JANET LAURENCE

Janet Laurence, photographed in her studio by Jacquie Manning.

Janet Laurence, photographed in her studio by Jacquie Manning.

JANET LAURENCE is interviewed in this month's issue of Vogue Living, where she discusses her MCA show 'After Nature' and her past and present work.

In the article Janet delves into her formative time at an Italian art school in the 70s, her job as a flying artist with Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, and the discordance between European agricultural practices and the Australian landscape.

"[The alarming thing was that our approach] to art was the exactly same approach to farming - people just applied a European perception to the landscape. They didn’t actually look at it how it was, but they were just painting it through the eyes of a European Impressionist. So that was kind of funny and I realised that we can’t see what this place is. So, then I just decided I wanted to start exploring it a bit more and art was a great means for doing that," Laurence says.

'After Nature' continues at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia until 10 June.

Read the full article here >

JANET LAURENCE

JANET LAURENCE is featured in the book Un Art Écologique : Création plasticienne et anthropocène by Paul Ardenne.

The book looks at art in the Anthropocene era and how artists are adapting to the demands of sustainable development. Ardenne deals with a number of artists whose work seeks to repair and reestablish a connection with the Earth through “green” forms of artistic expression, and announces a new age in art - Ecological Art.

Laurence is featured alongside artists who work in, and with, nature, develop laboratories, practice recycling and create ephemeral interventions.

The book is available in French here.

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JANET LAURENCE

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Alongside the exhibition Janet Laurence: After Nature, there is a series of public programs, including: Talking Trees a collaboration with Sydney University where philosophers, poets and scientists bring aspects of trees to a public audience; and Janet Laurence's interactive (Desire) Elixir Lab' a performative installation which was recently shown at the Inhotim Institute, Brazil.

Desire (Elixir Lab) is a unique sensory experience that involves the tasting of medicinal plants in the form of liquid elixirs. Facilitated by a botanist performer, participants gain insight into the cultural and biochemical connections between the body and plants.

JANET LAURENCE

Janet Laurence   in her Sydney studio. Photograph: Jacqui Manning. Courtesy the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

Janet Laurence in her Sydney studio. Photograph: Jacqui Manning. Courtesy the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

JANET LAURENCE is renowned as one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists. Her ground-breaking practice responds to the cry of the natural world and addresses our relationship to nature. Laurence creates visually immersive environments forcing us to reflect on the mutability of nature, science, memory and loss. Through her extraordinary work, Janet Laurence offers us a deeply experiential and cultural relationship to the environment. 

From March 1 - June 10, 2019, the MCA will present Janet Laurence: After Nature, a major survey exhibition of Janet Laurence's oeuvre. Curated by Rachel Kent, the exhibition will encompass three decades of Laurence’s unsurpassed practice, including key chapters such as Vanishing, Forensic Sublime, Birdsong, Deep Breathing and Cellular Gardens alongside Theatre of Trees, a new work that addresses our cultural, political and biological relationship to trees. 

Janet Laurence: After Nature will explore the critical issues facing the environment and the natural world: the epoch of the Anthropocene. For Laurence, “the ecological crisis demands us to shift our focus from a human-centred perspective to a broader multi-species, environmental approach”. Within the recognised threat to so much of our world, this exhibition explores what it might mean to heal, albeit metaphorically, the natural environment, fusing this with a sense of communal loss and search for connection with powerful life-forces. 

As Laurence explains, “I create elemental and fugitive spaces that express ephemerality through a language of veiling, transparency and translucency to form enmeshed environments, slowed spaces that express porosity and fluidity and a fusion with the environment. There are no boundaries but membranes.”

Alongside the exhibition, there will be a series of public programs, including: Talking Trees, a collaboration with Sydney University where philosophers, poets and scientists bring aspects of trees to a public audience; and Janet Laurence's interactive The Elixir Lab, a performative installation which was recently shown at the Inhotim Institute, Brazil.

Janet Laurence is a Sydney-based artist who exhibits nationally and internationally. Her work is included in museum, university, corporate and private collections as well as within architectural and landscaped public places. Key collections include: NGA, Canberra; AGNSW, Sydney; NGV, Melbourne; QAG, Brisbane; AGSA, Adelaide; Artbank Australia; Macquarie Bank Collection; and Kunstwerk Summlung Klein, Germany.
 
