Laura has a materially engaged practice, that cuts across a studio practice (primarily sculpture), writing and fieldwork.
Laura focuses on process and how objects/things come into being, with an emphasis on the handling of materials, from stable material such as ceramics and concrete to the changeable matter of clay, bread dough, silicone rubber and rusting metal. Exploring and responding to material behaviours and her personal relationships to them, alongside their historical and social contexts.
It is important for her to be led by her materials and to collaborate with them, rather than imposing herself on them. Laura is drawn to materials and processes that challenge her physically, materials that are difficult to control, awkward to stabilize and resist being fixed. It is important for her not to plan what she does, but start a journey with a material and see where it takes and pushes her, being exposed to the breaks, mistakes and failures of materials to open up new directions and possibilities.
Laura investigates materials in many different contexts, engaging with fieldwork to learn new hands-on skills while also de-skilling, to rethink, to not know, and continually challenge herself. One of the ways she does this is by expanding her skillset. Over the years she has learnt skills in butchery, fish mongery, taxidermy, cheese making, sushi, patisserie and baking, plus many other skills – enriching her body-hand-material vocabulary, which is absorbed and digested into her studio practice.
Laura’s interest in materiality is also explored and documented through her online work –Tenderfoot, which is an ongoing project that explores materiality through a digital space. Launched in 2017 it includes Laura’s writing on materials as a means to delve in, unpack and experience from a different perspective her encounters and entanglements with the world of stuff. It includes her fieldwork – workshops exploring materiality, both participating and running them, and materially engaged projects from invited guests, covering a range of subjects from cooking to skateboarding.