March 17, 2022 - 2-7pm
WATCH YOUR STEP by Laura Murray
Curated by Dan Halm
Laura Murray is a mixed-media artist who creates highly-textured, 3-dimensional paintings that explore intersections between science, art, and urbanism. Her work investigates concepts related to the Anthropocene – the scientific term for our current geological era which identifies human activity as the dominant influence on climate and the environment. Though the subjects of these artworks are typically animals, they also serve as portraits of humanity by exposing the remnants or “footprints” of human inhabitance. As the title of the show suggests, “Watch Your Step” is a direct reference to the microcosm of activity that exists beneath our feet, even in the most urban of settings.
Murray treats each painting as an object, paying attention to the top, bottom, and sides of each piece. Some elements of the artworks are hand-crafted and meticulously rendered in order to appear real; other elements of the artworks are pieces of litter that Murray collects to use as material. Through playful and inventive experimentation with non-traditional materials, Murray creates emotionally-charged artworks that demonstrate precarious interactions between the natural and non-natural worlds.
Accompanying the show is a site-specific installation consisting of thousands of cicada exoskeletons painted a lustrous gold and crawling along the walls of HERE’s central staircase.
From the artist:
“One of my ongoing projects – 1, 13, 17 Years – centers on fascinating temporal insects known as cicadas, which inhabit specific isolated areas throughout the country. Buried underground for the majority of their lives, cicadas emerge for only a brief few weeks at the very end of their life cycles. A special species of cicada known as the magicicada waits underground an incredible 17 years, then emerges in a swarm of billions and dies a mere month after emerging. Every summer I hike throughout the tri -state wooded areas, collecting hundreds of cicada exoskeletons shed by these emerging insects. I paint each cicada skin a lustrous gold, emphasizing their ecological value, and use them for site-specific installations. The resulting work pays homage to the fragility of nature and the life-to-death journey of these amazing creatures.”