Louise Pallister (b.1966 UK) received a First Class BA Fine Art/American Studies from Liverpool University/LIHE (1987) and an MSc Historic Conservation from Oxford Brookes University (1991). Seeking new challenges for her work led to an MA Fine Art at City and Guilds of London Art School, and a complete ‘reboot’ of her practice. She graduated with Distinction in 2014 and was awarded the Slaughterhaus Print Prize. Her work has been included in the Collyer Bristow graduate exhibition 'Exceptional' and the Ferens Open. Her essays considering the influence of nature on her practice appear in the online journal The Learned Pig.
Louise Pallister’s practice encompasses aspects of drawing, printmaking, and film to bear witness to the absence of elusive, extinct or endangered species. She uses mark making to acknowledge both a widely shared familiarity with animal others and the unknowability that divides us.
Her recent work has developed to favour ‘felt’ sensation over representational ‘truth’ to describe the complexities of our relationship with the sentient world. In this she is influenced by the gestural work of Francis Bacon, the processes of William Kentridge and Jenny Saville and critiques of animal marginalization by thinkers such as John Berger and Jacques Derrida.
Species’ and individual histories inform the direction of Pallister's work but drawing is the fundamental means of information gathering and understanding. Using the positive act of mark making she describes the negative states of disappearance and extinction. Images are formed, drawn and erased, wiped, subtracted, transformed; layers revealed or obscured; movement implied. Their feral traces are visible in areas of negative space or smudges of charcoal and ink.
Activating the drawing through stop motion film describes a process that fluctuates between adding and removing, a narrative from manifest to extinct, "there" to "not there". In printmaking the use of images in series that repeat, fade or are disrupted, refers to the imprint of an animal, its mark, and to the impression left. Thus the surface of the work is a visual narrative of its making, documenting the fragile tension between actuality and extinction, the ambiguous and insubstantial nature of ‘fact’ and of mark making.
This revision and evolution of work is an undertaking with no expected outcome, rather a series of open-ended questions by which Pallister tests the boundaries of her practice. She finds writing about her practice helpful to reflect on both her own experience and the ideas that inform it. As such her work may be viewed as extended field notes; a personal record of explorations in both nature and art.