With a raft of album cover, record sleeve and magazine commissions behind her, as well as the completion of art work on behalf of Paul McCartneyís Music Academy, respected illustrative artist Rebecca Lardner has made something of a name for herself since leaving Liverpool John Moores University with a BA (Hons) Degree in Illustration. Swanage-born Lardner is renowned for her unique oil on canvas studies of customary fishing community scenes, cognitively collected from her Dorset upbringing. Lardnerís very personal work has been showcased around the world, and particularly in galleries in Europe and America, while the contemporary artist herself has travelled far and wide to add further dimensions and flavours to her pieces.
Her personal, candid insights and representations of typical South-West coastal life and loves are very much redolent of admired Cornish artist of yore, Alfred Wallis, in respect of Lardnerís pre-requisite for using every inch of the canvas at her disposal to tell a tale that doesnít rely on just a sole player. Her interpretations of traditional fishermenís cottages, harbour scenes, trawlers bobbing about in the bay, seabirds perched and distant figures engaged in their everyday defy the laws of physics and gravity on some occasions, as the subject matter is stretched, twisted, turned and sculpted to tell the whole story of whatís played out before Lardnerís all-encompassing eyes, not just the one focal-point.
These vividly enticing, moveable feasts of pastel shades of blue, green and grey bring to mind memories of long summer holidays and warm seasons spent under the gaze of the sun, that have captivated both locals and visitors in equal measure, and for a large part symbolise a certain, ancient way of life to coastal villages and towns around Dorset, Devon and Cornwall who rely on the sea and mother nature to earn their keep. Itís Lardnerís gift for affording the canvas the thoroughly modern widescreen treatment, yet within the operable constraints of practicality that makes her illustrative piece so stand-out and all the more remarkable.
And itís clearly abundant that Lardnerís grasp, appreciation and respect for these communities serve as her greatest inspiration, filling every canvas with a quality of life and achievement, grit and determination courtesy of her employment of all the components that embody these harbour communities.