Current Exhibition: Opening drinks 8 September, 2012 4-6pm.
Exploring notions of art, science, imagination, memory, and loss, Janet Laurence’s practice examines the interconnection of life-forms and ecologies and observes the impact that humans have on the threatened, natural world.
With Avalanche, Laurence constructs a wild and fragile environment amidst the imminent threat of extinction. The beauty of intricate objects and luminous images is poetically nurtured in this intimate modern day wunderkammer.
As part of her research, Laurence works with biologists, meteorologists, oceanographers, and botanists, collecting data and images from remote environments, including the Tarkine Rainforest in North West Tasmania. In this series of work, the Tarkine is depicted on a micro scale; one of close concentration and proximity that denotes tenderness and intimacy. Laurence’s fondness for this pristine environment, and her concern for the threat that humans pose to it, brings a sense of pathos to the works. With a delicate tinge of malaise, notions of fragility, loss, and undoing, are presented on a scale of intimate catastrophe. If there were wounds in the fabric of nature, chlorophyll would spill from them—this notion is memorialised and honoured in Laurence’s work, and amongst layers of reference and beauty, Avalanche gives special access to relatively unknown worlds within worlds.
Throughout her career, Laurence has consistently pursued what she regards to be a continuous source of inspiration and struggle—the environment and our undoing of it. As we enter into a geological timeframe that is characterised, above all, by the impact of humans on the environment, Laurence’s art remains persistently vital in its exploration of issues that are, at once, intimate and global.
Janet Laurence lives and works in Sydney. She has exhibited in significant group exhibitions, including: 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010); Clemenger Contemporary Art Award, National Gallery of Victoria (2009); Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial, Japan (2003, 2006); Australian Perspecta (1985, 1991, 1997); and the 9th Biennale of Sydney (1992). She has exhibited internationally in China, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan and United Kingdom. Commissioned works include: Tarkine Macquarie Bank Foyer, London, (2011); Translucidus, Qantas Lounge, Sydney International Airport (2002); Central Synagogue, Sydney (1999); 49 Veils (with Jisuk Han), (1998); The Edge of the Trees (with Fiona Foley), Museum of Sydney (1994); and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Australian War Memorial, Canberra (1993). In 2012 the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney commissioned a solo exhibition After Eden. Key collections include: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; University of New South Wales, Sydney; University of Technology, Sydney; Artbank Australia Collection; Macquarie Bank Collection, Melbourne; APA Collection, Nagoya, Japan; Itoki Collection, Tokyo, Japan, S.C.H.E.M.A. Collection, Florence, Italy.