Born in Windsor, England, Diana Rattray lives and works in Düsseldorf, where she studied at the Kunstakademie and, under Erwin Heerich, received the Meisterschüler distinction.
Contemplate a Diana Rattray picture and something quite odd happens. In the first few seconds, one fancies one is looking at an old photograph and, in turn, being catapulted by it into another world, a different time, another context. Rattray’s style is quite her own, a blend of tradition, individuality and objectivity drawing its inspiration from the 1950s and 60s as transmitted through black-and-white snaps from English and German post-war photo albums. The artist’s own reading of this historical pictorial matrix is highly realistic and she interprets it in the same vein. With the requisite pinch of irony, however, she lends the positivism of the 1950s a twist with situations as the outcome that may be comic, awry or eccentric and quirky.
The world of Diana Rattray’s pictures is peopled by figures the types of which will be familiar to everyone – people at family celebrations, children in their Sunday best, families on day-trips – events recorded in order to have remembrance of this special day or that one moment on tap at any time.
We were allowed to accompany the artsist while she was painting in her studio in Duesseldorf and at her exhibition "borrowed moments" at the Gallery Bugdahn and Kaimer in 2011.
photos: Ralph Goertz © IKS-Medienarchiv