Using a vast array of fuzzy pastels and contrasting sharp gouaches, Rachell Sumpter whips up some seriously supernatural scenes on paper. I’d continue to try and propound thoughts and speculations on her style, but her website has a way better sum-up then anything I can come up with- this excerpt is located below the gallery.
“Rachell Sumpter paints splendors into a desolate, peopled wilderness. Using layered gouache and pastel, these are scenes at once of community and of isolation: figures stand in heavy, embroidered clothing, hidden and yet seen, in procession, in ceremony or in witness to a wonder. There are melting mountain tops and bonfires, ghosts and graves; vast monuments and intimate moments that speak to the legacies a generation leaves, to the promises it makes. Sumpter borrows symbols fromreligious and political traditions, from dream, from our threatened natural world. And yet amid these artifacts,memories and future relics, there is a human closeness, a physical intimacy. This lends an optimismto what might otherwise seem an elegy. In this bleak and changing landscape there are celebrationsas well as lamentations, and with deceptively simple strokes she creates an iconography for the longed-forand the feared: a mythology of mystery, pleasure, and the foreshadowing of loss.”