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Laura Venables

MA work

Memory

My studio practice is about process, improvisation and exploring. I start by looking closely at objects of personal importance, exploring their attributes with the aim of translating their essence. I create multi-layered, textural paintings using a variety of media, from charcoal and salt to wax and varnishes. Drawing, collage and sculpture are important in documenting my exploratory processes and realising my ideas.

I mix time-consuming processes with rapid, intuitive mark making that often result in bursts of hundreds of drawings and fewer, more considered larger works. I am drawn to materials that have attributes which can further the processes I want to explore. For example absorption in relation to paper and wood, aggregate for concrete and the transient nature from liquid to solid of wax and plaster.

Additionally, I design workshops for people living with dementia in healthcare environments, focusing on process-led, communication-enabling sessions. I am in the process of writing an academic paper on engagement, wellbeing and visual art workshops based on my sessions. This collision of personal narratives, making and memories fuels my thinking and practical work. Themes in my work are memory and narrative, sometimes these are known, sometimes they are forgotten, lost or secret. Other noticeable elements are cracks in my work. Fragmentation, breaking down and the ephemeral natures of the pieces sometimes reflect the memory experiences of some of the individuals I work with.

Info

  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Design

    Programme

    MA Textiles, 2015

    Specialism

    mixed media

  • My practice is a combination of research, studio work and workshop facilitation, all stemming from my fascination with objects and the memories they hold. Objects are loaded with meaning, and I have explored how they can trigger memories or generate relationships with or between people through my dissertation and physical practice. 

    I am passionate about creative exploration and enable people to access this by facilitating workshops in healthcare environments. My process-led style of practice fuels the intervention content, while the interventions themselves fuel my personal practice through participatory knowledge. After my MA I aim to experience the arts-for-health research world in more depth, particularly focusing on facilitation and evaluation.

  • Degrees

  • BSc (Hons) Human Geography, University of Reading
  • Exhibitions

  • In Between, Hockney Gallery, London, 2015; Work in Progress, Royal College of Art, London, 2015; Work in Progress, Royal College of Art, London, 2014