Janet Laurence
For me the veil is the space between perception and memory.
Still space, slow space.
A dissolving membrane, a hesitation.
A way of looking within the world rather than at it.


Janet Laurence Plants Eye View
GLOVER PRIZE WINNER 2013

(in the Tarkine, Tasmania), 2013
duraclear, acrylic, dibond mirror 120 x 173

Judges comments: This work focusses on the mystery of the Tarkine wilderness, which Janet Laurence has visited several times. The work picks up on the 19th century fascination with botanical specimens, and at times the exotic nature of vegetation.
As an artist she has had extended interest in the role of the museums as part of the 18th-19th century Enlightenment passion for discovery, collection and preservation of specimens. Her work references early daguerreotypes and stereoscopic imagery, achieved through her use of the diptych format and mirrored, reflective surfaces. Whilst the work has these fascinating 19th century associations, its method of construction places it firmly in the 21st century.

The result is a truly romantic, poetic work that through this alchemy of content and construction and with its reflective surfaces engages the viewer directly. Just as one has to move a daguerreotype to fully see the image, so the viewer has to move before this work. It is as though we enter right into the landscape and become "one with nature". It thus becomes almost a real environment and we share the artist's delight in examining the microscopic details of the vegetation in the Tarkine.

The work becomes more than an illusion. Significantly it represents Janet Laurence's deep concern with the ecology of this special place and the need to ensure its preservation now and into the future.

Dr Frances Lindsay
Dr Peter Hill
Jasmin Stephens

Portrait of an artist Janet Laurence wins Archibald


John Beard's Archibald-winning portrait of artist Janet Laurence
2007

11/11/03
The Australian War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London
Tonkin Zulaikha Greer in association with artist Janet Laurence.
Peter Tonkin and Janet Laurence Australian War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in LondonJohn Howard st the Australian War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in LondonPeter Tonkin and Janet Laurence at the Australian War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London.
Peter Tonkin and Janet Laurence - Prime Minister John Howard centre - at the Australian War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London.
The unveiling of the War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London
By John Zulaikha
November 11, 2003 11.PM Sydney


Everyone was there, The Queen, John Howard, Tony Blare and Heads of State,
The Royal Family, Heads of Church, 28 Australian Veterans including 95 year old Edith Eadie, Dukes Knights Lords Princes Princesses, The Royal Guard, The Royal Band and Royal Ladies and Gentlemen accompanied by thousands of Hyde Park onlookers. It was the 11AM of the 11th Month 2003 in London and 11PM in Sydney and architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer and artist Janet Laurence are present as the unveiling of the War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London commenced.

It was all very proper in that very English way, unsurprising considering it's the home of the Queen of England and well practised in their tradition I sensed in anticipation this was going to be the real thing, the original traditional English tea-party. The wall was powerful and magnetic (actually last night it appeared there was a light from within dancing alive in the waterfall - but this was daylight no lights to be seen) with a red carpet in a green lush setting with a podium in a right royal cake setting.

The wall gently arcs with curved layers
that step to a kneel scooping the waterfall-ing into the acoustic in a state of readiness for the traditional 2 minute silence ... Big Ben preambled and then eleven "Bongs" chimed, a canon was shot, as people stood in silent rememberance to be awoken with a mighty roar as a jet flyover saluted with a sonic boom.

And then to the speeches, John Howard, The Queen, Tony Blair, the Principal Chaplains thank God, God the Son and God the Spirit to introduce "Oh Valiant Hearts" sung by Evon Kenny. At this point I pitied all who were there that had to listen, of course I just turned off the sound. More praise to God "Prayers for Peace" and a then poem "The Last to Leave" by Leon Gellert, the official wreath laying by the Queen and the Duke, Duke of Kent, Howard and the wife, Tony Blair then the leader of the Opposition. The "Ode of Rememberance", "We Will Remember Them" leading to the trumpet of the "Last Post" and silence as the flags are at half mast only to be awoken and raised high.

The Queen said it was "magnificent memorial", Tony Blair "imposing memorial" and yes in such a prominate spot - the gateway to London - it will also stand for the bond that existed then as it stands today, 85 years later, of our two great nations - and magnificent it is and every bit appropriate to stand and commemorate this shared bond. Everything was correct even the weather was still, giving dutiful silence as the waterfall-ing ever replenishing the memory of men not forgotten also projected mens voices in respect and prayer.