Recent significant projects include: Listen, to the Sound of Plants, Australian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne (2017); The Pleasure of Love, October Salon, Belgrade (2016); Deep Breathing: Resuscitation for the Reef, for the Paris Climate Change Conference (2015) and the Paris International Contemporary Art Fair (2015), followed by the installation Deep Breathing at the Australian Museum, Sydney (2016); Tarkine for a World in Need of Wilderness, Macquarie Bank Foyer, London (2011); In Your Verdant View, Hyde Park Building, Sydney (2010); Waterveil, CH2 Building for Melbourne City Council; Memory of Lived Spaces, Changi T3 Airport Terminal, Singapore; Elixir, permanent installation for Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial, Japan (all 2006); The Australian War Memorial (in collaboration with TZG Architects), Hyde Park, London (2003); In the Shadow, Sydney 2000 Olympic Park, Homebush Bay (2000); Veil of trees, Sydney Sculpture Walk (with Jisuk Han); 49 Veils, award-winning windows for the Central Synagogue, Sydney (with Jisuk Han, 1999); The Edge of the Trees (with Fiona Foley), Museum of Sydney (1994); and The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Australian War Memorial, Canberra (with TZG Architects, 1993).
 
Laurence has been a recipient of Rockefeller, Churchill and Australia Council fellowships; recipient of the Alumni Award for Arts, UNSW; and is currently visiting fellow at the NSW University Art and Design; Australian representative for the COP21/FIAC, Artists 4 Paris Climate 2015 exhibition; visiting fellow of the 2016/2017 Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK) foundation fellowship; and artist in residence at the Australian Museum.
 
Her work, The matter of the masters, was recently shown at AGNSW in association with the Rembrandt and Dutch Masters exhibition. 

 

JANET LAURENCE

Portrait of Janet Laurence

Portrait of Janet Laurence

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia has announced its 2019 exhibition program, with a major solo exhibition by Janet Laurence.

In March, Janet Laurence, one of Australia’s key creative minds, will present After Nature, a major mid-career survey exhibition examining the critical issues facing the environment and the natural world. The exhibition will feature work from throughout her oeuvre, as well as a selection of new works.

For many years, my work has explored the poetics of space and materiality through the creation of site-specific works that deal with our experiential and cultural relationship with the natural world.  – Janet Laurence, 2018

More information >

JANET LAURENCE

Janet Laurence,  What Colour is the Sacred? (Black)  (detail), 2018, plywood, acrylic, mirror, details of Karel Dujardin ‘Self-portrait’ 1662 printed on archival cotton rag, Oil glaze on acrylic, Carbon, bone, charcoal, ink, pigment, scientific glass, Barite, Goethite, Hematite, 45 x 60 x 45cm.

Janet Laurence, What Colour is the Sacred? (Black) (detail), 2018, plywood, acrylic, mirror, details of Karel Dujardin ‘Self-portrait’ 1662 printed on archival cotton rag, Oil glaze on acrylic, Carbon, bone, charcoal, ink, pigment, scientific glass, Barite, Goethite, Hematite, 45 x 60 x 45cm.

JANET LAURENCE has been invited to speak at 'Between Subjects and Collectiveness' at INHOTIM Institute, Brazil on 13 September 2018. The 4th International Education Seminar at Inhotim is focused on transformations subjects go through and their relationship with the environment in which they live. With guests from Brazil, Argentina, Austria, Chile, Colombia, India and Russia, the seminar proposes a reflection on the separation between the social and environmental dimension in contemporary life.

Panel Discussion 13 September | How can art question subject –environment relations?

More information >

JANET LAURENCE

JANET LAURENCE's work is included in the upcoming exhibition at 45 Downstairs, All We Can’t See: Illustrating the Nauru Files.  

The exhibition depicts individual interpretations of the leaked Nauru files exposed by The Guardian in 2016, illuminating the stark human cost of Australia’s policies of offshore detention. 

The Nauru Files are Australian stories. They are the consequence of Australian government policies, and they are shaping our national identity.

The exhibition opens 31 July and continues until 11 August, 2018.

More information >

Janet Laurence,  Flotsam /ˈflɒts(ə)m/noun – People or things that have been rejected or discarded as worthless , 2017, Duraclear on acrylic, mirror, 60 x 60cm

Janet Laurence, Flotsam /ˈflɒts(ə)m/noun – People or things that have been rejected or discarded as worthless, 2017, Duraclear on acrylic, mirror, 60 x 60cm