8 July 2019 until 17 September 2019
Janet Laurence, one of Australia’s most celebrated contemporary artists, will explore The Johnston Collection alongside her own creative practices - collecting and saving, nature and the environment - within the context of the Fairhall exhibition-house.
William Johnston’s collecting and gathering from around the world, along with his love of gardening, will underpin and reflect Laurence’s ideas. Johnston found comfort, beauty and solace as he collected plants on his international travels, created, nurtured, assembled and loved his own gardens with care. Laurence’s exhibition will challenge the conventions of our exhibition spaces and the relationships to nature and culture, collecting and discovery, and the natural environment, internalised within Fairhall.
This exhibition is as part of the continuing ‘house of ideas’ project series where TJC commissions guest artists to use Fairhall as a site-specific installation space to reconceptualise the exhibition-house and explore its many layers of meaning. By doing so, The Collection will continue to consider old objects in new ways.
This exhibition is supported by The Besen Foundation and The Friends of The Johnston Collection. Janet Laurence is represented by ARC ONE Gallery, Melbourne.
MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Irina Agaronyan p. 03 9416 2515
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ABOUT THE ARTIST Exploring notions of art, science, imagination, memory, and loss, Janet Laurence’s practice examines our physical, cultural and conflicting relationship to the natural world through both site specific, gallery and museum works. Working in varying mediums,
Laurence creates immersive environments that navigate the interconnections between life world. Her work explores what it might mean to heal, albeit metaphorically, the natural environment, fusing this sense of communal loss with a search for connection with powerful life-forces. Laurence’s work alerts us to the subtle dependencies between water, life, culture and nature in our eco-system. In the face of this, we do yearn for a form of alchemy, for the power of enchantment and transformation. Her work reminds us that art can provoke its audience into a renewed awareness about our environment.
Laurence has been a recipient of Rockefeller, Churchill and Australia Council Fellowships, and the Alumni Award for Arts, UNSW. Laurence was a Trustee of the Art Gallery of NSW, a former Board Member of the VAB Board of the Australia Council and was Visiting Fellow at the NSW University Art and Design. She was also was the Australian representative for the COP21/FIAC, Artists 4 Paris Climate 2015 Exhibition, exhibiting a major work – Deep Breathing: Resuscitation for the Reef – at the Muséum National D’Historie Naturelle, in Paris, France, and a visiting fellow of the 2016/2017 Hanse-WissenschaftKolleg (HWK) foundation fellowship.
Laurence’s work is included in many Museum, University and Corporate collections as well as within architectural and landscaped public places, worldwide.