After the speeches and praise to God, the music swells the Queens Anthum "God Save the Queen" with the Royal Band and BBC's stereo was very pleasant to hear as John Howard sings along very pleased to plant this his mark and also commemorate his father and his father's father who both fought in the first world war. The music segwayed beautifully into "Advance Australia Fair" sounding very much like "why was she born so beautiful" which was almost Stevie Wonder-ish and much appreciated.

The ceremony came to a close. The wall has some colour now as the flowers and floral wreaths brighten up the stark grays, a much needed accesory.






War memorial set in stone
By Patricia Karvelas
November 11, 2003
 

THE first permanent memorial in London marking the sacrifice of the 1.5 million Australians who fought beside their British comrades in two world wars was suggested as far back as the end of World War I, but the idea never "quite got off the ground", according to Governor-General Michael Jeffery.

It was not until July 2000 that Prime Minister John Howard and his British counterpart, Tony Blair, agreed to support the ambitious project.

Since that decision, the Australian War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London has encountered a number of problems that almost derailed the plan. In June, it was revealed that the project would cost $2.5million more than initially intended.

But the $9million project had to meet its November deadline and Australian stonemasons worked for 10 hours a day, six days a week under Pieter Boer, the managing director of Sydney-based Stoneplus.

Most of the visible components of the memorial come from Australia, and all the stone work was assembled by Australians. Other contracts were let in Britain, including those for excavation, drainage, piling and concrete structures. The entire design is Australian, including the electricals and hydraulics, but all services have been installed by British companies.

The memorial design features a long, curving wall of green-grey Australian granite from Jerramungup in Western Australia. Following an invitation-only design competition, approval was gained early in 2003 for the winning proposal by the Australian architectural firm Tonkin Zulaikha Greer in association with artist Janet Laurence. TZG's past work includes the design of the Australian Vietnam Forces Memorial in Anzac Parade, Canberra, and the Tomb of the Unknown Australian soldier within the Australian War Memorial in the nation's capital.

The Australian

Follow this link for the full story:
http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,7831672%255E28097,00.html


The new memorial has been designed by Sydney architectural firm Tonkin Zulaikha Greer and artist Janet Laurence. The design was one of four submitted in a limited design competition considered by the Australian Government from an initial field of 12 Australian firms invited to submit expression of interest.

Tonkin Zulaikha Greer's past work includes the design of the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial in Canberra and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier within the Australian War Memorial.

The Memorial is scheduled for a dedication ceremony on Remembrance Day, 11 November 2003, the 85th anniversary of Armistice Day. Beyond 2003, the Memorial will form the focus for the Anzac Day Dawn Service in London each April, an event that is expected to be attended by thousands of Australians annually.

Proposed site for the Australian War Memorial, London.
Hyde Park Corner London, the proposed site for the Australian War Memorial, London.

Computer generated perspective impression
Computer generated perspective impression of memorial. C3D Imaging Pty Ltd, Sydney.

Janet Laurence has for two decades explored the properties of the natural world within her art. Laurence's practice is characterised by the incorporation of diverse media including glass, lead, ash, minerals, oxides, wax and fur. Increasingly produced in response to specific sites and environments, her sculptural and installation works sit comfortably within the parallel contexts of museological, architectural and environmental display.

Laurence's works make reference to organic and inorganic realms, and the slippage of one state into another. A long-standing interest in the interconnection of the living and non-living underpins the works, expressed alchemically by the transformation of matter into substance. Memory, history and perception form underlying themes, notions of material transformation paralleled by evocations of lived experience and the passing of time. As a metaphor for the ever-changing state of the world around us, Laurence's art is insistently ambiguous, its cool, sculptural presentation mediated by lingering traces of humanity.

Janet Laurence strives to inform audiences with her views of art in society and art relating to history and the environment. She is interested in presenting art as something more than decorative or something personal.


