Laura Thompson

Artist Bio

I am perpetually inspired by the internal/private self within a group context.  I am driven through my personal experiences and the experiences of others which I obsessively observe.

I studied ceramics under Karen Gundermann and Christopher Davis-Benevides at the University of Wisconisin-Milwaukee where I received my BFA in 2008.  The following six years I spent in Portland, Or making work and engaging in many fringe communities which it turn inspired the work which I have and am in the process of creating.  In 2014, I began attending the University of Notre Dame where I am currently pursuing my MFA in ceramics.

Artist Statement

Throughout my life, I have often found myself on the perimeter of social spheres. I am consumed by watching others interact and fascinated by the social niceties between strangers, as well as the brusque manner between fading couples.   I watch the physicality of socialization: body positions, facial expressions, and gestures. These points of physical interaction can be garish and loud or quite subtle, but they always indicate an interior emotional state. These observations drive my work. Sometimes, I use myself as the subject. Other times, I use my personal experience to inspire an installation.   Regardless of the forum, my work is driven by the use of mass multiples and the relationship between these objects.

Within my sculpture, I explore critical internal narratives. The mental walls we build in order to protect ourselves intrigue me. These barriers are erected in order to survive the daily grind of work, school, and socializing. Barriers are necessary. However, I am not interested in these walls, but what lies behind them, what we hide and down play; our inner psychologies, which ultimately drive decisions and the way we choose to live out our lives.   To explore this, I elongate and deform human figures to heighten the psychological aspect of each piece. Through my manipulation of form, I draw the viewer into a microcosm of skewed perspectives and immense vulnerability.

Occasionally, I use the viewer as a stand-in to my own experience. I explore this interaction between the piece and the viewer through my use of installation. I am currently creating a crowd of near life-sized busts. In this future installation, the interacting individual must walk through a tight winding space created by a plethora of busts with aggressive facial expressions. This interaction will create an unnerving experience for the viewer and translate to them my experience as a socially anxious person. I am interested in sharing this uncomfortable experience because it is my belief that when we fully expose our most deeply rooted vulnerabilities that we begin to have true connections with each other.

By unearthing a mélange of uncomfortable sensations and subject matter, I tap into raw emotions. Shame, desperation, selfishness, anxiety, and pleasure are the hallmarks of humanity. These are the things that drive and define us. Through my work, I hope to spark contemplation and reflection on our lives and the commonalities which unite us all.

I am perpetually inspired by the internal/private self within a group context. I am driven through my personal experiences and the experiences of others which I obsessively observe.

I studied ceramics under Karen Gundermann and Christopher Davis-Benevides at the University of Wisconisin-Milwaukee where I received my BFA in 2008. The following six years I spent in Portland, Or making work and engaging in many fringe communities which it turn inspired the work which I have and am in the process of creating. In 2014, I began attending the University of Notre Dame where I am currently pursuing my MFA in ceramics.

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