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BA Fine Art graduate selected for Freelands Painting Prize 2021

BA Fine Art graduate, Rebecca Foster-Clarke has been selected for the Freelands Painting Prize 2021. The Freelands Foundation aims to support artists and arts organisations in order to nurture artists’ creativity, enhance their skills, exhibit their work and reach into communities across the UK.

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How does it feel to have been selected for this prestigious prize?

Exhibiting my work at the Freelands Foundation gallery this October was an amazing opportunity to showcase my paintings.

During lockdown I wasn’t able to have my work shown in a public space so it felt so rewarding to finally get to exhibit my work in person. The exhibition was able to give me real exposure and recognition for my practice.

Tell us about the pieces selected for the exhibition

Supper, 2021
To begin I used gesso to prime to wooden board. I then used oils in bright colours to create the under layer of the work slowly building on this with further layers of paint adding details along the way.

Reflection, 2021
I first primed the canvas using gesso paint then used a light way of Burnt Sienna oil paint to create a detailed under layer of the painting. I then added in the colours using layers of paint to create the desired effect I wanted.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I’m interested in recreating the oddness of contemporary life through a balance of humour and horror in my paintings. My inspirations include a variety of contemporary painters, from Lisa Yuskasavage, Nicolas Party and John Currin to Old Masters such as Botticelli, Goya and Rubens.

How have you navigated being an artist post-graduating?

My time at NUA allowed me to really focus in on who I am as an artist and what I want to communicate to the world. The course guided me and opened my eyes to different ideas and ways of expressing myself and exposed me to a thriving artistic community. 

“I applaud the students around the UK who have kept painting, despite the terrible difficulties so many of them have faced.”

Jennifer Higgie (Freelands Judgewriter and editor-at-large, frieze)

An interview with Rebecca is featured in issue 4 of FOCUS where Fine Art and Painting graduates discuss the people who have inspired them.