Selected individual exhibitions
1989 Blind Spot, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney, NSW 1990 Lunami Gallery, Australia-Japan exchange, Tokyo, Japan 1992 Seibu Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Rare, City Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria 1993 Centre for Contemporary Art, Hamilton, New Zealand; The Measure of Light, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Queensland 1994 Gallery APA, Nagoya, Japan; Lunami Gallery, Tokyo, Japan 1995 Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria 1996 States of Matter, Michael Milburn Galley, Brisbane, Queensland; Less Stable Elements, University Gallery, Newcastle, NSW 1997 Unfold, AGNSW, Sydney, NSW; Gallery APA, Nagoya, Japan; Ph, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria 2000 Transpiration, Sherman Galleries Goodhope, Sydney, NSW; Muses, Ian Potter Museum, University of Melbourne, Victoria

Selected group exhibitions
1985 Australian Perspecta, AGNSW, Sydney, NSW 1988 Abstraction by degree, Milburn + Arte Brisbane; 200 Years of Australian Drawing, Australian Drill Hall Gallery, ANU, Canberra, ACT 1990 Tokyo Connection, Tokyo, Japan; Abstraction, AGNSW, Sydney; 1991 Frames of Reference: Aspects of Feminism in Art, The Wharf, Sydney, NSW 1991 Synthesis:Art + Architecture, Bond Stores, Sydney, NSW 1994 Boundary Rider: Biennale of Sydney, AGNSW, Sydney, NSW; Poetics of Immanence, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney, NSW and touring South Australian regional galleries 1996 Systems End, curated show travelling in Japan and Korea; 1996-7 Spirit and Place, Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, NSW 1997 Global Art, Carpediem Gallery, Bangkok Thailand; Australian Perspecta: Between Art and Nature, S.H.Ervin Gallery, Sydney, NSW; Innenseite, Kassell, Germany 'The Infinite Space: Woman, Minimalism and the Sculptural Object , The Ian Potter Museum of Art, The University of Melbourne, VIC 1999 Cinderella's Gems: Art and the Intellectual Missile, touring Queensland, NSW and Victoria; Art Chicago 1999, Chicago, USA; Home and Away: The Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand 2000 Sydney 2000 Olympic Design of the Millennium, Royal Institute of British Architects, London and touring to Customs House Sydney, NSW

Commissions
1992 Itoki Building, The Ginza, Tokyo, Japan 1993 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Canberra ACT collaboration with Tonkin Zulaikha Architects 1994 Edge of the Trees, sculptural installation for the Museum of Sydney, in collaboration with Fiona Foley; 1995 Chronicle I-V, Herald and Weekly Times Building Southbank Melbourne, VIC 1997 Olympic Museum, Lausanne Switzerland, collaboration with Jisuk Han, for Australian Exhibition Space 1997-' 49 Veils, Central Synagogue Bondi Sydney NSW, windows in collaboration with Jisuk Han 'Picture the Dark Face of the River, Department of Environment, Canberra, ACT 1999 Veil of Trees, in collaboration with Jisuk Han, Sydney Sculpture Walk Sydney NSW; Accretion, ANZ Bank Sydney NSW; Stilled Lives, Museum Victoria Melbourne VIC 2000 Chapel for Australian Catholic University Melbourne VIC in collaboration with Julie Rrap 2000 In the Shadow, Homebush Bay Olympic site

Residencies and Grants
1980 Bennington College Vermont, USA 1983 Visual Arts Board, Australia Council; VAB Travel Grant, Paretaio, Italy 1988 Visual Arts/Craft Board Australia Council; Studio Grant, Tokyo, Japan 1996 Rockefeller Foundation residency, Bellagio, Italy; Newcastle University, artist-in-residence 1996-98 Australia Council 2-year Fellowship 2000 Macgeorge Fellowship, The University of Melbourne, VIC.

Janet Laurence lives and works in Sydney and is a trustee of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

JANET LAURENCE: TRANSPIRATION

Light


Into Light 2000
(detail from Muses, The Ian Potter Museum, University of Melbourne)
dimensions variable duraclear photo, aluminium, acrylic, glass, oil, minerals, glass shelf
photography by Andrius Lipsys
 



Trace Elements 2000
installation, dimensions variable sulphur, glass, photo, minerals
photography by Andrius Lipsys

Shadow

In the Shadow 2000
Installation in Boundary Creek at the southern end of Olympic Boulevard, Homebush Bay

wands: Marblo, stainless steel, luminescence, height varies
between 8m and 2m sequenced fog, fibre optics, bulrushes, Casurina forest
photography by the artist 





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Zulenet 2003