This is a body of work initiated with the intention of depicting the fish in the tanks at a Chinese Restaurant as a homage to my childhood memories of gazing up at the tanks filled with living creatures. The intention was to use scale to convey the sense of awe I felt as a small child looking up at these tanks. This concept, however, has shifted to form a different narrative—one of morbid realisation perhaps? Of childhood naivety and innocence giving way to the experience of life and death.

Through the painting process, I have been navigating my memories, dreams, and other aspects of my subconscious. I retain dreams as though they are disjointed memories, attributing this to the fact that during my dreams I experience senses other than perceived sight, such as scent and touch. As I paint, I experience in full depth the feelings and emotions that are recessed within these memories which at times can be intensely painful and at times tender and gentle. I believe that these qualities are inherently communicated through my gesture and mark making.

Photograph of Lara Gough in front of her three paintings.
Lara Gough, The Natural Progression series, 2022.
A painting in progress of fish carcasses hanging.
Lara Gough, The Natural Progression III, 2022.

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Lara Gough