In 2006 my work will be exhibited in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, together with an Artist-in-Residence at the University of New South Wales in Sydney

Location Leicester, East Midlands
Activities Residencies, Public art, Studio practice
Artforms / type of project Curatorial project, Painting