Image of Firebug by Sand Laureson
Sand Laureson, Firebug. Photo © Sand Laureson

Sand Laureson

Work exhibited: Firebug.

"Although while studying at BA level and while at the Royal Academy Schools I was considered a sculptor, I have always worked in whatever medium I found expressed my ideas most succinctly. This might be on canvas, material or paper, through sound and film or using and making objects. I find it restrictive to be constrained by methods of making or to limit myself within a particular way of working. However, most of my work has much the same visual key to it, a strong recognisable element running through it.

"I often start with drawing as a touchstone for my ideas and these drawings, although works in their own right, often inform a future painting or sculpture. Drawing is important to me; I use it as a laying down of the idea, a brainstorming, a map or patterning for thoughts. These drawings are often quite large and usually employ a limited colour range, which I find helps the bones of the idea to show in that there is less distraction from the form.

"They are often dark, dense and overworked with many ideas running over and through them. The repetitive mark-making is translated into a sculpture in such a way that the intensity of the marks becomes thousands of matches; threads or pins, erasures and spaces become holes and tears. Drilling, knotting, weaving, layering, embellishing, polishing, knitting: such processes endeavour to evoke a response of capture... capture through enthralment, seduction, amusement, repulsion, intrigue. The work entices the eye to look and stay looking and to want to find and unravel the story, the intended story or the viewer’s own, within the thing presented.

"I employ repetition as a way of marking time and demonstrating the intent behind the work, the need to show the importance in the smallest thing as part of the greatest: the grain of sand, a star, one leaf, a drop of water... what they are alone and what they can become. The long process of making acknowledges time passing and the use of its passing, that things can only happen in time, the shortest and the longest time. I try to use these ideas to make a point more adamant and less easy to ignore, like a drumbeat, a pulse or a chant. The obsessive, infested, overdone element is essential to me to sometimes create a feeling of disturbance and ‘wrongness’ within the work.

"I am interested in the human condition of attempting to come to terms with being a tiny part of an immense multiverse and the complex feelings of fear, awe, fascination and resignation (among others) that this inspires. So sometimes the work is accepting of such things and is happily right about itself and other times at odds with itself, materials struggling to sit next to each other, fizzing and crackling, out of rhythm, wrong.

"In playing at trying to fathom the unfathomable, answer the unanswerable, I employ the stories/theories of physics, such as concepts regarding time and space, but place them in a human arena by using the collective consciousness of myths and storytelling. My work often takes the form of cautionary tales that try to bridge the gap between human feelings and emotions with the coldness of infinity and the realisation of our mortality.

"Storytelling, whether through sciences, religions, philosophies or myths, is an enjoyable way of trying to negotiate a path through the dark woods of our limited understanding. While the universe spins and throbs over our heads we try to untangle the everyday aspects of our lives... our hopes, our fears, the winning, the losing, lives that are over and lives just beginning. Through signs, symbols and metaphors, we are constantly trying to find new ways to extract a meaning that can be used as some kind of glue to hold all our parts together."

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