7-30 APRIL 2017
Inspired by a trip to India painter Kally Laurence sees her world with fresh eyes and
goes back to her printmaking roots with a joyous body of work.
In Kally Laurence’s most recent work she’s gone back to her roots as a printmaker and has engaged in making large scale monotypes, using a combination of screen print, block print and painting. She wanted the work to be beautiful and at the same time hold an energy and spontaneity. “I love the making,” she says, “the processes and the physical actions and experiments of layering and deleting elements, over painting and playing with colour and density. I declare a work to be finished when it says back to me all that I felt at that point of time and the place it is depicting”.
During a trip to India she became interested in the detail of everyday life; realising that it is noticing, enjoying and celebrating the mundane and its infinite detail that is far more important to her than grand events. In such a visual environment, so far from her norm, she vowed to take more notice of her daily surroundings on her return home.
Having graduated from the Royal College of Art in “what seems like a hundred years ago,” Kally has spent the last few years bringing up a family, teaching and co-running Queenie and Ted, an up-cycled fashion business. Having worked in the world of fashion and textiles she found herself drawn to pattern and repetition, both common features in the world she inhabits in daily life - a seat pattern on a train to Southend that’s subtly different to the pattern of the flooring; mismatched fabric seat covers in a bar in Greece; a fridge decorated with patterned sticky-back-plastic dumped at Hollow Ponds.
“I’m constantly taking photos, always keeping an open mind for the accidental ‘art’ and beauty that surrounds us and that we can so easily miss while rushing through life as we do”. The imminence of her children leaving home makes the beauty of the mundane even more relevant. Ultimately to live more in the present, to slow down the pace. So upon arriving home from India she started taking notice of the nuances and hidden beauty in her corner of East London. “I use my work as a way of seeing and living in my world, a way of making it special, noticing both the external visual elements as well as the internal emotions and responses it evokes, and quite honestly I use it as an excuse for wandering the streets or staring out the window of a train, being open to the world around me.” This is particularly important to her in a world where it is so easy to disappear, head down, into technology and miss so much.
It’s the accidental sights and emotions that interest Kally. “Why do we notice what we do?” she wonders. “In the right frame of mind we can be aware of the most pleasing and inspiring things in the most unexpected of places - the pale yellow tiles with a few gaps at Barbican station, the interior of a frequently visited local cafe on Walthamstow Market where the owner has juxtapositioned Turkish artefacts with fluorescent signs and tourist posters on a jade coloured background.” Kally was seeing familiar streets differently now, “the normal becomes special when observed from a different perspective.”