Laura Kelly’s process-based practice is focused on making an expanded form of drawing. Her constructed drawing installations move between the wall and floor and are constituted from a variety of ephemeral materials – including paper, wood, thread, graphite and tape – and incorporate both 2- and 3d elements.
For this exhibition, she has created two new works. Extending beyond the confines of a single frame, Edgelands is a large site-specific mountain landscape drawing which incorporates a framework of screens, lines and boundaries in combination with drawn vignettes. A variety of tensions emerge as the representational/abstract and the real/illusory jostle for attention. Using the pictorial landscape tradition and the familiar tools of drawing and image-making as a departure point, the work pushes to the very edge of the genre. Line acts as horizon in parts and boundary in others or sometimes as both simultaneously. Folding of the material reflects folding processes in the landscape and the use of a bright fluorescent orange suggests the artificial and a human presence in a wilderness landscape. Often used to draw attention to imminent danger, here it’s also used to suggest danger – that of the ever-growing loss of natural habitats in the wilderness through incursions by humans.
22 Views of Borrowed Scenery is a short hand-drawn animation using graphite and watercolour. In it a landscape is viewed through binocular frames, giving detail but no sense of context. Using a continuous though interrupted motion of vertical, horizontal and diagonal scrolling, the landscape reveals itself in a fragmented way. The viewer’s gaze is never allowed to settle. Vertical perspective and the Japanese aesthetic tradition influence the work.
Both works allude to an ambiguous and dislocated sense of place. Both also attempt to containing the landscape which spills out beyond any attempt to frame them.
Informing her work is a broad range of reference points ranging from the pictorial landscape tradition, the nature of perception, mark-making and the creation of illusion to Japanese spatial aesthetics. This current work is the continuation of a series begun during a Winter Residency in The Banff Centre, Canada in 2016.